The Head and the Heart overcomes slow start, builds bond with audience

This year’s Pygmalion Music Festival opened with one of the most energetic headliners of the festival, the Head and the Heart. The indie folk-pop band took the stage at a packed Tryon Festival Theatre at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday.

For a while, I questioned whether the band really wanted to be there. The bassist and the keyboard player didn’t face the audience at all throughout the show, and everyone else seemed to just be going through the motions. The band had a few awkward interactions with the audience between songs and had trouble with volume levels.

The show changed in tone during the performance of “Lost in My Mind.” The band started to loosen up, and as the show progressed, the band got more and more into it, dancing and high-fiving throughout the songs and developing an intimate relationship with the audience.

Near the end of the show, it appeared the band was done. Most of the members left the stage, leaving vocalist Jonathan Russell alone.

“We don’t normally just stick around doing acoustic songs, but when the room feels right, we just do it,” he said. “Thanks for being here for us.”

After that, band members played a few more solo, acoustic songs, but The Head and The Heart ended with a stellar performance of “Down in the Valley,” singing “These are the places I will always go.” It would be nice if that rings true for future Pygmalion Music Festivals.

Johnathan is a junior in Media. He can be reached at [email protected]