What more could an artist want, than for the audience to be all in and loving every minute of the show?
Allen Stone got such a reaction from the nearly sold out Lincoln Theatre. No corner of the bustling space failed to produce someone that shouted ‘We love you, Allen!” multiple times.
He walked onto the spare stage, with an upright piano, two guitars and a microphone waiting patiently, and immediately got a round of hearty cheers from what would prove to be a boisterous crowd. Sporting a brown jacket, yellow tinted glasses and Jesusesque locks, he looked the part of a soulful R&B artist that wants to croon just for you and make you happy.
Allen’s first foray was “Give You Blue”, which brought us up close and personal with his smooth harmonies. He killed it with his voice every song, and the crowd was there to let him know.
Later he played a new song, which he wrote just three weeks ago, called “On the Way Down”, and after the sweet and soulful hook faded away, he asked us if he should record the song, while sipping from his paper cup of tea (string dangling). If he does indeed acknowledge his crowd sourcing effort, we should get this track yesterday.
From a small town in Eastern Washington, Allen began his singing career at age three, singing in church and eventually leading the worship. Once his musical aspirations got serious, he moved to Seattle. He has released five albums since 2010, and his latest effort is an acoustic album call APART (via ATO Records).
During “Brown Eyed Lover” he joked about his singing, that half of us can sing better than him (patently untrue), and dropped his voice an octave or two, almost a Michael McDonald impression, to tell us about being locked up in a cabin in the Pacific NW during the past two years. He brought back the lowered voice later to elicit further laughs. He was also quite pleased to be playing in DC, in front of a real crowd, after spending the pandemic playing a hundred concerts on his laptop.
To end the main set, he went with a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer”, and told us not to trust anybody that didn’t love Aretha (this checks out). He also regaled us with a tale of meeting Cee Lo Green at an award show, that proved to be one of the greatest musical moments of his life. The moral of his story was that Cee Lo is a short man.
He returned for the encore with “The Wire” and “I Know That I Wasn’t Right”, about learning from being wrong and planting your feet to move forward. For the entire song, the crowd stayed silent for the first time all night, probably in awe.
After a lengthy, legit standing ovation for “Wasn’t Right”, he probably thought it was the least he could do to play one more. So we got “Bed I Made” to end the An Evening with Allen Stone love fest, and nobody left heartbroken.
In total, Allen performed 13 shamelessly earnest songs, and exited the stage victorious to the warm buzz of patrons exiting and happily chatting. He normally performs with a full band, so this show was something both unique and worthy.
- Give You Blue
- Consider Me
- On the Way Down
- Brown Eyed Lover
- Is This Love (Bob Marley & The Wailers cover)
- Where You’re At
- I’m Aware
- American Privilege
- I Say a Little Prayer (Aretha Franklin cover)
- The Wire
- I Know That I Wasn’t Right
- Bed I Made