Head and the Heart, Royal Blue concert leaves behind happily humming Whitties
This Thursday at 8:00 p.m. the much-awaited concert featuring The Head and the Heart took place in the Reid Ballroom, making a crowd of 500 Whitman students joyously jazzed off of folk-rock. The Seattle-based band was well-received by the Whitman community, yielding nothing but positive reviews.
After a late start, the arrival of The Head and the Heart on stage was met with cheers from the crowd. Mesmerized by perfectly dovetailed harmonies and the energy of emotion and reflection found in all of their songs, the crowd reveled in the energy of the group’s simultaneously calming and exhilarating pieces. Singing about relateable emotional histories of the uncertainties of life, the songs that reverberated through Reid vibrated the hearts of many in an overall fabulous performance.
“I thought The Head and the Heart was incredible live,” said sophomore Emily Krause. “It sounded like the album, but at the same time there was so much energy and power. They were super fun, upbeat and adorable with some really, really beautiful moments.”
But before the appearance of this Seattle-based band, a lesser-known group from Eugene, Ore. by the name of The Royal Blue opened, as part of a tour through Washington and Oregon as they begin to put themselves out into the world of performing musicians.
The year-and-a-half old folk-indie-rock group spoke to The Pioneer before they went on stage about the toils of emerging onto the music scene.
“Setting yourself apart is really hard, just because everyone has access to such great recording now,” said the singer-songwriter of the group, Matt Buetow.
This equalized access to quality equipment makes it hard for people to differentiate quality, creating a huge mass of music from which groups such as The Royal Blue constantly struggle to stand out in.
“I think the biggest thing that most people don’t realize about independent bands is that as much, if not a lot more of the time we spend practicing our music and getting it ready for performance … is spent [on] marketing,” said pianist Nathan Alef.
This theme received many affirming nods and mumbles, as member reflected on the always-unforseeable and arbitrary outcomes of their efforts. Such trials afflict all modern musicians in a world where, according to Buetow, “people don’t really need an album anymore … while we still want something to buy at the venue.”
Looking at the endless variables working against aspiring musicians, it’s no surprise this group was very thankful to Whitman for the chance to open for a band like The Head and the Heart.
“[We're] really grateful for the opportunity from Whitman,” said Buetow. “For them to invite us was a huge honor … I’ve actually been a fan since I saw them at [Sasquatch Music Festival] two years ago, and they had a mid-day slot and just killed it, and everybody was blown away.”
Such a description is fairly apt for the concert later that night.
“I thought the opener was really fun and a great lead-in to the concert,” Krause said. “And it was awesome to see people around our age up there!”
In conjunction with the powerful performance by The Head and the Heart, the night could be considered a great success.
“We’re overjoyed—the crowd was great, and it went better than expected,” said sophomore Nicole Holoboff, one of the music directors of Whitman Events Board.
After the performance, members signed everything from tickets to jean jackets and talked with excited Whitman students. Old-time fans were fulfilled as new listeners were converted by a great performance by both bands.