Union Transfer


Allen Stone

Allen Stone

Bad Rabbits, Roméo Testa

Sat, October 11, 2014

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA


This event is all ages

Allen Stone
Allen Stone
USA Today has called Allen Stone a "pitch-perfect powerhouse" and The New York Times has likened his socially conscious music to that of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers. But the 25-year-old singer-songwriter from the tiny backwoods town of Chewelah, Washington just sees himself as "a hippie with soul."

Stone has spent the past four years honing his unique style the old-fashioned way: crisscrossing the country in a van with his ace band and playing any small club that would have him. Since the digital release of his self-titled album via his own stickystones label in October 2011, Stone's shows have been selling out from coast to coast. The album jumped into the Top 10 of Billboard's Heatseekers chart and entered the Top 5 of iTunes' R&B/Soul charts. His first national television appearance – on "Conan" – came after the music booker saw a YouTube video of Allen performing "Unaware" in his mother's living room. Performances on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Last Call with Carson Daly" and "Live from Daryl's House" followed and Esquire, CNN and Billboard named Stone as an artist to watch – all before he had the support of a record label. Stone has since signed to ATO Records, which is bringing the album into wide release.
Bad Rabbits
Bad Rabbits
Like some kind of sonic Pulp Fiction, Bad Rabbits fuse futuristic R&B and post-rock for a slick one-two punch.

Think Sly Stone fronting Bad Brains, and you're maybe a third of the way there. The multi-cultural Boston five-piece—Fredua "Dua" Boakye [vocals], Sheel Davé [drums], Salim Akram [guitar], Graham Masser [bass], and Santiago Araujo [guitar]—confidently struts through genres with unrestrained swagger and a whole lot of attitude. It's sexy and soulful replete with seismic falsetto about youthful love and "dirty" girls. It's bedroom music as much as it is dance floor music. It's simply American Love.

Bad Rabbits began drumming up a flurry of buzz in 2009 with their self-released EP, Stick Up Kids. Their sweaty, intense live shows solidified an impressive and devout following as they shared the stage with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Passion Pit, Deftones, Travie McCoy, T-Pain, GlassJaw, Common and John Legend and played the Vans Warped Tour. However, one pivotal gig with Foxy Shazam in San Francisco helped lay the preliminary groundwork for American Love in 2011.
"After we finished playing, this kid with tattoos and plugs in his ears rolled up to us," remembers Sheel. "He was pissed that he missed the show so I asked if he had a house we could play at. We grew up playing metal shows in basements, so we were down to kick it and jam. The next day, we played his kitchen. He just understood what we were doing musically, and he had all kinds of ideas. That kid was our co-producer B. Lewis."
The band flew Lewis out to Boston, and they started seriously collaborating. Over the course of 2012, they composed, recorded, and fine-tuned the songs that would eventually comprise their debut. Along the way, the group honed their style precisely.

"We wanted to bridge the gap between the two musical worlds we come from," explains Salim. "One of them is classic R&B, and the other is rock. They may seem disparate, but we tried to fuse them."

That mission is certainly accomplished on tracks like the first single and album opener, "We Can Roll". After a sultry keyboard swell, the song climaxes on an anthemic hook fortified by hulking guitars. Dua reveals, "It's like a ride or die anthem for your girlfriend or boyfriend basically. As corny as it may sound, it encompasses that feeling when you get the right person. You want the person to 'roll' anywhere and everywhere with you. It's a trap wedding song."

That theme of young love carries over to "Fall in Love", which Converse will premiere on Valentine's Day 2013. A big horn section pipes along with a swinging vocals and smooth bass. Sultry lyrics bubble up over the pulsating funk on the verse, emblematic of their grasp on 21st century R&B.

In many ways, diversity drives Bad Rabbits. The music reflects the cultural melting pot the band members embody. Sheel, Dua, and Santiago are all first-generation Americans as their parents originally hail from India, Liberia and Ghana, and Italy and Argentina respectively. As a result, the album remains all-inclusive.

"That's where the concept of American Love comes from," Sheel adds. "These diverse backgrounds forming one entity represents what America is. It reminds me of when I used to go see Deftones and GlassJaw as a kid. Their audiences weren't only into a variety of music, but they were also multi-cultural. I always thought that was so cool. We may come from different cultures, but we all bond over music."

American Love is something else that listeners worldwide can bond over. "I feel like everyone can really get to know us with this album," says Salim. "Our hope is that it will introduce new people to Bad Rabbits but also show our progression to those who have already been exposed to the band."

"We're just doing what comes naturally," Sheel concludes. "It isn't about trying to be something we're not. It's about just going with the flow ultimately. We're not forcing anything."
Sit back and fall into American Love.
Roméo Testa
Roméo Testa
Roméo Testa has that rare voice that can seamlessly blend rock, blues and soul into one potent musical package. At 19, he is already a music business veteran having worked with the likes of multiple Grammy winner Dan Wilson [Adele, Dixie Chicks], Francis Anthony “Eg” White [Adele, Florence & the Machine], and Al Shux [Lana del Rey, Plan B. Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Tinie Tempah] in his six-song debut EP, The End. Released on Columbia Records in 2014, The End is the perfect introduction to Costa Rica born and LA raised Testa, which showcases his blend of musical influences from his multiethnic parents and details the triumphs and challenges of growing up with love and loss.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123