Wednesday night I went to Rams Head to see The Head and the Heart. I had seen them there almost exactly 2 years ago. I remember because my friend Kristen was with me along with some other friends and she was hugely pregnant at the time, but not as hugely pregnant as she is right now which is why she couldn’t join me this time. I joked with her that I go to see them every time she’s pregnant.
Anyway, when the tickets when on sale for this concert I was happy to see that Lucius was the opening act, and they are someone I know and like. Last time I saw The Head and the Heart at Rams Head the opening acts were let’s say not great. Lucius however was excellent. If you are not familiar with them they are a band from Brooklyn that I would classify as kind of synth pop. They also have lots of percussion going on, which I enjoy.
Let me digress for a minute. I am entirely fascinated by band dynamics, and really music in general. I have no musical talent so I can’t even contemplate how one even thinks about writing a song. Then you add in a full band. How do you decide what kind of music you want to play? What kind of image if any are you trying to convey? Lucius had me thinking about these things last night because they are very stylized. The two lead, female singers dress in matching outfits and have both coiffed their bleach blond hair into the same hairstyle (or maybe they’re both wearing wigs), and the 3 gentleman were all wearing sleek, matching suits. It’s a very interesting choice. Stuff like this fascinates me. Anyway, I enjoyed their performance a lot. I loved that they did a little mash-up of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” with “Turn It Around”. That was lots of fun, and it’s stuff like that that makes me adore live music. They’ll be playing The Newport Folk Festival this summer, so if their set doesn’t conflict with someone else I want to see that I haven’t seen recently I’ll happily see them again.
And speaking of reasons why I love live music The Head and the Heart’s set from last night was a perfect example. Things may not always get to go as planned, but that’s half the fun. And it means you get to experience things you wouldn’t otherwise. Jonathan Russell who is one of the lead vocalists messed up his voice somehow, and so couldn’t sing very well. As a result Josiah Johnson took over lead vocals on some of the songs he doesn’t usually do lead on. It gave the songs including probably their biggest hit to date, “Lost in My Mind” a different feel. The other big thing that happened as a result is that for the beginning of their encore the bassist, drummer, and keyboardist did not come back out. Instead Jonathan, Josiah, and Charity Rose came out armed with only an acoustic guitar among the three of them. They passed it around playing and each took lead vocals on one of their slower, quieter songs so that Jonathan’s voice could keep up. It’s something they said they never do, though for all I know they could be doing it at every show on this tour. Either way it was lovely, and I’ll take their word for it that it was a special experience.
The highlight of the night for me though was the performance of “Rivers and Roads”. That song really resonates with me right now as I’ve recently had several good friends move away and I’m already primed for several more who have told me they’re leaving Baltimore within the next year. Aside from that though they really just killed that song last night. I know I’m not the only one who thought so because when it was done the girl next to me said, “Oh my god, that was fantastic!”
It was a great show and I look forward to seeing them again in the future. Maybe my friend Kristen will have another baby in two years and I can seem them again then.