A Soulful Good Time with Charles Bradley

Charles-Bradley

Charles Bradley and The Menahan Street Band graced UCLA’s Royce Hall last Thursday night, and they treated the diverse crowd to an awe-inspiring show. The Menahan Street Band started things off with a short 30 minute set of groove-oriented jams that got the crowd geared up for “The Screaming Eagle of Soul.”

Charles-Bradley

Charles Bradley was then introduced to the stage by his somersaulting keyboardist, who was also the emcee for the night. The Menahan guys broke into “Heartaches and Pain,” and the show never let up once the soul-legend in the making grabbed his mic. Bradley tells his story of hardship with such genuine passion. Then with little transition, he’s able to pivot to a funky dance song like “No Time for Dreaming.”

Charles-Bradley

Charles-Bradley

It was great to see such a diverse crowd at Royce Hall. I saw tattooed punkers singing along with fifty year old professors to “The World (Is Going Up In Flames).” Charles Bradley clearly has the power to bring together so many different walks of life.

"The Screaming Eagle of Soul" is a must-see artist.

“The Screaming Eagle of Soul” is a must-see artist.

There were numerous times when Bradley approached the audience toward the front of the stage to shake hands and give hugs to people in the crowd. After Bradley played an inspired version of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” where I found myself screaming out “God Bless You Charles Bradley,” he came right over to me and grabbed me, teary-eyed, and said “I see, I see you have a good soul.” I know this is part of his stage routine, but it was one of my musical highlights of the year. It was truly genuine.

Bradley then payed homage to his biggest influence, James Brown, and covered “Gonna Have a Funky Good Time,” which had the crowd dancing around ecstatically. Charles Bradley ended the night with “Why Is it So Hard,” which is the story of his life. It was a great way to end an incredible show.

Charles-Bradley

Charles-Bradley

Charles-Bradley

Charles-Bradley

Comments

  1. James Mauch says:

    Great pics!

  2. Jason Hill says:

    I got a sweaty hug!!!

  3. Incredible shots! Must have been special to be that close

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