Pike Place Market is seeing its share of Seattle music stars this year. A few months after Brandi Carlile and Dave Grohl’s surprise busking session, Seattle folk-pop stars The Head and the Heart have announced a free concert at the local landmark.
In an apparent partnership with Amazon Music, the Conor Byrne-reared troupe will perform atop the bustling tourist destination’s roof at 7 p.m. this Sunday, Aug. 25. The market gig, which will be livestreamed on both the band’s and Amazon Music’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, will be The Head and the Heart’s first hometown show since the release of this spring’s more pop-aiming album, “Living Mirage.”
A coinciding pop-up store at the nearby Showbox will be slinging commemorative merch from noon to 9 p.m. that day with proceeds going towards Seattle-based music programs and initiatives, according to a news release. While sidewalks around the market will remain open for access to shops and restaurants, Pike Place and a portion of First Avenue will close to vehicles starting at 5 p.m.
Late last summer, the band teamed with fellow Americana/pop straddlers The Avett Brothers and Shovels & Rope for a big Gorge Amphitheater show. Seattle was noticeably absent from the band’s North American tour supporting the new record, but a freebie gig at the iconic 112-year-old market ain’t bad.
The Head and the Heart, whose first two albums were released on Sub Pop, have been carrying on without co-founding singer/guitarist Josiah Johnson, who left the group in 2016 while dealing with addiction issues. According to a recent Rolling Stone story, Johnson later reconnected with the band, but a full-fledged return apparently wasn’t meant to be.
“It was, ‘Let’s give it a try — there’s no reason not to,’” singer/guitarist Jonathan Russell told the magazine. “But it was quickly evident that we weren’t in the same place any more musically. His music is very self-reflective about his life — and there’s a lot he should be writing about — but it was apples and oranges from what I wanted do. Separately, it was great entities, but when you combined them, they’d bring each other down.”
Johnson has since been gigging regularly around his old Ballard-Fremont stomping grounds, including a Hotel Albatross show earlier this month, and working on solo material. He also has a co-writing credit on “Running Through Hell” off “Living Mirage.”