Front Row

Charles Bradley, Live In Concert: SXSW 2016

Charles Bradley took the stage at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas, Wednesday night, clad in an amazing, rhinestone-bedecked jacket that made his cuffs and collar sparkle like diamonds. Not for nothing is he known as "the screaming eagle of soul."

Even if only one of these statements were true — if he'd taken the stage in a rhinestone-bedecked jacket or if he was known as "the screaming eagle of soul" — Bradley would be almost too cool for this world. As it is, he seems practically otherworldly: a James Brown out of time, living out a hard-won dream of soul stardom in his 60s while still stalking the stage with the charisma of a 20-year-old who's got the world at his feet.

On the Stubb's stage, Bradley ripped through a set that included selections from his killer new record, Changes — named for the Black Sabbath cover he dedicated to his late mother onstage. But his real feat was the way he embodied countless classic records spanning the last 50 or 60 years, all while letting his massive voice soar out to the far reaches of the night sky with absolute abandon. Whether his arms were outstretched or lugging his microphone stand around the stage as if hauling a great weight, Bradley performed with absolute command of both his voice and his craft

Watch the set here, or check out individual songs from Bradley's concert via the set list below.

Set List
Credits

Producers: Saidah Blount, Mito Habe-Evans, Otis Hart; Technical Director: Josh Rogosin; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Videographers: Nickolai Hammar, Katie Hayes Luke, Cameron Robert, A.J. Wilhelm, Lizzie Chen; Editor: Cameron Robert; Audio: Timothy Powell/Metro Mobile; Assistant Audio Engineer: Loretta Rae; Production Assistants: Erin Conlon, Nathan Gaar; Special Thanks: SXSW, Stubb's BBQ; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann.

Support for NPR Music comes from Blue Microphone.

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