Folk and hip-hop combined at The Met in Philadelphia on Friday night with Judah and the Lion’s Pep Talks Tour. Hailing from Nashville, Judah and the Lion are known for their unique sound that blends folk instruments with fast lyrics and heavy beats.
Before Judah and the Lion hit the stage, Philadelphia’s very own Saint Slumber kicked things off with an energetic set filled with recently released music. The band released their final installment of their YOUTH// trilogy in August. The project includes the singles “MANTRA” and “SLEEPTALK.”
Front man Josh Perna was captivating to watch, moving around the stage and interacting well with the crowd. Perna was
joined by other band members, guitarist Aaron Brown and drummer Matt Carpenter.
Listen to YOUTH// HERE !!!!
Making a dramatic entrance, Judah and the Lion took the stage shortly after Saint Slumber. The band performed the majority of their first song “Pep Talk” behind a white sheet, letting their shadows and voices create a suspenseful intro. Right from the get-go the entire band performed with extreme energy. It was amazing to watch the excitement and pure joy that lead singer Judah Akers brought to every song of the set. He frequently interacted with the crowd, referring to them as his family and even jumped in the pit to sing part of “Going To Mars.” It was heartwarming seeing him hold fans’ hands while singing the words, “we can do anything, it’s who we are.”
A few different covers were mixed into the setlist including Blink-182’s “All the Small Things” and a mashup of Queen songs. The band also moved their setup around a number of different times, putting the piano in the center for slower songs like “Pictures” and creating a small circle folk feel for “Conversations.”
The band did a number of weird but fun things during the show, including bringing out marching drums, tambourines, and a speaker phone for various different songs. Aker’s even brought his father up on the stage to dance during “GoofBallerz,” and embraced his inner little kid while wearing a cape during “JOYBOY.” Of course, Judah and the Lion saved their biggest and best singles for last, finishing the show with “Why Did You Run?” and “Take It All Back.”
Judah and the Lion’s unique genre blending of folk instrumentation, hip-hop beats, and emotional lyrics translated well in a live show setting. Acker was the perfect front man, being energetic, sincere and overall entertaining. The band’s latest album, Pep Talks is available to stream HERE!!! For more information about the date and for remaining Pep Talks tour dates, visit their website HERE !!!!!!
Article by Olivia Burger