Last night, Wednesday October 17, I was lucky enough to see Yuna & Allen Stone at my favorite San Diego venue: the Belly Up Tavern.
Let me just start with my girl Yuna. This show was a year in the making of my obsession with this Malaysian beauty. She caught my
eye ears when I had just arrived in Malta, nearly a year ago. I was fresh on the island, missing my love and found solace in her dreamy voice and gorgeous melodies about distant lovers. "Someone Out of Town" and "Coffee" were on repeat in my flat for about a month. Flashing forward to last night, she easily slid into the beautiful persona her songs have created in my mind.
With grace and individuality, she displayed a simultaneous connection to both the words she was singing and the crowd she was serenading. She killed it. Inflicting girl-crushes in about 87% of the ladies in the house, including my friend Syd. Jazzy, yet not croony, her songs are effortless laced with universally transcending messages of hope, love and life. Despite a brief microphone malfunction, her performance captured the crowd and completely showcased the warmth and range of her voice.
Her set included mostly newer songs from her self-titled album that was released on the Fader record label last April; "Island," "Lullabies," "Remember My Name," "Bad Idea," and "Live Your Life," to name a few. Although I was disappointed not getting to hear my "Malta songs," the peak for many came when she live-looped her way into her own version of Frank Ocean's "Thinkin' Bout You."
Here is a full length video of Yuna's Frank Ocean cover.
Overall I was more than satisfied by her performance and, if it's possible, even more in love with her as an artist and individual than I was before I got there.
Now to the one, the only, the damn sexy... Allen Stone.
If you are a funkophile, like me, some key ingredients to a completely melt your face off live show include the following:
dirty, nasty, downright funky moves
hitting notes higher than Urkle's pants
an Oreo eating piano player
a seriously sensual Bob Marley cover
& Allen Stone
This son of a preacher man (literally) knows how to put on a show and didn't disappoint the anxious crowd of both Stone show virgins & veterans. Here is my advice to all you virgins out there: If you are going to an Allen Stone gig, please ensure your dancing shoes are securely strapped to your feet and you are in the right mental state to get down with your bad self.
In all honesty, he is a musician/entertainer that gives so much more than his voice to his fans. He brings his love, thoughtful notions, and most importantly his spirit on stage and really just lays it all out there. He doesn't hold back, which I think we can all agree is just so goddamn refreshing in a world of constant insecurity and conformity, especially in the music industry. He makes you want to bust out that freak flag you buried way back in middle school and wave it high, proud, and with the utmost intensity.
It was a blast from beginning to end, faces were thoroughly melted, and unconditional fans were created.