Live Review: The Head And The Heart – Forest Hills, NY

Although The Head And The Heart’s pop direction may bring major disappointment to folk loving fans, their recent Forest Hills Stadium concert in Queens, NY exhibited excitingly memorable rock and roll.

They began the show by performing an energetic version of ‘All We Ever Knew’. Hearing this song live again with the full band made me remember how much the song’s form has changed since its original solo acoustic version. Next they played fan favorite ‘Lost in My Mind’, their first hit single from their self-titled debut album. This radio jam still bumps after eight years of hearing it. ‘Missed Connection’ followed which was the first new music we got to hear for the latest album Living Mirage.

The band jumped back to the classics for a powerful version of ‘Ghosts’ and a tender, memorable rendition of ‘Another Story’. For ‘Lets Be Still’, frontman Jon told all of the fans to shine their iPhone flashlights throughout the stadium, so that it created a magically engaging intimate form of art.

After, the band blasted off into the rocking ‘Rhythm and Blues’ from their third album Signs Of Light. They continued the set with ‘Honeybee’, track four off their new album. Although a lot of the songs on Living Mirage demonstrate a pop direction rather than the folk rock sound that initially attracted so many listeners, the new style is experienced in a way that makes the music and writing seem fresh as ever.

As the mood stayed upbeat after this electrifying pop/emo tune, ‘Sounds Like Hallelujah’ was a pleasant surprise and had fans up on their feet. Then they performed a very gentle version of ‘Down In The Valley’ followed by the mood shifting, energetic ‘Living Mirage’.

Next they played the opening track ‘See You Through My Eyes’ from Living Mirage. This song featured some soulful backup from singer and multi instrumentalist Charity Rose Thielen. After the song she stepped up to the mic to let the audience know that it was their bass player’s birthday. “Happy Birthday Chris! Our friend Wesley from the Lumineers gave us a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue to help celebrate” she told us. To close the set the band performed a fire version of ‘Shake’ – the single from their second album Let’s Be Still.

‘Rivers and Roads’ as the encore is hard to experience as the final minutes of a Head And The Heart show without former co frontman Josiah Johnson. However the band played on and it remains one of their most sincere and deep songs.

We’re excited for leg two of their tour when they play Kings Theater in Brooklyn in the Fall!

Scott J. Herman