Sunday, July 24, 2011

In Review: The Head and The Heart (Calgary Folk Festival)

I was introduced to The Head and The Heart earlier this year. They instantly became one of my you can imagine my delight when I found out that they were going to be playing at the Calgary Folk Festival. If I didn't get a pass I would swim across the Bow and, somehow in my stealthy ninja way, sneak onto the festival grounds just to watch them play. And it would have been worth it.

They took the stage and started to play their folk-pop music to a packed audience watching Stage 4 at the festival. There are 6 people in the band, so the energy is pretty much radiated off of the stage to the audience. Their music isn't 'dance' but they manage to jump around the stage and have a good time amongst themselves. At the beginning there was one lone girl off to the side of the stage that was dancing by herself. Then all of a sudden, about 3 songs in, another group in the front joined her and it took over the audience like a wave. Suddenly people were rushing to the stage and the entire crowd was standing, clapping, singing and dancing.

Photo Credit: Aldona B Photography
I know it is a concert, but you have to realize that it is Calgary (home of the 'sitters') and it is folk fest where people literally have chairs on their backs when they walk around. I am always terrified to stand around people who are sitting at Folk Fest cause I don't want to get cussed out. This was not the case for this show. I fully believe that it was because the band was having so much fun jamming on stage that the audience wanted to stand and join in. And, unlike so many other shows I have been to here, no one in the band had to ask them - it was self started!

The band was so fun to watch. The 3 vocalists trade off and harmonize with each other while the rest of the band sings along in the back. The female, Charity, has an amazing voice, but there wasn't one that stood out because they were all good. It was almost too much talent in one band.

Photo Credit: Aldona B Photography
My favorite song of theirs is Down in the Valley. They played it towards the end of the set and...well, I don't even know what to say. I cried (not a gross cry like that one time at John Mayer, but a brief moment of a softening of my cold heart and then back to know how it is). I think part of it was that I knew that I was seeing a band which, at this time next year, people will kill each other in to get tickets to see.

I was a little pissed that they were not playing a main stage show, but I preferred seeing them on a smaller stage. The people who came to see them were there for the band and not just to have their tarped out section for the last show of the night.

If you were at the festival and you missed The Head and The Heart I feel bad for you. I think you should go ahead and slap yourself in the face now - cause you are definitely going to want to do it later.

Verdict: 4.7 Stars


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