Allen Stone Visits Chicago
“My kinda soul is just a little bit greasy” ~Allen Stone I wish I could say that I've been following this guy for years, but truth is I just got acquainted with Allen’s stuff a few months ago. Even in that short amount of time, I’m seeing a ton of exciting things happening for this mere twenty-four year old. He just made his national television debut on Conan a few months ago and man did he do a fine job!
Lincoln Hall was comfortably packed when Allen Stone came through Chicago last week. I anticipated a pretty chill show with Allen, his guitar, and a boat load of some sweet melodies. I was surprised, because there was nothing chill about his live set. Allen came out with such great energy and rocked the hell out of one amazing afghan sweater.
Early into the set he played one of my favorite tunes “Celebrate Tonight”. Total feel good song that did its job all over again. I took some footage and tried so hard not to sing ridiculously loud into my Iphone so that you could peep some of his show. It’s a really short clip, because I couldn't contain myself much longer than that. :)
Now when there is a dance off between two sides of the audience you know you are at a good party. During his set, Allen demanded the crowd on the floor split down the middle and participate in a dance off. I was on the left and slightly more lame side, but I thought the crowd split was super sweet to watch and I really appreciated the man who threw his lady up on his shoulders and freaked the hell out.
Even with all of that going on in the crowd, my eyes were still glued on Allen riffing over one phrase, “get nasty”. I think he may have sang those two words about thirteen incredibly sexy ways. Everyone was settling into the set when Allen grabbed his guitar for another great tune called “Say So". One of the moments that Brendan and I thought stole the show was shortly after when he took it way down and performed the very personal “Killing Time." It's a gorgeous song about wasted moments that he nailed beautifully with his bassist and keyboard player on backups.
My vote for favorite cover of the night was his rendition of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love." He also pulled out an acoustic cover of “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground.
What I love so much about Allen is that he has one of those voices that is so fresh yet so seasoned at the same time. His voice is and will always be instantly identifiable. He reminds me of one of my all time favorite male vocalists, Donny Hathaway. And let me tell you when he reaches for it, this kid will move you! Check out the end of this clip. RIDICULOUS!
Allen and Co. really put on an entertaining show. I could have done without the "shirtless" drummer the entire set. (He sounded great and looked great, but come on man keep your damn shirt on!)
It's going to be a lot of fun watching what happens next for these guys. Word is they are opening for DMB for a handful of shows over the summer.
Brendan and I got to chat it up with Allen after he had been shaking hands for at least an hour. I think we may have been his last hands to shake. Allen is clearly such a talented singer/songwriter who is about to blow through the roof, but what makes him shine is how humbled he is by everything that is happening to him. Humility!