Staff Pick: Ron Gallo at Ace of Cups

The indie rocker returns to Columbus Thursday on the heels of new album 'PEACEMEAL'

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Ron Gallo

For a while, most of the socially distant concerts in town have been reserved for local bands, but May is slowly beginning to bring more touring acts, including indie rocker Ron Gallo, who will play two tabled, socially distant shows on the Ace of Cups patio at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 13 (tickets here).

The last time Alive checked in with the affable Gallo, he spoke about the spiritual quest that inspired 2018 album Stardust Birthday Party, which gave him a new perspective on the mystery of humanity. "We spend every day of our lives as human beings trying to understand everything and give a name to everything and put everything into a box because it’s way scarier to just actually accept the fact that none of us really know anything at all about our existence or ourselves,” he said at the time. “I like that, because maybe if people realized that, they wouldn’t take themselves so seriously. I think it would make people more peaceful and compassionate, because you’re like, ‘Hey, man. We’re both completely lost and have no idea what we’re doing in this strange place. Let’s just have a good time. Let’s not get all serious and make a big deal about these fake things we think we are.’”

These days, Gallo is touring in support of excellent new album PEACEMEAL (New West Records), which delves into topics like isolation, human connection and (playfully) cancel culture. On "Please Don't Die," Gallo mines the same territory as Jason Isbell's "If We Were Vampires," but with a plainspoken, black-comedy approach to the idea of coupling in a world where death is a certainty. "It's the real thing this time/And I know that this means/Best case we both die/At an old age/In the same place/At the same time/Please don't die," Gallo sings atop wobbly, watery guitars, then goes on to express his anxieties over a partner spontaneously combusting or getting T-boned by a turnip truck on the highway.

Give a listen to PEACEMEAL below, and celebrate the return of live music with Ace of Cups and Ron Gallo.