The Head and the Heart is a bit of a household name in the Seattle music scene these days. They haven’t been on the radar long, but they sure send a strong signal. No one is really able to put a finger on what exactly has everyone so up in arms about this band. Certainly, it could be their charming good looks – they are, after all, one of the most photogenic bands I’ve ever photographed on a stage. It’s possible that people are attracted to the countless qualities of their simply wonderful music – the catchy choruses and the perfect harmonies.
My feeling, though, is that what really draws people in and keeps them coming back for more is the pure eminence of emotion they feel in the presence of this band’s performance. I know I’m not the only one who’s felt this. I’ve heard people talk about it in the crowd at all three of the shows I’ve been to. I’ve heard people mention the “chills” they get when listening to their music. I’ve had those chills. At all three shows. I smiled through an entire set in Portland, OR with 50 others in a tiny venue, I watched in awe as they played to a nearly sold out crowd at the Croc, and I felt every ounce of energy coming from within the crowd of 500 people at Neumos last week.
I can’t speak for everyone else, but my hair stands on end (in a good way) when I watch THatH perform. It’s probably because I feel like I’m a part of something huge happening. I know I’m watching six people genuinely play and sing their hearts out, regardless of the size of the crowd. I’m not sure where all of their energy comes from, but they seem to have at least enough of it to share with hundreds of people inside a venue, plus some.
When I saw that their show with Avi Buffalo at Neumos sold out last week, I wasn’t surprised – Avi is a hell of a performer, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one excited to see him play live in Seattle. Not to mention, The Head and the Heart were on the bill along with The Parson Red Heads, making for a very well-rounded lineup.
By the time The Head and the Heart took the stage, Neumos was packed. And when The Head and the Heart left the stage, nearly everyone left Neumos. I was convinced that there just happened to be an extraordinary amount of smokers at the show, but by the time the third group of 10 people passed me on their way out, it was clear what had happened. The Head and the Heart had sold out Neumos – a venue they’d never played before.
Avi took the stage and seemed completely unphased by this. Even with a crowd of about thirty or so left in the venue, the band played a killer set without skipping a beat. I don’t think I expected a whole lot less, but the level of energy they played with certainly didn’t allude to any sort of discouragement. Both of these bands are made up of brilliant musicians and people who genuinely care about what they do and how their music affects the people who listen to it. Both also have the uncanny ability to throw down an amazing set of songs no matter who’s watching.