ALO, whose name is short for Animal Liberation Orchestra and will be at the House of Blues on Saturday, have been kicking it in California since 1989, when they formed under the name Django. (Given the recent success of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, they might be kicking themselves over the name change.)
ALO is comprised of Zach Gill (keys/vocals), Steve Adams (bass/vocals), Dan "Lebo" Lebowitz (guitar//vocals) and Dave Brogan (drums/vocals). As you can see, the band really likes vocals.
They also like diverse, sunny jams that feel laid-back but never sacrifice energy. Elements of funk, pop, rock & roll and even reggae can be gleaned from the group's polished compositions, and that distinctly Californian mix should suit San Diegans just fine.
Gill, who lives in Goleta, near Santa Barbara, said he was looking forward to the tour, which is kicking off in San Diego.
“The band is based out of San Francisco, so everybody is coming down to meet me," Gill said. "The tour usually has a benefit element, with a portion of the proceeds going to [an organization with a music element]. This year it’s Girls Rock S.B. ... an afterschool camp for girls that puts them in rock bands. Since I have two daughters, I thought it was a good fit.”
Gill said the San Diego show is a return trip – he was here in December for the Holiday Bowl with his family, since his daughter was participating in the parade and also was one of several hundred dancers at the game. The family stayed at a rental in North Park for the week, and “hung out in Balboa Park, went to the zoo, went to Ikea,” he said, with a laugh, noting they don’t have one in Goleta. “So that was fun for us.”
ALO, currently signed to Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records, released their fourth studio album for the label, Sounds Like This, last May. The band will be joined by Oakland's the California Honeydrops at the Feb. 2 show.
Ticket sales for the tour are strong – “things are selling out quick,” Gil said – but there are some tickets left for San Diego.
“Last year’s show at the Belly up did sell out, so I do anticipate that happening again. I hope so. Sometimes sellouts can be a little hectic. I like people to have a little room to dance.”