This past Tuesday, Sophie and I went to see Judah & the Lion perform at the Beachland Ballroom with supporting acts, The Saint Johns and Tom Evanchuck.
Talented Cleveland native, Tom Evanchuck, opened the night with a brilliant acoustic set. He began with the track “Old train Blues” which was followed by several uniquely textured songs. His blues, country, and rock influences became apparent early into the set. One of my favorites was “Bury My Wife” which showed off Evanchuck’s slide skills. The track “Morning Train” also showcased his storytelling ability. Evanchuck concluded his set with the performance of an inspiring track titled “Shine On.”
The Saint Johns were up next with their beautiful harmonies and vocal hooks. This Nashville band’s music is characterized by the dynamics between male and airy female vocals. They also use both acoustic and electric guitars in clever ways to accompany the lyrics. I really enjoyed their blend of indie and southern rock qualities. This was the band’s first time performing in Cleveland. One of my favorite tracks was their performance of “Dead of Night,” the title track from their new album. The highlight of The Saint Johns’ set was their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon.”
Nashville-based band Judah & the Lion began their energized set with a medley. This was the band’s first time headlining in Cleveland. The warm lighting paired with the disco ball had people engaged throughout the set. Highlights included their seamless transitions, infectious energy, and performance of “Hold On”. The crowd was engaged from the band’s start, clapping and singing along throughout the set. Their involvement and dedication to each song was incredibly impressive.
It is impossible to deny that Judah & the Lion have insanely catchy and creative hooks. Their set was designed to share a little bit of ‘folk, pop, rock n roll, and a whole lot of banjo’ with the crowd. One thing that always stands out to me is their consistently unique choice of covers and band choreography.
One of my favorites from the night was “Graffiti Dreams” from their new 2016 record. Its eerie feel and slow tempo immediately grabbed my attention. Nothing tops my all time favorite of theirs, “Backs Against The Wall,” though with its honest, pure lyrics and crisp vocals.
The Saint Johns : Facebook
Tom Evanchuck : Facebook