I love that my life consists of all kinds of show. For example: Friday night was the extreme music video shoot for Minnesota metal band Reflections. The crowd was hot and dirty and I spent my night making sure I didn’t get whacked in the head by a flying body. Last night was an indie rock/Americana show where there was no threat of injury only the threat of having a damn good night and being caught dancing like an idiot.
I had honestly never really heard of Judah & the Lion before. I didn’t have anything else going on last night so I offered to cover the show and that proved to be one of my best decisions of the week.
Judah & the Lion’s new album is called Folk Hop N Roll. I thought that was a clever name but didn’t really quite know how it would fit into the music. I mean, how could you mix folk, hip-hop and rock &roll music into one thing? Well, these guys were able to mix all of those genres and make it sound damn good. As the singer said, they take the heartbeat of hip-hop, the dirtiness of rock & roll, and pull it all together with the soul and beauty of folk music. After he explained that, something clicked with me. I had fallen in love with the way they explained their music and because of that, I completely fell in love with their music because I understood and more than appreciated what they were trying to do.
I was trying to chill in the back. I couldn’t look like I was having too much fun right? I mean, I’m a metal kid and folk music isn’t really my jam. I have a reputation to uphold! But the second song these guys played was “Hold On (Hippie Dance)” and that’s when I couldn’t help myself anymore. I started bouncing along to the music and got lost in the packed crowd of University of Minnesota students that had gathered for the show.
The instrumentation of the band mocked something like Mumford & Sons. They had a banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, keys, and drums. I absolutely adore bands that use traditional instruments but do their own thing with them. For example, there were times where the banjo had so much distortion on it that I would have sworn it was just another guitar in the background.
All of the music was upbeat and made you want to dance. The lyrics were positive and you couldn’t help but smile when you actually listened to them. The feeling that the band gave off to the crowd was nothing short of pure positive vibes. I’m not saying that the shows I usually go to are negative feeling, because they aren’t, but last night’s show gave me a completely different feeling than the many metal shows I go to a week. I felt happy and optimistic. I wasn’t fearing for my life and I didn’t care if I looked like an idiot while doing my “hippie dance”.
The downfall of shows like this? I felt no sense of family. At the Reflections video shoot just the other night I truly felt like I was surrounded by family. I blended in with the rest of the crowd and people knew my name and knew exactly who I was… the Girl at the Rock Shows. Last night, I was nobody. Well, I mean I was somebody and I stood out with my tattoos and piercings but nobody had a clue that I was that one blogger. They didn’t know who I associate with. Nobody acknowledged my existence. That sounds depressing but it’s actually quite refreshing. It’s nice going to a show and having no clue what’s going on. It’s easier for you to completely let go and get lost in the music and energy of the crowd and that’s exactly what I did last night.
Judah & the Lion had one of the most energetic shows I’ve seen for a band like this. Their music was much more high energy live than on CD and their live show blew me away. At one point the singer had made his way into the crowd where he proceeded to wander around all over the place. I’ve noticed more and more bands doing this and I think it’s a great way for bands to amp up the crowd. It’s just such a different thing when a band like this does it versus when a band like Being As An Ocean does it. Last night I saw Being As An Ocean, Joel, the singer, jumped into the crowd and was immediately greeted by a mosh pit. Last night, people got out of the singer’s way so he could make his way through the crowd.
So last night wasn’t my scene and after Friday night’s video shoot it was nothing short of a culture shock. Judah & the Lion put on a killer show and I’m glad I got to experience it. Never skip out on a show just because it’s ‘not your scene’. You may walk away with a new favorite band of the moment.
Venue: Varsity Theater
Sausage Fest Meter- 3 out of 10
Crowd Surfers- None
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Found in the Pit- There Was No Pit
Danceability- 12 out of 10
Average Age- 21
Moshing Level- Non Existent
Drink of Choice Throughout the Crowd- Anything Surly
Spotted Flying Through the Air-Nothing
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 7.5 out of 10
Show on Deck— Bane!