Time to jam with ALO at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley
KNOW & GO
WHO: The Center for the Arts presents
WHAT: ALO with opening support from John Craigie
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday
WHERE: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley
TICKETS: $24 Members, $27 General Public. Tickets at: The Center for the Arts Box Office or by calling 530-274-8384 ext 14, BriarPatch Food Coop - 530-272-5333, or tickets online at www.thecenterforthearts.org
Jamband favorites Animal Liberation Orchestra return to The Center for the Arts with opener John Craigie on Friday.
ALO is a musical relationship that has endured for over two decades, with band members playing in numerous projects together and apart. Following the 2012 release of their freewheeling “Sounds Like This,” the band members launched into side projects.
Zach Gill (keys/vocals) toured the world with the band’s college pal Jack Johnson; Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz (guitar/vocals) played shows with the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh; Steve Adams (bass/vocals) toured and recorded with Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers; Dave Brogan (drums/vocals) joined up with Utah band, Mokie. These and other endeavors have influenced the band’s new album “Tangle Of Time.”
More than previous releases, “Tangle Of Time” taps into what makes ALO unique. Entering Allegiant Records in San Anselmo, California this past January with co-producer Dave Simon-Baker, the four members decided they’d take a different recording approach. Each member brought demos, roughly three dozen in total, for the group to listen to, pick apart and eventually whittle down to the 11 songs that make up “Tangle Of Time.”
“There are four strong opinions in the room, but playing together for so long we’ve all become pretty good at the empathy thing at this point; we can be very Zen about it,” said Lebowitz. “We truly value being together at this point in our careers, and whatever we get from our solo and side gigs, no matter how much fun we have, it’s not this.”
Lebowitz, Adams and Gill first started playing music together in middle school, and then with Brogan right after college. These relationships have lasted, evolved and been made stronger every year.
“I really appreciate the guys right now, more so than ever,” Gill said, “Years ago the feeling was, ‘I wanna get to my songs and see how they sound while we’re all here’, whereas now I’m rooting for everyone else’s songs. It’s great.”
The band is also planning new ways to expand the theatrical shenanigans that have become a fantastic complement to the live show. From confetti canons to 12-foot beach balls, pre-show skits to elaborate theme nights, bubble suits to a laser-shooting ukulele (yes, really), ALO is always on the hunt for new and exciting ways to interact with fans to make their shows truly special.
Gill, the band’s head prankster, put it this way, “I want people to come to a show expecting to be engaged in a fun and creative way. When I see someone dancing or singing along or reaching out to hit a giant beach ball, I start playing to the dancer and at that point, it’s really a circle of energy traveling back and forth from the stage. The larger theatrical concepts are ways of interacting with the audience on another level.”
On “Tangle Of Time” the band has reached that other level, and are ready to bring everyone along.
Opening the show will be Portland, Ore., singer-songwriter John Craigie. The vagabond troubadour has charmed audiences in all 50 states and throughout much of Europe, with a do-it-yourself spirit seldom seen.
While touring solo and with the likes of Jack Johnson, Todd Snider, Shook Twins, Nicki Bluhm, and ALO, Craigie has taken the stage at festivals, sold out venues, intimate house concerts, center camp at Burning Man and even Gregory Alan Isakov’s farm.
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