Indie-folk collective The Head and the Heart headlined a two-night stand at Georgia Theatre last week, along with opener Savannah Conley. Both shows sold out well ahead of time, so, as expected, the venue was packed on Thursday evening. The crowd was energetic and lively even before the concert began, which would come to be a theme throughout.
Conley’s set showcased her shockingly clear, even vocals. At times breathy and at others powerful, Conley’s voice took center stage. She announced early on that this performance was special—not only was her father present at the show, but he was onstage with her, playing guitar. He had a stand with sheet music, and was clearly comfortable and happy to be there.
“He had to fit me into his schedule,” Conley said. “No, really. He does this for a living.”
The crowd was receptive, cheering as Conley showed more emotion and becoming more somber as she backed away. She and the audience were in tune with one another, and when she left, it felt as if she took some of the warmth from the room.
Photo Credit: Rosemary Scott
The warmth did not return. The Head and the Heart’s first song, “All We Ever Do,” was well performed, and the sound was excellent, but it seemed somehow impersonal. Though the band’s ability was clear, there was something about the way its music was performed that left the audience feeling detached.
The group’s lead singer, Jonathan Russell, did not seem happy with the band’s performance, but also said the mistakes are what make experience more authentic. “This is the sloppiest you’ll ever see us play,” Russell said. “This is the most real.”
The Head and the Heart ended the set with its most popular song, “Rivers and Roads.” As expected, the crowd became more energetic and emotionally charged, bringing back what may have been missing during the beginning of the set.
As a band that writes songs primarily about love and loss, The Head and the Heart’s live show has a more distant feel than one would think. Despite this, the group is exceptionally skilled and well rehearsed, and its performance showcased these talents well.
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