Skip to content

Leon Bridges At Radio City Music Hall, Friday, October 5th, 2018, Reviewed

If Leon Bridges is the future of soul men then somewhere Marvin Gaye is Shaking his head and Teddy Pendergrass is looking at his watch. The blandness on view at Radio City Music Hall was lethal. It started with the opening act, the awful decision to throw Houston, Texas instrumental trio Khruangbin to the masses bordered on band abuse. Khruangbin weren’t bad, the surf band channelled the 1970s Raybeats and Laura Lee knew her George Scott II, late in the evening the band threw in a fun  “Telstar”, and considering the venue, and the dreamy strummy guitar based bands limitations,  Khruangbin were believable but awful boring. 45 minutes and by the end it felt like sadism.

Leon made so many mistakes at Radio City but first and foremost:  he didn’t have close circuit television, it is 2018 and there is zero excuse for not letting your audience, who are paying big bucks for the experience, actually, you know, see you. I was in 1st mezz, undoubtedly those in 2nd and 3rd mezz were watching ants in the distance. It is not impossible to connect to an audience from a great distance, I saw Marvin Gaye do just that at the same veue in  early 1983. But Leon isn’t Marvin Gaye, hell, he isn’t Marvin Hamlisch.

There is a corollary  to the Pitchfork-M.I.A. rule. The PM rule states that if Pitchfork truly hate an artist the chances are excellent there is a reason that has nothing to do with music. The corollary goes that if Bob Lefsetz really loves an artist  there is an excellent chance some industry type sucked him off. Here is Lefsetz on Leon at the Greek: “You would have been awed if you’d been there. Most of the people knew all the words. And this was not a heritage act. Leon held the mic out to the crowd and…they sang along. He’s infiltrated the minds of those who care, and those who don’t… Actually, Leon Bridges is a mini Adele, minus the slickness, minus the big push. And maybe minus her pipes, but Leon’s are certainly serviceable.” Yeah, repeat no.

What was clear Friday night was that Leon doesn’t have a great voice and he doesn’t have many great songs. Sure, he has some. An early “Beyond” was beyond serviceable and the ever popular “Going Home” was a crowd  pleaser. A later “Smooth Sailin'” had Leon dancing, and whenever Leon danced the show improved, the Fort Worth native is no James Brown but he can shimmy and shake. Still, Leon isn’t a good frontman, his spiel is too spieler, all that “Make some noise” crap and boilerplate concert speak is irritating, even though the band is good, especially the stand up bass player (who received a solo for no reason I can discern). The soul stuff wasn

t song enough,, the jazz stuff was boring, the  funk jams stank, and Leon has no clue how to connect from a distance. Yes, “Beyond” is a great song… then what?

The white and middle class and 20somethings with their parents audience seemed to like it without loving it, the concession stands were doing big business, the booze merchants better business, and the audience seemed pleasantly anesthetized throughout the experience. Leon neither has the material nor has the skills to be a serious soulman, his performance was a tasteful bore and I would rather watch Lil Uzi rap over preprogrammed beats  any time/

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Sneak Peaks: Upcoming Album Releases 2-3-23 – 2-9-23

By Iman Lababedi | January 29, 2023 |

return to the top of country

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – January 1983 (Volume 14, Number 8)

By Steve Crawford | January 29, 2023 |

a cow with eighteen udders

Bob Marley One Love Experience At Ovation Hollywood

By Alyson Camus | January 29, 2023 |

“a journey through his life, passions, influences, and enduring legacy”

Yours truly with the true Godfather Giannini Russo who played Carlo in the original Godfather

By admin | January 28, 2023 |

the true Godfather Giannini Russo

UK Top 10 Albums 1-27-23 – 2-2-23

By Iman Lababedi | January 28, 2023 |

Has Brit rock ever been worse?

UK Top 10 Singles 1-27-23 – 2-2-23

By Iman Lababedi | January 28, 2023 |

essence de 2023

Press Releases For January, Here Are The Artists

By Alyson Camus | January 27, 2023 |

A very percussive song

The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 1-27-23 – 3-2-23 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | January 27, 2023 |

the mixes his producer Daniel Lanois didn’t like

The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release 1-27-23 – 2-2-23, Rosalia’s “LLYLM”) Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | January 27, 2023 |

her best since “Milionària”

Brief Encounters: New Albums 1-20-23 – 1-26-23 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | January 26, 2023 |

dip yourself deep in sonic hellaciousness and disquiet

Scroll To Top