Going back where it all began, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead returns to Brooklyn Bowl in New York in March for a six-night residency, kicking off March 9. The Grateful Dead tribute act performs two three-night stands, March 9-11 and 16-18, with former Allman Brothers Band and current Dead & Company bassist Oteil Burbridge subbing in for Almost Dead’s Dave Dreiwitz on the latter run. Presale tickets are available via Facebook starting Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 2 p.m. EST, while a full public onsale begins Friday, Jan. 6, at 10 a.m. EST
It was nearly four years ago, on January 26, 2013, that Almost Dead made Brooklyn Bowl the site of its first gig ever. That night, Dreiwitz, eponymous drummer Russo, keyboardist Marco Benevento and guitarists Tom Hamilton and Scott Metzger treated fans to a set filled with Dead classics both famous (“Shakedown Street”) and obscure (a jam on the Anthem of the Sun blues vamp “Caution (Do Not Stop on the Tracks)”).
But it was the band’s second set that night that truly showed what Almost Dead was capable of. Over the course of an hour and 40 minutes, they tackled some of the Dead’s most iconic segues: “Estimated Prophet” into “Eyes of the World,” the Blues for Allah triptych of “Help on the Way,” Slipknot!” and “Franklin’s Tower,” followed by a one-two punch of seminal ‘60s Dead, “St. Stephen” and “The Eleven.” They further showed their range by tackling “U.S. Blues,” never a Deadhead favorite, as an encore.
Almost Dead has played Brooklyn Bowl every year of its existence, save for 2014, most recently over a three-night run in October that saw them deliver an acoustic mini-set on the venue’s bowling lanes stage. There, the band busted out some of the Dead’s more underappreciated numbers—many of which made their debut on the 1980 live recording Reckoning—including “Jack a Roe,” “Dark Hollow” and “The Race is On,” as well as a full version of the “Terrapin Station” suite.
Prior to its Brooklyn Bowl run, Almost Dead performs at Nashville’s storied Ryman Auditorium on Jan. 12 and The Music Farm in Charleston, S.C., on Jan. 13, followed by its first festival dates of the year at the Sunshine Music Festival in St. Petersburg and Boca Raton, Fla. Other already announced dates include April 28 at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, April 29 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo., and a three-night stand at the Joy Theater in New Orleans in May. The band also makes its return to the Lockn Festival in Arrington, Va., on Aug. 24.