Review: Judah and the Lion at Artsquest

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Rising indie rock band Judah and the Lion stopped by the Artsquest Center at Steelstacks on Tuesday to deliver a special intimate performance for SPIN Radio 107.1 listeners in the venue’s Banko Alehouse Cinemas.  About 90 people packed in the theatre for a short but engaging performance and discussion with the band prior to their set opening for Twenty One Pilots at the PPL Center later that night.

They kicked off their set with “Suit and Jacket”, a recently debuted single that deals with bandleader Judah Akers’ loss of his grandfather and subsequent birth of a nephew.  Throughout the set he interspersed stories about the songs which, while allowing for only a few tracks, made for a more personal connection in an already intimate atmosphere.

Their next song, aptly named “Stockholm”, was about their time spent in Stockholm over two tours and the dichotomy between their first visit in the wintertime and their second in the free-wheeling summer time vibes that take hold in the warmer months.

The penultimate song was “Everything Changes,” a simple but sweet song about Akers’ parents going through ‘empty nesting.’  They finished out the set with an impassioned rendition of their hit “Take It All Back,” which got the otherwise static crowd clapping and singing along.

In a post-interview with SPIN Radio’s Riley Reed, the band recounted their college days and their formation and announced that they recently recorded four songs which will be released in a succession of singles and then in a formal album package, whether it be an EP or LP.

While short, the show was enjoyable and displayed the band’s down to earth accessibility and showed off a bit more of their musical style than you hear in their radio hit.  It was also a nice treat for the special few who got to witness it, and a tradition we hope SPIN Radio can continue in the future with other visiting artists.

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