ALO NEW YEARS: THE SHAPESHIFTER'S BALL

As New Years Eve was approaching, anticipation rapidly climbed
The Santa Barbara music scene, lacking vibrancy as of late, began to show some vital signs

The SB music phreaks would be home for New Year's Eve, where else would we want to be?
Our local heroes ALO were on their way to help us bid adieu to 2003
Absinthe would be the venue to hold the Shapeshifter's Ball
For this event dedicated to transformation, thrill-seekers mobilized with visions of change large and small

The decorations were celestial, the stage seemed adequately set
Folks put on their cosmic raincoats, prepared to get dripping wet

The band was relaxed as they evaded the pressure of the night
Launching set one with some underwater jazz, making sure everything sounded just right
Familiar songs unfolded, "BBQ" was number two
The adoring crowd sang along about roasting all the dreams that never came true

Leaving regrets behind, immersed in the flow, we all buckled up yet prepared to let go
"Kolomana" was the song I was waiting for, it swept over us like a dream
Steve Adams' relentless bass line guided the ship swiftly downstream

Time's been doing crazy things lately, I believe we all can agree
Accelerating faster and faster into a blur we can't even see
"Time is of the Essence" was the perfect call to launch 2004
Zach Gill's transcendental keyboards paved the way for our journey through the sonic corridor


By Michael Everett
Always one to go the extra mile to raise the vibe towards the sky
Zach suggested we introduce ourselves to our neighbor, stop and take a moment to say "Hi."

Little things like that are part of why I love ALO, it goes far beyond the sound
In the midst of the swirling energy, they remind us to breathe and take in the beauty all around

This review would not be complete without mentioning the cover tunes
Ranging from The Meters to The Police to that band who represented themselves with runes

"Canary in a Coal Mine" fluttered along with an irresistible swing
The harmonizing was dead on, is there anything these guys can't sing?

After an appetizer and the main course, set three was dessert
"Over the Hills and Far Away" was the cherry, filling us with so much joy it hurt
Making things look so easy, Dan Lebowitz channeled Jimmy Page
Every stroke of the six-string brimming with the confidence of a Himalayan sage

Celebration filled the room as every soul was lifted
It would take some time to fully digest the magic which we had been gifted

One more song remained to send us off into the night
A "Naive Melody" we all knew, "This Must Be the Place".... you're damn right!
It was the best version I've heard, a reflection of the year to come
Dave Brogan's superhuman beats raised the question of where all that sound was coming from

A feeling of revelation lingered in the air
Every note had traveled into the collective consciousness with the utmost care
Days afterward without even having to speak
We all knew what we had shared, cherishing every valley and every peak
The Animal Liberation Orchestra were our guides, minstrels of song so true
Thanks for reading this story straight from the heart of your friend Tyler Blue

ALO's New Years show, a real treasure
Available now on archive.org for your listening pleasure

Tyler Blue Schwartz
JamBase | California
Go See Live Music!

http://www.alomusic.com

[Published on: 1/13/04]

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