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JRAD Packs Palace Theatre With Phish Teasers [Audio]

first_imgFriday night’s highly anticipated debut performance of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead in the capital city of Albany, New York was nothing short of jaw-dropping. While many Upstate deadheads have taken the 3-hour journey southbound to see the boys in their Brooklyn Bowl home turf, most the crowd in the sold-out Palace Theatre were experiencing the glory for their first time.An appropriately placed “Feel Like A Stranger” assured the room that it would be a long, long, crazy, crazy night. The five strangers on stage introduced themselves to the Palace in an all-too-authentic JRAD way by mixing the distinct sound of the Grateful Dead with the high-energy improvisations that fans have come to love in their almost 150 shows. Seamlessly transitioning into “Help On The Way” was the first of many awe-inspiring and unique transitions in the night. Marco Benevento hopped back and forth from organ to grand piano and provided a gorgeous yet rambunctious solo while transitioning into the classic “Slipknot” section of the one-two Blues for Allah punch.After the calming and celestial board work from Benevento, drummer Joe Russo slammed his foot on the gas for a peel-out transition into “The Wheel.” Guitarist Tom Hamilton sonically connected with Russo to appease the Upstate Phish fanbase with a kid-tested, mother approved “Bathtub Gin” tease. Bassist Dave Dreiwitz came knocking at the door, Lesh-like with bass-bombs that rattled the upper deck of the theatre during the spacier part of the jam. Local Grateful Dead tour veterans thought back to a time almost exactly 25 years ago when Jerry Garcia sang the tune down the street at the Knickerbocker Arena which is featured on the fan-favorite live album, Dozin’ at the Knick.Hamilton tipped his hat to Jerry during an extra special solo in “Uncle John’s Band”, yet another highlight of the first quarter of the show. The version contained elements of a 90’s hip-hop backbeat and for good measure, the quintet threw in a “Poison” sample by Bell Biv DeVoe. Guitarist Scott Metzger shined during the bouncy flow into “Truckin’”, which the band took on an extended test-drive before peppering in another Phish tease with “Chalkdust Torture”. Although the band was technically truckin’ back from Buffalo as they played Syracuse’s Landmark Theatre the night before, the lyrics of the Grateful Dead greatest-hit always induce serious excitement from any New York crowd.A silky “Music Never Stopped” reprise had some members of the capacity audience howling for “The Other One” only to be pleasantly faked out. The 5-piece continued to pull rabbits of the hat with a surprising jam that contained elements of a high energy “Born-Cross Eyed” that could have dropped into “The Other One” (or “Crosseyed and Painless” at this point) but instead took fans into set break.Set two kicked off with a mellow and slow-building “Reuben & Cherise”, which brought forth a flood of teases including yet another Phish nod in “Divided Sky” where Tommy Hamilton channeled Trey Anastasio again. With a Tweezer-esque energy, the band blasted off into the highlight of the second set “Viola Lee Blues”. The rollercoaster jam drifted into an out-of-left-field takeover by Benevento and brought some of us back to the days where there was only The Duo. A funky guitar exchange by Hamilton and Metzger was later combated with a Dreiwitz / Russo collaboration that let everyone in on the fun. The colossal reprise featured elements of “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” and “Lady Madonna” by Hamilton and Benevento which may have been foreshadowed during the all-Beatles set break mix. When the jam finally fizzled out, the crowd once again found themselves falling into a deep “Foam” tease, capping off the unprecedented four-song tease-pack celebrating the quartet from Vermont.Watch the second-set opener below, courtesy of nugs.tv.As if the show wasn’t hot enough, a “Jack Straw” for the ages reminded JRAD rookies the importance of first impressions, and they surely delivered. Instead of singing the final lyrics “we can share the women we can share the wine”, Hamilton and the crew instead instrumentally faded away into “So Many Roads”. To keep the theme of “roads” present, Joe Russo led his crew into a rowdy “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” that had even the old timers out of their seats. After an instrumental “We Bid You Goodnight,” Russo tossed one of his drumsticks into the grateful crowd hopeful that they would see him and the band for one more song.“Magnificent Sanctuary Band” may have been recorded by Jerry Garcia, but it never made it to the stage for a live performance. Benevento’s mastery on the grand piano only added to the soulful voice of Hamilton during the well-placed song to leave behind in Albany. In the Donny Hathaway version of the encore tune, there is an introduction spoken by Hathaway that couldn’t be more appropriate for summing up JRAD’s first show at the Palace Theatre: “Well try to imagine with me if you will, that you were the first to see the band coming down the way, growing bigger and bigger, and your heart pounding harder and harder.”You can listen to the full show audio below, courtesy of Brian Goldstein:Joe Russo’s Almost Dead plays their final show of the short and sweet run at The State Theatre in Portland, Maine on Saturday night.Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | The Palace Theatre | Albany, NY | 3/16/18Set One (8:43PM – 10:01PM): Feel Like A Stranger > Help On The Way -> Slipknot! @ -> The Wheel # -> Uncle John’s Band $ -> Truckin’ % -> Music Never Stopped Reprise -> Born Cross-eyed JamSet Two (10:40PM – 12:14AM) Jam -> Ruben & Cerise ^ -> Viola Lee Blues -> 9 to 5 Jam -> Viola Lee Blues Reprise + -> Jam & -> Jack Straw * -> So Many Roads -> Going Down The Road Feeling Bad -> We Bid You Goodnight (Instrumental)E: Magnificent Sanctuary [email protected] – With an MB Solo# – With “Bathtub Gin” (Phish) Teases & Jams$ – With a “Poison” (Bell Biv DeVoe) Tease (JR) & a “Mama, I’m Coming Home” (Ozzy Osbourne) Tease (TH)% – With a “Chalkdust Torture” (Phish) Tease (TH)^ – With a “Divided Sky” (Phish) Tease (TH), a “Let My Love Open the Door” (Pete Townshend) Tease (TH) and a “Paradise City” (Guns N Roses) Tease (Band)+ – With a Unknown Tease (SM) & a “Cavern” (Phish) Tease (JR)& – With “Foam” (Phish) Teases & Jams* – With a “Llama” (Phish) Tease (JR), Ruben & Cerise Teases & GDTRFB Teases (TH)last_img read more