Lion Babe dances into your bedroom at NextNOW Fest

By: Madeline Redding

One can only imagine how exciting Lion Babe’s normal concerts are (image via Rolling Stone)

At virtual NextNOW Fest, Lion Babe delivered elegance and poise to a critically awkward medium. The power radiating off Jillian Hervey as she twisted and coiled inspired fun and joy as I felt the uncontrollable urge to jump up and dance with her.

Lion Babe is a soulful R+B duo that consists of vocalist Jillian Hervey and record producer Lucas Goodman (aka AstroRoar). The duo is from New York and hosted their exciting show Friday night from hundreds of miles away from their audience.

In my dark bedroom, miles and miles away from Lion Babe, pulsing purple lights landed on my face and clear but cavernous vocals graced my ears. Lion Babe’s hour-long set blinked by as the music duo entranced me with their incredible artistry. NextNOW Fest team curated visuals and filters for the stream that coordinated with the music and changed with each song. This artistic addition created the feel you are at an artistic event, the design and intentional curation of the performance was evident.

A chat feature on the side of the Vimeo stream replaced the normal social aspects of a concert. The show was intimate, with only about 30 viewers the entire time. Despite this, the chat was active the entire time, creating a sense of a much-needed community for isolated college students.

Another interesting feature of the virtual performance is the intimacy of the hour. Jillian looked right into your eyes as she popped and melted her voice on command. During the intro to their song “Sexy Please,” she looked directly into the camera and whispered, “this is the part where you take your clothes off.” When I tell you I screamed, I am not exaggerating. Moments like these excite and connect the audience to the artists in ways that don’t work in live concerts.

Artists everywhere have been struggling to deliver energy and music to their fans who have been missing live concerts since March. Lion Babe, in conjunction with NextNOW Fest, certainly succeeded in their work to connect deprived music lovers around College Park.