Words by Jessica Edwards // Photo by Justin Yee
The historic Majestic Theater of Dallas set the stage this past Saturday night as it has done so many nights before. This time, it was to house the new-old sound of Fort Worth native Leon Bridges during his impressive year of music. Bridges has been quick to rack up sold-out performances across the country with an additional stint in Europe, so it was only fitting that he included a hometown date on his rise to the top.
The energy of the crowd contained an obvious pierce of excitement as the sharp dressed crooner approached the mic stand. Bridges calmed the roaring welcome with a heartfelt dedication to his grandmother before he signaled his suit-cladded band into the first song and new track, “Doris.” The concert-goers were immediately shown the singer’s appreciation of the overwhelming support from his fellow Texans and this tone remained throughout the night. The soulful singer was “Coming Home”.
The night quickly progressed as Bridges moved through tracks like “Flowers” and “Brown Skin Girl” from his debut album with as much control and clarity as the studio version. The formal seating of Majestic usually discourages rowdy crowds, but instead held foot tapping and knee jerking music lovers while the band led Bridges into two unheard tracks, “Let You Down” and “Lonely Road.” However, it was the hit song, “Better Man” into “Smooth Sailin’” that brought the entire theater to their dancing feet. The 1950’s groove stayed strong as the saxophone player sprinkled in a few solos. White Denim’s Austin Jenkins also gave a strong supportive performance on rhythm guitar.
The night took on a more serious tone as Leon Bridges sang acapella with backup singer, Brittni Jessie, at his side to the heart-achingly emotional, “River” to end his set. The theater was in awe and had just been given more than enough reason to stand to their feet once again. Cheers then inspired a three song encore from the humbled band before they took their bow.
Brown Skin Girl
Let You Down
Out of Line
Twistin’ & Groovin’