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As their frontman battles drug addiction, The Head and the Heart press on at LA’s Greek Theatre

The Heart and the HeartBy Josh Herwitt //

The Head and the Heart //
Greek Theatre – Los Angeles
October 7th, 2016 //

It’s amazing how far The Head and the Heart have come in just a little more than seven years. Formed through a series of open mic nights in the northwest Seattle neighborhood of Ballard, the sextet ditched world-renowned indie label Sub Pop this year and signed with Warner Bros. Records for its third full-length album Signs of Light, which dropped early last month.

But attaining major-label status hasn’t been the only change for The Head and the Heart over the past 12 months. Back in March, the band announced that frontman Josiah Johnson would be taking an indefinite leave to enter rehab and recover from drug addiction, leaving Jonathan Russell in charge of handling lead-vocal duties all on his own.

The Heart and the Heart

Though there’s no doubt the indie-folk outfit misses Johnson’s presence onstage, it seems to be doing just fine without him for the time being. For instance, take last Friday’s show at the Greek Theatre, which welcomed a solid turnout from the group’s LA contingent as countless couples and fans anywhere from the ages of 25-50 occupied the historic outdoor venue by the time The Head and the Heart took the stage shortly after 9 p.m.

Opening with their newest single “All We Ever Knew”, The Head and the Heart spent the next hour and a half showcasing some of their biggest hits, from “Lost in My Mind” and “Down in the Valley” off their self-titled debut LP to “Shake” and “Another Story” that are on their 2013 follow-up Let’s Be Still. It’s still unclear when Johnson is expected to return, but Russell and his four sidekicks — Charity Rose Thielen, Chris Zasche, Kenny Hensley and Tyler Williams — should be able to find comfort in the fact that their latest record is setting its own record after reaching as high as No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart and selling 40,000 units in its first week. If that, in addition to their new label status now, doesn’t immediately convince you that The Head and the Heart are on the up and up, seeing them perform live at a place like the Greek just might.

Setlist:
All We Ever Knew
Coeur d’Alene
City of Angels
Ghosts
Rhythm & Blues
Shake
Another Story
Let’s Be Still
Turn It Around
Lost in My Mind
Colors
Library Magic
Oh My Dear
I Don’t Mind
Winter Song
Sounds Like Hallelujah
Down in the Valley

Encore:
(Unknown)
Your Mother’s Eyes
Rivers and Roads

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