Leon Bridges turns a night at the fair into a church of soul

Leon Bridges and Khruangbin at the PNE Amphitheatre 9/16/18

Photo by Kristina Kimlickova

As the clouds cleared over the PNE Amphitheatre, the nostalgic feeling of entering a fair buzzed through grounds. The smell of buttery popcorn, cotton candy and deep fried everything couldn’t be escaped. But the best part about going to a fair when you’re an adult is the beers, oh and the fact the one and only Leon Bridges was there.

This magical night under the stars got started by Texas natives, Khruangbin.  The funky soul trio delivered a psychedelic opening act that would have been hard to top if the main act wasn’t Leon Bridges. Audience members replenished their drinks, got hot dogs and crammed as close to the front of the stage as possible.

Then the lights dimmed and Leon Bridges grooved his way on to the stage. Bridges, born Todd Michael Bridges, turned a night at the fair to a night at the church of soul. Bridges exploded on stage, and got into his groove right away with “If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be).” Instantly everyone was transported back in time. With his slicked back hair, flood pants and velvet jacket he looked just like a 1950’s soul singer.  

Leon Bridges @ P.N.E. Amphitheatre in Vancouver B.C.
Photo by Kristina Kimlickova

Bridges looked out to the crowd and said, “I”m just do my thing tonight, is that okay.” And he did exactly that. Right away he gave the people what they want with “Coming Home,” “Better Man” and “Smooth Sailing.”  Bridges then went into the album he is currently touring, Good Thing. When he played  hit track on the album, “Beyond,” there was a collective swoon as everyone’s heart instantly melted. Good Thing is a step out of his religious roots even more than Coming Home. It’s saucy, sultry and more adventurous than Coming Home, and the audience clearly loved the new album.

Good Thing is a 10-track masterpiece that is classically simple, yet deeply emotional. Bridges’ performance emulated that exact feeling. The big “LB” neon lights gave a warm glow over his band and back up vocals that have the same groovy style as Bridges.

For such a young dude to have such an old soul is so refreshing. Leon Bridges took an adoring audience back in time and filled everyone’s hearts with funk, gospel and a whole lotta soul!