In the days after Joe Russo's Almost Dead performed for three nights at Brooklyn Bowl for the Freaks Ball, I searched high and low for top quality media of the affair. After all, between the setlists, the guest appearances, crazy antics, prolific teases, debuts, (non-Dead) covers and sold out goodness of a three night run, there was a lot to want to dive into. Alas, only bits and pieces trickled out at the time.
Five months later, the media has arrived, and it is glorious.
Let's start with the clear centerpiece. The on-stage mics / room mics / SBD matrix recorded by Peter Costello and Eric McRoberts uploaded to archive.org of the March 25th show.
If you're not wowed by the sound quality, try to at least be impressed by the Stuart Bogie and Martin Perna led horn section. The "Althea" and "Other One" are fourteen minutes each, and contain the full complement of horns. Jeez.
Now on to the visual portion of our tour. Thirty six minutes of "Hell In A Bucket" > "Shakedown Street" > "Space" > "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed".
You know things are going well when you can't contain "Terrapin" to a single set of guests (or night). Here's video of the horn-aided Terrapin form the Friday show...
... followed by the conclusion the next night, featuring Katie Jacoby on violin.
From the first night (even though the video is labeled with the wrong date), what a way to open the run...
"I Need A Miracle"
I'll update this if, and hopefully when, more of this media emerges. Full, annotated setlsts as shared by Peter Costello follow.
2016.03.24 - Freaks Ball XVI - Night One
Set 1 8:43PM - 10:01PM
Not Fade Away Jam @ ->
Ruben & Cherise (TH) ->
GDTRFB # (ALL) ->
Hell In A Bucket (SM) ->
Shakedown Street (TH) ->
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed $
Mission In The Rain (TH)
Set 2 10:24PM - 11:43PM ish
Truckin' (SM) ->
Born Cross-Eyed Jam >
Bertha (TH) ->
I’m Writing A Novel % (JR) >
The Eleven (TH/JR) ->
Mississippi Half Step (TH)
E: Not Fade Away ^ (ALL)
@ - First Time Played, no lyrics
# - With an unknown tease (MB) & without the “WBYGN” ending, Segued directly into Bucket
$ - First Time Played, Allman Brothers Band Cover. Bustle in Your Hedgerow covered it during the “Bustle Plays Other Shit” show on 2013-08-31
% - First Time Played, Father John Misty Cover
^ - With a “I’m Writing A Novel” (Father John Misty) tease (TH) and Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson on turntables. Not Fade Away ended traditionally with the crowd clapping the beat & singing lyrics back to the band as they walked off stage. Then ?uestlove joined in, starting his DJ set by scratching the Not Fade Away beat on the turntables, in time with the crowd clapping & singing.
2016.03.25 - Freaks Ball XVI - Night Two
Jam @ ->
Hard To Handle +& (SM) ->
Franklin’s Tower & (TH) >
Feel Like A Stranger & (SM) >
Help On The Way & (TH) ->
Slipknot! & $ ->
Althea & # (TH) ->
The Other One & (SM)
Cream Puff War (TH) >
I Need A Miracle (SM) >
Terrapin Station & (TH) ->
Dancing In The Streets & % (SM) ->
Cumberland Blues & (All)
E: Sugar Magnolia/SSDD & (SM)
@ - With a Dancin’ Tease (Band)
+ - First Time Played, Otis Redding Cover.
& - With Stuart Bogie (Sax, Flute, Clarinet), Martin Perna (Bari Sax & Flute), Eric Biondo (Trumpet) & Raymond Mason (Trombone)
$ - With “Soulful Strut” (Young-Holt Unlimited) Teases (Band)
# - With "All of My Love" (Led Zeppelin) Teases (MB)
% - With “Soul Makossa” (Manu Dibango) Teases (Horns & Band)
2016.03.26 - Freaks Ball XVI - Night Three
Set 1 (9:43PM - 10:56PM)
Big Railroad Blues (TH) ->
Mason’s Children @ (All)
Friend Of The Devil # (TH)
I Know Your Rider (All) >
St Stephen (All) ->
Terrapin Suite PT 2 #$ (JR)
Set 2 (11:40PM - 1:00AM)
The Wheel (All) ->
Joeline % ->
The Wheel Reprise (All) ->
He’s Gone (TH) ->
Estimated Prophet (SM) ->
Eyes Of The World (TH) ->
Music Never Stopped (SM)
“Knighting Ceremony” &
One More Saturday Night (SM)
@ - First Time Played by Almost Dead. PhilRAD played it at the Cap.
# - With Katie Jacoby ~ Violin
$ - From “Terrapin Transit” to the end. Finishes the 2016.03.15 version. With an unknown tease (MB)
% - First Time Played, American Babies Original, only the refrain was sung. From the album Flawed Logic, check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oStHvWi51Wg
& - Before the encore, Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro took the stage, & presented the band with an sword engraved with the date of their first gig (2013-01-26 at Brooklyn Bowl) and made the legendary knighting of Joe Russo (http://www.sirjoerusso.com/) official. Shapiro named them Brooklyn Bowl Royalty as follows “We, The freaks Of Brooklyn Bowl, hereby anoint Dave, Scott, Tommy, Marco, And Sir Joe Russo as Knights, Birthed at the Bowl & and dedicated to Rock & Fucking Roll”. Props to Jake Szufnarowski for his invaluable role in creating, supporting, & nurturing the legend of Sir Joe Russo.