Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds

Best of 2013: Charles Bradley Live- A Spiritual Soul

.
The Metro- Chicago, IL - December 6, 2013

"Get out there and seek your dreams"- Charles Bradley, 12/6/2013

Last summer in downtown Chicago, Lollapalooza was taking place with the Cure, Mumford and Sons, Nine Inch Nails and the Killers headlining the three-day event. What no one could have anticipated was how a sixty-five year old soul crooner would steal the weekend. Charles Bradley (along with his band The Menahan Street Band) may have only been performed for an hour, but make no mistake, watching him was nothing short of a musical miracle. Taking to the stage in a purple suit, Bradley owned the crowd with his inspirational confessionals and exuberant performance. Perfectly capturing the essence of 60's r-and-b soul, Bradley does not mimic this genre as own it. "You Put the Flame On Me" would have been an enormous hit in the 1960s if it had existed. Pulling himself out of poverty and working miscellaneous jobs for decades before moonlighting as a James Brown impersonator, Bradley has lived a life full of staggering lows and now unbelievable highs. After a series of singles, he released his first record in 2011 on Daptone Records and followed it earlier this year with the soulful and secular Victim of Love. Despite being in his sixties, Bradley's was a physical dynamo on the concert stage, out performing most acts half his age. Watching him swing the microphone stand to the ground only to whip it back by the cord in time to meet his cue was simply one of several astonishing moments where you pinch yourself making sure you are not dreaming. Bradley is a man who is doing more than breathing life into poignant and purposeful music, but is the living personification that a dream, no matter how old, never dies as long as you believe in yourself.

After a couple of instrumental funk and soul numbers, Charles Bradley took to the stage of Chicago's Metro capturing the spirit of Otis Redding and James Brown. This same spirit for over two hours was alive and well in the human form of Charles Bradley. Performing most of his stunning 2013 album, Victim of Love (one of the top three records of the year), Bradley crooned in a way few can or ever will. Bradley has lived through hardship no one person should ever have to endure, documented wonderfully in the great documentary Charles Bradley: The Soul of America. Despite spending much of his life in a tunnel that only knew pain, Bradley is not the least bit jaded. While his debut No Time For Dreaming teetered towards the shadows that overcome us, Victim of Love is infused with bright-eyed soul. There is newfound optimism that permeates throughout the record and especially is evident in the live show. The records are resounding reveals into the soul of a man who has lived a hard life, but the concert performances demonstrates the supremacy of love and redemption and how it's within our grasp. His band matches the material. They are a seven-piece army ready to take their message to every city. The brass, bass and organ bled together in a magnificent manner with no one member outshining the other but together they congeal like a perfect culinary confection. With the band playing with all of the passion and purpose in the world, Bradley focuses on delivering his message of soul like few I have ever seen. He may have been a simple man who was an entertainer at one time but he is now a man with a message of love and he is taking no prisoners.

"The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" was a standout moment early on, as his voice did not just serenade the crowd but his inflictions captured a man who does more than show up and smile but who is trying everything in his power to make a connection with his audience. His pains are ours while his joys are equally ours as well. "How Long" was sung with the certainty of a man who captures everyone's pain points while reviving them one note at a time. The skipping rhythm of "You Put The Flame" enraptured the sold-out crowd of 1,100 inside the Metro. The temperature hovered around the single digits outside but inside it was as warm and welcoming as your own family's house during the holidays with the main course. He may be nearly old enough to collect social security but Bradley and his band challenged the Chicago crowd with extended jams, gripping odes to love and tales of hope, faith and devotion. The key to being a great artist is to express your pain with the world. The sound and production of Bradley's two records are faultless as they encapsulate the sound of Stax and Motown but even with their technical wizardry, it would not mean anything without heart. His records are not mere pieces of vinyl but sacred texts of battles lost and won.

