ALO Gets Down & Dirty In Santa Cruz: Review & Videos


Ready for a good time.

This energy bubbled through the boisterous full house crowd at Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz last Friday, August 2, long before ALO hit the stage with appropriate working week is over, feelin’ fine emanations. A fine get down would indeed be had but at this stage ALO can be counted on to deliver what audiences want and need, as reliable a good time as this age affords.

As winningly family-friendly as ALO can be – many fans, myself included, took our children to ALO as their first rock concert – my favorite flavor of Animal Liberation is when the kids have gone to bed and the guys stretch out and wiggle their weirdness in the wind, vibing hard off the beaming, bouncing audience and reminding us what seriously gifted, imaginative musicians they are in a delightfully immediate, tangible way. Moe’s Alley was a case study in nighttime, off-the-leash ALO with guitarist-singer and growing Bay Area musical fixture/treasure Lebo (Dan Lebowitz) revealing an especially rainbow array of sounds and feelings from his shimmying instrument.

Actually, all four guys possess chops for days but always in service to the song’s shared trip, each number dovetailing, commenting and accenting the greater whole. Whoops and loud clapping hands erupted throughout every song from the opener on. People feel this music in the meat of them. ALO is THE band for a devoted tribe (particularly in their native California), and listening to them spin out twinkling, thoughtful, skipping melodies and heart-stroked words, it’s not hard to understand why someone would make them their steady.

As big a blast as ALO is they also trigger big thoughts – visions of what is and what might be, asking pertinent questions about whatcha doing and how you’re doing it. Yes, they transformed a Santa Cruz watering hole into a Bikram boogie studio but their good vibes never feel dumb. As accessible as their catalog and exceedingly likable live presence can be, ALO offer up wisdom nuggets not fast food, pop that pops your top while it taps your toes.

Baby Blind Spot Captured by drbobzero

This sweaty romp showcased the group’s full jamming, Kundalini loosening power, and by the encore keyboardist-lead singer Zach Gill was asking for suggestions on tunes the band could get “down and dirty on.” ALO and their fans are a shining circuit, each feeding the other in ways that accentuates the positive and eliminates the negative.

Pobrecito Captured by drbobzero


Set One: Country Camper, I Love Music, Wasting Time, Blew Out The Walls, Heroes*, Dead Still Dance, Just A Spark, Lady Loop

Set Two: Push, Pobrecito, Not Old Yet, Baby Blindspot*, Roses & Clover, BBQ > Where The Streets Have No Name > BBQ

Encore: Simple Times, Bloomin’

* – First Time Played

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