LIVE REVIEW + PHOTOS: The Head and the Heart @ BHB Pavilion 07.29.17

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Fresh off a Friday night appearance at Newport Folk Festival, indie folk outfit The Head and the Heart made their way up to Boston for a Saturday night show at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. The group is on the road in support of their most recent studio album, Signs of Light which was released in September of last year. Signs of Light debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, the groups’ highest charting album to date.

The Head and the Heart opened their set with “City of Angles” – their most recent single from the new album. Their stage was beautifully decorate with a silver satin curtain behind them, plants scattered about on stage, and a neon sign with the album name Signs of Light that lit up off an on during their set. It was a retro atmosphere that presented the visual aesthetic of being at a high school dance in the 1950’s – you know, like the one in Back to the Future. Frontman Jonathan Russell added his own touch to it with a classic looking fedora hat the likes of which Frank Sinatra would have worn.

The Head and the Heart’s music is fitting for that atmosphere as simple and classic tunes played on traditional instruments. The only thing that was missing was the band wearing matching suits. While Russell is the band’s frontman, violinist and occasional vocalist Charity Rose Thielen is a fan favorite. Thielen was nearly drown out by loud cheers every time she sang a portion of a song.

As far as their back catalog goes, it was “Lost in My Mind” that got the strongest crowd reaction on the night, as the band played an extended version of the song to which the majority of the 5,000 in attendance sang along.

Popular single “All We Ever Knew” was also a highlight of the set, an emotional tune that you could picture yourself slow dancing to in the 50’s, or hearing played out of an old record player in your grandparent’s house.

The Head and the Heart like to keep things simple with their music, you’re not going to see any synths or banjo solos like some of the similar bands in the genre. What you get with them is a classic, hard working band playing the kind of music that was once the most popular in the country.

Opening the show was quiet and awkward country flavored band Big Thief who did little to impress the Boston crowd, and continued playing on past their allotted set time. Their set was underwhelming and featured a few bright points, but the Brooklyn four piece still has some work to do if they want to compete in the indie folk genre.

Photos – The Head and the Heart, Big Thief – 07/29/17

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