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Live Review: Allen Stone, Thando

27 September 2018 | 12:49 pm | Pat Boxall

“Stone departs for good and the crowd, who by this stage have melted into a puddle on The Croxton’s carpeted floor, are left to mop themselves up."

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Heads snap towards The Croxton’s stage as Thando’s first note fills the room. The song is Numb, originally recorded with Remi, but Thando takes full responsibility tonight with flawless execution. Her energy is electric, her presence prolific, and her excitement palpable: “I’m here to support Allen Stone – ugh!” A stunning harmony with her backup singers is followed with Happy, showcasing her ability to switch from mind-blowing power to the tightest flow in mere moments. Her final track has the crowd singing, “I want to see you naked,” but Thando, if you’re reading, know that we just want to see you make it.

Anticipation builds through the intermission until Allen Stone walks out with a four-piece band for his only Australian show. He opens with Fake Future followed by Love and Upside, and his voice blows away all expectations. Fans have always flocked to his live recordings, but this is something different and he’s oozing soul on stage. 

He transitions into a phenomenal cover of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know, smiling at his band as he asks the crowd “Oh, do y’all know this song?” It finishes to rapturous applause and he takes an opportunity to say, “If y’all are here y’all are good friends, so enjoy yourself and be yourself.” He’s clearly taking his own advice through a performance of Celebrate Tonight before the band departs, leaving Stone alone with his guitar.

“I just married an Australian,” says Stone, “and we’re going to have a baby.” The crowd erupts. That’s why he’s in town in the first place – for the wedding, not necessarily the conception – and he slips into his thickest Aussie accent to confirm his enthusiasm. “How good’s that! How good’s this.”

Bed I Made comes next, along with a song written for his wife before the band returns for Brown Eyed Lover and unreleased track Taste Of You. Cries of “Yassss, Allen,” bounce off the walls. “Express yourself,” Stone says. “You want to move your body? Move your body. You want to stand still? Stand still.” 

Satisfaction and Freezer Burn close the set. The crowd are left desperate for one more song, and we all know what it’ll be. The first chord of Unaware prompts the biggest cheer of the evening, and Stone’s inimitable vocals are on full display. There’s a final chance to jam through Voodoo, which highlights the band’s technical prowess before Stone departs for good and the crowd, who by this stage have melted into a puddle on The Croxton’s carpeted floor, are left to mop themselves up.

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