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Liberation Tourology with ALO #8

Everything is working. Everything is right. Everything is music and love. For three hours I am completely alive and totally unafraid and sharing my existence with 800 people that I never knew existed in a way of ultimate generosity and authenticity. Nothing went wrong and everything was perfect.

5/23/10
Wilmington, NC
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

Wilmington

Is there a connection between backstage hospitality and quality of musical performance? God, I hope not. But I’m still searching for an explanation of why tonight’s show was so gosh-darned good because everything on paper said it was going to be one of those gigs that you phone-in and forget. We’d never been to Wilmington. Hell, we’ve only played in North Carolina once. The venue was an 800-seat amphitheater- bigger than we usually play and ticket pre-sales looked low.

This one might get the Black Swan award for the tour because this show rocked in every way imaginable. I think there may be a connection between putting on a good musical performance and everything surrounding the performance being absolutely perfect. First of all, I wake up and lift up the blinds and the bus is parked next to a swamp right out of a Mark Twain story, complete with pond scum, Spanish moss and gators! Then we head into the venue to find A/C and a clean shower. Nice. The local crew is off to town to pick up coffees while we’re getting cleaned up and munching on a full hospitality spread. The rider has been filled to the T. Don’t eat too much, we’re told, because everybody’s having homemade fried chicken and pulled pork for supper. I LOVE THE SOUTH!

ALO Tour Diary #8Michael Wilson calls us to the stage. Seems that an ongoing production of Shakespeare in the Park has left their stage set complete with backdrops, risers and a full balcony. Cool. We decide to use it to its full extent for maximum effect. Oh wait, the promoter wants to show us something. What do you know? It’s a hand carved liquor luge ice sculpture of a wave with ALO on the side. We sound check. Everybody’s really nice. We do a meet and greet. Everybody’s extremely gracious.

Dinner’s here! Fried chicken, pulled pork, hush puppies, potato salad, cole slaw, black-eyed peas and iced tea. I’m in friggin’ heaven. I am at home. Could it get any better?

Yes. The amphitheater is full and the crowd is ready to be rocked ALO style. Turns out the local radio station, who is also the promoter, plays our music all of the time. In fact, they play us more than any radio station in the country. Who knew? Nobody, until today.

We rock the crowd. We do Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down from the top of the balcony and suddenly that song doesn’t feel so obligatory. In, fact, it seems like the only song that could be done from a set balcony of a regional theatrical production of Shakespeare in Wilmington. Everything is working. Everything is right. Everything is music and love. For three hours I am completely alive and totally unafraid and sharing my existence with 800 people that I never knew existed in a way of ultimate generosity and authenticity. Nothing went wrong and everything was perfect.

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.