Leon Bridges headlines Roots N Blues N BBQ

Bridges moved his vocal cords and hips in a synchronized and swanky swing to match his unique musical style, which incorporates a new sound of soul and southern blues.

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Singer Leon Bridges headlined Saturday night of the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. Bridges and his band, including his backup singer Brittni Jessie, played for an hour and 15 minutes on the Missouri Lottery Stage to a somewhat laid-back, low-energy crowd.

Despite the audience’s general lack of cheers and “juice” as Jessie called it, Bridges put on quite the show. The band performed 17 songs, three during the encore. Bridges was twisting and grooving the entire time. He moved his vocal cords and hips in a synchronized and swanky swing to match his unique musical style, which incorporates a new sound of soul and southern blues. The crowd seemed relaxed and infatuated, possibly not giving their “juice,” or dancing, in fear of being compared to Bridges’ alluring moves.

Coming Home, released in 2015, is Bridges’ first and only album. Most of the songs performed Saturday were unsurprisingly off the album. The show began with the high-energy “Smooth Sailin’,” encored with a relaxed and reflective version of the popular “River,” and ended with an electric and celebratory “Mississippi Kisses,” with everyone out of their seat.

The highlight of the performance, aside from Bridges’ charming moves, was the new material the band played. Two of the unofficially titled songs were “new stuff” according to Bridges. In one of the new ones, the fourth song of the set, Bridges serenaded the Texas sun in a nostalgic and southern twang. Bridges seemed to be recalling his love for the culture and style of the Lone Star State, where he is from.

Bridges is an undeniable talent. He got the crowd to move and shake to his vintage and uplifting tunes. Bridges invites the audience to remember the classic sounds of soul that are the roots of modern music, and his fans love him for that.

Edited by Claire Colby | ccolby@themaneater.com

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