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.



It’s no secret, I love going to concerts. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to attend several shows throughout my life with my music loving family. I’ve not just been to a specific genre of concerts either. My concert experience ranges from Warped Tour to One Direction and everything in between! So, I figured I’d share my love for music in the form of concert reviews, starting with the one and only Harry Styles.

On June 14, 2018, I saw Harry Styles, live on tour in Hershey, PA. Now, this wasn’t our usual choice of concert venue seeing as it was seven hours away from home, but because we have family in Harrisburg nearby we made a family trip out of it. BOY WAS THAT A GOOD DECISION. This was the second time I had seen Harry in concert. The first time being when he was with One Direction for their “Where We Are” tour. I remember 16-year-old me being thrilled about seeing him then and let me tell you, nearly 20-year-old me was even more thrilled to see him on his solo tour. I’ll run through some of the highlights from the different aspects of the show.

The Venue – Like I said, this wasn’t our go-to concert viewing location. We were at the Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA. The set up was stadium style with the stands on the side, but they put down flooring for seating down on the field, that’s where we were. Now, the venue was nice with views of roller coasters in the background, but the seats weren’t my favorite. They were so close together that when everyone was sitting there was no way to avoid touching the person next to you. We were quite literally shoulder to shoulder. I’m not a super touchy person, so that did make me quite uncomfortable. The other downside was that since we were in the field section, everything was flat so if there were taller people in front of you it was tough seeing the stage. Plus can I just throw in, FOR PETESAKE PUt your PHONES DOWN AND BE IN THE MOMENT?! It was already a struggle to see over the people in front of us without everyone stretching their arms up to get an inevitably blurry Snapchat post. Other than those two downers, the venue was actually really nice. It could hold a lot of people and they had the lights going on the rides which made for a fun background. Plus, we got dropped off in the Chocolate World parking lot and had a very short walk to the Stadium.

The Opening Act – Not gonna lie, I was a little unsure of how I’d feel about the opening act for this tour because I don’t like country music very much. Kacey Musgraves opened the show and I really enjoyed it. She had a beautiful voice and carried herself really well on stage. It was a great opener to a great show!

The Show – Where to even begin? The show was phenomenal. Harry Styles is just a lovely human being. The show opened with images of his hands flashing on the screen trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Piece by piece it would start to come together, and anticipation grew as most of the audience had caught on to the fact that when the cube was solved he’d be out. Out he came in a mint blue, bell bottom suit! He was super engaged with the audience asking questions between songs, cracking jokes about dads/boyfriends who had obviously been dragged to the concert against their will, joking about how many bugs were flying around on stage, and generally making sure everyone was having a good time. He restated several times that he just wanted everyone to have the best night, whether that included singing along or dancing, he just wanted everyone to have a safe space to be themselves and enjoy their time. Plus, his voice sounds the same in real life as it does on record. He has such a pure and unique sound that transcends. He sang some old songs, most songs of his debut album, and even some songs he hasn’t released yet. This show now ranks at #2 on my list of all time favorite concerts.

The Merch – I couldn’t talk about the Harry Styles concert and not mention the tour merch. I absolutely LOVE the merch Harry had to go along with his tour. A majority of what he was selling had the praise “treat people with kindness” on them. I think it’s really incredible to see someone with such a huge influence doing something good and being a positive force to their audience. Besides the fact that they had such a good message attached, the shirts and sweatshirts are super soft. I got a yellow crewneck sweatshirt that I basically want to live in, and am really sad that I can’t right now because it’s been 90+ degrees in Tennessee every day. The sweatshirt has black embroidered stitching on the breast pocket area that says “Kiwi” and on the sleeve that says “I’m having your baby.” I also got a yellow t-shirt with black vinyl lettering across the front that says “treat people with kindness” and a black tote back that had Harry’s hands solving a Rubik’s Cube on it. The merch overall gets an A+ from me.

Overall, I had an amazing time at the Harry Styles concert. Even though I wasn’t feeling super great, I always end up getting sick before shows, I still had a lot of fun. What are some of your favorite concerts you’ve ever been to? Comment below!

Treat someone with kindness today!