A look at last night’s setlist

The Benevento-Russo Duo made a surprise appearance at Brooklyn, NY’s Threes Brewing last night. The performance, which was heavily teased on social media, marked the first time that drummer Joe Russo and keyboardist Marco Benevento have performed together under the Duo moniker since 2010—though the organ and drums combo continue to share the stage as part of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and Bustle in Your Hedgerow, among other pickup projects.

The Duo are slated to perform aboard Jam Cruise 15 in January and used last night’s show to brush up on material from their four releases, including some selections Russo and Benevento have not performed since their last electric show in 2009. (The Duo’s final official date was an August 27 acoustic engagement at New York’s Highline Ballroom in 2010. They have also slimmed down for duo sets during a webcast from Benevento’s home in 2011 and a free-form jam at Hunter, NY’s Mountain Jam in 2015.)

Benevento and Russo opened their set with their traditional latter day invocation, the title-track from their final album, 2006’s Play Pause Stop. They proceeded to weave in material from their first proper release, 2003’s Darts, as well as their 2005 Ropeadope breakthrough Best Reason to Buy the Sun and Play Pause Stop. They also dropped in an instrumental cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Four Sticks,” a selection the musicians have performed with both The Duo and Bustle, and noted the passing of George Michael with a first-time cover of “Faith.” Near the end of the night at the intimate Threes Brewing, where Russo has hosted several residencies in recent years, they nodded to their recent success as members of Almost Dead by teasing “Fire on the Mountain” during the Darts acid-jazz centerpiece “Big Whopper.” The set came to a close with the Duo’s signature number, the Beck-inspired “Becky,” and the lone encore of “Mephisto.”

The Duo will formally return for a set on Jam Cruise next month.