The Head and the Heart disappoints, frustrates teen

Trisha Chaudhary

The Head and the Heart performs at the Blue Note. Photo by Trisha Chaudhary

All week, my friend and co-writer, Urmila, and I have been looking forward to seeing The Head and the Heart. We discovered the band last year and loved their mellow, indie music.

Thinking the concert started at 6 p.m., we arrived at the Blue Note at 5:30, the perfect eager, inexperienced fans. Instead, disappointment awaited us.
The concert was set to be outdoors, had been moved inside and pushed back to 8 p.m. because of the venue change, a Blue Note worker kindly explained to us as we tried to get into the stage area.
Embarrassed and confused, we wandered Columbia, ending up sitting at the Coffee Zone and sharing an iced coffee neither of us wanted. After killing almost and hour, we retreated to the Blue Note around 6:20 where a line, snaking around the corner and into the alley next door, had formed
The time went fairly fast as more and more people collected to see The Head and the Heart perform. We could hear a band practicing inside and realized that only a thin wall separated us from the music we were waiting her performed live.
When 7:20 finally rolled around, Blue Note workers came outside yelling out that everyone needed to have their IDs out and those under 21 years of age needed to have $2 each for a “minor surcharge.”
Wait, what? Yes, we had heard right, confirming from a neighbor. Well, we were both obviously under 21, and then the panic sunk in because neither of us had any cash. Nobody had told us of this additional fee, and, suffice it to say, we began to freak out.
I ran into the Coffee Zone to see if they did debit card cash back so that I could retrieve some cash. They didn’t. I ran up the length of Ninth street, turning on Broadway, peering into every shop and going into the ones that were still open to ask the same question over and over again: Do you guys do debit card cash back? It seems like none of the businesses downtown do.
Finally, a helpful waitress pointed me in the direction of an ATM. I waited behind three people and finally took out a minimum of $10 with a bank charge of $3.
Why did minors have to pay $2 to get in? Why weren’t we informed of this earlier? And why pray tell, did none of the businesses downtown do debit card cash back?
I returned to the line just as people started inching their way inside. After showing our photo IDs, paying our $2 minor fees and getting the backs of both hands stamped with blue chickens, Urmila and I went straight to the front, where only a few people had gathered, positioning ourselves as close as possible to the stage.
We were the second row of people; we would fell the sweat dripping off of the musicians. It didn’t get any better than this.
After having already been two hours behind schedule, I began to worry a little. My curfew was 11 p.m. and thinking the concert started at 6, I figured this would be no problem. But as time crept to 8 p.m., the opening act had yet to go on.
Bryan John Appleby, a musician from Seattle, and his band finally came on around 8:15. Their songs rallied the crowd, playing for 30 minutes. Once they ended and cleared the stage for the next band, an excited buzz filled the room. We were so close to hearing The Head and the Heart!
As the workers prepared the stage, we talked to our neighbors only to find out that there was another opening act coming on. No, I thought. This was not happening. I mean who has two opening acts?
The band, Blitzen Trapper, was awful. They started with a song with a country twang and got progressively worse from there, leading to loud electric guitar solos and loud cymbal crashes. Their music was so obscenely loud my ears were quite literally in pain from a combination of the volume and their appalling music. A fellow concert go-er described the four band members as “Green Day, Guitar Hero, truck stop and Einstein,” referring to the way they looked and dressed.
By this time, my feet were killing me and my back ached. I felt like an old woman. Not to mention, right behind me was one of their apparently die-hard fans who had just appeared to hear them play. She screamed out song names and cheered into my ear, routinely pulling my hair out in her ferocious clapping, and ram into me.
After 30 (yes, 30) painful minutes of listening to them wail country music with complimentary electric guitar solos, they were finally finished. As they stopped singing and the room once again filled with idle chatter, I finally could hear myself think. The obnoxious girl disappeared, and we bonded with our neighbors over how terrible Blitzen Trapper had been. I mean, even their name stinks.
By now the time was almost 10, and it would take me about 20 minutes to get home from downtown. So after several panicked and pleading texts, my dad extended my curfew to 11:30. If The Head and the Heart went on soon, we would hear them play for at least an hour.
They spent 15 minutes setting up the stage and getting their instruments tuned for them. Yup, tuned for them.
By the time The Head and the Heart actually walked on stage, it was 10:15, more than four hours after we had initially thought we would see them.
The Head and the Heart opened with “Cats and Dogs,” which they blended with “Coeur D’Alene.” Banging tambourines against their wrists and being passionate about their own music made the crowd connect with them. There’s nothing better than seeing a band perform that really loves their music.
The band also played “Ghost,” “When I Fall Asleep,” “Heaven Go Easy on Me” and “Josh McBride,” charming the audience with their dancing and smiles.
They seemed at ease on stage and carefree. The keyboarder, sporting  a Carrie Underwood shirt, had fingers that flew across the keys, and the drummer’s floppy hair bounced with every beat.
Though the majority of the band members charmed me, one of the lead singers, Jonathon Russell, seemed disconnected from the music and wasn’t as passionate as the others.
Regardless, we were finally hearing The Head and the Heart play. Maybe all of it will be worth it. All night, we had been looking forward to hearing our favorites by them, “Down in the Valley, “Rivers and Roads” and “Lost in My Mind.”
But unfortunately, I still had a curfew.
We reluctantly pushed our way through massive the crowd, toward the exit doors. Just as the cool night’s air touched us, we heard the band start to play “Lost in My Mind.” Defeated, dejected and with aching backs and feet, we stood for a while and listened.
I think it’s safe to say that this was one of the biggest disappointments of my life. Ever.
Moral of the story: my boots are not meant for standing in for five hours.
By Trisha Chaudhary
Did you make it to the concert? Are your feet tired? What did you think of the night?