As he looked the crowd in the eye, he told them, "You want the real thing and I'm going to bring it to you", and he did just that. He is equally comfortable in the small club as he was on the festival stage. There was no difference in the performance from what I witnessed at Lollapalooza; he managed both stages with the ease of a top tier performer. I would love to see someone like Bruno Mars take him on the road as an opener. The only downside to this is they are possibly terrified at the prospect because e has that instinctive aptitude to steal the show from the headliner possibly every night. On "Hurricane", Bradley bled like a true artist reaching out giving the audience his all. His arms were stretched out, his eyes tightened and he delivered a spine-shivering howl that came from somewhere deep within. A punk Sly Stone riff that echoed doom and gloom accentuated the funk grove of "Confusion". His grand movements work because of the personality behind the microphone. In this day and age where a performance can be had on any computer courtesy of YouTube, the audience must believe in the message of the man behind it and when you look upon Bradley it is evident he's signing from his gut. His eye contact with individual members of the audience does not come from a sense of ego or entitlement but because he needs to share his personal pain and triumphs with them. Some arena acts treat their audiences like one-night stands that do not resonate for long. The key to any long lasting and nurturing relationship is intimacy and he thrives on it. Little touches like winking at the audience, hip shaking dance movies and even walking through the audience.

Charles Bradley is the Karate Kid of soul. He is more than a feel good story but an artist who reaches for the heavens but a game changer for the unassuming. Contestants on television shows want to be stars but Bradley wants to convey something insightful; a deeper sense of love and therein lays the fundamental difference from a singer and a star. After six decades or more hardship than any one person should endure, Bradley has come through the other side. He looks of every day, every song and ever show as a blessing. Towards the end of the marathon two-hour show, he asked the Chicago crowd, "Are you looking for real love?" and they responded rapturously as he stunned the crowd with a en-minute version of "Victim of Love". What he was trying to tell us is that love is something that is inside every one of us and is ready to be excavated. Even when he wallows in heartache, he finds a way to love and turn the other cheek. Never do you feel like the escape is temporary. This is not a conjugal visit but full on freedom. We are all victims of love; the question is whether we will let the heartache define is or mold us for the next adventure? Watching Bradley move and shake is a surreal dream come to life. Every time you cheer him on you are resuscitating a dream that almost died. It is impossible not to set eyes on him with awe and wonder because you speculate what would have happened if this talent never was discovered? All I know is that our lives would contain a little less beauty and soul. He calms pains and amplifies joy. If you had all of the love in this world and saw Bradley on the concert stage, your heart would grow even larger simply by observing this colossal talent.

I have never seen anyone quite like Bradley, who found his voice so late in life. Nevertheless, this has been the key to his greatness, he's not a young kid obsessed with fame, but a man who sings with good intentions. His presentation at the Metro was laced with inspirational and empowering messages that never preach but come from someone steeped in optimistic views. Bradley has the life experience of coming through anguish and into the light and every second he spent onstage was a life affirming delight to watch. Charles Bradley has made it to the other side and he is not going to waste a single moment and chooses to spread the happiness inside of him. A part of you is overcome with joy because his dreams came true. It serves as a reminder that if we hold tight to our faith, ours may become a reality too.

Anthony Kuzminski is a Chicago based writer and Special Features Editor for the antiMUSIC Network. His daily writings can be read at The Screen Door. He can be contacted at tonyk AT antiMUSIC DOT com and can be followed on Twitter

Best of 2013: Charles Bradley Live- A Spiritual Soul


Share this article


More articles for this artist .


...end


advertisement


advertisement

.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
AC/DC Fan Killed After Coachella Concert- Soil Involved In Tour Bus Accident- Skid Row Free Download Of '18 and Life" With New Singer- Slayer Leads Mayhem Lineup- more

Day in Pop: Justin Bieber Put In Chokehold By Security- Nelly Arrested On Drug Charges- Florence And The Machine's Florence Welch Breaks Foot- Percy Sledge Dead At 73- more y

Scott Weiland and Bumblefoot Supergroup Release Video- Ozzy Fires Back At Original Black Sabbath Drummer- AC/DC Told By Malcolm Young To Make New Album For Him- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

