Allen Stone’s Karaoke Extravaganza performed last Sunday at the Buffalo Iron Works, a cool live music lounge nestled in an old factory building on a cobblestone street. It was easy to find parking. Inside, the tall brick walls were lined with music posters, the garage door was opened, and the outdoor patio, lit by sparkling string lights, was a great spot to spend time before the show.
The crowd buzzed with excitement as concertgoers signed up with their favorite karaoke jams and made their way towards the stage that looked almost like a 1970’s style game show set. The house lights went down, and the hijinks started. “Give You Blue” echoed thru the hall while a back-lit figure sang on stage, only it was weird.. why is Stone wearing a bad, blonde wig? That question was quickly answered when turning around to see what the commotion was in the crowd to my left; Allen Stone was making his way to the stage from the back of the bar.
Once back on stage, Allen introduced the crowd one of the most enthusiastic hype-men you’ll ever see, his very best friend in the whole world, Julian. They were dressed in matching satin leopard print pants and shiny blazers as they explained the rules…it is NOT a singing competition; it is about effort and enthusiasm, not talent. The crowd was asked to be supportive, to be encouraging, and to have fun! The “winner” would earn the title of Allen’s “best friend.” Allen did an excellent job keeping the audience engaged, and Julian was a delight in his over-the-top costumes.
Throughout the evening, ten contestants were randomly selected from the audience to join Allen and Julian on stage, and there were some bangers. Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” were personal favorites. It was an absolute blast watching everyone get up on stage. There was so much energy in the place. In-between contestants, Allen performed some of his original songs, including a brand new song called “5 Minutes,” which was just released a few days before the show. As the evening drew to a close, the ten contestants were invited back on stage for the showcase showdown to sing the classic “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers to close out the night.
The crowd cheered for each of the contestants before Allen deemed the mysterious, tenth contestant the winner, and plot twist- it was Julian.
Photos of Julian and Allen filled the large monitor behind them as Allen belted out “Consider Me” to close out an overall great experience and fun night in a gorgeous venue.