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:
Arrest Warrant For Former Pearl Jam Member- KISS Defend Their Use Of Backing Tracks In Concert- Slash Adds Dates- Emmure Singer Tears His Vocal Cords- more

Day in Pop: Kanye West Apologizes To Beck About Grammy Controversy- Madonna Falls Down A Flight of Stairs At The Brit Awards- Famed U2 Joshua Tree Vandalized- Kelly Clarkson- more

Former Megadeth Duo Reveal Band Name And Share Song Clip- Enter Shikari Frontman Explains Throwing Punches At Fan- Tool Frontman Gives New Album Update- Korn Sued- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal Interview

Josef Salvat - In Your Prime (EP)

Album of the Week: Nirvana's Nevermind

Root 66: Murder By Death- Jim Ed Brown- Sam Morrow

Best Films Of 2014

Riot V - Unleash the Fire

Album of the Week: Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell

Obituary - Inked in Blood

Immortal Randy Rhoads - The Ultimate Tribute

Dave Plaehn - Radio Sister

Come Together: A Beatles Tribute Documentary

Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel

Anthony and the Johnsons - Turning

On The Record: The Pests - A Damn Fine Mixture

Sodom - Sacred Warpath

Corrupt Leaders - Grindmother EP

Neon Leather Drip - Beef Strokinoff

Bloodbound - Stormborn


. .
.
Today's Rock News
.

Arrest Warrant For Former Pearl Jam Member (top story)

KISS Defend Their Use Of Backing Tracks In Concert (top story)

Slash Adds Dates To North American Tour (top story)

Emmure Singer Suffers 'Major Tear' In His Vocal Cords (top story)

Former Megadeth Duo Reveal Band Name And Share Song Clip (top story)

Enter Shikari Frontman Explains Throwing Punches At Fans (top story)

Tool Frontman Gives New Album Update (top story)

Black Veil Brides Singer Jumps Offstage To Confront Heckler (top story)

Former Korn Member Sues Band (top story)

Scott Weiland Compares New Album Excitement To STP Debut (top story)

Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe Sets Book Release, Reveals Details (top story)

Aerosmith Members Wants To Play Entire Classic Album Live (top story)

Queen and Adam Lambert To Headline Rock In Rio (top story)

Steel Panther Star Challenges Anthony Kiedis To A Sing-Off (top story)

Brian Wilson Biopic Preview Released (top story)

Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal Reveals Meaning Behind 'Little Brother is Watching' (top story)

Helloween Reveal New Album Details (top story)

Dee Snider Calls On Fans To Help Custody Battle (top story)

Nightwish Announce Limited Edition Release (top story)

Alan Parsons Contributor Chris Rainbow Dead at 68 (top story)

Anathema Streaming New Version Of 'A Fine Day To Exit' Album (top story)

Gun Release 'Labour Of Life' Video (top story)

Jimmy Page Reveals 'Intelligent Decision' To Give Up Drink (top story)

Wilko Johnson Confirms Comeback Tour Dates (top story)

Moody Blues' John Lodge Releasing New Solo Album (top story)

Atreyu Singers Talks New Album and Benefits Of Hiatus (top story)

Three Days Grace Announce Limited Edition Version Of New Album (top story)

Battle Beast Lose A Member (top story)

Apocalyptica Premiere 'Cold Blood' Video (top story)

Betraying The Martyrs Featured In Ghosts On The Road Video Series (top story)

Metallica To Headline Rock In Rio (top story)

Coverdale Revisits Deep Purple On New Whitesnake Album (top story)

Hinder Announce New Album And Tour Dates (top story)

Coverdale and Blackmore Discussed Deep Purple Reunion (top story)

Pete Townshend Remasters Solo Albums For Reissue Campaign (top story)

The Scorpions Reunite With James Kottack Following Rehab (top story)

Global Release Day For All New Music Moving Closer (top story)

Paul McCartney To Headline The Firefly Festival (top story)

Sun Kil Moon, Blackberry Smoke Lead Led Zeppelin Tribute Album (top story)

Mastodon's Troy Sanders Says Killer Be Killed Could Play Again (top story)

