Seeing the best in life's challenges

Music, Wisdom, Love and Dancing

Concert Review of the Animal Liberation Orchestra, April 27, 2013 at The Blockley in Philadelphia.


Oh, you just noticed that I am writing this the day before the concert?  Well, I say, what good is a great review of a great band, the day after the concert – when your reaction is “Darn, I just missed a great time!!”  And since everything is happening in the NOW anyway – time is fluid – it doesn’t matter when I’m writing this.  If you are reading this, then this is the only moment that matters anyway.

But, I digress.  I feel qualified to write a review before the concert because I already know all about how the evening will go.  There will be a very happy crowd, anxious to hear the guys play, all smiling at each other.  There will be silliness, revelry, amazing musicianship, talk of love, fond glances between band members.  The guys will be as happy to see us as we are to see them.   You get the sense that every single time they play, they are humbly grateful that people came out.  No sense of ego.  And these guys would have every reason to be cocky – they are amazing.

The sound will be upbeat.  Zach, Steve, Dan and Dave are four of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet.  Zach and Steve have known each other since they were seven years old, and Dan since they were 12.  How fun is that?  Zach will probably have his little disco ball on the corner of the keyboard, there may be a fun hat or other accoutrement, and don’t be surprised if there are beach balls being tossed back and forth between the crowd and the band.  There will be plenty of banter.


Everyone will be excited to see what is included on the setlist.  ALO always mixes it up, and you never know what will emerge.  They’ll throw a cover in there, and it might be Prince, or Van Morrison, or (what has popped up in the past in Philly) Eye of the Tiger.  Plus, true to their jamband status, there will be lots of Lebo, including time with the lap steel.  Oh and I shouldn’t forget to mention there will be Zach on the uke.  It is impossible not to be happy when watching Zach play the uke.

There is a reason we call ourselves ALOvers.  It’s all about the love, a brotherly love.  In that room, it won’t matter how old you are, what you do for a living, or how you look.  It’s all family and all you have to do is have fun and be yourself.

Want to get a sense of what they sound like?  ALO is super accessible.  Go to and search for Animal Liberation Orchestra in the Live Music Archive.  You will be amazed at the number of shows that are there FOR FREE.  And if you can’t make it to the concert tomorrow, it will be streaming live at at 8:30 pm.

Seriously, the ALO community models a new paradigm of being, and the thing is, it’s totally natural and relaxed.  It’s all about sharing and caring, inclusiveness, having fun and being yourself.  If you are so inclined, it can be about thinking deep thoughts (just spend some time with the lyrics) but there’s no pressure to do so.  One of my favorite lines, from Plastic Bubble, sums it up really well:

It’s a crazy, mixed-up world, full of contradictions

And that’s why it hurts so bad sometimes

But that’s also why it’s fun

You can also check out their website at  There are lots of videos there.

Oh, and they even wrote a song about girls like me, LOL!!


Just One Reason I Love ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra)

Animal Liberation

(music by Lebowitz, Adams & Gill; lyrics by Gill)


The animal crouched in the corner

Teeth clenched, ready to kill

The child maintained his ground by the bed

Challenging the creature’s will

Suddenly they stopped

In a fog of blood and tears

Upon the revelation

That the one they fought was a mirror


Then the child got up

And the animal knew the time had come

For what was separated long ago

Must now be made into one

The image that binds us

Is a creation of our mind

Let it go and the rest will flow in time


And I knew you were hurt

Playin’ it off like you were tough

Cause I saw your spirit shrivel

When suddenly you thought

You weren’t good enough

And I think it’s sad, so sad

I think it’s bad for our health

To let hurtful words and thorny spurs keep us

From being ourselves

So at the end of the song

The message that comes through

Is you gotta be true to what grows on you

People gonna judge

People gonna always suck you in

Just remember what works for you

May not work for them


Everybody in the world today

Has an animal they need to liberate

Everybody, everyone

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