All photos: Emily Cohen — All words: Kendelyn Ouellette
If I had to sum up the evening in one word it would be this: soul. All three acts had it in abundance and in the case of each act it was a welcomed surprise. The opening act of the evening was Tingsek, who hails from Sweden. Before this evening I didn’t associate soul with Sweden, but after his set it was clear that this man knows what he is doing.
The crowd was rather small, but responsive during his performance; the more people that trickled in during his set the more enthusiastic the crowd became. During Tingsek’s set there was a series of mishaps (a broken amp, a snapped guitar string), but he rather impressively played them off as if it was nothing out of the ordinary and even went so far as to work the mishaps into the lyrics of the song he was preforming at the time. In doing so he kept the mood light and the concert moving forward. Handling a mishap in the way that he did in my opinion, is the mark of a true performer.
By the time Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds took the stage the crowd was a little bit bigger and a whole lot louder. Their set consisted of songs that were a perfect blend of soul and funk. The sounded like they belonged out of New Orleans rather than Brooklyn where they actually hail from. Lead singer Arleigh Kincheloe was backed by a eight piece band which besides the regular bass guitar, guitar, and drums, included a baritone saxophone, a saxophone, a trumpet, a trombone, and most unexpectedly a harmonica. Most impressively the harmonica was played with a warp pedal, which produced a sound unlike anything I had ever heard a harmonica make before; it was quite incredible.
The crowd had really packed in by the time Allen Stone took the stage. It was readily apparent that the crowd had gathered for the sole purpose of seeing Allen Stone and the two opening acts were just icing on the cake. Stone had possibly the most unique stage presence I’ve seen a while. To put it simply the man is a goof; but he does goofy well and it complements his performance perfectly. (He’s the kid you regret making fun of in high school.) He’s a powerhouse of a vocalist and it is readily apparent that he genuinely enjoys preforming for an audience and the level of energy that he bring to each song made them unforgettable. Combine that with the passion that pours from him during each song and level of energy in the venue was off the charts. He had the crowd grooving and kept the party going all the way to the closing song.
- Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds: