My fourth and final Pygmalion as a student is officially over and what a way to go out. The Krannert Center opened the festivities, with one of the UK’s most talked about groups, Daughter, kicking it off. They were joined by Head and the Heart, the Pacific-Northwest folk-rockers touring in support of their upcoming release Let’s Be Still. Check out pictures and reviews below. Stay tuned for the annual Pyggy Crown tomorrow!
I’ve never been a fan of concerts with the audience sitting down. I think it’s awkward and probably worse for the band. Also, the Krannert Center is huge. How would the acoustics be? A weird echo carrying from the back to the balcony? All of these concerns were quickly put to rest when Elena Tonra and Igor Haefeli began their set. Elena’s voice is one of the most beautiful whispers you’ll ever hear live, pitch perfect and subtly quiet. The songs of heart break and love loss are a great match because of this.
Her shy smiles and “thank you’s” in between songs added to the performance, her voice vibrating through the silent crowd. The stand out track of the night was “Youth,” the song that is partially responsible for the bands fame. You notice the delicate but drawn out melodies from the start, setting the tone for the songs meteoric finish. The rest of the band, Igor and drummer Remi Aguilella filled Krannert with a bed of sounds, giving the song a tribal flare.
Overall Daughter used the venue to their advantage. Elena’s soft harmonies and vocal layering gave the performance an epic romantic feel, the crowd sitting down listening as if watching an art performance at the Chicago Theatre, not singing every word obnoxiously like at a Fall Out Boy show. It may be cheesy as hell, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a couple goosebumps pop up during “Landfill.”
The Head and the Heart
Closing out the night was the Head and the Heart. Unfortunately this was the first I’d heard of the Seattle band, probably the only one in all of Krannert, as the place was buzzing as soon as the lights shut off and Jonathan Russell led the band onto the stage. This time the crowd all stood, even the front row, and began singing from the beginning.
The harmony rich, folk 6 piece all seem like the perfect fit for one another. Jonathan Russell, Josiah Johnson, and Charity Rose Thielen’s voices blend together flawlessly, while all shining at different points. Jonathan and Josiah had many duets and took turns banging whatever they could find, whether it be a drum, tambourine, or their hands. Charity Rose Thielen though. WHOA. Every time the music slowed down and Charity stepped to the microphone, everyone leaned a little forward. She has this fantastic Southern-soul shout that makes the crowd go ballistic every time. The high points of the night were definitely whenever she decided to set those firework vocals off at Krannert.
The band returned for a three song encore, first Russell playing a song acoustically, then Johnson, then the whole band. The crowd rushed from their seats as they saw Russell walking back out, standing next to the stage taking in the touchingly earnest lyrics up close. “Your music inspires me to write” a fan told Russell, who he would later hug after the bands finale. “Rivers and Roads” (probably my favorite song now after seeing it live) ended the set, a warm song about the nostalgia in seeing friends go different ways. The crowd sang, Charity set off some more fireworks, ending the night with a bang. If you’re a fan of Mumford or the Lumineers, you need to check these guys out.