By: Rachel Gonzalez | Contributor
Jaguar Productions hosted WOW (Week of Welcome) which offered many virtual activities for students to enjoy, including the highly anticipated Judah & The Lion concert. Students tuned in last Thursday at 7:00 p.m., and a select few got to ask questions in a virtual meet-and-greet with the band members beforehand. The band is no stranger to virtual concerts, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Judah Akers, guitarist and lead singer, explained the difficulties of performing online.
“We’ve done some Instagram lives, and shows with different radio stations,” Akers said. “But honestly, from my perspective, it can be a little awkward and stale because you’re just looking at a camera and can’t feel the same energy from the audience.”
The band’s roots began in one of the world’s greatest music hubs of Nashville, TN. Brian MacDonald, back-up vocalist and mandolin-players explained that “It’s where our goals and dreams began, and where we all met.”
The band has come a long way since 2011, with rough and raw experiences developing their sound and strengthening their bond. They recently dropped a new album called “Pep Talks” which dives into their family-life and personal struggles.
“My situation with my parent’s divorce later in life gave me a lot of empathy for kids who grow up in broken families,” Akers explained. The album touches on serious topics such as alcoholism and depression, and centers around a difficult season in the lives of the band members. “It was such a healing process for me to release those emotions through this album,” Akers added.
The album is relevant to the current situation with the pandemic and how many could be struggling right now. Akers encourages students to write down what they are going through and share it with the people who are closest to them.
“Our hope is that our collective stories will be able to help people,” he said. “Our band’s big journey from the start has been to write in the seasons that we’re in and be authentic in that way.” The final song of the record “The Best is Yet to Come” offers a glimmer of hope for the future for both the musicians and the listeners.
Judah & the Lion is ready to move forward and start the next chapter of their lives. The band hopes to continue virtual performances post-COVID to due the popularity and genuine connection they have established with their audience. They prefer Zoom as a streaming platform because they can see faces and can still feel the love from fans.