With bassist Dave Dreiwitz on tour with Ween, Dead & Company’s Oteil Burbridge stepped in to play his first of three gigs with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead on Thursday night.

The band hit the stage at Pennsylvania’s Tower Theatre a little after 9:15 p.m. with “Women Are Smarter,” followed by an unfinished “Shakedown Street” and a rousing “Brown Eyed Women.” The five-song first set ended with an unfinished “Truckin'” jammed into “The Other One.”

The second half contained just six tunes, with heavy improvised sections between the opening “Alligator” and “Scarlet Begonias” as well as the following “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad,” which did not contain the typical “We Bid You Goodnight” coda at first. The band kept the momentum going on “Fire On The Mountain” where Burbridge delighted fans by taking lead vocals.

The second set continued with a prolonged “Dancing In The Streets” jam (containing a “First Call” tease by guitarist Scott Metzger as well as a bass solo by Burbridge and teases of “Throwing Stones”). The “We Bid You Goodnight” coda finally reappeared on the tail end of “Dancing In The Streets” before the band slowed things down with “Row Jimmy.”

JRAD encored with their second-ever version of “Tough Mama” by Bob Dylan. It was last played on 10/7/16 at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl (84 show gap).

Burbridge will join JRAD again on Oct. 19 at the Tower Theatre and on Oct. 20 at The Anthem in Washington DC.

See last night’s full setlist below:

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
October 18, 2018
Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, Penn.

Set I: Women Are Smarter^-> Shakedown Street#-> Brown Eyed Women, Truckin#-> The Other One

Set II: Alligator -> Jam -> Scarlet Begonias -> Jam -> Going Down The Road Feeling Bad* -> Fire On The Mountain %, Dancing In The Streets ^ -> Row Jimmy

Enc: Tough Mama &

^ with a “Reveille” (Traditional) Tease (SM)
# unfinished
* without the usual instrumental We Bid You Goodnight ending
% Oteil sang on the choruses
^ with a “First Call” (Traditional) Tease (SM), a Burbridge bass solo, Throwing Stones Teases (JR & TH), Ended with a short We Bid You Goodnight Jam
& Bob Dylan cover, last played 10/7/16 Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY (84 show gap)

Peter Costello, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead