Music is good for the soul. And the ALO set at Wakarusa was just what my soul needed. There was a big crowd at the Revival Tent waiting for them, so when Dave Brogan’s drums started “Man of The World” (the title track of their new album) it gave cue for what would be a big sing-along. The set was a great mix of old favorites and new material. Songs like “Walls of Jericho,” “Wasting Time,” and “Try” are some of the must-know ALO songs; the smiles all over the audience made that evident to those seeing ALO for the first time.
Words and photo by B “Café con Leche” Gutierrez.
The songs they played from the new album just happened to be the ones I like the most. And their skills shone bright on those songs. The medley of “Big Appetite” and “I Love Music” had a couple of guitar solos in which Dan Lebowitz (aka Lebo) killed it! In “Big Appetite,” Lebo launched into a deft lap slide solo. Then Steve Adams made “Suspended” happen with the bass. That is definitely a song worth looping. It’s a long tune, but it’s because the level it reaches requires that much time. ALO’s growth as a band and as individual musicians has been evident over the years, but Man of The World definitely goes to higher ground and it carries you along with each song.
By now, you probably noticed the show blew me away. And part of it was because they made it so much fun. The lyrics were adapted anywhere they could. Each mention of Wakarusa, Arkansas river, and even of the Revival Tent, earned them big excitement and “I-Love-Ya’ll” screams from the crowd. Zach Gill (vocals, piano & ukulele) is a dancer. And that Friday afternoon, despite the crazy heat wave still over us, was no exception to his fun dance show.
One of the last songs was the well-known, “Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down.” In an eclectic version Lebo labeled “musical ginger,” they replaced the accordion, bass, and drums with the ukulele, rattles and tambourine.
And for a grand finale, the so loved “Barbeque” was mixed with “Eye of The Tiger.”
Zach’s vocals elevated to “Eye of the Tiger” and then came back down to “Barbecue” for a smooth end. Awesome? Absolutely.
ALO’s Wakarusa 2010 setlist: Man of The World > Walls of Jericho > Plastic Bubble > Big Appetite > I Love Music > Suspended > Try > Possibly Drown > The Champ > Wasting Time > Shapeshifter > Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down > Yes We Can Can > Barbeque/Eye of The Tiger.