Liberated! A Review of Animal Liberation Orchestra @ Double Door 4/20/13

Contributed By Mike Guzaski @312mrg

After a week of crazy news, torrential rainfall and accompanying flooding, on Saturday (4/20!) Chicagoans were ready to let loose and liberate their inner animals. Animal Liberation Orchestra blew (both) doors off the Double Door with a explosive celebration of sound that balanced classics and newer material. From the moment they took the stage, they were faced with an already lubed-up crowd thanks to Ryan Montleau Band's electrically charged and soulful set. The band took the stage with force, delivering a rousing "Combat Zone" that set the tone for the evening.  Battle ensued in the tightly packed sold out show as it appears that one of the scene's most musically accessible acts is at its tipping point and ready to climb out of the club and bar scene here.

If you’ve heard ALO but never seen them, the time is now to seek them out. Some of the most immediate revelations offered to me this evening were tied sounds Dan Lebowitz can squeeze out of an acoustic guitar. Close your eyes during a show, listen to a live recording and tell me it doesn’t sound like you're hearing an electric axe. This band is not about gimmicks, tools, pedals, or technology. You can hear the love of performing live, musical conversations and interaction on stage in every note. In additon to Lebowitz’ acoustic, he brought out the pedal steel on a few occassions. Rounding out the band is bassist Steve Adams, drummer Dave Brogan and Zach Gill on keys -- all contribute vocally.

Lady Loop
. Zach Gill's banter really summarized the feeling of anyone affected by the Midwest's flooding, which punctuated the collective explosion that occurred at the height of this sequence.  ALO's ability to captivate a room with lyrics, music, banter, and stage presence helps blur the line between artist and crowd. The band became an extension of the emotion of the week, of the time, of that moment.  It's a special feeling that keeps us coming back for more.

See this band while you can and where you can. They are accessible personalities, friendly and caring individuals that love their devoted fans. The celebratory and raucous "Graceland", fueled by contributions by the entire Ryan Montbleau Band, that capped the evening was nod to the "in-this-together" spirit exemplified throughout the night. They include the audience as equal participants in their adventures and make you feel a part of what's happening.  It’s been a long time since I saw band live that completely blew me away, that left that little hole in me that had me wondering when I could fill it again. After witnessing how powerful of a live act they are, I believe ALO is a band to return to again and again. There is no way you can’t feel the emotion and energy of their live show, and that is what we all seek in where we spend our concert dollars. ALO fan for life.

The Stream

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