Over the weekend, beloved Grateful Dead cover band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead performed over three nights at The Riviera Theatre in Chicago. Over the course of their stay, the ensemble created many memorable moments, including debuts and sit-ins by frontman Joe Russo’s long-time friend Stuart Bogie.

On Friday, Dec. 2, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead moved through many iconic songs from the great American songbook, including a jam from Jerry Garcia’s “Loser” > “Greatest Story Ever Told” > “Scarlet Begonias” > the Bob Dylan penned “Silvio” > “I Know You Rider.” The second set saw the ensemble debut their take on Dill & Wilkin’s “Long Black Veil,” which was originally sung by Lefty Frizzell; for the song, Scott Metzger handled lead vocals.

The following evening, Saturday, Dec. 3, Bogie, who grew up in the Chicago area, sat in for the entire show after playing with The Hold Steady at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City for the two nights before. The ensemble opened the show with their first take on the Grateful Dead’s Wake of the Flood tune “Let Me Sing Your Blues Away,” which added to an extended hour-plus four-song first set comprised of “Eyes of the World” > “Dancing in the Street” and finally into “The Music Never Stopped.” The second set of the evening included the debut cover of Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath,” with Tom Hamilton on lead vocals. 

Finally, on Sunday, Dec. 4, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead once again returned to showcase their skill on beloved Grateful Dead tunes. Highlights included “Lost Sailor,” “Saint of Circumstance,” “Help on the Way,” “Slipknot!” and more. The evening also saw Bogie return for a portion of the show, which included the band’s debut take on Stone Temple Pilot’s “Locomotive Breath” in honor of the anniversary of the passing of Stone Temple Pilot’s frontman Scott Weiland, who died on Dec. 4, 2015.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will kick off their 10th anniversary run at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl on Jan. 26, while Bogie will perform this evening at New York’s Nublu 151 with his new project with Elizabeth Pupo-Walker, Reinaldo De Jesus, Will Grafe and Adam Roberts.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
The Riviera Theatre – Chicago
Dec. 2, 2022

Set I: Good Morning, School Girl (Sonny Boy Williamson cover), Loser (Jerry Garcia cover) > Greatest Story Ever Told > Scarlet Begonias > Silvio (Bob Dylan cover) > I Know You Rider

Set II: Jack Straw, Long Black Veil (Debut, Lefty Frizzell cover) > Cassidy > Fire on the Mountain > Estimated Prophet > Space > Lady With a Fan, Terrapin Station

Enc.: Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You (Bob Dylan cover)

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
The Riviera Theatre – Chicago

Dec. 3, 2022

Set I: Let Me Sing Your Blues Away (Debut) > Eyes of the World > Dancing in the Street > The Music Never Stopped

Set II: Shakedown Street > St. Stephen > The Eleven > Cats Under the Stars
(Jerry Garcia Band cover) > Locomotive Breath (Debut, Jethro Tull cover) > The Other One, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) (Pink Floyd cover)

Enc.: One More Saturday Night

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
The Riviera Theatre – Chicago
Dec. 4, 2022

Set I: Lost Sailor, Saint of Circumstance, Help on the Way, Slipknot!, Playing in the Band, If I Had the World to Give, Truckin’

Set II: Row Jimmy, Cumberland Blues, Vasoline (Stone Temple Pilots cover), Cumberland Blues, Let It Grow, Samson and Delilah, New Speedway Boogie, Bird Song (Jerry Garcia cover) (With Terrapin Station and Let It Grow teases)

Enc.: Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen cover)