hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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August 6, 2008

Elle Gallo Band rocks Wingate Street

Visitors to Haverhill's Wingate Street can always expect to find unique artwork like paintings and jewelry. But on Friday night, Aug. 1, home-grown music rocked the road.

The only rule for admission: The event was BYOC. Bring your own chair.

The free concert, called Friday Night Live, featured the Elle Gallo Band, a local Americana blues band that covers songs by the likes of Susan Tedeschi, Beth Hart, Melissa Etheridge and Grace Potter, but also plays original music.

The show took place in the middle of the street that makes up Haverhill's arts district, and the road was closed to vehicles. Speakers, instruments, microphones and a bevy of wires to power all the equipment were placed halfway down Wingate Street, between the Peddler's Daughter and Margot's Gallery.

Gallo was happy to see such a pleasant crowd come out for her show.

"They attracted a really, really great group of people," she said. "They were so appreciative and very welcoming to us."

A free show like Friday Night Live can be nerve-wracking for artists because without ticket sales, there's no way of knowing how many people will show up. But the concert, which started at 7 p.m., drew about 50 to 70 people, Gallo estimated from her vocal front-woman vantage point.

"A year and a half ago, I would have said the unknown part adds a lot of pressure," Gallo said. "But now we've been playing so many lounges, bars and clubs that 70 percent of our shows are unknown. I'm kind of used to the pressure. It doesn't matter to me if just two people come. I'm going to play my heart out for them and give them a good show. It's a bonus when a big crowd shows up."

Just as they began playing their last song, the ominous clouds above finally broke and the rain began to fall.

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