Crowe Boys, Judah and the Lion jam at House of Blues

Mackenzie Camp, Staff Writer

On Tuesday night, a crowd of all ages swarmed the House of Blues to see Crowe Boys and Judah and the Lion. Women stood clad in shirts with half-cubist, half-clipart lions grouped in front of the stage. With beers in one hand and little kids wrapped at their feet, families stood together excited to see the show. Energy filled the room as people chatted and stomped their boots in anticipation. 

Mackenzie Camp

Crowe Boys, a group composed of three brothers, opened the show. A local New Orleans band, the brothers brought energy and sonic range. They switched between acoustic sets, a cover of “Shut Up and Dance” and a new original, “Simply Complicated,” which brought more punk influences into their overall alternative folk-pop sound. This mix of genres complimented Judah and the Lion, and both bands brought together different sounds and carried them through high-energy performances and clear bonds with their fellow musicians. 

Any band with brothers — The Beach Boys, Bee Gees or Jonas Brothers — must capture the right balance of being a little dorky but in a sincere, charming way. The drummer threw half his worldly possessions into the crowd, gifting drumsticks and his clothing with no apprehension. The girls in the front screamed, eager to touch his tambourine as he came closer during the acoustic set. One girl beside me bragged to her mother about a “moment” she shared with the bass player while he was on stage, shaking his long brown hair and mouthing the lyrics as his brother sang. 

Their talented, playful energies infected the audience, calming down the rowdy crowd. During their acoustic section, they managed to quiet the entire House of Blues down enough to sing “Josephine,” a lovely song about the birth of the singer’s daughter. The three musicians huddled around one microphone, their love for little Josephine clear, especially as it morphed into “You are My Sunshine.” The entire crowd sang along, swaying alongside the band. The acoustic section highlighted both the chemistry between the brothers and the lovely way their voices blended in harmonies. Crowe Boys’ songs explore themes of responsibility, nostalgia and youth that merge in their array, switch up with pop covers but ground themselves in songs like “Leather Wallet.” Moving forward, I am eager to hear more of their original songs. 

To describe Judah and the Lion using their album 2016 title, “Folk Hop n’ Roll” makes little sense, but live, all the sounds blend, honed within Judah Akers. With a country rock voice, folk lyrics and touches of an electric soundscape, Judah brings all the elements together and sells them with his energy and chaotic dance moves. Akers engaged the crowd with wind kicks and angst, a Draco Malfoy type with a heavy banjo. For the encore, Akers emerged shirtless singing “Sports,” a country and basketball-themed version of My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not Okay (I Promise).” After the encore, Akers jumped into the crowd, moving across the entire venue to fistbump everyone with Lizzo’sTruth Hurts” as the soundtrack of his glory. 

On a more serious note, both bands talked about the recent tragedy in Nashville. Crowe Boys shared a song about family, brotherhood and community. Judah and the Lion held a moment of silence, proving, in true alternative folk fashion, that the beauty of music highlights community during moments of pain. 

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