Allen Stone Shows DC Some Love and Soul On His Building Balance Tour
Allen Stone and DC Get Funky On Tuesday Night
Jumping into yet another Sold Out show at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC it’s your friendly neighborhood Photographic Ginger here, aka Derek. I’ve been trying to catch our featured artist for a few years and finally the stars aligned on this very evening in Washington, DC. If you’re not aware, Allen Stone is a musical powerhouse that started his musical journey when he was young and has been growing exponentially in the music industry ever since. Chances are you were introduced to him soon after his second but self titled album released in 2011. He then began to appear on projects with others as well including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ track “Neon Cathedral”. From being one of three openers at a show in 2011 at the 9:30 Club to selling it out on a Tuesday night, it’s safe to say this is a light of positivity you need on your radar as he presents an incredible show.
After waiting in a line that wrapped around the block, once I finally entered I was presented with the soulful rock stylings of a six-piece band by the name of Andy Suzuki & The Method. As Andy walked out, it was immediately obvious that we would be friends… thanks in part to his Friends themed t-shirt. Straight away they had us moving with their energy and funky hits, including a song by the name of “Old Lady” off their most recent album Alibi that found lead singer Suzuki interacting with the audience along the barrier in front of the stage before he took to the keyboard and we got hit with a crazy good guitar and drum breakdown. Before sliding off stage they performed a song that became an instant favorite for me “Dirty Floors” which is a song that appears on their first album as well as their most recent in two different forms.
Next up was a gentleman straight from England by the name of Samm Henshaw. Handling both vocals and keyboard, we were given a boost of soul as he hit us with such songs as “Doubt” that constantly assured us the “everything is gonna be alright”.
Along with this he also brought the energy level up with another original by the name of “Broke” that created an audience choir singing all the sexy “ooooohhs.” Following this up was a true sing-along featuring a song by Fugees, you may know it by the title “Killing Me Softly With His Song”. Before calling it a night he joked about his strong accent and made sure we all knew his name before taking us into the dancing portion of his set. Encouraging us to shake the appropriate body parts we grooved along to the rhythmic and soulful sounds of “Church”.
The time had then come. The lights go down and then come up as the band walks on stage, including Allen Stone, as he holds his guitar and strums the opening chords to “Miscommunicate” while stopping and playing to the audience as well as shaking his booty to the groovy. The voice of this man is one of pure soul and talent. If you’ve heard him on a speaker, it doesn’t compare to the live version. Such as was showcased in the song “Lay It Down” as the backdrop changed to a starry night and the disco ball above us covered the room. It was a moment of pure bliss.
We then got to know the fun world of Allen Stone even more as he played “The Weekend” after reminding us all to be comfortable with who we are and even though it was a weekday “inside these four walls we can do whatever the F— we want!” as we all danced around and wiped the sweat from our brow because it was burning up in the 9:30 Club haha. Keeping with the theme, he and his band gave us their funky and brittle bones synchronized dance as we kept the party going with “Chippin Away”. He then played to the comedy of getting older by acting as though the mic was an inhaler as he took a hit.
Stone then took a few moments to talk about how grateful he is for the opportunity to perform for a living. Then he talked about how much has changed over the last few years, such as getting a new Dyson vacuum, getting married, now having a wireless vacuum, having a baby and did we mention that he got a kick-ass Dyson. The Dyson V10 to be exact. The love of a vacuum is something the world doesn’t really appreciate anymore.
Speaking of love, he then welcomed a couple to the stage. Ben and Karsen had been to an Allen Stone show before; in fact, it was the first show they saw together. This show was a little different though, as her family was with them as well because this was the night that while on stage Ben would share how much love he had for her before dropping to one knee and requesting a lifetime of love from the “best thing that has ever happened” to him. As she said “Yes” the crowd erupted with joy and Allen Stone mentioned how much he loves love before taking us into the loving sounds of “Consider Me”.
As the night drew closer to an end, Stone welcomed back his opening acts to accompany him on the hit song “Where You’re At”. After this, we had to keep the dance party going with the likes of “Taste Of You” and “Warriors”, the latter of which included an insane guitar battle amongst the band. Finally to bring us home was the song that many had been waiting for, the one and only “Brown Eyed Lover”.
No show would be complete without an encore though. Stone returned to the stage by himself with an acoustic guitar as he then presented us with one of the most moving and powerful moments of the nights as he sang with all his might the beautiful “Bed I Made”. With sprinkles of scatting and just an overall feeling to shout “you better sing,” it was hands down a standout moment. Finally, he closed the show with a song that’s been with him for years, that being “Unaware”. Doing something now that many artists do, Stone took a few minutes to shout out every single crew member by name as they are the ones that help to bring every show to life.
You can catch Allen Stone on tour as he travels the United States through March before going overseas in April. Following that you just might see him pop up at a music festival near you this summer. With all that said, there are no excuses for you not to get your soul revitalized by this talented gentleman.
If you happened to capture any shots of the night, feel free to tag us on social media as Shutter 16 Magazine and throw in #TwitFromThePit for the world to see.