The Head and the Heart w/ Dawes• August 8, 2022• Red Butte Garden
Reviewed by Alisha Gregson
On the 6th night of their Every Shade of Blue tour, Indie Folk band The Head and The Heart put on an unforgettable concert for a sold-out crowd at Red Butte Gardens. Tickets sold out shortly after they were released, and thousands of excited fans came ready to be entertained. With such beautiful landscaping and scenery, Red Butte felt like a perfect setting for a band like The Head and The Heart. As a long-time fan of the band, this is a concert I had been looking forward to.
I can still remember the first time I heard one of their songs. It was the summer of 2011, and I was alone in my car driving home from the mountains. “Lost in My Mind” began to play on the indie radio station I was listening to. I immediately connected with the song. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the rest of my drive, and I wanted to hear more. As soon as I was home, I found their first and only album at the time. I listened to it right away. I fell in love with that album that day and with every album they have released since. After 11 years of listening to them, I finally got the chance to see them live.
The concert started with the talented folk rock band Dawes. I had heard of Dawes, but I was unfamiliar with their music. I was excited for the opportunity to listen to them, and they did an excellent job. They played a high-energy set of eight songs. Songs included “Ghost in the Machine”, “Comes in Waves”, and “Feed the Fire”. and “All Your Favorite Bands.”
Lead singer Taylor Goldsmith dedicated a song to his wife. Goldsmith mentioned he was excited to see her again in a few days. His wife happens to be actress and singer Mandy Moore. I would imagine with two very busy careers, it might be difficult to see each other as often. I don’t blame him for being excited to reunite.
Dawes ended their set with the sentimental, “All Your Favorite Bands” It was fun to see people who knew the song join in. And to see those unfamiliar hear the lyrics and embrace the message. The crowd enjoyed their songs, and it was clear that some fans came out just for them. I loved their sound and I look forward to hearing more of their stuff.
The Head and The Heart
The Head and the Heart stepped onto the stage as the sun was setting. The band was covered in blue light, an obvious nod to the title of their album Every Shade of Blue. It seemed appropriate that they would begin the concert with the song that both the album and tour were named after. As they began to play “Every Shade of Blue”, I could tell that not everyone in the audience was familiar with the song. I wasn’t surprised by this, as the album had only been released a few months prior. The fans who knew the song sang along, while others enjoyed hearing it for the first time. They followed it up with “Don’t Show Your Weakness,” also from the new album.
Their 20-song set list also included many of their older songs as well. The audience enjoyed dancing and singing along to some of their favorites. Songs like “All We Ever Knew”, “Missed Connection”, “Down in the Valley”, and “Ghosts” went over big with the sold-out crowd.
I try not to show up to a concert with expectations. However, with The Head and the Heart, I had some songs I was eager to hear. I especially enjoy one of their songs, “Let’s Be Still”. Hearing it live was incredible. They performed it flawlessly, and I enjoyed watching the crowd slowly sway as they sang along. When they started singing “Lost in My Mind” next, it brought me back to the moment I first heard the song years ago. Being there in person to listen to them play felt a little surreal at that moment. I loved every moment of the night and could see the rest of the crowd was as well.
About halfway through the night, the band took a minute to recognize a friend they had in the audience. They dedicated the well-loved song “Honeybee” to Jake Fish. The band did an excellent job stacking their set with all their best pieces. Because they are on tour promoting their new album, many of the songs they played were their new ones. Every Shade of Blue does have a different sound than their previous albums, and I was excited to hear what they would sound like when performed live. “Same Hurt”, “Don’t Show Your Weakness”, and “Hurts (But It Goes Away)”, are a few of my favorites they played from Every Shade Of Blue. I did actually like them even better live than the recorded versions. They also played “Tiebreaker”, “Enemy Lines”, and “Paradigm.”
Later in the evening, a special guest joined the band on stage. A lucky tiny praying mantis stole the spotlight for a moment after he was noticed by one of the musicians. They held the little bug up for the crowd to see before placing him on the keyboard where they felt it would be safer. After giving the praying mantis the best seat in the house, they continued with the music. Before saying goodnight and walking off stage, they played one of my favorite songs, “Shake.” I knew they would be back in a moment for an encore, but I felt sad that the night would end soon. I had loved every song so far, and I would have stayed and listened all through the night.
When they did return, they played a three-song encore starting with “Shadows” from their new album. They also played “Virginia (Wind in the Night)”, which I believe may be most fan favorite song from the new album. To end the evening, they played their most famous song, “Rivers and Roads”, while the entire crowd joined in. Although I wish it never had to end, it was the perfect way to wrap up the night. I was left in awe by how talented they were. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to finally see them perform.