The Head and the Heart is a folk group based out of Seattle, Washington whom I’ve been following for quite sometime. Each concert holds a special place in my heart and tonight was no different. Thursday, November 14th marked my second go around of seeing The Head and The Heart at Warehouse Live in Houston, and I was expecting nothing short of greatness for this night. The line began to stretch around the venue as I hurried and made my way to the back in anticipation. The Head and the Heart crowd was truly a diverse group of people. I found myself talking about everything from Green Day to Nirvana all the way to Fleet Foxes with the fans. The love for music was definitely present amongst all in attendance, and we were all ready for a great show. After waiting for what seemed like a decade, the line slowly began to move as I made my way to the front of the stage.
The two opening acts, Quiet Life and Thao & The Get Stay Down, definitely set the mood for the diverse crowd. On one end of the spectrum was Quiet Life, whose bluegrass and blues fusion made for an awesome backwoods feel. On the other end was Thao & The Get Stay Down (QRO spotlight on) whose ‘Alternative Folk Rock’ left my head spinning for hours and hours after the show. After two great and diverse acts, it was time for what we had all came for. The lights dim and out walked The Head and The Heart with an extra applause for violinist Charity Thielen.
They kicked the show off on the right foot, playing three new songs “Shake”, “Homecoming Heroes” and “Coeur d’Alene”, all off their latest album entitled Let’s Be Still (QRO review). The old numbers took a back seat as The Head and The Heart began to kick out the new ones, and it wasn’t until “Ghost” that I actually recognized something. Okay, I’ll admit it, I hadn’t given the new album a listen… but that wasn’t to say I was displeased with what I heard. The Head and the Heart was a three-piece band at their core, and the new pieces definitely gave each member room to breathe.
Though Thielen, Josiah Johnson and Jonathan Russell all shined, lot of thunder was coming from drummer Tyler Williams and bassist Chris Zasche. Together these guys were a lethal combination, and really brought each song to life. I’d never heard a more powerful version of “River and Roads” in my life until tonight. They really beat the hell out of these acoustic-folk ballads. Next to Williams and Zasche was pianist Kenny Hensley, who was not wearing an Elvis t-shirt tonight, unfortunately. Hensley plays one mean piano, especially during songs such as “Ghost” and “Lost In My Mind”.
We came, we saw and we conquered, but all was but over as we watched The Head and The Heart exit the stage. Entering stage left for the encore was lead vocalist Johnson, who was out to test a new piano ballad and soon-to-be-song. Before tonight, I had no idea Johnson played piano… but isn’t being surprised a factor every The Head and The Heart show I’ve been to? After Johnson was through, the band came back out to perform “Springtime”, “Summertime” and the crowd favorite, “Lost In My Mind”. Another great show from The Head and The Heart show had come to an end. Every time I see these lads they get better and better, and tonight was no exception. A big thank you is in order to Sub Pop and The Head and The Heart for another great show. You have all my gratitude, keep calm and folk on.