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Review: Allen Stone @ Capitol Hill Block Party

Allen Stone at Capitol Hill Block Party, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff

If day one of Capitol Hill Block Party has a crown jewel, it was without a doubt Allen Stone’s performance on the main stage. Stone has been gaining momentum with his soulful, upbeat music throughout the country. And somehow, Washington residents have been graced with his presence twice recently- first at Sasquatch! and now last night at Block Party. If last night was your first time seeing him perform live, you got to see him at his finest. This locally grown artist blew me away, filling the air with electricity that left the crowd with a buzz better than anything PBR Tall Boys could provide.

Backed by his full band (including a swoon-worthy shirtless drummer), Allen Stone was on fire- dancing across the stage, crooning into the audience. Stone is, plain and simple, magnetic and possesses that ‘It’ factor that so many artists strive for. He’s the guy you want to see succeed, he’s able to win over an audience almost instantly with one upbeat, danceable song after the next.

Allen Stone at Capitol Hill Block Party, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff

While the set was from start to finish perfect, there were a few moments that stood out in a big way. Stone did the impossible- he got Capitol Hill residents to dance out in the open. He even managed to put on what felt like a successful dance-off between two sides of the crowd. During his song ‘Sleep’ from his self titled album, he belted into the audience and I saw jaws drop all around me. Something that’s worth noting here, that in my opinion made his set go from great to amazing, is his capacity for banter. Stone is  stage conversationalist, engaging with the crowd and winning over anyone who may be hesitant to adore him. But, the dancing never stopped. And for that, Stone gets my eternal devotion.

Leaving this set, I felt the high that a great show leaves you feeling. Allen Stone is one of those artists that is better live than on record, and I am so excited for the next time I get to see him bounce across the stage, singing those love songs that make couples melt into each other.

Allen Stone at Capitol Hill Block Party, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff