The Head and the Heart @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
Not that I’m complaining, but after two nights of screaming guitars and drunken rowdy crowds, I was ready for a break.  The Head and the Heart provided this break with a sound that was comparable to a two-hour, Swedish massage for my ears.  The band’s indie folk found a perfect fit for the current music scene in St. Louis, as the near capacity audience was proof of that.  When researching a band, I often try to think a descriptive word or term that defines the band best.  The term that came to mind most while researching this band was fast-rising.  Last June, the band played the famed St. Louis venue, the Duckroom, with a capacity  of 300.  Less than a year later, they moved across the street and plays a nearly sold out Pageant (capacity 2000).  Now that’s fast rising.  The band makes music that could appeal to nearly every musical taste.  From the barroom sing-a-long feel of “Ghosts”, to the Woody Guthriesque, “Lost In My Mind”.  The Head and the Heart has it covered.  The band’s choices in stage decor are fitting for the music being played.  Simple lighting and a stage set that resembles a backyard barbecue, complete with clear-bulb string lighting and suspended Chinese lanterns.

Opening the night with the harmonically pleasing, “Cats and Dogs “, the Head and the Heart had the Pageant audience swaying and cheering by song's end.  Throughout the band’s music, a common theme is found:  focus on harmony between Jon Russell and Charity Rose Thielen.  The band first demonstrates these tight harmonies in the flowing “Honey Come Home.”  One of several highlights from the evening came mid-set as the band was joined onstage by supporting acts Black Wives and Drew Grow & the Pastors’ Wives for a rousing version of  “Lost in my Mind.” Very rarely do I have the luxury of stopping to take in any one song while covering a live show, but the first song of the Head and the Heart’s encore made me take note.  Theilen and Russell took center stage, sharing a single microphone to perform “Virginia" aka "Ever Since (Chasing a Ghost)".  As I sat in the balcony of the Pageant, I could feel the goose bumps rising as I took in the harmonies between these two performers.  The band called it a night on a mellow note with “Down in the Valley.”  As the Pageant was clearing out, I noticed a very diverse audience ranging in age from 50-something’s to teenagers.  If you haven’t checked out their music, you need to give it a shot.  If the Head and the Heart got this old guys attention, they can surely get yours.  Pictures of the show are below:

Contributed by Duane Clawson
The Head and the Heart @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO The Head and the Heart @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on April 11, 2012 Rating: 5
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