Indie folk’s new darlings The Head and The Heart played to a sold-out crowd Monday night at the Orpheum Theater. Buzzing off of the success of their recently-released album Let’s Be Still, which debuted at number three on iTunes, The Head and The Heart seemed positively enamored by their current fortune.
The band started off the night by playing one of its new melodies, “Summertime.” “Summertime” features the spectacular vocals of Charity Rose Thielen. Her voice is a dynamic blend of shrill and power. Aside from Thielen’s fabulous voice, the harmonious talent of The Head and The Heart was immediately made clear to the audience through this song.
Josiah Johnson, one of two lead singers, stopped after finishing one song to tell the audience about a concert early on in the band’s career. They were thrilled that 20 people had paid to come and see them, and he called his mom to tell her they had made it. He was smiling out into the sold-out audience telling them how surreal the moment felt. His genuine honesty made the Madison audience fall even more in love with the band.
“Honey Come Home” was one of many gems of the night. The harmonies were gorgeously crafted and each band member clearly contributed some serious musical talent. But this song stood out because they slowed it down and showcased Johnson and co-singer Jonathan Russell’s vocal skills. The Head and The Heart have serious musical talent, but when they keep it sweet and simple, the result is phenomenal.
The vibe in the audience was one of clear delight—none of the pushing and shoving that frequents more hyper acts. At one point, between songs, Thielen held up her Spotted Cow and shouted, “Cheers to Spotted Cow, my favorite beer in the world! I’m buying cases and cases to take back home with me.” If there’s one way to make friends in Wisconsin, it’s by talking about beer.
The paramount song off of the newly released Let’s Be Still, “John McBride,” was by all accounts even more triumphant live. The Head and The Heart seemed in-tune with each other and well-orchestrated, and “John McBride” was proof that the band will continue to pump out beautiful melodies.
When the two most beloved Head and The Heart songs, “Rivers and Roads” and “Down In The Valley,” played, the audience jumped up and down, singing along with every chord. Thielen’s vocal range was out of this world on “Rivers and Roads,” and The Head and The Heart’s signature wistfulness made “Down In The Valley” hit all the right spots.
The Head and The Heart played with a personalized blend of ornate musicality and simplistic nostalgia. Though they are by no means redefining a genre, The Head and The Heart have a serious set of musical skills. The masterful voice of Thielen is one that deserves its own stage, but The Head and The Heart is extremely lucky that she hasn’t realized that yet. This live performance certainly exceeded expectations by meeting the talent of the recordings. If they could just slow down on a few songs, the effect would be splendid. It truly was a superb concert.