Trauma Interview

Album of the Week: Bad Brains Self-Titled Debut Album

December in Red - The Way Out

Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue

SOKO Interview

Road Trip: Historic Savannah

The Compulsions - Dirty Fun

Rock Reads: Morbid Tales! A Tribute to Celtic Frost

Death Penalty - Death Penalty

On The Record: The Wild Beyond

Album of the Week: Pink Floyd's The Wall

RockPile: Minutian- Odin's Court- THEO

Michael Ubaldini Interview

Root 66: Cameron Mitchell- Stacy Jones- Greg Shirley

RockPile: Subversion- Jimmy Barnes- Danko Jones

Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly


. .
.
Today's Rock News
.

AC/DC Fan Killed After Coachella Concert (top story)

Soil Involved In Tour Bus Accident (top story)

Skid Row Giving Away Download Of '18 and Life (top story)

Slayer Leads Mayhem Festival Lineup (top story)

Aerosmith Announce Blue Army Tour Kick Off (top story)

Pete Townshend and Eddie Vedder To Host Who Tribute Concert (top story)

Scott Weiland Left Stone Temple Pilots 'Long Ago' Says Dean DeLeo (top story)

Emmure Cancel Tour Due To Singer's Vocal Injury (top story)

The Doors Hits Getting Quadraphonic Makeover (top story)

Def Leppard Rock Classic Hits On Quebec's Version Of The Voice (top story)

Black Veil Brides Frontman Says Fans Need To Keep Rock Alive (top story)

Kinks Musical Wins At Olivier Awards (top story)

Anthrax's Game Of Thrones Track 'Just The Tip Of The Iceberg' (top story)

Accept Reveal New Lineup (top story)

Bruce Kulick Looks Back At Legacy Of Unmasked Era KISS (top story)

Pearl Jam Expand South American Tour Plans (top story)

Faith No More Announce New Tour Dates, Release New Remix (top story)

Rush Has Huge Influence On Mike Portnoy (top story)

Symphony X Finish New Album (top story)

Babymetal Announce U.S. Album and World Tour (top story)

Nightwish Say Floor's Operatic Style Didn't Work On New Song (top story)

Opeth's Pale Communion Reopened Door For Heritage (top story)

Jethro Tull Streaming Live Version Of Minstrel In The Gallery (top story)

Deadly Circus Fire Set New Album Release (top story)

Metallica Making Progress On New Album (top story)

Jon Bon Jovi Launching Reality TV Show (top story)

Megadeth Call On Fans To Help With New Album (top story)

Video Of AC/DC Rock Or Bust Tour Kick Off Goes Online (top story)

Temple Of The Dog Legal Battle Over Master Tapes (top story)

Grateful Dead Announce Final 'Fare Thee Well' Concerts (top story)

Stone Sour Preview Their Cover Of Metallica Classic (top story)

Slayer Finish New Album, Already Have Six Songs For Next One (top story)

Testament's More Than Halfway Done With The Songs For Next Album (top story)

Former Manager Could Reunite Guns N' Roses? (top story)

Ronnie James Dio Unseen Book Expanded For Anniversary Reissue (top story)

Keith Richards Also Wants Rolling Stones To Make New Album (top story)

Previously Unreleased Canned Heat 70s Live Albums To See Light Of Day (top story)

Emerson, Lake and Palmer's 'Trilogy' Expanded For Reissue (top story)

Mark Tremonti Exploring His Metal Roots On Solo Album (top story)

Megadeth's New Guitarist Addresses Fans (top story)

Rush Release 12 Months Of Rush Promo Video (top story)

All Time Low Score Their First UK No. 1 (top story)

Videos From Jack White's Coachella Performance Goes Online (top story)

Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe Reveals Dark Days Cover (top story)




Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

Justin Bieber Put In Chokehold By Coachella Security (top story)

Nelly Arrested On Drug Charges (top story)

Florence And The Machine's Florence Welch Breaks Foot (top story)

Nelly Speaks Out About Drug Arrest (top story)

