Joe Russo’s Almost Dead once again returned to the first venue they ever played last night, opening up a three-night run at Brooklyn Bowl, and the band marked the occasion with a couple nods to the date, which was both International Women’s Day and the anniversary of Grateful Dead keyboardist and original frontman Ron “Pigpen” McKernan’s death, plus two songs the band hadn’t dusted off in some time.
Set one kicked off with “Alligator,” a tune co-written by Pigpen (along with Phil Lesh and Robert Hunter, marking the first Dead song featuring Hunter’s lyrics officially released), followed by the staple “St. Stephen.” The ensuing “Dupree’s Diamond Blues” was only the second ever played by Almost Dead, with the first coming over four years ago on December 27, 2013. After “King Solomon’s Marbles,” the band cover Waylon Jennings’ “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line“—also just the second appearance in an Almost Dead setlist—for the first time since January 24, 2015. The set closed with the Dead classic “Touch of Grey.”
Set two opened with “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) and included Dead favorites like “Jack Straw,” “Scarlet Begonias,” “I Know You Rider” and a set-closing “Stella Blue.” The band then returned to the stage for a two-song encore, starting with a nod to Women’s Day with “Man Smart, Woman Smarter” and rounding out with “Not Fade Away.”
See the full setlist below, along with pro-shot video of each set opener. Russo and company return to the Brooklyn Bowl stage tonight for night two of three.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY
Set I: Alligator, St. Stephen, Dupree’s Diamond Blues, King Solomon’s Marbles, Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line, Touch of Grey
Set II: The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion), Jack Straw, Hell in a Bucket, Scarlet Begonias, I Know You Rider, Stella Blue
Enc: Man Smart Woman Smarter, Not Fade Away