Bay Area jam outfit ALO and Denver funk masters The Motet kicked off a weekend dance party Friday in Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room.
The two-night, co-headliner run featuring ALO on Friday and The Motet Saturday played to a packed house on night one. An ALO show is always filled with surprises for its loyal fans, but no one saw this one coming.
Before the reveal, The Motet took the stage anchored by founder and drummer Dave Watts, and fronted by brand new Lake Tahoe resident Lyle Divinsky. The bulging Crown Room throng grooved to Divinsky’s now signature vocals and energy, punctuated with tight brass, guitar licks and spacey keys.
With just enough time to get a little breathing room in the casino, and freshen drinks the room filled again with cheers as Animal Liberation Orchestra assumed the stage they missed visiting on their annual Winter Tour D’amour in 2019.
As the fans readied in anticipation, Zach Gill dropped the news that he’s lost his voice the night before during the tour opener in Chico and doctors orders, would not be singing on Friday. The show that followed featured guitarist Lebo and bassist Steve Adams handling all the vocal duties with drummer Ezra Lipp adding one himself.
While the show was still a blast, there’s no question that a silent Zach Gill left a big hole in ALO’s performance.
Those that paid attention to the free after-party in the Red Room were afforded perhaps the biggest treat of the evening. The Motet’s Dave Watts and Garret Sayers paired up with Lebo in a rarely seen trio called Magic Gravy for a full on instrumental rock and funk improvisational jam session until the wee-hours.
– Michael Smyth