by Dan Williams
The house was sold out on Sunday night at the Fillmore. The stage was set in a tropical theme with a backdrop of potted plants, an array of suspended white globes and a neon sign spelling out “Signs of Light,” their latest album name. The packed crowd was ready for the popular Indie band to take the stage. At precisely 9:15, after a fine opening set by seventeen-year-old Declan McKenna, they wandered out to cheers. The band launched into new album lead single “All We Ever Knew” and then into “City of Angels.” The sound was excellent in this newer venue in Fishtown.
The Head and the Heart ran through a setlist that kept the appreciative and orderly crowd swaying. All the hits were there including “Sounds Like Hallelujah” and “Down in the Valley.”
The band felt a little disconnected. Each player was positioned across the wide stage with a great degree of separation. And for the most part, there they stayed. I would have liked to have seen more interaction and playfulness between members. It left me with the feeling that despite their fine playing, they don’t feel cohesive as a unit.
The opener was the four-piece British band headed by Declan McKenna, winner of the Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition in 2015. The band has been touring with The Head and the Heart and features originals of Pop/Rock and a touch of Punk. McKenna has the look, skills and talent to continue his climb. And at such a young age, he has a clear advantage.