Arts & CultureMusic

The Head and the Heart plays sold-out show at WOW Hall

It is nearing the end of the set and the stage and floor alike are alive with singing and dancing crowd and band members. Yellow, green, red and purple stage lights alternate to cast a friendly, upbeat light around the stage — perfectly matched by the energetic shaking of the multiple tambourines and maracas that have made their way onto the platform.

As the bands dance, harmonize, smile and shout into their microphones, the Eugene crowd rises up to sway and sing back, most knowing the words to the current song, “Lost In My Mind.”@@[email protected]@ @@I have no idea how to recast this sentence, but I hate [email protected]@

This describes the sold-out performance Tuesday night by Seattle-based indie band The Head and the Heart. The energy found in WOW Hall felt “reminiscent of a camp fire with friends,” singer Jonathan Russell told the crowd.@@


The Head and The Heart closed the night with an encore performance of "Down in the Valley," one of their most popular songs. (Tess Freeman/Oregon Daily Emerald)

The six-piece band hadn’t expected to sell out their show in Eugene, according to drummer Tyler Williams. @@[email protected]@“We played here in September of last year,” Williams said. “It was awesome. I’m glad to have made it back.”

And throughout the band’s 15-song set, Eugene seemed glad that they made it back as well, as crowd members moved along to the guitar-, piano- and vocal-driven songs.

This fall marked the beginning of The Head and the Heart’s first national headlining tour, after spending the past year opening for bands such as Vampire Weekend, Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists. They began on the East Coast, with Eugene and Portland serving as the final two stops before the band’s homecoming show in Seattle.

“This tour has been great … it’s just been like one big party,” Williams said. He summed up how it felt to sell out shows on the East Coast: “It’s kind of indescribable, because you work for this … like I’ve been playing drums since I was nine and hoping for this since I was nine, so now to have people who want to see you that badly that they’ll buy tickets in advance and they’ll sell out the show in advance and they’ll come and scream their heads off — it’s crazy.”@@Is it possible to cut down that quote by a few words? There are an awful lot of “and”[email protected]@

Their set, opened by Seattle-based duo Lemolo @@ and now-trio Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, featured fan favorites such as “Lost In My Mind,” “Down in the Valley,” and “Coeur D’Alene.”@@[email protected]@

Throughout these songs, the three lead singers (Jonathan Russell, Josiah Johnson and Charity Rose Thielen) blended their vocals and harmonies expertly, often accentuated by touches of violin and full and driving piano lines.@@

Whereas openers Lemolo tended to be more slow and calm and Thao with The Get Down Stay Down more fast-paced and bouncy, The Head and the Heart fused the two to create a set leading the audience from a poppy, danceable song such as “Lost In My Mind” to a slow, simple, and largely acoustic song like “Winter Song.”

Although the band included three new songs in their set, Williams admits that they will likely not be a part of a new album.

“I think we want to take the time to write in a cohesive period off where we can actually make something that sounds like it was all made at the same time,” he said. “So, I think we’ll probably start writing the record in the spring.”

Until then, fans of The Head and the Heart can check out their self-titled debut album which was recently remastered this spring by Sub Pop Records,@@ or their acoustic version of “Lost In My Mind,” which can be found on Kink Live 14. @@[email protected]@

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