A week and a half ago I was blessed with the opportunity to see The Head and The Heart live at the ASCAP music cafe at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. I attended the show with two THATH noobs who were very excited for their first live experience. The cafe is small, and generally difficult to get in to without waiting in line for up to a few hours as there is limited space. After two relatively low energy acts the band took the stage for their half hour set at 3:20 pm and opened up with Down in the Valley. The song, a personal favorite is always great live, yet caught me off guard as I had never heard it open a show before. I was caught off guard yet again when the band decided to debut a brand new song for the eager Sundance crowd. (video below).
(First 1:40 of the video is a bit shaky until I convinced someone to let me set the camera down on a table in front of their cup of soda)
I thought the song was great as did the crowd, and was surprised by how tight it was even though it was their first time playing it live.
Lost in my Mind was next and brought those few in the crowd who remained in their seats to their feet. Then came the second debut of the day – The song was excellent, and just as tight as the first. I wish I had the video to prove it, but unfortunately it was knocked over by an elbow reaching for a beer. Hopefully it was a delicious thirst quenching quality beer.
With time for two more songs the band launched into a sweet Winter Song before closing out the set with a powerful Rivers and Roads. By the time the band finished everyone in the packed house (cafe?) was on their feet craving more, but unfortunately time was up. Needless to say the noobs were both blown away and said they could totally see themselves following this band around on tour. (Both over 30 with full time jobs -proving that even people over 30 can appreciate the music of The Head and The Heart)
Down in the Valley
Lost in my Mind
Rivers and Roads
(The band debuted a song called Cruel in Ann Arbor Mich which = 3 new songs for those of you keeping track at home)
Teaser: for those looking for more of an inside scoop -
The band will be in the studio over the next couple of months working on new material, but plan to head out on a full blown tour again sometime this fall/winter to support of the new album. Also be sure to keep your eyes open for a few yet to be announced festival dates this summer.
It’s the beginning of August and another edition of the Newport Folk Festival is in the history books. Last year my daughter Kayla and I caught a remarkable set by The Head and The Heart at the Harbor Stage at NFF and since it’s been a year I feel a bit of reflection is due on this year that was.
The Head and the Heart was the buzz band last summer, an exuberantly raw and emotionally stark band collective that had exploded out of the Northwest on a mission of non-stop touring while straddling traditional roots rock with a savvy pop sensibility.
I was excited when I heard the band was on the NFF 2011 schedule and knowing they would probably be on one of the smaller stages, I was convinced that their set would be the one to catch. We spent the second afternoon of the festival at the Harbor Stage slowly moving up through the seats until we were in the 4th row just as THATH were ready to play the penultimate set of the stage that day. I was so pleased to see John Paul and Joy of Civil Wars on the side of the stage watching the beginning of their set.
This week I was privileged to see The Head and The Heart open for the Dave Matthews Band not once, but twice.
I have been to many DMB shows, (and by many I mean more than 50 but less than 250) and the general rule of thumb is: you do not go in for the opening act unless you want first crack at the toilets before the drunk masses of young people make their way in to the venue. This was not the case for The Head and The Heart. Although the amphitheaters were not packed for their performance, there was more of a presence than is generally seen for the opening acts.
Night 1 – May 22, 2012 – Atlanta, Georgia.
The Head and The Heart, and Atlanta have a great history. For some reason the shows in Atlanta are always special, and this one was no exception. I have never before seen the pit full for an opening band, but on May 22nd it was full. Dave (Matthews) came out to introduce The Head and The Heart and expressed his love for the band, and how grateful he was that they were opening for him. I was in the upper sections for this show so I had a good view of the entire crowd aside from those on the lawn, and it was really nice to see that many people show up for an opening act. Again the amphitheater was not full, but for an opening act there was a really nice turn out. The set was solid, and as it went on more people got out of their seats and rose to clap, and dance along with the music. Lost in my Mind really got the crowd going, and Rivers and Roads made for one hell of a closer. It was my first time seeing Gone with the full band, and I really loved the build up. Later on during DMB’s performance Dave again mentioned how much he loved the Head and The Heart, their music, and has a hard time holding himself back from calling them all the time, and hopes he does not scare them off. Personally I enjoyed THATH’s 45 min set more that night than DMB’s 2 and a half hour set.
Setlist: Cats, Couer, Ghosts, Gone, Lost in my mind, Winter Song, Down in the Valley, Rivers and Roads