Coal Chamber Expand Reunion Album Tour Plans (top story)

Swervedriver Announce Spring UK Tour (top story)

New Found Glory Open To Collaborating With Paramore (top story)

Al Jorgensen Working On 'The Fastest Music In The History Of Music' (top story)

Dave Mustaine Hires Megadeth Guitarists To Challenge Him (top story)

Panic Room Exceed Their Crowdfunding Goal For New Project (top story)

Steve Hackett Recruits The Flower Kings' Roine Stolt (top story)

Allan Holdsworth Calls On Fans To Help With 'Tales From The Vault' (top story)

Nightwish's Hietala Discusses Working With Floor On New Album (top story)

Older Artists Selling More Music? (top story)

The Scorpions Announce North American Tour Dates (top story)

David Bowie In The Studio For Young Americans 40th Anniversary (top story)

Doug Aldrich Reveals Reason For Leaving Whitesnake (top story)

Guns N' Roses and Alice In Chains Lead Ebola Auction (top story)

David Ellefson Says Time Outside of Megadeth Helped Him (top story)

Ozzy Osbourne Guitarist Gus G Working On New Album (top story)

Steven Tyler's Solo Album May Inspire New Aerosmith Music (top story)

FM Release 'Diggin' Up The Dirt' Video (top story)

Robben Ford Streams Collaboration With Keb' Mo' and Robert Randolph (top story)

Mastodon and While She Sleeps Added To Reading and Leeds Festivals (top story)

Aerosmith Release Live 'Mama Kin' Video (top story)

Randy Bachman Releases Neil Young Collaboration (top story)

Fearless Vampire Killers Releasing Comic Book (top story)

Atreyu Finish Recording New Album (top story)

Kamelot Releasing New Album 'Haven' This Spring (top story)

Steven Wilson Discusses Concept Behind New Album (top story)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Announce New Album (top story)

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson 'Bemused' By Lineup Debates (top story)

Public Service Broadcasting Release 'Go!' Video (top story)

Prolong The Agony Release 'Bad Dreams' Video (top story)

Finch Announce UK Tour (top story)

In This Moment Explains Balance Of Music And Image (top story)

Hang The Bastard Announce Dates With Corrosion Of Conformity (top story)

Nightwish Singer Says New Album Was A Vocal Puzzle (top story)




Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

Kanye West Apologizes To Beck About Grammy Controversy (top story)

Madonna Falls Down A Flight Of Stairs At The Brit Awards (top story)

Famed U2 Joshua Tree Vandalized (top story)

Kelly Clarkson Releases John Legend Collaboration 'Run Run Run' (top story)

Earlier Bobby Shmurda Gun Charges Dropped (top story)

The Singles Demand Scarlett Johansson's Group Stop Using Their Name (top story)

Jason Aldean Duets With Alabama's Randy Owen (top story)

Lady Gaga To Appear On 'American Horror Story' (top story)

Starbucks Names Drink For Ariana Grande (top story)

Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood Lead Watershed (top story)

Kanye West Debuts New Song 'All Day' at Brit Awards (top story)

Erykah Badu Turns Airport Stranding Into Media Opportunity (top story)

Will Smith Goes Back To Bel-Air On Ellen (top story)

Zendaya Responds To Giuliana Rancic's Apology (top story)

Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath Death Report A Hoax (top story)

Drake Dominates Hip-Hop Songs Chart (top story)

Justin Bieber Pranks Old Woman (top story)

Madonna Blames Her Cape for Brit Awards Fall (top story)

The Unusual Story of When Zedd Met Selena Gomez (top story)

Childish Gambino Confirms Role In Magic Mike XXL (top story)

A$AP Ferg and Cara Delevingne Release 'Dope Walk' Video (top story)

50 Cent Says Empire Is Glee With A Little Hip-Hop (top story)

Ariana Grande and Cashmere Cat Debut New Track Live (top story)

Maddie & Tae Announce Release Of Debut Album 'Start Here' (top story)

311 Releasing Their Own Craft Beer (top story)

Ed Sheeran Set For First Concert In India (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.