It is hard to believe Leon Bridges is new to the music industry. For only being signed to Columbia records one year ago, Bridges has gained substantial popularity, including performing on Saturday Night Live less than a week ago. Coming Home, Bridges sensational debut album, has received critical acclaim over the past year. From being a dishwasher in Texas to quickly becoming a Top 10 Viral Artist on Spotify, Bridges is the epitome of a success story.
On Sunday evening, Bridges made a stop on his tour in Bloomington at the Bluebird. The show was sold out and the venue was jam-packed. Wall to wall, fans of Leon’s soulful, velvety voice and heartfelt lyrics anxiously anticipated his performance. Leon kept the crowd waiting a while past the door time, but the wait was well worth it. When he came on stage, everyone cheered and the brass section began to belt out a cheerful harmony. All I can say is he looked the part. Dressed in a golden suit, with his hands gently wrapped around the center stage microphone, the crowd was immediately absorbed by his presence.
His 60’s soul-gospel melodies serenaded me the entire night. He played all the crowd pleasers: “Coming Home”, “Smooth Sailing”, and “Better Man” to name a few. His stage charisma is noteworthy: joyful dancing while the complementing horns bellowed and well-placed one liners sandwiched between songs kept the energy in the venue alive. Bridges takes us on a journey back in time, drawing inspiration from music icons Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. Bridges sound is timeless and to all who were able to come out last Sunday, the performance was enchanting. I am looking forward to what Bridges will bring to the genre in the coming years.