An Especially JRADical Night

Our Washington Megavacation kicked off with a Joe Russo's Almost Dead (JRAD) concert at the Kettlehouse Ampitheater near Missoula.  And OH!  What a kick off it was!!!  It was one of the most incredible Dead experiences I've had in recent memory*.  Joe is a powerhouse of a band leader and has some remarkable musicians playing with him.  Those fellas were on fire.   Live music is such a blessing to my life.  I cherish these moments on the dancefloor to a degree that words can't convey.

The crowd was wonderfully attentive, too, so it wasn't just me who was fully ensconced in the music.  The lack of background chatter was a cherry on top.  

I didn't get around to pulling up the concert recording until a couple of days ago, on account of being on vacation and then sick immediately upon our return.  My first thought when I finally pulled up Archive was, "Only six tracks?!  That can't be right.  Did the taper come in late or...?"  

Buuuuuuuuuuut, no!  It really was only six tracks.  Three first set, three second set.

JRAD was on stage for three hours and were basically jamming nonstop.  The track running time reflects that.   There really weren't many pauses in which to make a break in the tracks.  

After a very satisfying first set and much needed set break, JRAD eased us back into the show with an eight minute "Golden Road," before launching into one continuous cascade of music for the next 83 minutes straight!  83 minutes!  "Truckin" into "He's Gone" into "Cassidy" into "Space" then right back into "Cassidy" before building up to "Terrapin Station" and then "Brokedown Palace."  Without a pause.  One jam into another into another into another until, finally, taking a little break before sending us out with a "Sugar Magnolia" nightcap at encore.  With beautiful dynamic tension the second set encompased a full specturm of emotions and humanity.  Cassidy into Terrapin Station sent my heart soaring through the heavens!  Our Deadhead friend, Sue, said she "actually stopped breathing," during Terrapin and I can see why!  It was truly breathtaking.

Gosh, that show was really something.  (Understatement of the Year.)  No wonder Matt and I were so wound up when we got back to Chantz's place afterwards!  

Talk about money and time well-spent.  It was a marvelous way to start our travels west.

*And, for those that know me, this is really a strong statement.  I mean, I saw my beloved Phil Lesh play this summer!


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