Last week, on Feb. 12, Allen Stone took the Buckhead Theatre stage by storm and put on a show to remember. The blue-eyed soul crooner managed to sell out the music venue and keep the crowd engaged from start to finish. The “Building Balance” tour, titled after his fourth studio album, drew a crowd of new listeners and new fans alike.
Opening act, Samm Henshaw perfectly complemented Stone without overshadowing him. Henshaw demonstrated to the crowd that R&B and soul are truly his bread and butter. The anticipation that usually accompanies waiting for the headliner to take the stage was very minimal as Henshaw did a phenomenal job getting the crowd energized and engaged with his performance. He closed his set with the notable hit “Church,” which features an extremely catchy hook and an impressive flow throughout each verse. Closing out his set with this song was the cherry on top of a great setlist.
The crowd at this concert was best described as fedora-loving hippies, all with a strong adoration for soul music. One of the first hit songs Stone performed was “Give You Blue.” The mid-tempo ballad put Stone’s effortless falsetto on full display and allowed the audience to see how wide his range really is. “Give You Blue” made it clear that singing comes second nature to him and that his vocal control is out of this world.
Another high in the performance was the romantic song “Consider Me,” which was prefaced by Allen Stone telling the crowd about his wife and how they met; he shared that he was the last person he thought would ever get married, at least until he met his now-wife. Their sweet tale is what inspired the song.
One of the best performances of the night was when Stone sang “Taste of You.” This song, like many of his others, highlights the likeness in tone between Stone and Stevie Wonder. “Taste of You’’ has an eccentric groove to it that could not help but make the audience dance. Even attendees who did not know the song beforehand got into this song, it was impossible not to. Allen Stone managed to make the deep song sound like it was a top Billboard hit.
In the middle of Allen Stone’s set he brought back out his opening acts and sang one of his lesser known songs, “Where You’re At.” The live collaboration was so well done that it is hard to imagine Stone performing the song alone. Each of the artists on stage added their own flair to the optimistic and uplifting tune. This performance left all audience members with a smile on their faces and with a positive perspective on overcoming life’s many adversities.
Another song that got the crowd on their feet was “Brown Eyed Lover,” a song so catchy that everyone knew the lyrics by the end. The track is reminiscent of a Motown-esque sound. At one point Stone ran off stage, creating a groovy interlude of the band jamming out.
The final and most breathtaking song performed was “Unaware.” Although this song was released nearly a decade ago, it has not lost any of its shine. This song proves that Allen Stone has mastered and fine-tuned his musical craft. “Unaware” has an absolutely gorgeous chorus and offers the most mature sound in comparison to the rest of his discography.
Allen Stone proved that he is much more than a nerdy hipster with soul. It goes much deeper than that. It is obvious that Stone grew up singing in church. His vocals are on a much higher playing field than most popular artists today, and it is clear that he was born to perform live on the stage.
After listening to his most recent album, “Building Balance,” it is hard to believe that Stone could possibly sound better than that in person, but he did just that. Allen Stone is one of the few artists that are just as good — if not better — live.