A foot-stomping, fist-pounding revival took over the Bomb Factory on Thursday night as St. Paul and the Broken Bones gave Dallas fans a sweaty sermon on soul music.
True to their roots, the Alabama natives performed with a homegrown passion that's best served hot and family style. The eight-piece band is known for its retro sound straight out of the '60s: swinging horns, roaring vocals and a traditional organ.
Every gospel needs a leader, and frontman Paul Janeway was just the man to set the high-energy pace and captivate the eager audience in Deep Ellum. Theatrical and fun, he was as exhilarating as his electrifying vocals twisted and shook. He hit stair-stepping notes with gut-wrenching strength and enthusiasm, only stopping to entice the crowd or swing his trailing mike cord.
Janeway's whisper-to-a-scream vocals eased in and out of "I'll Be Your Woman," a slow-and-steady track off the band's long-awaited 2016 sophomore release, Sea of Noise. He peaked at the end of the softer track, kicking back his head for a confident closing note that showcased his impressive range.
In a time when artists like Alabama Shakes and Leon Bridges are bringing the romance and soulful passion of the '60s to the radio, St. Paul and the Broken Bones are serving up similar first-class tunes.
Although the band has only recently two albums, SPBB has seemingly perfected this vintage-inspired identity that now has a dedicated following in indie circles.
It all comes down to their raw energy and artistry. The slow, dramatic build of tracks like "I'm Torn Up," laced with steady percussion and a swaying horn section, show the heartache and pain that inspired the song. Janeway's pleading vocals swung in and out, feeding the pivotal, explosive chorus that left as quickly as it came. Their entire set carried this same dedication and charisma, making the middle of the show as exhilarating as the opening.
The group covered Van Morrison's "I've Been Working" explosively. A marching trombone and fiery trumpet kicked off the jazzy number, matching the frontman's robust vocals and setting the pace for their next two stunners. The band's staggering musicality washed over the crowd like a motivational message during "Broken Bones and Pocket Change." The breathtaking momentum could only be matched by the band's biggest single, "Call Me."
Even after the band members walked offstage after a four-song encore, their heart-racing enthusiasm still filled the giant warehouse.