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Natural Growth 

The Head and The Heart returns to Bend to headline Les Schwab Amphitheater

The Head and The Heart returns as the headliner at the Les Schwab Amphitheater with Tyler Williams on drums (far right). - JAMES MINCHIN
  • James Minchin
  • The Head and The Heart returns as the headliner at the Les Schwab Amphitheater with Tyler Williams on drums (far right).

A couple months ago, a friend of mine who works at the Amphitheater teased me by saying entertainment agency, Monqui, had booked one last show for the year, and it was a band I loved. That's all she'd give up. When they finally announced The Head and The Heart would close out the concert season, with Blind Pilot as an opener, I couldn't contain my excitement.

I've loved The Head and The Heart since the first time I heard "Down in the Valley," off of their self-titled debut album. Earlier this year, I reconnected with another song from that album as I set up my bedframe in my old bedroom, in my old apartment. "Sound Like Hallelujah" played. As someone who connects with lyrics above all, I keyed in on the words — "I'm not walking away / I'm just hearing what you're saying / For the first time / Sounds like hallelujah for the first time / For the first time / Singing hallelujah for the first time / And I'll miss you someday / I'll miss you someday..."

It struck a personal chord with me at that time, which I think is what we love about their music. Think about the popularity of "Lost in My Mind," the band's biggest hit. The first time I saw The Head and The Heart, they opened for The Shins at Les Schwab Amphitheater. They now return as headliners. Drummer Tyler Williams sees this return as a cool, natural evolution for the band.

"It's exciting for us to be able to come back and kind of walk in The Shins' footsteps a little bit," Williams says. "I think that's kind of been the path that we've always wanted to chart as a band — natural growth and evolution..." 

While the band has expanded its reach far beyond its Seattle beginnings, it still remains steeped in the lifestyle and mentality of the Pacific Northwest.

"There's this give and take we have in the Pacific Northwest. It's kind of funny because we played Seattle the day before the election in 2016. It just felt like the whole Pacific Northwest had shifted with us and it was a totally different experience when we played again the day after the election. I don't think we really could have carried on with a show anywhere else. It just reminded us that this band is a product of the Pacific Northwest, and we care about each other."

I asked Williams what song he loved performing most. He said it changes from night to night, but he definitely has a few favorites.

"As a drummer, I try to find a balance between a subtle plane and something more upbeat," Williams says. "With 'Down in the Valley,' I find a good balance of what I do and to see the crowd erupt for that one is awesome. Every night there's a different one. That's the joy about playing music in different places every night." Fans will be pleased to know the band is currently working on its fourth album.

"We're all kind of songwriters in our own right, and that's what makes the band special, is that we all edit each other to make the songs great," Williams says. "I think we all start in our brains before any music is played in the real world. We have this weird ability to quickly move through ideas in music, and I think that's what makes this band so special is we can almost telepathically do it. No notes have even been played and we've already worked it out in our heads."  

The Head and The Heart, Blind Pilot

Wed., Sept. 19. 6:30pm

Les Schwab Amphitheater

344 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr., Bend

$39.50

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