'When A Man Loves A Woman' Singer Percy Sledge Dead At 73 (top story)

Rihanna Responds To Drug Use Allegations (top story)

Madonna and Drake Comment About Coachella Kiss (top story)

Justin Bieber And Ariana Grande Lip Sync Carly Rae Jepsen Song (top story)

One Direction Begin Writing New Album Without Zayn Malik (top story)

Passion Pit Streaming New Album 'Kindred' Online (top story)

Taylor Swift Recruits Hayley Williams For 'Bad Blood' Video (top story)

Jennifer Hudson Does Carpool Karaoke With James Corden (top story)

Linkin Park and Steve Aoki Team Again On 'Darker Than Blood' (top story)

Brandon Flowers Releases 'Still Want You' Video (top story)

Dierks Bentley Added To Luke Bryan's 'Crash My Playa' Beach Bash (top story)

Young Thug's New Album Will No Longer Called 'Carter VI' (top story)

Rihanna Previews Florence and the Machine-Sampling 'A Night' (top story)

Snoop Dogg Goes Old School With New Song 'So Many Pros' (top story)

Luke Bryan Sees Musical Stereotypes Breaking Down (top story)

Miranda Lambert Looks Back At Her First Time On Radio (top story)

Was Dennis Quaid's Viral Freak Out a Hoax? (top story)

Mumford & Sons Announce North American Tour (top story)

One Direction Fans Angered Over Amy Schumer Joke (top story)

Drake and Future Teaming Up For Spring Tour (top story)

Mariah Carey Confirms Release Of No. 1 Hits Collection (top story)

Florence And The Machine Release 'Ship To Wreck' Video (top story)

'Late Show With David Letterman' Final Guests Revealed (top story)

Madonna Unleashed 'Ghosttown' Video (top story)

Yelawolf Releases New Collaboration With Eminem 'Best Friend' (top story)

Michael Bolton Performs IRS Love Letter On 'Last Week Tonight' (top story)

Sam Hunt Reacts To ACM Awards New Artist of the Year Nod (top story)

See Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in the First 'Ant-Man' Trailer (top story)

Ed Sheeran Receives 'Game of Thrones' Sword (top story)

Dierks Bentley Still Challenges Himself On The Road (top story)

Carly Rae Jepsen Confirms New Album (top story)

Taylor Swift Responds To Rumors Her and Lorde Are Fighting (top story)

Mumford & Sons Perform New Song On 'SNL' (top story)

George Ezra Cancels Tour Dates Due To Illness (top story)

DMX Has Devine Reaction To Gas Station Robbery Accusation (top story)

Madonna Admits It Isn't Easy Working With Kanye West (top story)

Mariah Carey Unveils Cover For 1 To Infinity (top story)

Naughty Boy Talks Zayn Malik's Exit From One Direction (top story)

Rick Ross Releases New Song 'Dog Food' (top story)

ASAP Rocky Releases New Song 'M'$' (top story)

Josh Gad Channels Olaf from 'Frozen' on The 'Late Late Show' (top story)

Madonna Performs Classic Hit 'Holiday' With The Roots (top story)

Thomas Rhett Talks New Single 'Crash and Burn' (top story)

Christina Aguilera Previews 'Nashville' Debut (top story)

Chris Stapleton Releases New Song 'When the Stars Come Out' (top story)

Kiesza Releases 'Sound of a Woman' Video (top story)

Cast of 'Game of Thrones' Sings 'I'm So Excited' (top story)

Taraji P. Henson Does Nicki Minaj Impression on 'Saturday Night Live' (top story)

Jared Leto's Green Hair For 'Suicide Squad' Revealed In New Photo (top story)

More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
AudioNationRadio.com Rock Show Radio (4 streaming stations) The Screen Door A Journal of Musical Things Lloyd Zeffler blog Demolish Mag Nightwatcher's House of Rock CJ Chilvers Deja Voodoo The 1st Five thecopycat.biz Hard Rock Memorabilia Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!



 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2015 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.