Words By: Chris Snyder
Photographer: Miles Hurley
It’s Saturday in Philadelphia and the electricity is building throughout The Fillmore in Philadelphia. The third (and final) evening that Joe Russo’s Almost Dead performs in The City Of Brotherly Love. The beauty of a multiple night run with a Grateful Dead influenced group is that fans can try to guess each night which tunes the band will perform, after going through the extensive Grateful Dead catalog.
A little before nine o’clock, the band took the stage to rousing hootin’ and hollering from the sold out Fillmore crowd. The Working Man’s Dead track, “New Speedway Boogie”. This was the perfect way to ease the fans into what would be a magical evening. This gradually flowed into the classic number “Estimated Prophet”, led by guitarist Scott Metzger on vocals with Russo backing him during the chorus.
The strongest point came during “St. Stephen” with Tom Hamilton shredding a nice solo as multi-instrumentalist, Stuart Bogie, had a pitch perfect flute solo that flowed back into “St. Stephen”.
Let’s be honest Deadheads are always excited that the “music never stopped”, after fifty years of The Grateful Dead beginning in San Francisco.
After a short intermission, the band took the stage for what would be a barn burner of a second stanza. Tickling the ivories stage left, Macro Benevento, eased the capacity crowd into a twenty plus rendition of “Eyes Of The World”, that featured some great bass work by the legendary Dave Dreiwitz.
The five is known for its upbeat renditions of classic songs, but they brought it down a notch with a long peaceful version of “Sugaree”.
Scott Metzger brought the energy in the room with a stellar, “Throwing Stones”, that featured a sing along of the Genesis classic “That’s All”, before switching gears back into “Throwing Stones”.
After thanking the crowd for coming out to their three night run (Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia + Fillmore Philadelphia), Russo introduced the band highlighting some of their upcoming shows in the Philadelphia region over the next few weeks.
The Beatles classic “Dear Prudence”, was the cherry on top of the cake to illustrate how Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is one of the premier bands in the scene today.
Joe Russo (Drums/Vocals)
Scott Metzger (Guitar/Vocals)
Tom Hamilton (Guitar/Vocals)
Dave Dreiwitz (Bass)
Marco Benevento (Keyboards)
Stuart Bogie (Flute/Saxophone)
New Speedway Boogie
Here Comes Sunshine (Verse III) >
St. Stephen >
Stuart Bogie Flute Solo >
Viola Lee Blues >
New Speedway Boogie Reprise
China Cat Sunflower >
Eyes Of The World
Playin’ In The Band
Brown Eyed Women