The Concert That Saved Me This Summer | Judah & the Lion: Pep Talks World Tour

If you know me, you’ll likely know that I love concerts. I always have! It was something that my family & I would do together, go to Charlotte and see a concert together. Even when I was running a fever & going through a stretch os non-stop sinus infections, I still went to a Twenty One Pilots concert because I love them so much, even in a fever-induced delusional state. But the concert I went to this summer meant the most to me. Judah & the Lion’s album Pep Talks saved me this summer.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that my transition home from the Disney College Program has been far less than magical. I’ve struggled daily with missing my friends, feeling overwhelmingly lonely back at home, and fitting back into the places I left behind. Coupled with continuous health problems (thanks, IBS) and increased anxiety, it made for a less than happy summer. The one thing I was looking forward to was this concert.

The moment I found out Judah & the Lion was bringing their tour to Charlotte, I pestered my dad about getting tickets on the daily. I would text him about it, send him articles about the band, and whisper their name through the vents in our house like a creepy reminder. You’d think this may make him less likely to want to get them, but boy did he pull through! As a 21st birthday present, he got us amazing seats to the show. We were 10 rows back and smack in the middle. THANKS AGAIN, DAD!

Now, why was this concert so important to me? You may be thinking, it’s just a band! Well, their album literally saved my summer. Pep Talks is a raw and real album written by lead singer, Judah Akers, about the time in his life where he felt the loneliness. He talks about the real struggles he had growing up and how it has effected in adulthood to put him in the lonely place that he was, despite being surrounded by friends and family. I’ve never connected with an album more than I did with this season of life I’m in and Pep Talks. Judah comes across as this happy, goofy, fun-loving guy but on the inside is filled with a sense of overwhelming loneliness and dwelling on his past troubles. And that’s how I feel I’ve been this summer. In Disney, I was filled with so much joy that I wanted to keep that facade (it became a facade and not real when I left) up when on the inside I feel lonelier than I’ve ever felt. I’ve never had something so perfectly describe who I am, especially when dealing with negative emotions.

Well finally, some honesty
I’m not that great transparently
It’s been a few years since I’ve felt OK
But I’m just like a pro not showing it on my face yeah
I’m an ocean now, peaceful on the out
But the deeper I go down, I’m discovering all the things
My brain has let sink below
Eventually coming up up like a cyclone
So my first step to recovery, a couple deep breaths
And then hear me speak
I’m not OK, I’m not OK
Come get my pain, come get my pain

– from the song i’m ok. featured on Judah & the Lion’s album Pep Talks.

As soon as the show started, I immediately began to tear up. I’ve loved this band for years, but this album, in particular, was just really special to me. To hear it being performed live is just an experience that I will never forget. Hearing such honest and real words being performed that match how I’m feeling and am never really able to get it is honestly transformative.

Throughout the whole show, Judah kept talking about the meaning behind the album. He referred to the audience as a family and spread a message of hope like I’ve never heard before. Singing and dancing along, even in the pouring rain, to the lyrics “No matter how bad all this gets / I can’t stop this voice in my head / This voice in my head says / We’re gonna be alright / We’re gonna be alright” there were definitely tears mixing with the rain on my face.

If you’ve ever questioned the importance of music, let this prove it to you. Thank you, Judah & the Lion for the album that continuously pulls me through this lonely season. And, thank you, dad, for the best birthday present!

❤ / Bail

P.S. – If you’ve never been to the Metro Credit Union Amphitheater in Charlotte, HIGHLY recommend. My all-time favorite venue.