The Union Transfer was transformed into what could be referred to as “The Church of Love & Loss” by Mr. Charles Bradley this past Sunday. As the opening act, De La Sue, singer songwriter from Belgium with insane pipes, closed out her set the crowd grew in size and tripled in anticipation for the Screaming Eagle of Soul to grace us with his performance. Until last night, I had only heard stories or watched videos of a Charles Bradley concert. Nothing besides seeing him in person could capture how intensely emotional and inspiring his show could be.
One thing is for certain – there is nothing so incredible as to be compared to last night’s transformative performance. Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires hit the stage at around 10 and for the next hour and a half, nothing would matter except for the moments shared between the band and their audience. His band was another ‘extraordinary’ highlight of the night. They brought the funk, they brought the blues, the brought the rhythm, and they added a whole mess of soul.
A true bandleader, Charles Bradley was introduced by his keyboard player, and when he came to the front and center of the stage he bared his heart and soul to the audience for the night. He had a special connection with every song he played. The band backed him with matched intensity throughout the night. A special request from an audience member, the most special song of the night was “Changes,” where the Captain himself had to re-do a verse because he was overcome with so much emotion.
He would continue to slow jam through “Why Is It So Hard,” as his epic encore of the night, throwing white roses into the crowd before jumping down afterwards and hugging and embracing as many people as possible before heading backstage. What an incredible man!
It’s a truly one of a kind experience with Charles Bradley, who is not afraid to mess up, cry, or show his audience that he is indeed only human.
My recommendation? Go see this man perform. There are no feelings that can compare with the love and happiness that the entire audience left with that night!