I can’t say I listen to a ton of soul music, but Allen Stone is definitely starting to push me into the soul scene. I was already a big fan of Stone before this week, but after meeting him and watching him perform live, I’m a huge fan of Allen Stone now.
I just caught Allen Stone at a free in-store performance at Easy Street Records in Seattle. Even though it was a hot, crammed, little music store, it was an awesome atmosphere for a show. There were honestly no more than 350 people in the building, and Stone treated it like any other large venue he’s rocked. The store apparently told Stone he could only play for 30 minutes, but Stone says he told them “f%#@ that” and played for more than an hour and twenty minutes.
Stone played most of his own stuff from his rereleased self-titled debut album (‘Celebrate Tonight‘, ‘Sleep‘, etc.), but he also strayed off the beaten path a couple of times. The first time Allen Stone covered ‘Six Years’ by Tingsek (a song that’s actually on his vinyl album), and the second time he rocked ‘Is This Love‘ by Bob Marley. Aside from the end of the show, Stone received his biggest ovation after ’Is This Love’. The crowd literally brought (or nearly brought) Stone to tears.
This is video I shot of Allen Stone rocking ‘Six Years’ at the performance…
I’ve listened to Allen Stone’s album too many times now (because it’s rad), but I honestly think Stone is even better live than he is on CD. You don’t lose anything in his live performance (the guy still has killer pipes) like you might with some musicians. In fact, I think you gain a lot watching Allen Stone live. His music has tons of feeling (as does most soul music — hence the name), but you can really see the feeling when Stone is on stage. Plus, it’s cool to see such a quirky dude rock a microphone.
Allen Stone keeps the crowd jamming throughout his show as well. Whether it was asking you to be background singers for ‘Say So’ (Say so! Say so! Say so!), grabbing a loved one for ‘Your Eyes’, or even forcing you to dance (he says it’s something he does at every show), Stone keeps you active during his performance. The best word to describe it — fun.
After the show Stone met with fans for pictures and autographs. He said he wanted to meet everyone — whether they wanted to hug him or slap him in the face. I didn’t wait for him after the show, because I actually ran into Allen Stone on the streets of Seattle. My friend Tove and I were strolling down 5th Avenue when we spotted Stone outside of a store. I’m not one to make a big deal about celebrities, but I have a mutual friend with Stone, so we went up to say hello. The guy is awesome. He’s just a normal dude who loves to sing. He’s definitely getting more popular though, because several people approached him on the street before and after us.
I have a feeling a year from now Allen Stone won’t be this easy to access. He’s now signed with Dave Matthew’s record label ATO Records, and his career is ready for take off. I can’t imagine Stone will be playing too many more music stores in Seattle anytime soon. It’s fun to meet/see a guy before he gets big — and BIG is definitely in Allen Stone’s future.
Are you an Allen Stone fan? Have you seen him perform live? What do you think of his album? I’m curious to know what your opinion is. Leave a comment right here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to check out more of my music posts right now on http://allaroundtim.com!