Westville Bowl in New Haven CT May, 13th 2023  Review by Joel Shover

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the summer opening music series featuring Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at the Westville music bowl in historic New Haven, Connecticut. Fans from the New York Tri-State area along with fellow New Englanders packed the bowl for what was about to become something more than just One More Saturday Night.

Westville Music Bowl was eager to host the Almost Dead crowd and offered a vast array of food and beverage options with something for everyone including New England’s summer favorite, Fried Dough, and Connecticut locals favorite Bears BBQ along with a huge selection of local brews and an assortment of non-alcohol brews as well! The staff at the venue knew what they were doing as the lines at any given time were probably longer at your local Dunkin.


The band took to the stage at 6:15pm and jumped right into a heady “Jam” that took us right into “Eyes of the World”. We know “The Music Never Stopped” as we welcomed the season with song with The Beatles cover “Here Comes the Sun” that featured Joe’s children on guitars having fun!

“Estimated Prophet kept the heavy beats flowing for us to cover just a little more ground as the band broke into “The Wheel” a little bit further than they’ve gone before with a snippet of the Marcco Benevento cover “The Real Morning Party”. With the west river running behind the bowl, it was only appropriate to hear “Uncle John’s Band” playing by the waterside. 

This took us to the set closer “Bertha” The only song of the night that was on the Grateful Dead’s setlist when they played the Yale Bowl here in New Haven back on July 31st, 1971. Yes, there were fans that flashed back to those dancing days for sure and had the bowl bouncing proudly tonight!


Was it all the talk among the crowd at set break about the Hartford show that featured “St. Stephen”? I got a feeling and it’s real, believe what I say. “I Need a Miracle” every day. The boys sang one hundred verses of ragtime, and we knew that the songs were never gonna end, did you say your name was “Ramble on Rose”?

“Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain” was next, and it was Fuego at it’s Phinest! This segue took the jam level to another realm as Marco’s children joined in on vocals and piano. As the kids danced and shook their bones the politicians were still “Throwing Stones” as we were reminded of when the legendary band Led Zeppelin played the Yale Bowl on August 15th 1970 with “Communication Breakdown” teases throughout. The miles we travel down “So Many Roads” from land where ice blue roses grow. Could only leave us all feeling full.

The band confirmed that exact feeling with the encore from the Young Rascals “Good Lovin”, because you got to have lovin!

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead are:

Joe Russo, Drums & Vocals

Marco Benevento, Keyboards & Vocals

Tom Hamilton, Guitar & Vocals

Scott Metzger, Guitar & Vocals

Dave Dreiwitz, Bass & Vocals

Photography by @JoelShoverPhotography

Audio link to the show courtesy of Z-Man

Go See Live Music….. Till The Next Show……..Joel

A full gallery of pictures from that day is located here.

Set 1:
Jam (>)
Eyes of the World (>)
The Music Never Stopped
Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles cover) (Joe’s kids on toy guitars for… more )
Estimated Prophet (>)
The Wheel (>)
The Real Morning Party (Marco Benevento cover) (Snippet) (>)
Uncle John’s Band

Set 2:
St. Stephen (>)
I Need a Miracle (>)
Ramble On Rose
Scarlet Begonias (With ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘… more )
Fire on the Mountain (Marco’s kids on backing… more )
Throwing Stones (With ‘Communication Breakdown’ teases)
So Many Roads

Good Lovin’ (The Young Rascals cover)

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