Leon Bridges Brings A Night of Soul to The Woodlands

Leon Bridges reaches out to the crowd in The Woodlands.
Leon Bridges reaches out to the crowd in The Woodlands. Photo by Jack Gorman

“I’m so happy to be in Houston,” exclaimed Leon Bridges as he adjusted the brim of his hat and walked into the white spotlight. The singer, dressed in all black, stood with his back to the audience and looked up at the two huge illuminated letters “L” and “B” as they flashed against the rolling mist onstage. “I’m just a poor boy from Fort Worth so this means the world to me. Can I take you back to a place when I was broke and living with my mom?”

Leon Bridges stopped off at the Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion Friday night and brought his eclectic sound to The Woodlands' amphitheater. Two large screens on the side of the stage displayed Bridges profile, made out of neon lights with his last album title, Good Thing, etched across the side of the head. Bridges’ double bassist joined him center stage and began plucking the melody from “Georgia to Texas” for the crowds screaming approval. As the notes echoed through the crowd, Bridges belted out the song about his mother and her hardships for a captivated audience.

Couples swayed underneath the night sky as a cool breeze blew through the pavilion. The house lights dimmed, and spotlights flooded the open-air space in purple. Bridges, an artist who makes great slow songs but seemed to have more fun onstage with the upbeat, quickly made a move to change the tempo.

“I feel like playing some Blues tonight,” he yelled as the house lights flashed and the spotlight washed over him. “Do any of y’all mind if I play some Blues?”

click to enlarge His show  kept up a driving pace through most of the night. - PHOTO BY JACK GORMAN
His show kept up a driving pace through most of the night.
Photo by Jack Gorman

Leon’s show, a mix of Rock, Blues, Pop, R&B, and Country maintained the upbeat pace for most of the night. Fans crowded the aisle with each song change and were quickly ushered back to their seats only to return because of what Bridges was doing onstage. A young man sitting near me let out a loud whoop at the beginning of each song as if to let Bridges know he approved. Groups of women lifted their wine glasses as they posed for selfies by the stage.

By the time Bridges started “Lions” the crowd was hooked with everyone on their feet joining in song. Bridge’s background singer crooned while the Fort Worth singer directed each of the background singers and musicians through their solo showcases.

The Fort Worth singer, who we saw at RodeoHouston last year, continues to better his craft as last night showed. Looking forward to the next time he makes it to Houston. 
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Houston Press contributor DeVaughn Douglas is a freelance writer, blogger, and podcaster. He is 1/2 of the In My Humble Opinion Podcast and 1/1 of the Sleep and Procrastination Society. (That last one isn't a podcast; he just procrastinates and sleeps a lot.)