Saturday night was unlike any concert I’ve ever experienced. For starters it was folk, a genre I listen to, but had yet to see live. Furthermore, Judah & The Lion was far from normal folk. Sure, Nate Zuercher was rocking the banjo and the mandolin was being strummed by Brian Macdonald, but hip-hop beats and killer covers from “Booty Wurk (One Cheek At a Time)” to “Mr. Brightside” also made an appearance.
The opening acts were also insane and by far some of the most talented openers I’ve had the fortune to listen to. Embarrassingly enough, when it came to both opening acts, Tall Heights and Colony House, I was under the impression that I’d never heard of their music. Both of the groups are in fact on my Spotify playlist and have written songs regularly streamed from my phone. I am rather ashamed of this fact and advise you not to make the same mistake as I did and learn their names and music before you too find yourself in this embarrassing situation. You’re bound to hear them on the radio at some point.
Tall Heights is an electro-folk duo based out of Boston, Massachusetts. Made up of Tim Harrington (singer/guitarist) and Paul Wright (singer/cellist), they are show-stopping. For a photographer, the lighting made it difficult to get that “wow” shot, but at the end of the day, one attends a concert to listen to the music. Wright did a fantastic job of managing to captivate the audience while strapped to a cumbersome cello. He somehow pulled off the impossible, managing to make his movements look effortless and fluid and he moved about the stage. Both men have incredible singing voices as well, and their harmonies were perfectly in sync and in tune. Additionally, Tall Heights is incredibly creative. During their performance of “River Wider” they mashed snippets of “Feliz Navidad” into the mix. The tracks fit together so well one would have thought they made up one song had it not been for the fact that José Felciano’s single is so famous.
Colony House also “wowed” me beyond expectations. Their lighting was perfect for photographers and their energy made it easy to shoot stunning shots. Their music was even better. Often times, the drummer is kept in the back. However, Colony House put Will Chapman right up front with the rest of the band and his energy managed to pump the audience up tenfold. Scott Mills, must be one of the most talented guitarists I’ve ever watched. He spent the night switching through so many guitars I grew dizzy, mixing dancing in here and there to command stage left. Caleb Chapman sang with so much emotion it was impossible to focus on anything else but the music. His vocalization on “Cannot Do This Alone” was especially spectacular. The man on the bass, Parke Cottrell, also added his fair share of personality to the performance, staying true to his collected rocker vibe. Overall, it was an unforgettable performance.
Finally, it was time for Judah & The Lion to take the stage. They opened with a little speech and a countdown to their entrance on stage. It had everyone waiting in anticipation. I was incredibly confused when they first entered as they opened with the cover of “Booty Wurk”. There was twerking, synchronized dancing, and impeccable vocals. It took me until the next song, “Twenty-Somethings”, to realize that I was, in fact, watching Judah & The Lion. Their set was amazing. They made sure to play old crowd-pleasers like “Take It All Back” and also threw in their latest hit “Going to Mars”. There was crowd surfing, crazy sunglasses, and technicolour lights. They even brought members of Colony House and Tall Heights back on stage at various points of the night to continue pumping up the crowd. All in all, the three groups provided for an incredibly entertaining evening filled with dancing, jumping, and singing. At the end of the day, Judah & The Lion continue to break ground by making folk cool again. They prove that the banjo and mandolin don’t belong to a singular genre and can be used throughout to create something special.
To look for tour dates near you visit Judah & The Lion’s website
For more photos check out Patricia’s Website
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