Accompanied by opener Shakey Graves, The Head and The Heart stopped in Madison Oct. 3 for a two-day show to share their new album, Every Shade of Blue.
For years, The Head and The Heart ruled the radio with hits like “Rivers and Roads,” “All We Ever Knew,” and “Missed Connection.” This week, the band brought those classics and more to a roaring, two-day show at The Sylvee for their Every Shade of Blue tour.
Clad in different shades of blue, the quintet was welcomed by a crowd of all ages and styles. The band is known for their own mixed alternative-indie folk style, and their fans are enough to speak for their diversity.
The crew of four men and one woman took up their instruments — mostly strings — and performed in front of a beautiful tapestry of striped white cloth and black sheer. The set complimented their use of fog and lights for each song, shimmering distinct and vivid colors onto the band and audience.
For the most part, The Head and The Heart separated their classics and songs from their latest album by light colors. For Every Shade of Blue, they mainly used blue and complementary colors, creating waves that glistened through their fabric backdrop. Other songs that followed matched colors from their other albums, with “Honeybee” matching Living Mirage’s (2019) yellowish tan and “All We Ever Knew” to Signs of Light’s (2016) green.
The band has a knack for working the crowd with a set list that matches their water-like background. Where the beginning was powerful and bright, the middle was calm and fun and the end, reflective and thankful.
The album itself concentrates on the mixed emotions of human connection — especially love. “Tiebreaker” shares the adoration and shock of entering a relationship, while songs like “Every Shade of Blue” and “Love Me Still” recognize personal faults and the fear of acceptance with them.
The Head and The Heart built their career on music that reflects the human experience in a feel good manner. Every Shade of Blue is a refreshing take on this premise with more modern beats and production. With each album, the band seems to identify closer to alternative than their initial indie-folk roots.
Clearly, their progression is working as fans continue to pack their concerts and their albums receive critical acclaim. While Every Shade of Blue is yet to receive recognition, it’s projected to follow suit with self-named album, The Head and The Heart (2011), Let’s Be Still (2013) and Living Mirage (2019).
Preceding the headliner was the ever-talented Shakey Graves, a master of expression and crowd-taming. His fusion of blues, folk and rock and roll (among other genres) is explosive and nostalgic. Every lyric has a reason for being and a vocal reaction to follow. The artist’s raspy, bluesy growl separates him as a trailblazer in the alternative folk genre. From hits like “Tomorrow” and “Dearly Departed,” Shakey Graves proves a specialized range that wiles crowds and warms their hearts.
The Head and The Heart with Shakey Graves will continue their tour across the country until the end of October. For more details, check out their website and listen to their vibrant discographies on all streaming platforms.