From a Different Era: Leon Bridges brings classic soul style to Union Transfer

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Leon Bridges | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Leon Bridges | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Singer Leon Bridges played a sold-out show at Union Transfer on Saturday night, bringing his retro-60s soul sound to Philadelphia. Currently on a world tour in support of his debut album Coming Home, which was released in June, most of Bridges’ shows have sold-out following his impressively quick rise to fame. Throughout the show, a solid six-piece band backed Bridges as he performed a set off Coming Home, as well as a few songs recently written while on tour. Vocalist Brittni Jessie provided beautiful backing vocals and harmonies to Bridges’ rich, smooth vocals. Saxophonist Jeff Dazey was also striking with his prominent solos and instrumental harmonies throughout the performance.

Bridges’ retro doo-wop sound was like a sonic time warp that brought everyone in the room back 50 years into the past. Everything about the performance – the vocal styling, instrumentation, clothing, and stage set-up-seemed as it were genuinely from a different era. The audience went wild as Bridges sang his highly popular singles “Coming Home” and “Better Man.” Throughout the night, he held up a confident stage presence, often interacting with the crowd and sharing stories behind his songs. From the moment Bridges and his band stepped on stage to the moment the show ended, the audience sang along, danced, and swayed to the music. If you missed out on the Union Transfer show, be sure to grab tickets for Bridges’ show at The Fillmore on March 6th; more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Columbian singer-songwriter Kali Uchis opened the show. Uchis released her first EP Por Vidaearlier this year, and she is currently working on her first LP. She performed a set of her unique pop / R&B flavored music. Despite the fact that she is a fairly new artist, it was obvious that many people in the audience were already fans of Uchis, and it will be interesting to see how her career will progress once her debut album is released.

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