Texan singer-songwriter, Todd Michael “Leon” Bridges, known professionally as Leon Bridges, brought the Palais Theatre to life in Melbourne, Australia on the 14th of January. On his fourth visit to the country, Leon was joined on his Good Thing tour by Noah Kahan, an American, folk-infused, pop singer-songwriter.
As Noah Kahan stepped onto the stage the crowd let out one big cheer before going silent, anticipation for Kahan’s first song at an all time high. Song after song it was easy to see how well received Noah was by the Melbourne crowd, especially as many voices sang along to his hit song “Hurt Somebody”.
Noah shared with us the influence homesickness had on him, leading to his song “Please”, the passing of a friend that inspired “Carlo’s Song” and his gratefulness for being able to travel to Australia, but the importance of remembering where he came from. He sang, danced and joked, but most importantly he won the crowd over with his entertaining personality.
Shouts of excitement rang out around the two-storey theatre as Leon Bridges strutted on stage. He was accompanied by his multitalented seven piece band, consisting of Brittni Jessi, Brandon A. Thomas, Brandon Marcel, Kenny Wayne Hollingsworth, Rico Allen, Josh Johnson and Joshua Crumbly.
Leon put on a show that I would describe as colourful, fun and genuine. He forgot to sing a verse and dropped the microphone stand, but these fumbles only showed Leon’s realness. He related to the single people in the audience but gushed over and serenaded the couples too.
From the very first song people were dancing in their seats and before too long Bridges asked everyone to stand up and continued on to teach us a few dance moves. From then on most people stayed standing due to the “we need to all sit or all stand” nature of the seating. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure what was smoother; Bridges’ vocals or his dance moves (or his black velvet jacket). He sure knows how to move and mesmerize the audience with his suaveness, making everyone want to dance along with him, which is what we did.
By the time the final song came, the ever so catchy “Mississippi Kisses”, we had been treated to a wide range of colourful backing lights as well as seven musicians showcasing their talents across at least ten instruments, along with backing vocals. Even Leon Bridges entered playing the electric guitar for the first encore song, “River” a duet with beautiful backing vocalist, Brittni Jessie. With solos from drums and guitar through to saxophone and upright bass, it was hard not to marvel at this diversely talented group of musicians, especially the man that brought them all to us.