Up and coming soul artist Allen Stone has been making his way across countless stages over the past few months.
He has performed at the 2011 Bumbershoot Music Festival, Bellingham’s Wild Buffalo, Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show and his next performance will be at Western’s own Viking Union Multipurpose Room.
Stone will be accompanied by Seattle-based singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski and popular Bellingham funk and soul band Eclecticity at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12 at the MPR.
“He’s been performing around Washington the last few years,” said Megan Housekeeper, Associated Students Productions Pop Music coordinator. “He’s definitely more of a home-grown, smaller grass roots movement musician.”
Stone is from eastern Washington, and performed in the Spokane and Ellensburg areas, Housekeeper said. Once he moved west to Seattle, he found fame. His performance on the Conan O’Brien late-night talk show has expanded his crowd from just the Pacific Northwest area to the rest of the country, Housekeeper said.
“A lot of people really have become interested in him because at first listen, it’s a different sound,” Housekeeper said. “He doesn’t look like he sounds…he’s sort of an anomaly of a soul singer.”
“His voice sounds like a mix between Stevie Wonder and Robin Thicke,” Ryan Gallagher-Burkholder, AS Productions Marketing Coordinator for Music and Entertainment, said.
Shalom Long, Associated Students Productions director, described Stone as a soul musician who performs with a large band and a rich voice.
His repertoire includes songs heavily accompanied with the organ but also plenty of acoustic songs,she said.
Stone is very Pacific Northwest-based right now, Long said. His presence in the Seattle music scene is a refreshing one, since Seattle typically produces more indie and new hip-hop music rather than Allen’s soul jams.
“It’s definitely an experience to go watch him; he’s awesome with crowd interaction,” Long said. “He’s definitely not the performer that just gets up, plays and gets off. It’s a one-of-a kind experience when you go see him perform.”
Allen is a funky dude with his own style. He is always wearing a Seattle Supersonics jersey and rocking crazy curly blonde hair. Allen takes pride in connecting to his audience and people really respond to that, Housekeeper said.
“People who have seen him live are really drawn to him,” Housekeeper said. “Everyone says, ‘I love your recorded music, but your live performances make me love you 10 times more.”
Eclecticity, one of the groups opening for Stone, includes Western alumni and has performed shows downtown. They also performed at the Earth Day celebration on campus last year, Long said. They are hard-hitting and high energy – a great way to start the show.
Tickets are currently on sale at the Performing Arts Center Box Office.
“[Stone] just sold out two back-to-back shows at the Neptune in Seattle, so get tickets soon,” Long said.