Image Courtesy of Judah & the Lion’s Spotify
Judah & the Lion return to Little Rock as the 13th stop during the “Happy Again” tour. The independent band played at The Hall in Little Rock on Friday where lead singer Judah Akers expressed love for the town.
Judah & the Lion is an alternative rock and folk band from Nashville that have described themselves as “folk-hop.” The genre-bending group has been to Arkansas a number of times after being formed in 2011. They notably opened for Twenty One Pilots in 2017 at the Simmon’s Bank Arena and later headlined The Metroplex. The band has continued to improve their shows throughout their career, always growing and never staying stagnant.
To see them live is to fall in love with them. The band is charming, down-to-earth and light up on stage without taking themselves too seriously. Akers is known to run around on stage with his shirt over his head, a cape on and even pairs of unique sunglasses. The group is also not afraid to go into the crowd and join their fans. At this show, Akers walked through the crows, giving fans high fives and taking photos while performing.
The group’s stage design is clean and simple with green touches to match the band’s current aesthetic. The stage equipment had a green trimming that matched band member Brain Macdonald’s overalls and other members’ green clothes. This was a bigger stage production than what I have seen previously for the group.
The band had a good mix of new and older songs like “Kickin’ da Leaves” and “HAPPY LIFE.” Akers opened “Kickin’ da Leaves” with a story of how the band played the tune on David Letterman’s show and played it 30 seconds too fast because of nerves. On Friday, the band played it nearly perfectly.
Despite Akers mentioning issues with spring allergies, his voice still sounded great. His vocals really shined in “Dance With Ya.”
In true Judah & the Lion fashion, the group had a dance cover of a song not their own. This tour’s song was “Snap Yo Fingers” by Lil Jon. The crowd erupted in cheers and laughter. They also performed a cover with openers REALFICTION of Lit’s song “My Own Worst Enemy” which was met with equally positive crowd reactions.
The show ended on their song “Sportz” where the band brought up three fans that had traveled from Louisiana to see the band. Judah & the Lion left the crowd with three messages: eat more chocolate, be kind always and listen to more Judah & the Lion.
Overall rating: 8.5/10
Favorite songs played: “HAPPY LIFE”, “Kickin’ da Leaves” and “Dance With Ya”
Wish they would have played: “Twenty-Somethings”
Travel Note: The Hall is a two hour drive from the Arkansas State University campus.
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