Leon Bridges, the twenty-something musician and all-around throwback soul music hit artist, returned to Salt Lake City on May 26. Lines of fans were packed into the entrance to The Depot for this sold-out, all-ages performance. People took up all of the seats and standing room in the venue, all the way from the merch table to the upper mezzanine, where the 21 and older crowd was able to grab an adult beverage.
First up on the ballot was Solo Woods, with guest percussionist Themba Sipho Mkhatshwa, playing what may best be described as “Boyz II Men, Rick James with a shot of Prince,” perhaps adding a dash of reggae in some measures. This touring duo enamored the audience with Woods providing vocals and guitar and Mkhatshwa switching seamlessly from cajon and shakers to cymbals and sticks. Playing off of each other smoothly and thoroughly enjoying the music being played, the duo constantly rode the ups and downs of the steady beat, highlighting vocals and not being afraid to hit that whammy bar at just the appropriate time.
People on dates, folks out on the town and even families with six-plus members awaited the headliner to take the stage, cheering at every roadie hooking up a microphone, every puff of smoke from behind the drums. Finally, the house music cut and the lights dimmed as Leon Bridges and his accompanying band took the stage. Bridges plays tunes that are nonspecifically reminiscent of ’50s and ’60s soul, doo-wop and even a hint of Motown, and the entire audience was into it, swaying back and forth with each other and the band.
Entrancing the entire sold-out, two-floor venue, both the supporting musical guests and headliner Bridges definitely made this Thursday evening one to remember.