Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Shine Among New York Skyline at


Photo by Andrew Scott Blackstein via JRAD’s Instagram

Last night, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead performed at New York’s Pier 17 in the seaport district. The ensemble and their committed collection of fans on the venue’s rooftop steeled themselves for the scorching summer night, and despite the discomfort, the band jammed through a pristine collection of classics and were later joined by Stuart Bogie before the weather caught up with itself and gave way to lightning – effectively cutting the show short.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead kicked off things with a high-energy rendition of “Playing in the Band,” creating an immediate collective and grooving atmosphere. They then flowed into “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo,” on which Tom Hamilton handled vocals. His captivating performance was followed by a mesmerizing guitar interlude by Scott Metzger, adding an extra layer of brilliance to the already iconic track. “The Music Never Stopped” kept the momentum going, with the band delivering a seamless performance with the crowd dancing and swaying along. “Bertha” came next, putting the musicians’ chemistry and passion on display as they shared smiles and floated over Joe Russo’s steady, fluid work. The set continued with Bob Dylan’s “Tell Me, Momma,” as the evening finally began to cool, they flowed into “Scarlet Begonias.” The evening breeze added an enchanting touch to the Grateful Dead cover. However, clouds towards the west started to drift high over the sky behind the stage, which was backdropped by the movement over the Brooklyn Bridge. The first set then culminated with the beloved “Touch of Grey.”

As the sun fully dipped behind the buildings behind the crowd, the second set began with a powerful rendition of “Hard to Handle,” an Otis Redding cover that had the audience on their feet, swiftly moving and grooving. As they performed “Here Comes Sunshine,” the overcast sky was very apparent, but the irony only heightened the vividness of the mesmerizing exploration, intricate melodies and improvisations.

The energy soared during “Throwing Stones” as Joe Russo’s Almost Dead delved deep into the song’s layers. An unfinished rendition of “Wharf Rat” followed before the band flowed into “Truckin’” as they united on “Arrows Of Neon And Flashing Marquees Out On Main Street/
Chicago, New York, Detroit, It’s All The Same Street,” New York was emphasized and received with cheers. Next, “St. Stephen” came alive with a tantalizing “One Way Out” tease before the band locked into their roots, dipping into Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V).” The jam was one of, if not the most explorative of the evening, featuring Joe Russo’s friend Stuart Bogie on saxophone. Bogie stayed on for a powerful rendition of “Not Fade Away” however, as lightning crossed North of the outdoor venue, the show came to an abrupt end. The venue took the reins, and people exited the rooftop, and Russo said, acceptingly, “Safty first.”

Despite the heat and electricity getting in the way of the evening, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead used every moment they had on stage to take in the scene in front of them and, in turn, share music that connects so many – making for yet another memorable night of sonic magic in New York City.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
The Rooftop at Pier 17 – New York
July 27, 2023

Set I: Playing in the Band (Bob Weir cover), Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo (Grateful Dead cover), The Music Never Stopped (Grateful Dead cover), Bertha (Grateful Dead cover), Tell Me, Momma (Bob Dylan cover), Scarlet Begonias (Grateful Dead cover) (>), Touch of Grey (Grateful Dead cover)

Set II: Hard to Handle (Otis Redding cover), Here Comes Sunshine (Grateful Dead cover) (>), Throwing Stones (Grateful Dead cover), Wharf Rat (Grateful Dead cover) (unfinished; >), Truckin’ (Grateful Dead cover), St. Stephen (Grateful Dead cover) (with “One Way Out” tease; >), Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) (Pink Floyd cover) (with Stuart Bogie), Not Fade Away (The Crickets cover) (cut short due to lightning)

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