The Head & The Heart return to Avondale Brewing Company to a sold out crowd of 3,000 fans.
Touring in support of their fifth studio album, Every Shade of Blue, The Head & The Heart trekked across the United States on a 43 day long run. Shakey Graves, Dawes, Hiss Golden Messenger, and HAPPY LANDING served as direct support along the run, marking a huge lineup throughout the fall.
Shakey Graves is a horrible opening act. Not because of his performance, quite the opposite in fact. Having to go on stage after Shakey Graves leaves huge shoes to fill, Graves' performance was full of energy, excitement, and expert musicianship. The project of Austin native Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Shakey Graves' is an incredible performer. Passionate and full of life, Shakey got the crowd shaking.
I am personally a huge fan of The Head & The Heart. I have seen them perform many times now, including their last show at Avondale in 2019 and more recently at Hangout Music Festival this past May. As much as I hate to admit it, this show was the weakest performance I've seen from the band.
While the musicality of the show was still top notch, the band has been touring for over a decade and it is clear they are incredible at what they do, this show felt like an off night. The passion felt near-empty and the energy from the stage was lacking, which felt reciprocated by much of the audience. Production also had taken a hit, with the band forgoing part of their touring package and audio issues plaguing several songs throughout the night.
The easy stand out of the night was "Lost in My Mind," an acoustic driven power-folk tune with the swell of a storm surge. This was followed by an acoustic rendition of "Oh My Dear." Sadly, these two highlights were followed by a horribly mixed "Missed Connection," in which the synthesizer and tracked gang vocals came in way too high in the mix.
The show was not all bad however; the mix did solidify throughout the night, the band got some pep in their step towards the end, and overall the audience did seem to enjoy the show. While not the best I've ever seen, The Head & The Heart still out perform most bands you'll see on a given night.
It was certain hits like "Rivers and Roads" and "All We Ever Knew" would make the setlist, but some deep cuts including "Ghosts" also made the cut. The setlist also favorited their new album, Every Shade of Blue, heavily. A notable missing song was the band's deep cut "Alabama," a geographically relevant song to Birmingham.
1. Every Shade of Blue
2. Don't Show Your Weakness
3. All We Ever Knew
4. Another Story
6. Rhythm & Blues
7. Let's Be Still
8. Lost in My Mind
9. Oh My Dear (acoustic)
10. Missed Connection
12. Same Hurt
14. Hurts (But It Goes Away)
15. Down in the Valley
18. Virginia (Wind in the Night)
19. Rivers and Roads
The Head & The Heart are just about done with their touring plans for the year. Just five more shows on the books, including one with WEGL's friends HAPPY LANDING, before the band takes a break through the new year. Their remaining dates are below.
10/11 Charleston, SC — Firefly Distillery*
10/13 St. Augustine, FL — The Saint Augustine Amphitheatre#
10/14 Atlanta, GA — Cadence Bank Amphitheatre#
10/15 Nashville, TN — Ascend Amphitheater#^
10/21 Knoxville, TN — Knoxville River Breeze Concert Series
* with HAPPY LANDING
# with Shakey Graves
^ with Chrome Pony
In my mind, The Head & The Heart are still an incredible band. While this most recent performance in The Magic City was not their best, it is clear that they do have something special. It is impossible for a band to be perfect every night with as much energy as a live performance takes. I can't necessarily recommend this particular show, but i do highly recommend seeing The Head & The Heart at least once (just hope it isn't one of their off nights).