Judah and the lion concert review


A band that makes you feel like part of the family

“It’s not you and me, it’s us tonight.” That was the motto of the night for Judah and the Lion’s Valentine’s Day show at Ace of Spades.

Ace of Spades, for those who don’t know, is a big room with red walls and an intimate stage.  There’s no seating for the venue, which is great for tall people — but less so for short people like me.

The first band to perform was Tall Heights, a delightful surprise of an opening band. They are an electro-folk duo based out of Boston with a soft melody and a folk flare. The audience couldn’t stop swaying. At one point during their set, they instructed the audience to call the person standing next to them and then put their phones on speaker. They then told us to put the phones on top of each other, which created a humming sound that they used in their song. It was a great way for the audience to feel connected with each other and the musicians present.

The second band to perform was Colony House. Like Judah and the Lion, Colony House is also from Nashville, Tennessee. Their music was a little livelier than Tall Heights’, but still along the lines of alternative music. They were a great band to pump up the audience.

After about 15 minutes, the stage went from black to a cool blue, with fog rolling in and “Booty Wurk” by T-Pain playing in the background (at this point I questioned if I was at the right concert). But Judah and the Lion did a great cover of the song, hilarious in that “Booty Work” isn’t a song you would expect from a Nashville, folk-hip-hop band.

For the song “Reputation,” they split the audience into teams; the first team called “Overalls” based on the guitarist’s outfit, and the second called “Beard” based on, you guessed it, the other guitarist’s insane beard. They did this throughout the night at every chance they could. They clearly wanted everyone in the audience to feel as much a part of the concert and the experience as they did while performing.

Halfway through the show they brought the other two bands back on stage, and they performed a cover of “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers and the room lit up with excitement.

Their music is relevant to me, and to my peers, because it’s based on the band members’ experiences during their early 20s. At the end of the concert, Judah, the lead singer gave an inspirational speech about being able to do anything, which eventually transitioned to my favorite of their songs, “Going to Mars.” For this speech, he ran into the crowd and sang from the top of the railing he stood on, making the audience feel even more connected.

All of their songs are different in genre and overall sound. They use a banjo quite a lot, and their music simply makes you want to move. If you listen to their lyrics, some of it is ridiculous, but it works because they aren’t ashamed of who they are or how silly they can be.

This was the third time I saw Judah and the Lion perform, and it definitely won’t be the last. This performance was so full of spirit that it reignited my passion. I left the venue feeling like I could do anything.


Written by: CaraJoy Kleinrock — arts@theaggie.org