Live concerts are kind of odd, if you think about them. You buy a ticket to a band you like, arrive to a venue populated by fellow fans, maybe have a drink or two, and then stand there, waiting to be utterly transported. And transported alone, too – from what I can tell from shows in the Bay, people don’t like to show emotion. The most you’ll get is some mild bopping as people clutch their beer bottles. I’m not asking for dance circles, but if you’re not looking for connection, why did you leave the house?
And yet we’re all guilty of craving the experience. I had first heard the Head and the Heart on KEXP, was converted by rapturous praise over at I am Fuel, You are Friends, and found myself greatly enjoying their self-titled album. When I went to see them with KO last Wednesday, April 27 at Bottom of the Hill, I confess, I was ready to be transported. And boy, did they deliver.
The songs are not complex, sonically or lyrically. They are about travel, and love, and family, and roads, and rivers. “Honey, come home,” singer Jonathan Russell sings on “Honey Come Home.” “I’ve cleaned out the fridge / wiped the counters off.”
But what the band brings is heart, and so much of it. When they started “Down in the Valley” and the crowd erupted with the chorus, you really felt like you were part of something. The band just moves together so well, and brings the audience along for the ride.
Looking at their touring schedule, I have no idea how they make it work. I’m all for it though, as this is a band to see if they come by your town… especially if it’s at one of the smaller venues that they are sure to outgrow soon. Check out outcoming dates here.
Also a live version of “Down in the Valley””