On Halloween, I drove two hours to St. Paul to see the band Judah and the Lion perform at Palace Theater. They are a folk/indie/country band that originated from Tennessee, and they are my absolute favorite group to see live. This was my fourth time seeing them, and once again they did not disappoint! I still remember my first time seeing them live and I was absolutely blown away by how they interacted with the crowd and got everyone to feel like they were at home. They do this by proclaiming two rules for their concert after the first song: first, despite differences in age, race, economics and politics, during the show we are all family; and second, it is only “us,” not “me and you.” Judah Lee, the main singer, is saying that the audience is as just as part of the show as the band is. Each time he says these rules, I get chills, as no other band I have seen is as personable with the crowd like them.
Each show I am amazed at the production that goes into their set. They opened with the first song on their newest album, Pep Talks. It has a long, intense instrumental opening that builds into a sound that is absolutely insane live. Standing in the crowd, my heart was racing waiting impatiently for Judah to come on the stage. Though this long opening is how they start each of their shows, every time I am still in shock of how I’m immediately sucked into the music, wanting the night to never end. This feeling is something I cannot even begin to describe, but I can only hope everyone gets to feel it someday.
One highlight from the show was when Judah stopped mid-song and said he wanted to do something weird. He then proceeded to grab his guitar and microphone stand and jumped over the barricade into the center of the crowd. He signaled for the rest of the band to follow him, and they finished out the song in the middle of everyone. While this was taking place, I was in complete disbelief of how amazing they are. It felt like we were sitting in a living room hanging out with friends and just singing our hearts out. I have never been so in awe with a band in my life.
During concerts, I typically don’t record many songs, as I try to enjoy being in the moment the best I can. I do, however, record my favorite ones since I think it’s so fun to go back and relive them. One song I always record at Judah and the Lion concerts is ‘Suit and Jacket.” Though it’s not my favorite of theirs, it deeply resonates with me and I rewatch the videos of it all the time! I also post the same part of the song on Instagram each night I see them, so that’s fun! When I heard the first note at the concert, my friend and I looked at each other with the biggest smiles on our faces. I do this thing when I record songs where I never look at my phone since I’m trying to enjoy the concert, so when I went to crop the video to post, it was very off-centered and definitely very shaky. Not my best videography skills, but it makes it more real.
Overall, I had an amazing night and I already can’t wait to see them again soon! I really hope that everyone has a band that excites them as much as Judah and the Lion does for me!