The Head And The Heart Play Alabama Theater

Sunday, October 8, 2017 - by Patrick O'Hagan

Indie-folk band The Head And The Heart has spent much of the year touring in support of their 2016 album Signs of Light. The band made a Tennessee stop during the summer at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Fest in Manchester, Tn., among a slurry of main festival gigs including Coachella, Lollapolooza, Austin City Limits, and more.

On Wednesday night, the six-piece outfit brought their Signs of Light tour to the historic Alabama Theater in downtown Birmingham. The majesty of the venue’s interior only added to the warmth of the band’s performance.

The Shelters, an L.A.-based rock band, opened the show with a 45-minute set.

The group, comprised of Sebastian Harris, Josh Jove, Jacob Pilot, and Chase Simpson, featured a retro vibe of raw guitar and vocals. The band has an interesting story in their climb to popularity. The late Tom Petty was the one to meet them during a show and offer the band access to his studio. The Shelters later collaborated with Petty and his band; and Petty co-produced their 2016 debut album.

The Head And The Heart has seen its fair share of ups and downs throughout the last year, but have persevered and only seem to be holding on to the ups. Co-founding member Josiah Johnson remains on hiatus from the band after taking a leave of absence as he battles addiction. Many bands wouldn’t be able to sustain during such turbulent times, but The Head And The Heart continues to beat on with their sights set toward the future.

Throughout Wednesday night’s performance the group followed naturally under the leadership of co-founder Jonathan Russell, who has taken the reigns and fronted the band since Johnson’s departure. Drummer Tyler Williams, violinist Charity Rose Thielen, her husband Matt Gervais, keyboardist Kenny Hensley, and bassist Chris Zasche all played together in a seamless performance and display of their work. They treated fans, who packed the Alabama Theater, to a 19-song setlist spanning the band’s three album catalogue.

The Head And The Heart plans to continue to push the successes of last year – they signed a major deal with Warner Brothers Records, and had their single “All We Ever Knew, hit the Billboard Alternative charts at No. 1 – into next year. After a short break from the road, the group already has plans to begin work on a new album at the beginning of 2018. 

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