Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is an American rock band formed in 2013 who plays mostly the music of the Grateful Dead. Formed by Furthur drummer Joe Russo, the band played their first show on January 26, 2013, at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to drummer Joe Russo, the band also includes Ween’s bassist Dave Dreiwitz, keyboardist Marco Benevento, Scott Metzger on guitar and vocals, and American Babies’ Tom Hamilton on guitar and vocals.
The band’s first concert was on January 26, 2013, at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY for the second night of the Freaks Ball XIII. As Joe Russo recalls in the September 2017 Relix Magazine interview, he was supposed to play in the Dean Ween Group (Mickey Melchiondo from Ween’s side project) on that second night but shortly before the date, Mickey cancelled the Dean Ween Group appearance and Joe pulled together Bustle In Your Hedgerow (Russo, Dreiwitz, Metzger and Benevento’s Led Zeppelin band) and added Tom Hamilton to form Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. JRAD played one more show that year at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on December 27, 2013.
JRAD slowly began playing more shows in 2014 and 2015, including several sets at summer festivals including the Gathering of the Vibes,Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival, String Cheese Incident‘s Hulaween Festival, Electric Forest and Mountain Jam. They played two night’s in Chicago and two night’s in Colorado ending in a New Year’s run on December 29, 30, and 31, at the Capitol Theatre, in Port Chester, NY, with the Grateful Dead‘s own Phil Lesh on bass filling in for Dreiwitz. The JRAD run with Phil Lesh was dubbed “PhilRAD.”
JRAD had their debut appearance on Jam Cruise in January performing two consecutive nights in the Pantheon Theatre and a Pool Deck set. In July they would play their first show at Red Rocks Amphitheater in support of Umphrey’s McGee. In February 2016, it was announced that Joe Russo’s Almost Dead would play a three-show run at Brooklyn Bowl for Freak’s Ball XVI, from March 24-March 26. In August, they played two performances at Lockn’ Festival, which featured two headline performances by Ween and Phish.
In 2017 JRAD performed forty shows including their first headlining indoor arena show, their first headlining Red Rocks Amphitheater show and a return to the Dominican Republic for their second year in a row at Dominican Holidaze. Their first headlining arena show at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, CO was a sold-out show originally scheduled for Red Rocks Amphitheatre but due to a late spring snowstorm, the concert was relocated overnight to the 1stBank Center. The band also performed twelve sold out night’s at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York City during the Spring and Fall of 2017. On March 9, the first night of the spring Brooklyn Bowl run and the band’s one-hundredth concert, they premiered Russo and Hamilton’s “Keeping it Simple,” their first ever original song. For three of the Brooklyn Bowl performances, Oteil Burbridge filled in for Dreiwitz while on Ween tour. On August 31, 2017, the band headlined a sold-out performance at Red Rocks with Oteil Burbridge on bass guitar filling in for Dreiwitz out on Ween tour. In October, between the dates of the 5th-7th and the 12th-14th, the band performed the latter six sold-out shows at the Brooklyn Bowl. JRAD’s 125th show saw John Mayer, current lead-guitarist of Dead & Company, sitting in on guitar on Friday, October 13th in the first and second set of the show.
JRAD started off 2018 with three sold-out night’s in January at the Capitol Theatre followed by a spring tour beginning on February 15 in Nashville, TN.
Joe Russo – drums, vocals
Dave Dreiwitz – bass, vocals
Marco Benevento – keyboards, vocals
Scott Metzger – guitar, vocals
Tom Hamilton – guitar, vocals
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead: Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL – 2018-02-17, Set Two
JRAD Upcoming Tour Dates
Saturday, April 21, 2018: SweetWater 420 Fest ~ Atlanta, GA
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