How we all didn't end up on-stage dancing and shaking tambourines with The Head and the Heart has zero to do with the band and audience, and everything to do with the height of the stage at Terminal 5. While their very first New York City show might have been better suited to Bell House or Mercury Lounge, they filled their opening slot for Dr. Dog at the cavernous T5 with bounce and grin-inducing harmonies.
To fill in the obligatory "for fans of" statement, easy comparisons are Fleet Foxes, Mumford & Sons, Guster, and Fleetwood Mac. The Head and the Heart are happily riding the recent comeback of vocal-driven pop/Americana, and they sound and look like they are enjoying it. This six-piece band, visually centered around the lovable Charity Rose Thielen (vocals, violin, percussion) and lead by frontmen Josiah Johnson and Jon Russell (vocals, guitars, percussion) brought a refreshing mix of poignant, story-telling lyrics and driven melodies to the giant room. The movement and joy on-stage was nonstop, sincere and infectious. Many of their songs center around the idea of movement: like "Ghosts," a nostalgic ride along the chorus "All my friends are talkin' about leavin', about leavin', but all my friends are sittin' in their graves" and "Cats and Dogs," their beautiful opener that declares "my roots are grown but I don’t know where they are." Strung throughout the set were songs about moving forward, being on your way, leaving, going and being gone. From what I saw and heard Friday night, I'd say the are indeed moving, on their way and going - go see The Head and the Heart live. I dare you not to give in to their sunny day preachings and grin while you dance. -tm