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Liberation Tourology with ALO #4

We wake up somewhere in Vermont. That’s how bus tours work: go to sleep in one city and wake up in another. In general I like this. Only thing is that it makes the morning coffee search a little more complicated. But if I can hold out until the noon radio gigs everyday I’m generally okay.


5/19/10
Burlington, VT
WNCS, Higher Ground

Vermont

We wake up somewhere in Vermont. That’s how bus tours work: go to sleep in one city and wake up in another. In general I like this. Only thing is that it makes the morning coffee search a little more complicated. But if I can hold out until the noon radio gigs everyday I’m generally okay.

ALO Tour Diary #4

Today we’re at WNCS for a quick performance of Girl and Big Appetite. For radio promo our instrumentation is accordion or ukulele, guitar, acoustic bass and I play the “Pandeiro” or Brazilian tambourine, which is well suited to the stripped-down approach because it has the basic sounds of a drum set – low, mid and high – all in one. We’re also using a similar instrumentation for Girl during the show because…well, how many times can you play one song the exact same way without mixing it up a little?

We’re not really a band that tends to do anything the same way twice. Every night is a brand new setlist made from scratch. Sometimes it leads to awkward transitions on stage and sometimes it feels a little bit like reinventing the wheel, but if a fan is really paying attention or has seen a lot of shows I can see how it would keep you interested. Plus, it keeps us guessing just enough to keep us close to our edge. Which is where a performer should be, I think.

I find myself always wanting to try everything. No one has got it 100% great. No matter what you’re doing, the grass really COULD be greener on the other side. But, always climbing over the fence to get to the grass, or even worse, always obsessing about how green that grass might be are both paths to stress and unhappiness. I saw one of those signs that some businesses have that you can put a message on that said: “If the grass is greener on the other side the water bills are probably huge.” Folk humor. So true.

The best thing to do is try to get comfortable with what you’ve got and make little changes when you can to make things better. At some point you have to say, “This is it. I have arrived. This is where I live, this is my bed, this is my family, and this is my life.” Own it. Live it. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong and don’t let anyone sell you on the greener grass right over the fence.

Dave Brogan

Keep up with all things Brogan, ALO or otherwise, at his official website.

Throughout 2010, ALO drummer Dave Brogan will regale us with tales from the road as Animal Liberation Orchestra travel around behind their sweet new album Man of the World, both as headliners and as primary support for Jack Johnson’s summer/fall tour.