Monday, August 8, 2011

Newport Folk Festival Concert Review: The Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart: July 31 @ Newport Folk Festival, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

The month of July ended by the ocean, in the sun, with two days of great music at the Newport Folk Festival. With thirty-six (if I counted correctly) bands playing over the course of the weekend, spread out over three stages, plus the infectious What Cheer? Brigade roaming the grounds playing impromptu sets, there was a lot to take in. Luckily, I have some connections and landed myself a guest blogger! So today, we turn things over to Addison Braver Walsh for his take on The Head and the Heart.

Oh, and Addison, if you want to do more next year, (hint, hint) you would make me one very happy camper!

The Head and the Heart
By Addison Brav
er Walsh

For about five years I’ve been attending the Newport Folk Festival and seeing, and learning about, new fantastic music, from Edward Sharpe, to the Decembrists, to She and Him. However, this year there was a really special performance. About four months ago my dad shared a new album with me, by a group called The Head and the Heart. I heard their self-titled record and fell in love with it. I especially liked the catchy melodies and interesting lyrics that approached ideas so much differently than the music I usually listened to. I was thrilled to learn they would be playing at the Newport Folk Festival for their first ever performance in Rhode Island.

The Head and the Heart, hailing from Seattle, released their first album in 2010. It was an instant sensation, apparently selling close to 30,000 copies. This six-piece band is one that loves to play live; they haven’t turned down a single show all year—giving nearly 200 performances during that time. And watching them, I can see why.

They took the stage with full force, bursting right into their song, “Cats and Dogs.” The crowd jumped to its feet, dancing and singing along with every lyric. Most of the vocals were shared between Jonathan Russell, Josiah Johnson, and Charity Rose Thien—each with their own unique style. For nearly an hour, they kept the energy level turned up high, playing all my favorite songs, from “Ghosts” to “Down in the Valley, as well a couple I hadn’t heard before. Without a doubt, the Head and the Heart’s performance lived up to my expectations. I hope this is only the first of many years they will play at the Newport Folk Festival.

More photos HERE