Seattle’s newest stars, the Head and the Heart, rocked the house in their first headlining gig at the Showbox at the Market this past Friday. They already had the Showbox scheduled, but when that show sold out in just over 17 minutes, they added a second show at the Moore Theatre the next day.
Needless to say, this band is going places.
To open the show was Salt Lake City’s The Devil Whale, who proclaimed to the exuberant audience, “it was a year ago when we played a show with the Head and the Heart at a little place called the Comet Tavern. Look at how far they’ve come!” It is quite a miraculous feat, seeing that the Head and the Heart has only been playing together for just over a year.
But the Devil Whale put on a great show – mixing sunny 60s-tinged pop rock with blues hooks that made you want to sway back and forth to their songs. “Golden” and “Magic Numbers” were two standout tracks, which are equally as good on their CD Teeth, which they were selling at the merch table. “Werewolf Army” was another splendid track, a subdued ballad full of passion and sadness.
After an enjoyable set, Poulsbo, WA natives Lemolo took the stage as the second act of the night.
Lemolo had opened for the Head and the Heart back in January when I saw them at Neumo’s, and I instantly fell in love with their sound, and this time it was no different. While sound check took a while, it was all worth it, because the girls, Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox, bring so much sound between the two of them. With Grandall on guitar and keyboards and Cox on drums and keyboards, they create a simple sultry Seattle sound. Their sound spams from the upbeat dreamy pop of “Open Air,” the melancholy of “Beautiful Night” and the bluesy and sexy “Who Loves.”
And just as well as their band’s intense stage presence, they girls are charming to speak with, so I suggest the next chance you get to see them, you stop at the merch table and say ‘hey.’
Lemolo left the stage, and several people made their way up to the front where I was standing, making the crowd even denser than before. I didn’t expect there to be as many drunk people as there were, but one girl leaned over to me and slurred to me, “Do you wanna be famous?” as she shook my hand with the wrong hand. At least they were nice enough to let me stand in front of them while I could take photos.
The band took the stage, and you would have thought that Eddie Vedder was standing at the back, because people went nuts. I guess for good reason, because not only is the Head and the Heart an amazing band, they got signed to SubPop this year, they are playing the main stage at the Sasquatch Music Festival, and they’re touring with Iron and Wine. This is a good year for Seattle music.
Singer Josiah Johnson sported a Conor Byrne pub t-shirt, which was fitting, seeing that the band got their start playing open mics at the pub in Ballard. It even sold out earlier this year. An open mic sold out. Seriously.
After a drawn-out intro laden with Beastie Boys music, the band jumped right into “Cats and Dogs,” surrounded by old lamps that lit up the stage. After “Cats and Dogs,” the energy never stopped. The Head and the Heart is one of those bands that genuinely looks like they’re having the time of their life on stage. They make it look so easy, and so much fun. It makes me want to start a band.
While it was awesome to hear all the songs I’ve been listening to non-stop on the album like “Lost in my Mind” and “Down in the Valley,” some of my favorite moments of the night were with new songs – one that I don’t even know the title of. “Josh McBride” was a beautiful ballad that was so moving, that I almost started crying. I loved that song so much, and I wish I’d gotten in on video, just so I could listen to it over and over again since it isn’t on the record. But if you’d like to listen to it, Fuel Friends Blog did record a Chapel Session back in March. Another great moment was when singer Jonathan Russell took the stage solo with his acoustic guitar in a fantastic lament. It was met with a bunch of hoots and hollers as Russell hit the big notes.
In fact, there was plenty of screaming that night. One woman in front of me has noticed the Conor Byrne shirt and made it well known to the rest of the audience, and at another point she shouted out “We love you!” which Johnson replied back with “We love you too.” And the most uproarious applause came during the final part of the amazing track “Rivers and Roads,” one that’s so good that they had to include it on the album when Sub-Pop rereleased it this year. In the bridge of the song, where violinist Charity Rose Thielen starts singing, people screamed, again, like Eddie Vedder had suddenly taken the stage. Thielen does definitely bring something special to the band, and that’s more than just lovely harmonies.
It had been awhile since I’d felt so much love at a show, and it was well-deserved. I know I’m excited to see what’s next for the Head and the Heart, because I can say I was there before they made it big.