On the second night stint of the two sold out Seattle shows, fans we’re packed into The Moore theater with The Head and the Heart fresh on their breath from the prior nights Showbox performance, and they were veracious for more. Coming in fashionably on time with my guest and no hopes of getting a good seat, I was thrilled to see THaTH fan’s eagerness being accepted in high-brow Moore as the seated arrangement wouldn’t due—folks were standing up close to the stage, in the isles, in-between rows, it was a free for all. My guest and I were just in time to walk comfortably up to the front row of seats and get a good view standing from the isle. As my guest was not a Head and the Heart aficionado, I explained to him that he was about to see one of the most hyped bands in Seattle, and one of the most hyped bands in the country from Seattle. I further explained, in my humble opinion, that their appeal sprouted from their live show that sold the records, sparked the obsession, and catapulted them into the national spotlight.
Saturday night’s show felt like a graduation ceremony/party of sorts. The Head and the Heart have been gaining momentum like an avalanche. They’ve been celebrated in their hometown’s blogs, magazines, but they haven’t played a big hometown show since they’ve been out on tour for the past few months. Some got to celebrate their signing at Neumos in January, but they’ve since been the talk of the town at SXSW, premiered “Rivers and Roads” on www.recordstoreday.com, made their debut TV appearance on Conan, received more national buzz on Pitchfork, and got invited to play on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on May 18, 2011. Earnest-hearted Seattleites were looking to celebrate their band, and so they did this past weekend.
They started off with “Cats and Dogs” and “Coeur D’Alene.” Like clockwork the fans hoooo-ed along to the opening notes creating a 1400-person choir. Jon Russell center-stage with his manly rasp lured, Charity Thielen irresistibly bobbed, wiggled, worgled, around stage with her perfectly blushed cheeks, blonde tossed hair, and violin. By the end of their third song, “Ghosts,” I leaned over to my guest and said, “I’d love be cynical, but I want to sing along too, darn it! BA DA BA DAP BA BAH!” He looked back at me with a dubious look in his eyes and said, “Ba da ba dap ba bah!”
The next epic sing out came with “Lost in My Mind.” My guest leaned over and asked if that was their hit single. I explained that it was one of them, they played it on Conan, but “Rivers and Roads” was their ultimate single before belting out “UP A-BAHHHHHHUUUVE” against my will.
Lots of dancing continued with “Winter Song” and “Sounds Like Hallelujah.” As my guest leaned away from the head-banging, curly-haired girls in heels, he leaned in and said, “One word comes to my when I see shows like this: ‘Waco’. I bet they would all kill themselves for this band.” Although no deaths are required to appease The Head and the Heart, it is quite a testament to the fervor they evoke.
Wrapping up the set with “Down in the Valley” (BS. There was no way they weren’t going to play “Rivers and Roads”…) they delivered a triple serving of heart-string tugging, left us singing, screaming, and I’m sure there were at least a couple of tear ducts welling up.
They encored with a brand new song from Jon Russell that had not yet been composed with the full band, “T for Texas,” and of course, “Rivers and Roads.” I give it up to “Rivers and Roads.” Formulaic or not, that freaking song gets me every time!
As we all scurried out of The Moore, my guest gave me a little shoulder hug, smiled at me and said, “Yeah. Those guys were really good.” I smiled back and said, “pretty much.”
The Head and the Heart – “Rivers and Roads” (captured by dmbjason [great job!])