Show Review: Leon Bridges Is a Natural in the Spotlight

Photography by Ryan Kipnis

By Ryan Kipnis, Program Coordinator 

Artist: Leon Bridges 

Venue: Roadrunner 

When: Tuesday August 16th, 2022

 

I have been familiar with Leon Bridges’ music for a long time. I remember driving in the car with my mom, enjoying singing along to “Texas Sun.” But nothing could prepare me for how incredible his live performance was. 

As Leon Bridges took the stage at Roadrunner the air in the room changed. He stepped onto the stage, backlit by warm light, in a stunning white suit. Every detail was thoughtful and completely breathtaking. 

With an entrance like that you’d think that the energy would shift as the music began, but as soon as Leon Bridges started singing it was like he was channeling all of the energy from the crowd. It funneled into his mesmerizingly enchanting performance. 

Often, during concerts, it feels like the artist is performing a choreographed dance, but every single note, dance move, and detail felt genuine and focused, both from Leon Bridges and his band. The enthusiastic crowd fed off of the onstage charisma. And meanwhile, the band fed off of the love they received from the crowd.

 

STARTING OFF THE NIGHT WITH A DANCE PARTY

Little Dragon opened for Leon Bridges with what I can only describe as a psychedelic dance party. Their soulful sound blended with the tasteful chaos of their aesthetic perfectly to get the crowd hyped up and dancing. Even though their music crossed many genres and sounds, the room was receptive and engaged throughout their entire bold and energetic performance. 

 

A VISUAL EXPERIENCE

The lighting throughout the show was flawless. The lights balanced between warm oranges and deep blues to create a feeling of warmth and openness.

The band wore simple, yet elegant all-black outfits. They popped well against Leon Bridges’ white suit and dark sunglasses. 

The room felt small. It was as if everyone around was having a very special shared experience. The use of projections, both for lighting effects and a closer look at the artist, made everyone feel closer to the stage and the artists.

 

THE RANGE OF LEON BRIDGES’ SETLIST 

To say that Leon Bridges’ setlist was tastefully arranged would be an understatement. He blended his beautiful slower songs with his groovy faster songs to create a rollercoaster of emotion throughout the show. 

The crowd went from dancing during “What’re You Doing Tonight” to crying during “River” to singing along passionately to my personal favorite Leon Bridges song, “Beyond.” 

At the end of the show the crowd went wild, and continued screaming for more until Leon Bridges played two stunning encores. 

 

HIT OF THE NIGHT 

Every time Leon Bridges began a new song I thought that it would be the hit of the night, and every time I was right. Each song they played was somehow better than the song before it. 

Leon Bridges found a perfect balance between standing in his well-deserved spotlight and giving his amazing band lots of well-deserved stage time. His two backup singers were particularly captivating. They both had a way of dancing with the crowd that made you feel that they were singing to you. 

This was truly one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

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