Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Deliver Debut Heavy Performance During Acoustic Stand in Atlantic City
Photo Credit: Marc Millman
On Friday night, August 11, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead performed an acoustic show at The Music Box at the Borgata in Atlantic City, N.J. During the concert, the band ran through several debuts, ranging from classic covers to a take on Tom Hamilton’s American Babies’ “Restless Heart,” in addition the ensemble also paid homage to the late Robbie Robertson with “Yazoo Street Scandal” a tune from Bob Dylan & The Band’s The Basement Tapes.
Apart from the Friday night display, this group last went with an acoustic approach during their 10th-anniversary celebration at the esteemed Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., back in January, making the format all the more compelling during the Garden State gig. Music picked up on Friday night with a run-through of “Lazy Lightning,” followed by a debut of Tom Petty’s “Time to Move On.”
The group of seasoned players dipped back into the Grateful Dead’s archive with the arrival of “Let Me Sing Your Blues Away.” “Deal” came next, prior to the Dylan classic “When I Paint My Masterpiece.” Then, Hamilton led his bandmates through his American Babies’ song “Restless Heart,” representing another bust out for Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.
A high point of the night ensued with the deep cut “Yazoo Street Scandal,” which served as a jazzy centerpiece and boasted a moment for the musicians to reflect on the musical loss of The Band’s Robertson as they cascaded through The Basement Tapes number. Scott Metzger treated the audience to the Richard Thompson-penned “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” with a solo take on the number, which also served as a debut.
Given the location of the night’s concert, the band covered Bruce Springsteen next, with Hamilton on piano and Benevento on vibraphone during their take on “Thunder Road.” The band returned to a more classic format after the first song of the second set, digging into their roots with a series of Grateful Dead covers, including a bust out of the three-way favorite, “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower,” played for the first time since Sept. 26, 2019.
The night’s encore commenced with the final debut of the show, a take on “The Monkey and the Engineer” before a fully-developed “Terrapin Station,” which marked the last song of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s performance in Atlantic City, N.J. For more information about the band’s forthcoming tour dates, visit their website.
Scroll down to view the setlist from August 11, 2023.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
The Music Box at the Borgata – Atlantic City, N.J.
August 11, 2023
Set I: Lazy Lightning, Time to Move On (Tom Petty)+, Let Me Sing Your Blues Away, Deal, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Restless Heart (American Babies)+, Yazoo Street Scandal (Bob Dylan & The Band), 1952 Vincent Black Lightning+#
Set II: Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen)&, Gonesville (Bob Weir), It Must Have Been The Roses, Till The Morning Comes, Box of Rain, Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower%
Enc.: The Monkey and the Engineer+, Terrapin Station
# Scott Metzger solo
& Debut with Tom Hamilton on piano and vocals, Marco Benevento on vibraphone)
% Bust out, first suite since Sept. 26, 2019
Setlist via Setlist.FM.