Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at The Magic Bag - Photos, Video, Review & Setlist

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 When I first heard Charles Bradley it was after I had finished interviewing Brooklyn's the Budos Band as they stopped in at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. I was talking to them about whether or not they were a soul band as they (along with Bradley) are on the Brooklyn Daptone label. The conclusion that drummer Brian Profolio came for me was that the Budos were more of a "repetitive bludgeoning" but if I wanted some soul?  Then "you watch fuckin'  Charles Bradley man. That dude sings fucking soul music." So after only catching tail end of Bradley set at the Pig, I welcomed a full set of his at the Magic Bag in Ferndale.

The roughly 90 minute set began with an instrumental interlude as the Extraordinaires got the crowd going with a 2-3 minute interlude before their keyboardist rose to introduce The Screamin' Eagle of Soul, MR. CHARLES BRADLEY!  Bradley emerged from backstage a smile across his face as he grabbed the microphone and launched into  "Heartaches and Pain."
From the moment he jumped out on stage for "Heartaches" Bradley was dialed in as he crooned beautifully arching his raspy voice to the constantly applauding crowd at the Magic Bag.  When he wasn't doing jump splits and a sort of shimmy dance shuffle move, Bradley had the entire room eating out the palm of his hand throwing his mic around and whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaoooing as he fell to his knees the microphone stand over his shoulder.  After he led the Extraordinaires through the Clarence Carter piece "Slip Away," Bradley left the stage as the band continued behind him only to return with a different suit on, this time it was a matte gold glitter number that Bradley had donned appropriately for a take on Neil Young's "Heart of Gold."

The rest of the set consisted of most of the material from Bradley's Daptone debut "No Time For Dreaming" including the closing "Golden Rule."  As he left the stage, the crowd eagerly awaited his return now knowing full well he'd be decked in some new threads for an encore. Of course Bradley would not disappoint as he emerged for an encore in candy apple red custom suit for "Why Does It Have To Be So Hard? (To Make It In America?)"  What came next is seemingly a regular occurrence at Bradley's shows as he quickly hopped into the crowd and went to shake, hug or talk with every single person that wanted to thank him for the show and show them his gratitude.

As  if there was any doubt in my mind before, now it's cemented in my brain. You want soul music? You listen to Charles fuckin Bradley. That dude sings Soul.

 
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Setlist Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires 2012/02/12 The Magic Bag Ferndale, Mi - Instrumental Intro> - Heartaches & Pain - No Time For Dreamin' - Lovin' You Baby - World Is Going Up In Flames> - How Long Must I Keep Going On - Slip Away (Clarence Carter cover) -  Instrumental Interlude> - Heart of Gold (Neil Young Cover) - This Love Ain't Big Enough For The Two Of Us - I Believe In Your Love - I Guess I'm Somebody's Fool - Golden Rule E: - Why Is It So Hard (To Make It In America?) - Since Our Last Goodbye (Instrumental)        

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