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Monday, December 5

JRAD in Boston 12-2-16. Review by Staci Smith. Setlist and Video inside

Joe Russo and the gang bang out another great show. This band is on fire and one of the best in the business right now.  
The best nights are usually the ones that you never planned on! Typical of all the things that tend towards the serendipity around all things Dead related, I connected with a friend for the first time in ages on Thursday. My friend told me I need to grab a room in Boston and a ticket to see Joe Russo's Almost Dead,for the first time. "You will not be sorry". Friday night in Kenmore Square is a little flashback to Dead and Co. last July. Plus, there was the fresh excitement that we will be together again now that the new tour dates have been announced. Just like every show, friends are meeting in line that have arranged their weekend together around this show and the rest of the run. But everyone is ready to rock out this night.

"The Music Never Stopped" gets the night off and running and gets everyone dancing and pumping up the room's energy. They dip straight into "China Cat Sunflower", and as a first timer, I see immediately while the whole catalog may be familiar, the sets and the songs will be weaved together and it's a whole new game. "Touch of Grey" is tight and everybody wants to believe, "we will get by" and "we will survive". "Black-Throated Wind" takes us into a mellower zone. Scott Metzger is all in on this one. Rolling straight into a "Jack Straw" that melts around us, "Reuben and Cherise" comes out of seemingly nowhere. Not that anyone is complaining! When they close the second set with "I Know you Rider" I realize why it didn't follow China Cat in the Grateful Dead fashion. It's because it was always there, waiting to be belted out as the set closer. 

At halftime, everyone is all smiles and takes care of any immediate business but the crowd energy stays high and everyone is ready to get back on the ride. "Althea" opens it up, no mellow versions tonight, this is a song to get down too. While everyone is still dancing, might as well go into "Good Lovin'" and really shake our bones. Soon, Terrapin comes out, and in my opinion the epic commands the second set. Around 11:30, and a third of the way into the Terrapin Suite, Joe has a solo moment involving his whole kit that I felt is the personification of what he is about and it was a grateful experience to behold and I felt lucky to see it. "Uncle John's Band" was upbeat and fun and led into "He's Gone", which always haunts me, this rendition being no exception. A solid "St. of Circumstance" solidifies all my earlier thoughts. I may be familiar with the songs but JRAD makes the show entirely their own. After a short break the encores begin with the Band classic "Ophelia" which drops right into "Not Fade Away" which is always a great way to end the night but then takes a turn towards "Brown-Eyed Women" and then wraps back around to finish up the "Not Fade Away". A pleasant surprise and amazing gift for me all the way to the end!

Written by:Staci Smith
Edited by:Greg Heffelfinger
*also be sure to check out Staci's podcast at www.Strangers Stopping Strangers.com

JRAD 12-2-16 "He's Gone>St. of Circumstance"
Setlist:

JRAD
House of Blues 
Boston,MA

Set 1:
Music Never Stopped>
China Cat Sunflower>
Touch of Grey>
BT-Wind>
Jack Straw
Reuben & Cherise
I Know You Rider

Set 2:
Althea>
Duo Jam>
Good Lovin'>
Terrapin Station jam>
My Pet Goat jam>
Terrapin Suite>
Uncle John's Band>
9x9>
UJB reprise
He's Gone>
St. of Circumstance

Encore:
Ophelia>
NFA>
Brown-Eyed Women>
NFA reprise

© 2016 Grateful Music LLC