|Judah & the Lion | Photos by Kristen Abigail|
The Ryman stage was filled with a lot of talented local musicians this past Saturday night. Pop artist, Mat Kearney, brought along Judah & the Lion and Parachute for the Just Kids tour.
The night started with folk hop group Judah & the Lion. With a unique sound combining mandolin, banjo and a little percussion, a few hip-hop lines and some coordinated dance moves, Judah & the Lion has to be the next band to go viral. Their hit song "Twenty-Somethings" included a mashup of "We Built This City" by Jefferson Starship and "Gold Digger" by Kanye West and go the Ryman crowd to their feet and giving them a standing ovation at the end of their set. You can get a tiny taste of their live performance from their recent performance on Late Show with David Letterman here.
Parachute, the pop rock band that is well known for its electric guitar and saxophone solos, brought some slow dancing songs to the Ryman stage along with a small audience interaction from frontman Will Anderson. A good portion of the Ryman crowd was singing along to Parachute's catchy lyrics and finally got excited to clap along.
And finally, Mat Kearney hit the stage with plenty of dance moves and a lot of jamming out from Kearney's bassist, Phil Moore. Kearney played both songs from his new record, Just Kids, along with hit favorites from his past albums. The new record gives a sense of nostalgia to Kearney's upbringing in Eugene, Oregon. Most of his family has moved to Nashville, so he made an extra effort to remember and bring his childhood memories back to more than just the radio waves. At one point during the show, Kearney jumps off the stage, runs through the crowd and to the pew of seats where his family is, just to hug his mother. At another point in the evening, Kearney stands by his drummer with a disco ball in his hand blocking a part of one of his lights, making his own lighting affects while singing "Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2. Kearney also brought back out Judah & the Lion for a fun folk pop rendition of "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson. Kearney got sentimental when he and his band came back to the stage for a 3 song encore and said that just 6 years ago he had been slinging coffee at the Starbucks off of 5th Ave. & Church St. and walked by the Ryman daily. He never dreamt of selling out the Mother Church, but his testament shows that nothing is ever impossible if you work hard enough.
Mat Kearney wrapped up the first leg of his tour this weekend but will go back on tour with Judah & the Lion starting on May 8th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You can see his tour dates and purchase tickets here. Please enjoy these photos by Kristen Abigail below.