One of the final gigs that R&B singer Allen Stone performed before stages went dark in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic was a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR Studios, a typically stripped back set behind a notorious tiny desk.
Stone brought this same intimate energy found in Tiny Desk Concerts to the Fremont Theater’s audience on February 1st with an acoustic set of his most beloved songs from the last ten years. Songs like “Brown Eyed Lover” and “Unaware” had people singing along and enjoying the peaceful, stripped-back set.
Stone emphasized how the main motivator behind his recently released album, “Apart,” was the live audience he lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What is best about live entertainment is immediate review,” Stone said in an interview with KCPR. “You do something in real-time, and they are either excited about or not as excited about it as you would have hoped.”
While looking back, Stone explained his gratitude for being one of the last performers to have actually performed at the NPR Studios Tiny Desk before they switched to an “at home” version of the series due to the pandemic.
“[Tiny Desk Concert is] incredible, mainly because it really restores my hope in the music listener,” Stone said.
Stone explained that he personally craves more live music outside of the large productions with several moving components that we see today. The appreciation he showed for the intimacy of just having musicians and their instruments together easily explained why he has such adoration for what the Tiny Desk Concert series succeeds at.
“In terms of a music opportunity, there is no bigger [one] in my opinion.”
Stone succeeded in creating an intimate environment with just a mic stand, two guitars, his piano and his two backup singers.
His last tour before the COVID-19 pandemic involved opportunities for concert-goers to preform with Stone via karaoke. On a New York tour date, he was blown away by Stephany Mora and Brian Johnson’s singing abilities, so he decided to have preform on his next tour. Both equally had their times to shine during the show.
“Something that is never going to be documented or recreated — as a concert goer and a live entertainer enthusiast that’s what I wanna see,” Stone said.
Stone succeeded with deeply personal songs and inside jokes with the audience. February 1st with Allen Stone at the Fremont Theater may never be recreated, but he expressed excitement about hopefully returning for the next tour.
Sydney Osterbauer is content writer for KCPR. Lily Tenner is a content writer and photographer for KCPR.