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The Head and the Heart: Weathering Change and Challenge with Grace

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The Head and the Heart at the Pageant

The Head and the Heart at the Pageant

Madisyn Siebert

Madisyn Siebert

The Head and the Heart at the Pageant

Madisyn Siebert, Staff Writer

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The Head and the Heart graced the stage at the Pageant on Oct.12 , returning to St. Louis on their Signs of Light Tour, which started back in Sept. 2016. The Head and the Heart are known for their unique indie-folk sound that has helped contribute to their rise to fame. The band even recently played Coachella last April.

“Signs of Light” is the band’s third studio album, and they have come a long way from the coffee shops and open-mic nights they started off playing in Seattle.

The band is composed of six members, including the front-liner of the group Jonathan Russell, who helped with the formation of the band back in 2009. Russell and Josiah Johnson are the creators of the band, but Johnson is taking a hiatus in 2016 due to his stuggles with drug addiction. Matt Gervais was selected to fill Johnson’s spot until he is ready to rejoin the band.

The true star of the show seemed to be Charity Rose Thielen, violinist and vocalist for the band, and wife of Matt Gervais. As the only female member, she adds a special flair to their sound. Every time Thielen came to the mic for a solo, the crowd would almost completely drown her out with cheers that filled the venue.

The performance was high-energy, and the mosh pit was filled with excitement and an overflow of intensity as the band performed with tenacity. Russell was dancing on stage and, at one point, lying down completely on the stage to go along with the message of their song, “Let’s Be Still.”

The Head and the Heart also did two covers: Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and a song by Tom Petty in light of his recent death. Both songs were renovated to fit with the band’s sound.

Also, to complement the band’s sound, the stage was decorated with little details that helped fit the group’s aesthetic: house plants, a neon pineapple light, dreamcatchers and whimsical drapings over tables. The overall feeling was immersive and gave off the vibes of a local coffee shop, rather than a concert.

At one point, the light focused solely on Russell as he performed a soft acoustic beginning to their song, “Sounds Like Hallelujah.” All the members of the audience remained quiet out of respect and out of pure awe, listening to Russell dazzle them single-handedly before the rest of his band joined him to finish off the song.

Russell also took a minute to express his love for the city of St. Louis and how Miles Davis—one of his inspirations—was born in this city. He elaborated on how St. Louis is a city that has recently been experiencing difficult times, but how every time he steps foot in this city, he feels only immense love. He also encouraged the audience to not mess up the city and keep it and its history safe.

The band eventually came to their encore, and Russell took to the mic once more to give background on their song, “Library Magic.” He explained how this song highlighted the ups and downs of what it was like to be in a band and how Thielen captured those feelings in the song perfectly.

The Head and the Heart soon finished with their two most famous songs, “Shake” and “Rivers and Roads,” which left the audience in a state of excitement and amazement at the harmonies that the band presented. Thielen, in particular, wowed
the crowd with her exceptional high notes that left them begging for more.

Overall, The Head and the Heart put on an entertaining show that enthralled the audience at all times, and the band remained true to themselves throughout the duration of the show.

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The Head and the Heart: Weathering Change and Challenge with Grace