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Charles Bradley Fires Up The First Vans House Party of 2014

Charles Bradley at Vans House Party

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Soul king Charles Bradley melted — absolutely singed and decimated expectations of the kiddy concertgoers who came to Williamsburg’s first Vans House Party of 2014 for free beer and summer jams.

Charles Bradley headlined a House of Vans show on June 12, 2014 in Brooklyn.
Charles Bradley headlined a House of Vans show on June 12, 2014 in Brooklyn.William Ruben Helms, joyofviolentmovement.com

Bradley’s career is beginning to break at age 65. After decades of singing, Bradley just finished touring his second record through intimate venues around the country.

Among an impeccably played intro from the 7-piece Extroadinaires, the keyboard player introduced Bradley as “the man known across the land as a victim of love — everyone has fallen madly in love with him.”

Dressed in a red with suit wings flapping, jacket bedazzled with a pharoah skull on the back, Bradley screeched and repeated, “I’m ho-ome,” to the Brooklyn crowd.

His slick moves tantalized with such natural finesse — turns, shuffles, arms waving all over, splits. It’s obvious that Bradley’s musicality and energy have been inherent since the beginning of his life. And his voice has the power to shred hipsters’ raccoon hats and smolder their PBR cans. His sex appeal as he runs his finger over his mouth and down his chest seduces hotter than any twenty-something’s pair of ripped booty jorts ever could.

Bradley pumped out his best songs, “How Long,” “Strictly Reserved” and “The World (Is Gong Up in Flames).” The crowd gelled and bobbed around, but there wasn’t a clear vibe that the audience completely grasped the sheer incredibility on Bradley’s presence. He has talent at the caliber of decades’ past greats like James Brown.

Bradley will tour the world this summer and return to New York for a free show in Lincoln Center on August 10. The remaining Vans House Parties take place through August. July shows with STRFKR and The Black Lips are sold out, but August RSVPs for Holy Ghost! and Future Islands will open soon.