Flora Cash & Judah and the Lion @ The Fillmore in Detroit, MI

Review & photography by Rebekah Witt

On September 28th, Judah & the Lion brought their Pep Talks Worldwide tour to Detroit, Michigan. Doors opened early, and fans excitedly made their way into the beautiful Fillmore theater.

Husband and wife duo Flora Cash were there to open the show, and the crowd erupted into applause once singer Cole Randall walked onto stage. Shpresa Lleshaj joined him moments later, and the crowd got louder when they saw the Detroit Red Wings jersey she was wearing. The indie pop band soothed the audience with their soft vocals and mellow tunes. Highlights of the set included songs ‘I Wasted You,’ ‘Missing Home,’ and ‘They Own This Town.’ Lleshaj and Randall’s chemistry and love for each other was obvious, and it only strengthened their performance. The duo ended with their hit song ‘You’re Somebody Else,’ and even those mostly unfamiliar with the band sang along.

Just after Flora Cash’s set, a white curtain dropped down between the stage and the audience, and both sides prepared for Judah & the Lion. Minutes later, the lights dimmed and screams were heard throughout the venue as the intro track ‘Pep Talk’ began. Silhouettes of the band members flashed on the curtain, boosting the anticipation of everyone in the room. The curtain dropped halfway through the next song, ‘Quarter Life Crisis,’ and the band jumped into action. It was clear that they put their all into each and every song, and were focused on letting their fans have as much fun as they did.

With the tour being in support of their latest album Pep Talks, Judah & the Lion performed fifteen out of the eighteen songs on the record. Pep Talks is perfectly representative of the highs and the lows of life, while also emphasizing the importance of remaining optimistic, even when it gets hard. They performed many joy-filled songs throughout the night including ‘GoofBallerz,’ ‘JOYBOY,’ and ‘7000x.’ Halfway through their set, they paused to slow it down and play an emotional rendition ‘Queen Songs / human,’ and lead singer Judah Akers shared an intimate moment with the audience.

Although their set was Pep Talks heavy, Judah & the Lion still made sure to play older songs. Fan favorites were ‘Going to Mars,’ and ‘Reputation’ from their 2017 album Folk Hop N’ Roll (Deluxe), as well as ‘Back’s Against the Wall’ from 2013 EP Sweet Tennessee. The band finished the night with their hit single ‘Take It All Back,’ and fans left the concert satisfied with their time spent with the genre-bending band.

Judah & the Lion will be continuing the Pep Talks Worldwide tour across North America and Europe from now until December, find tickets here. And if you’re in the mood for an emotional yet uplifting album, check out Pep Talks here.

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