Show Review: The Head and the Heart at Agganis Arena (10/12)

Saturday night was one for the books at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. In a crowded and vibrant space that is often used for hockey games, the Washington-born band The Head and the Heart did something incredible – they made a room built for thousands of people feel like home.

From the moment The Head and the Heart greeted the audience, the 6-piece Americana band had everyone’s attention. The band’s unique energy was clear from the moment they walked on stage and began their set with crowd favorites like “Missed Connection”. In each song, lead singers Jonathon Russell and Charity Rose Thielen did an incredible job of welcoming the audience into the band’s world through their high-energy performances.

One of the most exciting things about seeing The Head and the Heart live is that you never know what to expect next. Being a group of multi-instrumentalists with two lead singers (who also play guitar and fiddle), a guitarist, a pianist, a bassist, and a drummer, you can only guess what the band will put out of their hat next. It was so much fun to watch The Head and the Heart keep the audience engaged the whole time as they switched up the instrumentation and made each song a unique and thrilling experience. A great opening set from Illiterate Light helped to enrich the show, and tasteful stage design and lighting effects drove the music forward and created a high-energy space for dancing, clapping, and singing along.

Although the group came across as a band of few words, they made it feel like you already knew them well. They made it feel as though you were at a house party with all of your pals, watching your friends on stage. The Head and the Heart gave their all to each song, and their hits “Another Story” and “Rivers & Roads” became anthemic as bandmates and audience members alike poured their hearts into singing each tune’s beautiful melodies. One of the most memorable moments of the night was when everyone left the stage except for Russell. Standing there with only an acoustic guitar in hand, he whistled and sang the strikingly honest and personal song “Glory of Music”. It was incredible to hear such simple raw emotion, and it was special to share this moment with everyone in the room that night.

The Head and the Heart is such an amazing group with so much talent and passion to share with the world. Each of the musicians brings his/her own ideas to the group, and it gives the group an authentic and creative sound. Their show at Agganis Arena was nothing short of amazing, as they invited you into the band with each song and made a huge space feel like an intimate house show. It’s not often that a band like The Head and the Heart comes along, and I hope they visit Boston again soon.