Leon Bridges is our modern incarnation of a soul god. He’s been compared to Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, but he’s the millennial genre-bending version- contemporary cool. He graced the Greek Theater a few weeks back, with the sax-wielding R&B man Masego as an opener, and it was an incredible show- if you’re given the chance, go see Leon Bridges!
Bridges is joined onstage by a full ensemble of musicians and backup singers, supporting his enigmatic set full of funk and soul. His voice is a powerhouse. If you’ve been somehow under a rock (admittedly like I was partially, I had no idea how incredible he really was as an artist and performer) and haven’t heard his silky smooth pipes, hop on your favorite streaming service and listen to “River”, the perfect intro track to his brilliance, and “Beyond” is one of my favorite love songs I’ve come across lately. He also has a cover of “Pony” from a Spotify Session, and PHEW.
As a performer, he’s comfortable and powerful- he’s just universally GREAT. I read somewhere, and I wish I could credit the source, that “if you like music, you like Leon Bridges.” His voice is at once classic and uniquely his, a kid from Fort Worth, Texas, who loves his mama and home and who is gracing the world with his talent.
His backing band is a great match to his presence- this guy is already a professional, and everyone joining him onstage is as polished, has just as much soul as their leader. They pay homage to classic soul and make it modern and their own- for one example, I’m not sure Otis Redding would have had a bass player with a red mohawk, but if he were in 2018, heck yes he would. Bridges sports a gorgeous black bomber jacket with an embroidered tiger on the back, when I’ve watched footage of him performing in a classic suit, both of which fit him equally well. His simple stage setup is a gigantic ‘LB’ in clean LED lights. That’s the cool of Leon Bridges- effortlessly mixing classic with his own modern edge and class.
To see Leon Bridges is to see a true musical legend in the making. Get out there when he comes though- this is a talent we’ll be hearing about for a long, long time.