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Judah & the Lion Memphis 2016

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Judah & the Lion Memphis 2016

Nathan Armstrong

What better way to kick off V-Day weekend than with a home-grown folk show? Nashville based, folk-hop band Judah & the Lion have grown quite a fan base nationally, with upcoming shows spanning from New York to San Francisco. However, Memphis has become a sort of second home for the group, as they have visited the 901 area frequently in the past couple of years. To no surprise, they chose Minglewood Hall to kick off their 2016 tour, accompanied by friend, Kristin Diable.

Photo credit: Tim Simpson Jr.

Photo credit: Tim Simpson Jr.

Diable, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, brought her Americana rock groove to a Memphis crowd that was not too keen on her work. But it wasn’t going to take long for the crowd to get familiar with grooves like, “Hold Steady,” and “Time Will Wait.” To be honest, I had never heard of her, but she has the makings of a new, less vogue Lana Del Ray. Diable just cut her album “Create Your Own Mythology,” in Nashville. Check it out on Spotify, or buy it on iTunes if you’re that kind of person. But seriously, Diable did not disappoint and she gained some new fans Friday night.

It’s always great seeing Judah & the Lion. Like seeing an old friend, or like watching someone grow older and wiser. That’s the case with this group; they keep growing and growing every time I see them. The crowds get bigger, the venues more renown, but they still stick to their party folk rock persona. This was no different, they opened with hit song, “Kids These Days,” lighting up the crowd in their typical way. Judah & the Lion is a group that you have to see live to fully understand the infatuation. Not many bands can cover KISS, but Judah & the Lion made it natural when they played “Rock and Roll All Night.” I’m telling you, you won’t find a more personal group that is equally in touch with their fans as they are their music. They even played a brand new song that the crowd had never heard before, and the crowd was singing along.

Photo credit: Tim Simpson Jr. 

Photo credit: Tim Simpson Jr. 

After a wild show of lights and the fun and free atmosphere, everyone left in a trance. It was as if Judah & the Lion and Kristin Diable immersed the crowd in their music so much that the audience believed they were a complete part of the show. It was as if they could not have performed if the audience didn’t match their energy. Like I said, it’s always like seeing an old friend, and that comes from the friendliness of the band and their desire to catch you up on their lives.

- Stone Pannell