By Ellis Frederick
April 29, 2016
Call them alt-folk, country, indie rock... no matter the genre, Judah & the Lion can put on a fantastic show. The band just wrapped up a massive tour across the US, and they captured their favorite moments from the stage. See what Judah Akers (guitar and lead vocals), Brian Macdonald (mandolin and vocals), Spencer Cross (drums), and Nate Zuercher (banjo and vocals) were up to on the road below!
Spencer: One of the best things about playing shows is not only the connection you have with the crowd, but that which you have with the other musicians on stage. We try and make eye contact with one another throughout the show and feed off each other's energy. Even though throughout a tour the set can be similar from night to night, the littlest changes that happen on the spot can provide a huge boost of excitement and energy.
Judah: There is something that is electric and tangible about getting off the stage and sharing a moment with people who love the music right next to you. I'm not a fan of staying on stage the whole time, it's fun down with the crowd.
Spencer: At shows, I love making eye contact and connecting with fans during the set. Throughout the course of the show, I'll try and scan the entire venue, all the way to the people who are standing in the very back. I've been in that position before at a concert, where you feel so far away from the action and you feel like there's no way anyone up on stage can see you or feel your energy. But it's cool to be on the other side and be able to see each person, being grateful for each and every fan that came.
Nate: Being from Colorado is something I'm real proud of. Whenever I get the chance to rep where I'm from and connect with the audience even more, I do. This was taken the week the Broncos won the Super Bowl this year. Manning attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville which is where we played. Was proud to wear his jersey there.
Judah: Performing for me is all about the ability to get completely lost. The moment that I am the most "me" is the best because you're creating a genuine/ unique experience for you and the audience. Discovery!!
Judah: The point of touring is not to see it as a marathon. In a marathon you pace yourself so you can make it through. Touring is about giving everything you have in each performance no matter what that means for tomorrow. People paying money to see you do something you love is a privilege. The least I can do is give it back!!
Spencer: One cool thing about touring is that the songs shift and change ever so slightly the more and more we play them. We rehearse a lot prior to a tour, but as we play the set over time, we'll shift and refine different parts of the set. Whether it's adding a new song, changing the feel of a song, or even just paying attention to the slightest intricacies of a song; we do so in an effort to provide the best experience as possible for our fans.
Nate: Getting to come together and share a moment as band members but more importantly, friends, is such a treat. Love getting to look these guys in the eye every night and be grateful for where we are and the journey we're on.
Judah: There is nothing like getting off the stage and going into the crowd for a dance party. To look people in the eyes and share a single moment is priceless for me, also a bit terrifying. :)
Brian: Something that we hope will never leave us: our gratitude.
We are thankful for our fans, thankful to be musicians, thankful to travel, thankful to have each-other, thankful to be alive... reaching and hoping to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud wherever we go.
Brian: It's a always a last second move for me. There's no testing sturdiness or checking balance.
It's at certain shows that we just reach the point where there's nothing inhibiting the stage from the crowd; and once we reach that point, there's nothing inhibiting me from jumping off of a high structure.
Brian: Giving up control is important in life, and for us, on the stage. When you give it to the crowd, it's in their hands. Everything becomes so much bigger and so much more meaningful.