I remember leaving The Chapel(small venue in SF) in AWE when I first saw Judah & the Lion there over a year ago. To my PLEASANT SURPRISE, these Nashville natives were able to deliver their SUPERB STAGE PRESENCE and RELENTLESS ENERGY to a much larger venue, BottleRock Napamain ‘Jam Cellars’ stage. I was once again blown away by their unique fusion of folk and hip-hop (“Folk Hop n Roll”) and their hilarious, coordinated dance routines (even a booty dance!) to some of their songs. Flying banjos and mandolins, twirling accordions, broken drums sticks, are just a few of the flashbacks that I have, and I am still amazed by the passion and charisma of the frontman, Judah Akers, who was running all over stage and into/onto the crowd (yes, there was a crowd surf!). The best part is that you really DIDN’T NEED to know any of their songs prior, for I guarantee you’d find yourself picking up the lyrics and quickly chiming in on the chorus as if if was your LIFE ANTHEM. Highlights for me were ‘Kicking Da Leaves,’ ‘Hold On,’ ‘Going to Mars,’ ‘Better Man,’ a cover of The Killers ‘s ‘Mr. Brightside’ (HELL YES) and the EPIC ENCORE of ‘Take it all back,’ which is STILL A BLUR and pretty much felt like an EXORCISM of negative energy. I definitely left that set “thinking I could do anything I want,” which was the ONE and ONLY request that Judah asked of the audience. Still buzzing from that wildly creative, genre bending experience!
Meet Mani Orrason, a young Icelandic multi-instrumentalist whose first ever single, ‘Fed My Days‘ (see video below) made it to #1 on the Icelandic charts when he was only 16 years old. Following up on that success, Mani soon released a debut EP, Wake Me Up, whose title track is super catchy and will certainly wake you/me up. Since then, Mani has released a full album (Repeating Patterns, 2015) of folk/pop songs and plans to release another in 2017. He must of fallen in love with his Spain (or someone from there, haha) during his all years of touring Europe, because now this Icelandic expat lives in Alicante. Maybe this second album will have even more spice. Maybe it will feed all of our days, AND all of our nights… 😉
STILL AMPED UP after the INSANELY AWESOME, INCREDIBLY INFECTIOUS performance by The Pierce Brothers opening for Tash Sultana at The Fillmore. These awesome Aussie twins (Jack and Pat) have been kicking up dust all over the world, wowing people with their high octane energy and pure joy for their craft. I was mad impressed by their unique DIY setup and their ingenious blend of dugeridoo, percussion (bongos/cans), tambourine, harmonica, and guitar, and at one point Jack even started tapping the stage equipment (light scaffolds) right in front of me to create new sounds. I couldn’t believe he was playing tambourine with his foot while banging on percussion and blowing into his dugeridoo. That’s some crazy coordination! But what impressed me the most was ability for Jack and Pat to deliver a boot-stomping, heart-throbbing, head-bopping performance despite their equipment breaking on stage. Their “one shot is all I got” attitude was greatly appreciated by everyone watching. I also really appreciated the message that Jack delivered before playing the song ‘Genevieve‘ that they wrote for their sister suffering from cancer: “There’s always love and support if you reach out, and that’s what we’re going to do right now.” I will DEFINITELY be seeing them again when they return to SF, and when they do, I will have to bring sturdier boots! My heal actually broke off during their set! ❤