ALO takes a break from touring with Jack Johnson 

Beast masters

Flip back a few pages and you'll read about a guy named Le Spam who doesn't eat meat, making the artist a contradiction of sorts. But this certainly isn't the case with the Animal Liberation Orchestra. They're all about releasing the animal trapped inside of our bodies.

Together since junior high, the California-based ALO went to college together in Santa Barbara, where their days were spent studying the serious, orchestral side of music. Each member played in multiple ensembles through school, but ALO was their release — an after-hours rock band.

"For us, it was about the inner animal — go out there and get crazy," explains guitarist Dan "Lebo" Lebowitz. "Sort of balance the abandonment of fun and experimentation along with the organization and keeping it all moving. The orchestra part represents that we're serious about this too."

ALO's university days proved to be fateful. An aspiring songwriter named Jack Johnson lived down the hall. The group became quick friends with the surfer-turned-musician, recording impromptu jam sessions on a four-track in their dorm room.

Years later, ALO and Johnson remain close. The band recorded this year's Man of the World at Johnson's Oahu studio. Acting as producer and inspiring the group as a fifth member, Johnson encouraged them to play live, facing each other in the studio.

"We had always played in the studio with lots of overdubbing, and it can be a sterile thing," says Lebo. "We went out of our way to give this album more of a live feeling."

ALO has spent the summer performing in stadiums across the country with Johnson and fellow pal G. Love. They'll cut away for one night from the tour to headline a gig of their own. The show will give them the chance to stretch out and play two full sets.

Presented by The Bridge 105.5, the show is free, leaving with a few more bucks in their pockets, dollar bills that they may or may not use to party like animals.


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