Judah and The Lion have returned to the Twin Cities four times since opening for Andrew Ripp at The 7th Street Entry in early 2014. Each time, they have brought even more energy with them, and if you have ever seen Judah and The Lion perform, it doesn't seem possible.
After playing First Avenue, The Myth, and a few of the smaller venues in the Twin Cities including, the 7th Street Entry and Varsity Theatre, Judah and The Lion headlined a sold-out show at The Palace Theatre on February 23, 2018.
Opening up the night was electro-folk/alternative duo, Tall Heights. The combination of the catchy lyrics with the acoustic guitar, cello, and electronic drums created such a cool and beautiful vibe in the theatre.
The standout moment of the set was the performance of, "Spirit Cold." It earned quite a few screams from the crowd as soon as it was announced. When the chorus picked up, the crowd put their hands in the air and vibed to the tune.
Following Tall Heights was Tennesee indie rock band, Colony House. It was evident that the band had quite a few fans in the crowd as screams erupted as they took the stage. One of the highlights was when the band, apart from lead singer, Caleb Chapman left the stage and he performed, "Moving Forward" with his acoustic guitar. Towards the end of the song, the band returned, and they sang together at the center mic. "That was so cute!" screamed a girl in the audience.
"We gotta throw down for this one!" yelled Chapman before he began singing, "You Know It." And boy the crowd sure did. It was the perfect transition into Judah and The Lion's energetic set. Colony house is definitely a band that you don’t want to miss out on. If you don’t know about them now, you will in the future.
Finally, Judah and The Lion took the stage, and as always, they came out with so much energy and drew the crowd in from that very moment. The stage presence they created from the start was just incredible.
The band performed a cover of T'Pain's "Booty Wurk" with some wonderful dance moves to begin the show. The song soon transitioned into "Twenty Somethings" and "Hold On" which I felt were both perfect tracks to begin the night with. "Kickin' da Leaves" and "Reputation" followed and the crowd went crazy.
A highlight of the show was the performance of The Killer's, "Mr. Brightside." Colony House, one of the opening bands, joined Judah and The Lion on stage for the well-known jam. There were sunglasses worn, lots of running around stage, smiles, and hugs. To say the performance was cute, would be an understatement. You couldn't help but smile.
"Is it ok if we sing a few old ones? Ones we used to sing back at the 7th Street Entry?" asked lead singer, Judah Akers.
The crowd of course agreed and the tone of the night was slowed down a bit as the band played, "Back's against the wall." Towards the end of the song, Paul Wright from the opening band, Tall Heights, came out on stage for a beautiful instrumental with his cello. The other member of Tall Heights, Tim Harrington, joined soon after to accompany Judah and The Lion on their performance of, "Our Love." The addition of Tall Height's to the song was incredible; it gave me chills.
The mood of the night was brought up again after the lights dimmed and stage backdrop read, "...are you ready?!" The crowd went mental, and the band performed, "Suit and Jacket." "Green Eyes" followed and the band did a little crowd singing contest before diving into the tune.
“We’ve been in this area ever since our first tour came through where we opened up for a band at the 7th Street Entry. We then played a show of our own there and then one at the Varsity and then Myth and then First Avenue and now this big place. It means so much to us," said Akers.
"You can do anything. Remember that," said Akers while wrapping up his speech. That line was the perfect transition into the next song, "Going To Mars" which was another crowd favorite.
"I promise you this will be a city that we will always come back to as long as you stay with us. It’s a "this night means a lot to us" kind of night" said Akers.
The night began to come to a close with a lot of laughter, even from Akers himself, and a few of band's hits including, "Rich Kids" and "Take It All Back 2.0." Both were highlights of the night, and as expected, the crowd loved every second of them and screamed along the lyrics to the tunes.
The band then wrapped up the night with a cover of Bill Wither's song, "Lean on Me" and "Water" from their 2014 album, Kids These Days.
No matter where or when you attend a Judah and The Lion show, you can expect to leave with a night full of memories and a smile cemented on your face. They put on one heck of a show, and if they ever come to your city, you shouldn't miss out on it.
Setlist: Booty Wurk // Twenty-Somethings // Hold On // Kickin' Da Leaves // Conversations // Reputation // Mr. Brightside (The Killers cover) // Back's Against The Wall // Our Love // Suit and Jacket // Green Eyes // Going To Mars // Rich Kids // Take It All Back 2.0 // Lean on Me (Bill Wither's cover) // Water