Judah & The Lion

Tyson Motsenbocker, The Academic, and Judah & The Lion @ The Intersection in Grand Rapids, MI

Review & Photography by: Rebekah Witt

On October 1st, Judah & the Lion’s ‘Going To Mars’ tour hit Grand Rapids, Michigan. Opening the show was a solo artist from San Diego, Tyson Motsenbocker. He warmed up the crowd with his guitars and charming songs, even offering his album for free to anyone who wanted it.  Next up was Irish indie rock band The Academic. They were super fun and hyped up the crowd really well with their great stage

Lastly, Judah & the Lion were up to close to show. Before their set began, they built up the audience’s anticipation with a dull buzzing sound, slowly getting louder until it burst into song and they ran out on stage. They opened with a hilarious cover of T-Pain’s ‘Booty Wurk,’ complete with a full dance routine. Judah & the Lion have one of the most insanely good stage presences I’ve ever seen, and the nearly (if not completely) sold out crowd loved every minute of it. They played ‘Suit and Jacket,’ ‘Reputation,’ and ‘Twenty Somethings,’ among many other songs, and the fans screamed every word. Brian Macdonald, mandolinist, and Nate Zuercher, banjoist, paired along with Judah Akers’ unique voice add new elements to the band and give them a really extraordinary sound. Later in the set, they remixed the end of their hit song ‘Take It All Back,’ and the venue basically turned into a giant rave. Many aspects of their live performance are reminiscent of Twenty One Pilots’ live show, who Judah & the Lion opened for earlier this year. One example of this is when, during their encore, the band did a cover of Bill Wither’s ‘Lean On Me’ and invited their 2 openers to join them in performing it, something Twenty One Pilots did with Judah & the Lion on their winter tour.

Judah & the Lion are one of the most hype and entertaining bands I’ve ever seen live, and continue to prove that every time I see them. You can catch them on the rest of the ‘Going To Mars’ tour in America and Europe, as well as their second North American leg next year. If you can’t do that, check out their newest album ‘Folk Hop N’ Roll’ on
Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, or anywhere else you get your music!

Tyson Motsenbocker:

The Academic:

Judah & the Lion


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