Ron Gallo | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN
Ron Gallo scares me (in a good way) at the First Unitarian Church
Did you know that everysingletime Gene Simmons says that rock is dead, a new great rock and roll album is born? Seriously. It’s an actual fact. Or at least I think. Anway, one of the latest people to disprove Simmons — whose idea of rock and roll is to dress up in gothic clown costumes, blast pyrotechnics and sell action figures to distract from the mediocre-ness of his band’s music — is Philly’s own Ron Gallo.
Gallo, who sadly left us for Nashville about two years ago, came back to the city that loves him most (no offense, Nashville, but it’s true) last night to showcase the latest iteration of his ever-evolving style. No longer was he “Americana Ron” or “Roots Rock Ron.” This time around he was “Rock and Roll Ron,” with some other stuff mixed in as well. Gallo and his band, which also included bassist Joe Bisirri and drummer Dylan Sevey, kicked off the night with an onstage jam that led into “Put the Kids to Bed,” a high energy rocker from his debut solo album Heavy Meta. The setlist consisted of a slew of other songs from the album the show a crowd-surfing-and-mosh-worthy affair. Among them were “Kill the Medicine Man,” “Black Market Eyes” and the album’s lead single, “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me,” the last of which was the biggest thrill of the night.
At the end of the set, Naked Giants, one of the show’s opening acts came back onstage and joined Gallo and his band for “Sorry Not Everybody is You” and “The Age of Information,” both were released as a single by both bands earlier this month, as well as “Helter Skelter” by The Beatles. Both bands left the stage, but subsequently came back – this time shirtless – to cover an extended version of The Stooges’ “T.V. Eye” before bidding adieu.
Also opening the show was Philly garage rock four-piece Full Bush, who first came on The Key’s radar last year when they took part in the First Time’s The Charm festival; they’ve been gigging a lot around town in the year since. See photos from the entire night below.