There isn’t a whole lot to say about a one-sided Lion of Judah shirt, but there’s a lot to say about Lion of Judah so I guess you could say that this simple shirt is the perfect jump-off point to talk about the only time I ever saw Lion of Judah live.
I tried my hardest to remember the year, which is not the best way to recollect the one time you saw a band like Lion of Judah, but at best I can trace it back to 2005-2007. A big window yes, but that’s all I’ve got.
The show was significant because not only was it the only time I saw the band play, but it was also in my own city. This is significant because not only did bands rarely ever play here, but a lot of them even started to bypass Minneapolis/St. Paul, which is about 100 miles away. But in this instance, the band was playing literally blocks from where I lived in a small college city in rural Wisconsin. This happened a handful of other times - Blacklisted, Sinking Ships, a few others. There were show excellent bands running through town 3-5 years earlier like Tear It Up, but mostly we were rightfully overlooked.
The show was in the basement of one of the local guys who was very enthusiastic about hardcore, but also part of the Singing Statesmen. Oil and water I say. He was a gracious host even though it was a bizarre setting as none of the other singers who occupied the house had any sort of interest in most things outside of beer, and singing I’m assuming?
Basement was a bit cramped, but they piled everyone in. If memory serves, there was a stage against the wall opposite of the stairs down into the basement and then the right side of the room where the bands played (stage left), was taken up by a massive furnace/ventilation combo of some type. I believe the band of the guy who was hosting the show in his place opened the night and I can’t remember at all who else would have played, but who really cares. Lion of Judah played so the important facts have been salvaged.
I remember almost nothing from the show except for one key fact. The kid who lived there came up and announced Lion of Judah and encouraged everyone to have a great time and then chipped “And destroy that furnace (or whatever the hell it was)!” Four seconds into the first Lion of Judah song my size 13 foot obliged. It was the most horrified and entertained response from our gracious host and then the rest of the show ruled. I also remember being absolutely hyped when they played “They Won’t Get Me.” After the show, the band was very gracious and took the time to talk to me about their native region of the country and how D.C. was being gentrified by pushing all of the “problems” out of Capitol Hill and the surrounding areas to make the city look good while ignoring the real problems which had been conveniently pushed the fringes.
As with most of the amazing things that happened during the “golden age” of Eau Claire hardcore, we did a piss-poor job of documenting anything. I really wish we had been smart enough to record some of these amazing shows, give them the proper archival treatment, and then be able to share them forever. Sadly, I cannot. This awesome t-shirt from the Advanced Perspectives showcase will be the one active reminder I have that links me to Lion of Judah - and a broken furnace.
Later we laughed about it.
This shirt was a leftover that they sold via Joint Custody online. The ink has a reflective quality to it. The idea isn’t as cool as the glow-in-the-dark Lights Out shirt of a very long time ago, but it’s still awesome and Lion of Judah is awesome so thanks to Lion of Judah and Advanced Perspective for making this happen.
by Daniel Coughlin