[Note: Leon Bridges’ show at the Fox Oakland on March 17th is already sold out, but we recommend him so much that we couldn’t resist writing this preview. Tickets are still available — highly recommend — for his show September 23rd at the Greek in Berkeley.]
We’ve been following Leon Bridges since his explosive debut at SXSW in March 2015. Since then, he’s blown up. In August, he played a huge set at Outside Lands, followed by a sold-out show for his San Francisco debut at the Independent. In November, he sold out The Fillmore, often a sign that a band has “made it.”
Now, he’s back for two more shows. First, on March 17th at the Fox in Oakland, then again on September 23rd at the Greek in Berkeley. While the progression from the Independent to the Fillmore to the Fox to the Greek is typical for many bands, it doesn’t always happen this quick. In fact, we can’t think of a band that has moved through that lineup as fast as Leon has. Just a few weeks ago, he performed at the White House as part of a Ray Charles tribute hosted by the Obamas. His fellow performers included Usher, Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes and Demi Lovato — not bad company if you ask us.
I was lucky enough to catch Leon at a smaller show — with just under 250 people — in Italy in September and was blown away. He’s a highly talented performer with slick dance moves to match his 1950s look. He’s also incredibly humble in recognizing his luck and quick ascent in the music world.
His music brings the listener back to a different time, a time in which suits were standard attire and Sam Cook was still on the radio. Though we no longer live in that era, we can’t wait to step into Leon’s time machine next week.