Leon Bridges captures the hearts of many and keeps The Fillmore on their toes

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Leon Bridges | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

It was yet another sold-out show for Fort Worth’s Leon Bridges as he performed two nights in a row at the Fillmore Philadelphia this weekend, supporting his new album Good Thing and sharing the stage with fellow Texas trio Khruangbin.

With a unique sound drawing inspiration from classic soul, Thai funk and psychedelia, Khrungabin were captivating and had a spellbinding presence. Their performance was hypnotic, solely focused on a lot of instrumental work with a few moments of soft chanting. To end the set, the three-piece hit the crowd with snippets of Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” and The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache (Jump On It).” The audience went wild and couldn’t help but to dance along to the two old school tracks.

Khrungabin | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

When the brief intermission was over, the lights went out, all the screens turned blue, and Leon Bridges’ band took the stage. The delicate whispers of an electric guitar trickled its way through the intro of “If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be),” and Bridges glided to the center, singing with ease. Another hit off Good Thing, “Bad Bad News,” followed and got the crowd on their feet dancing along. Bridges took a moment to break it down, letting his band take the lead for a bit before he let the energy settle down so he could serenade the crowd with his classic 60s-flavored R&B track “Better Man” from his debut album Coming Home. “Shy” came next, and Standing dead center, you could see the light shine down on the 29-year-old as he gripped his microphone, delivering raw emotions, showcasing his velvety vocals.

Halfway through the show, Bridges addressed the audience: “Philly, I’m feeling a little romantic. Are you feeling romantic?” The band fades in with the slow, yet intense love ballad “Beyond” and Bridges  took a seat on stage to sing. Out of nowhere, he changed up the mood, asking “Who’s ready to dance?” and diving into the funky feel-good song “You Don’t Know.” A little choreography lesson preceded “Brown Skin Girl,” and Bridges alternated between fast and slow songs throughout the show to keep the audience engaged. What really woke everyone up was the guitar solo during “Mrs.”; as we vibed to some good old tunes (fast and slow), the beloved track “Smooth Sailin” got the whole room jitter-buggin’.

Leon Bridges | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Of course, a show is not complete without an encore. Leon tried to sike us our with a quick run off the stage, but we knew better. He re-entered the spotlight to perform “River,” a chilling number that will win any heart. The gospel-influenced song had the audience swaying back and forth, but it was not over yet. Bridges and the band shredded the place to pieces with a rendition of Ozzy Osbourne’s 1980 hit “Crazy Train,” its nasty solo leading into the crescendo of a 10-minute performance of “Mississippi Kisses”.

While things started off slow at first, Leon Bridges was able to pick the energy up throughout the night, and his presence was incredible. You really got a sense of how smooth and suave the Grammy-nominated artist is and how much he loves the stage. Check out photos from the performance in the gallery below.

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