Easy Street Blog

Show Review: Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band at Neumos!

POSTED BY ON Mon Dec 10, 01:52 PM

Photo: Grady Tyree

I never saw James Brown in concert before he passed away … I mean, I’m only 34, and by the time I was really into seeing shows, I’ll bet the Godfather of Soul was well off the live circuit. But last night, I got to see the closest thing to James Brown -  I witnessed his disciple, Charles Bradley, rekindle the emotion and energy that JB used to earn his notoriety. From the jumpsuit and cape to the splits on stage, Charles Bradley was showcasing all the tricks he’d learned from his years of paying tribute to the master. Backed by the Menahan Street Band – a collection of musicians from Antibalas, El Michels Affair, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Budos Band – Mr. Bradley pulled off a stellar performance that will not be forgotten by those in the packed house of Neumos last Thursday night!

With the Menahan Street Band starting the show off around 10:30, Charles Bradley joined them onstage around fifteen minutes later and was greeted with raucous applause from the crowd. He broke up his performance into two sets, with the band playing the interludes between. His first set included crowd favorites “How Long,” “No Time for Dreaming,” “The World (Is Going Up In Flames)” and “Lovin’ You, Baby,"which included an on-stage proposal followed by a ceremony performed by the Reverend Bradley.  The latter set was capped off by the emotional cut, “Why Is It So Hard."

I got a glimpse of his set at Bumbershoot last year, but nothing came close to the intimate vibe of last night’s show! Sometimes it’s hard to tell if an artist is truly invested in what they’re doing, but with Charles Bradley you know from the get-go that he is completely immersed in his craft and he’s lived each song. Don’t miss out next time he comes around!

Photo: Grady Tyree

Photo: Grady Tyree

Photo: Grady Tyree

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