It’s time for another concert review! This week’s post is all about young soul singer Leon Bridges, and his performance at the Arlington Theater on March 18, 2016.
Leon Bridges (born Todd Michael Bridges) is a soul/gospel singer straight out of Fort Worth, TX. He is definitely an old soul, and his 2015 record, Coming Home, stands with some of the greatest soul albums of all time. But first, let’s go back a few years. Before he was signed to Columbia records, Leon played at local open mics and clubs to get his name out in the community. His songwriting is known for being uplifting and poignant at the same time, using classic soul techniques and instruments behind his smooth vocals. His songs are simple, and speak truths about happiness and faith and his family, but he makes them relatable to people of all backgrounds. Anybody can connect to his music, which is why he achieved great success right after he was signed.
Leon Bridges’ debut album, Coming Home, was very well received by critics and audiences alike. His single of the same name appeared on Spotify’s “Top 10 Most Viral Tracks” list, spreading his name among music streamers. The album itself rose to number six on the Billboard top 200 albums, sold 38,000 physical copies, and was nominated for best R&B album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. I knew this guy was very special, and was very excited to hear that he would be playing in my town.
I went to see him play with his band at the Arlington Theater, and it was a show I’ll never forget. There were no fancy light shows or set pieces, just a simple stage setup and the band wore formal clothing. Leon himself performed in a suit, just like the great singers of Motown in the 60’s. The music was flawless, and sounded exactly like, if not better than the original recording. He was singing with his close friend and backup singer Brittni Jesse, who added great color to the performance. I would say the best part of the show, however, was his stage presence. He was dancing smoothly back and forth across the stage the whole time, and it was very obvious that he was having fun. He managed to get the entire crowd standing at their seats and dancing with him for most of the show. This was a 10/10 performance that I am grateful to have had the chance to experience. If he ever returns, I will definitely be there.
Comment below on what musical experiences I should write about next week!