Charles Bradley at the Catalyst

Who could’ve guessed one of the greatest shows at the Catalyst would be on a Monday night?
On a Monday night, we caught a glimpse of what it must’ve been like to witness greatness at the Catalyst. Charles Bradley gave affirmation to the historic value the great bands who’ve played that venue. Sadly the Catalyst didn’t make the list of 100 greatest music venues in the US of A, but in our books it’s definitely high up. Blessed that it’s a home base of sorts for us, and having caught shows here for 12 years now and still, still getting blown away.
Before the show started, the 21 and over barrier on the general admission floor was removed, which was a rarity for shows now at the Catalyst of late. The open floor really allowed the fans to mingle and dance, and enjoy the show to its full potential. Never seen the Catalyst security enjoy a gig so much, everyone was touched by the music.

The Extraodrinairies took the stage and started into Change for the World, the organist then stepped forward and hyped up the crowd to welcome the man of the hour: Charles Bradley – the Screaming Eagle of Soul.

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From start to finish, Charles Bradley connected with fans, his spirit was very humbling and whenever he would confess his love for the people, this land, and the nation, we all believed him. In the live show the band was loud, the horns were loud, even so Charles would sing louder and louder. Instead of tiring, he would pour his all into his songs, and scream louder and engage more passionately with the fans. His honest lyrics, some filled with pain, some with passion. Although Bradley once held a gig impersonating James Brown, the Soul Music he creates now isn’t cashing in on nostalgia, but he is using the microphone the way he knows best, the way he’s saved. With songs commenting on the current state of the nation, and how love can change things.

There were a couple of encores, at first the crowd was a little confused but still kept dancing to The Extraodrinairies jams. We soon learned by all the encores.. Charles would return not only refreshed and recharged, but also in a different change of outfit. Each more and more done up, incredible jackets, flashy belt buckles, and even on that was fit for a king.
Not shying away from pulling off some dance moves, and tossing the mic stand around, Bradley is rocking harder than most acts 1/3 his age. Touring to promote his latest release, Changes, he did play heavily off it, including the title track which is a soul rendition of an Ozzy Osbourne track. You Think I Don’t Know (But I Know), Love Bug Blues, and Victim of Love were among the best of the night. Really hoping next time I see him he’d play the Neil Young cover, Heart of Gold.
Truly a magnificent act, and one not to miss time and time again.
The Catalyst gave fans the incredible gift of Charles Bradley


Free show at the Lagunitas Brewery on Monday August 29th. RSVP will be available on August 8th at noon.

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