"In a world where many fans prefer Joe Russo’s Almost Dead as their way to listen to live Grateful Dead music, Neon Avenue lives along those same lines, with high energy shredding and not trying to be “the band” themselves"
- Frankie Cavone, Mirth Films
Neon Avenue is:
Doug Klein - drums
Joe Davis - Guitar, vocals
Mike Urbon - Rhythm Guitar, vocals
Mike Cassels - Bass, vocals
Mike McDonald - Keyboards, vocals
Born from the depths of the 2020 Pandemic, this group of Capital Region musicians came together for what felt like necessity. With the stalling of the music industry, a creative outlet was needed for these 5 individuals. What was first a casual get together playing some dead tunes quickly escalated into a singular goal of putting together a live stream. Something special happened during these early sessions and a “one-and-done” livestream turned into something much more.
In less than 2 years as a band, Neon Avenue has made quite a stir in the ever popular (and saturated) Gratefully-inspired tribute scene, growing quickly to become one of the bigger draws in the Upstate NY capital region Dead scene. The band brings a fresh take on the Grateful music that you know and love while placing an emphasis on improvisation, unique setlist construction, deeper cuts into the grateful songbook and a primal energy that they draw from their loyal fans during live performances. With past appearances at the Town of Hoosick Falls concert series, Long Lake's "Meat.Beer.Music" music festival, as well as scheduled appearances at Lake George Steamboat Company's "Rock the Dock Music Festival", "Rockin' on the River" for the city of Troy, and numerous headlining shows around the Capital region, the word has certainly gotten out about this band. Composed of veteran musicians from numerous local groups like Formula 5, Slipknot! (80's/90's Dead tribute), Stone Revival Band, Knot Dead, Jocamo, and more, this combination of players has set out to push the boundaries of the standard Dead tribute.
The group of Joe Davis (Formula 5), Mike Urbon (Knot Dead), Mike Cassels (Stone Revival Band, Jocamo, Knot Dead), Mike McDonald (Formula 5, Knot Dead) and Doug Klein (Slipknot, Robanic, Knot Dead) were re-inspired playing the music of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, Ratdog, and others. While existing in an endless sea of 1970's era Grateful Dead tributes, this group strives to separate itself with a dedication to unique arrangements of setlists and song segues, utilizing extended improvisation, playing deeper cuts from all eras of the Dead, JGB, and Ratdog songbook.