Allen Stone at the El Rey Theater – Music Connection Magazine

Following the release of his latest album, A part, golden soul phenom Allen Stone shared beautiful acoustic guitar melodies alongside his warm vocals and delightful falsetto leads during his stop at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles. With a stripped-down acoustic performance, Stone played with just his guitar (switching to keyboard twice during the evening) before being joined by backing vocalists Stephanie Mora and Brian Johnson after his first two songs.

Opening with contrasting soft whispers and punctuated falsetto, Stone moved on to fan favorites “Consider Me” and “Unaware,” both of which were exquisite with their tight, pulsating harmonies. “Brown Eyed Lover” featured another amazing mix of vocals. Stone also shared his new song, “On The Way Down,” which he wrote for his son Rudy (who was in the audience). At one point during the show, Stone nodded in remembrance to Bob Saget by adding a cover of “Everywhere You Look” (the theme song to Full house). He also delivered a funky, syncopated rendition of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” and a superb cover of Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do”.

The evening ended with a piano ballad, “Lay It Down”, followed by “Love Where You’re At” (which featured a fantastic vocal solo by Brian Johnson), and ended with a disparity track very timely racial, “American Privilege”. After a 75 minute set and a standing ovation, the trio returned for a full 15 minute encore. “Head Over Feet” delivered a fun ska vibe, and they covered Aretha Franklin’s “Say A Little Prayer” before concluding with “Bed I Made” – the latter featuring Stephanie Mora alternating incredible solos with Stone.

There was a palpable, jovial energy in the hall filled with enthusiastic fans of all ages throughout the night, and the acoustics of the hall were exceptional. Adding to the incredibly high level of musicianship and delivery, Stone’s engaging personality and genuine humility were the icing on the cake. He shared a heartfelt and unbridled appreciation for his backing singers and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to everyone in attendance. An absolute gem of an artist, Allen Stone is not to be missed.

Photo credit: Jackson Beenham