Allen Stone, Bad Rabbits, and Roméo Testa deliver with night of funk and soul at Terminal 5

By Ysabella Monton

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On Oct. 9, the Terminal 5 audience was treated to the soulful crooning of Roméo Testa and the fun energy of Bad Rabbits to get them warmed up for Allen Stone later that evening.

After a bit of loosening up, Testa’s powerful voice commanded the stage. A refreshingly unique blend of the soul of a young Buddy Guy with the catchiness and charm of Bruno Mars (the latter being looks-wise, too), Testa brings a lot to the table. Admittedly, “With You” had easily made each girl in attendance feel like she was the only girl in the room, making them “victims” of the boy band effect.

With this show nearing the end of his first major tour, it’s evident that he’s still developing his stage presence. However, the special kind of authenticity of his performance shows a young guy who’s just excited and grateful to have this opportunity.

The highlight of the show was Bad Rabbits, who took the stage next. Not a single person around looked remotely tired or bored during their performance. And how could they? These five guys just know how to have enough fun on stage to get everyone sliding from side to side, leaning back real low on the downbeats, and feeling like we’re all on our way to “Better Days.”

That isn’t to say that the slower jams weren’t just as much fun. No words can describe the vibes that took over everyone’s body during “We Can Roll,” and it took no effort to get all the ladies and gentlemen in the room singing, “Let’s just fall in love,” in perfect harmony.

Next up, Allen Stone took the stage.

Mic stands adorned with paisley scarves and lighting as vivacious and welcoming as the backup band behind Stone illustrate not only the performance, but also how eclectic Stone is. His show is best described by the story he told on stage of his ten-minute path to becoming an ordained minister and his bassist’s brilliantly stupid idea to have him officiate his wedding, before allowing him to show the audience what it means to be in love just by plucking at the strings of his bass.

A standout was the beauty of a song that is “Million.” His voice had the magical power to slow down time and make everyone appreciate being there, in that moment.

“Drop your pride, drop your ego,” demanded Stone over a groovy bass line, telling the audience that this was the only way to experience a show. That’s exactly what the audience did, and in return, got a full night of true funk and soul.

Ysabella Monton is a contributing writer. Email her at music@nyunews.com

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