The story of Charles Bradley may read like a soul music version of Cinderella but there was no fairy, just decades of hard work and keeping music alive. He got his big break a few years ago and with his latest album “Changes” comes a North American Tour that stopped at First Avenue yesterday.
His set started with an instrumental piece before being introduced as “the baddest man you know” and taking the stage. He had been nursing a injured shoulder for most of the day but that did not impact his stage presence at all. Charles Bradley is a throwback to the height of soul. He may have been a James Brown impersonator before his break but this was no impersonation of anyone. His strong voice and stage presence made the crowd his in a heartbeat. The audience was quite diverse in age and style.
His hands were quite expressive and the mike stand made a great impromptu prop several time being flipped and used as a trombone. At one point the jacket came off to the cheers of the crowd. Overall seeing Charles Bradley live was a great experience and judging by the cheers from his fans, an opinion shared by everyone.
Set List: Tony Danza (Intro) / Revelation (Walk on) / Heartaches / You think I don’t know / How long / Nobody but you / The World / Flame / 2075 / Fat bag / Luv Jones / Confusion / Thing you do for love / Lovin’U / In you / Ain’t it a sin / Changes Encore: Why is it so hard