I visited the 1960s without segregation.
I know, I know. It sounds weird.
But, that is exactly how Leon Bridges made me feel at his concert on Friday night at the Houston Rodeo. March 2nd was Black Heritage night, and it was full of the culture I was searching for. I have always imagined myself living in a time before now — a time with soul, Motown, and maybe even a little Ike and Tina Turner. Leon allowed me to absorb all of the good from that time in history and exclude all of the bad such as, you know, the 60s.
My position might surprise some because of expectations leading up to his performance and reviews seen after it.
There was controversy over whether he should have performed for Black Heritage night. Many claimed his style appealed more to a white audience while others were simply upset over not even recognizing his name.
Me? I had no clue who Leon Bridges was when the rodeo performers were announced, but I have a friend who did, so I decided to try out a new sound.
I have zero regrets.
From beginning to end, I felt like my name was Claudine and a handsome gentleman was taking me on a never-ending journey through time and a trip through the south from Houston to New Orleans and then back again.
To prepare to attend a concert featuring a singer I did not know I searched YouTube to become familiar with Leon’s music. I ended up adopting a few favorites from his 2015 album Coming Home. I looked forward to hearing him perform “River,” “Brown Skin Girl,” and “Coming Home” itself.
Now, for the next few weeks, months, and even years, I will have Leon on my playlist and I will be looking forward to his release of new music.