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Wednesday, August 24

ALO and The Hip Abduction at the Brooklyn Bowl 8.18.16: Review andSetlist by Lori Bockelken


ALO and The Hip Abduction took the stage at the Brooklyn Bowl on 8/18/16. Our contributor, Lori Bockleken was their to check it out.

The Brooklyn Bowl was alive with anticipation as crowd favorites ALO were returning to the East Coast with friends, The Hip Abduction. The Brooklyn Bowl was humming with a restless, creative energy for the singer-songwriter hits that made it feel like you were on a vacation and nothing else mattered.  

Kicking off the evening was The Hip Abduction whose sound has been dubbed "alt-rock indie tropical pop " and despite that headache of a qualification, David New and his seven-piece band are wonderful musicians and labels don't do them justice. When they start playing, it's like basking in the sunshine on the beaches of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Coming off the success of their latest work, Gold Under The Glow, the band kicks out the stops and lets loose with tropical sounds of pure reggae love. They are entertaining like a summer evening on the bluest of waters that temporarily make you forget that right outside the door lies Brooklyn. 
Each of the musicians are skilled in instruments we rarely see American bands bring on stage. The West African kamale ngoni is amazing to watch while played by John Holt III. Other percussionists' dream pieces are brought in by David Johnson, who also plays sax. It's a feast for your eyes and ears, a veritable smorgasbord of sound.       

Global love spreads across the floor listening to these guys perform "Golden Sky" and " Children of the Sun". The song "Higher" is played, which you may be familiar with through the youtube video is an electronica meets dub meets reggae tune that helps this septet recreate the feel of a tropical vacation at each show. They've been playing lots of festivals so be sure to look out for them if you are heading to one.

New York welcomed back ALO to the Brooklyn Bowl and even though they hail from CA, they are no strangers to the East Coast. They are now touring with their successful latest release, Tangle of Time, and we were expectantly ready to rock along! 

The group opens up with "Walls" which has a Jack Johnson "sound" but that is to be expected because they are on his record label but it is oh so much more than the mellow, "roll up your pants and walk on the beach" sound or the surfer chic of Jack Johnson. 

Lead singer Zach Gil has a commanding stage presence that makes the band/crowd connection tight and engaging,seemingly building a rapport with each human spirit in the Bowl. If you add the energy of Dan Leibowitz, it's hard to beat the good energy flowing through the strings of Dan's guitar. These guys were rocking the crowd and the whole Bowl was into the show.

The band played songs with melodies that had that feel-good sound, and you find your feet tapping to it and you can't help but start dancing. The song lyrics soothe your soul and bring along a gratefulness for life and an appreciation for the wonder of the world around you.

ALO played two sets and just when you think the second set is about to take off with another Dan Leibowitz one-man show stopper, they toss a curveball and bring out the kid, Jackie Greene hits the stage and brings along Leslie Medelson from K I M O C K (Steve Kimock's current band) to accompany him in a rendition of an ALO-style "Shakedown Street". Is this a dream? No, these are the surprise guests we live to see. There is no mistaking the signature sound of Jackie Greene's delicious guitar licks and Leslie's sultry vocals. They had the place literally bouncing because of people dancing with the music and each other.   

You can't help but feel more connected leaving the show with new friends, who just hours ago were strangers you happened to walk into the venue alongside each other at the same time. You find yourself smiling at strangers and the band has worked their magic and suddenly all those previously random people now have a contented look with a small smile on their face like they just become friends with every other person that was just at that concert.  They are also on tour around the country, so be sure to check them out if they come to anywhere close to your area.            

Written by: Lori Bockelken 

Edited by: Greg Heffelfinger 

The Hip Abduction website with tour dates, videos, and other info 

Tour dates, music, videos, and other info for ALO

ALO Setlist
Brooklyn Bowl
Brooklyn, NY
  1. Play Video
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  4. (New Order cover)
    Play Video
  5. Play Video
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(setlist courtesy of

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