When I was first introduced to the Heartless Bastards’ music, it was three people as a backing band for a older sounding country singer named James McMurtry. This is was I was expecting when I walked into their concert, especially with Susto as the opener – it’d be a great pairing.
But the times have definitely changed. Heartless Bastards have since grown and changed drastically, but absolutely in a good way. The band on stage was now five people: two guitarists, the same drummer from before, a percussionist and a lead singer. The entire genre shifted to a more rock vibe, but not a traditional one.
I have never in my life see a band with a classic rock vibe involve either maracas or a tambourine, let alone both at the same time, by the SAME person, and manage to pull it off. I have no idea how she did it, but it was highly impressive to watch. It gave just enough of a kick to stand out, but not so much as to make it sound like it didn’t mesh.
The entire atmosphere of the show was a great one, especially because you could tell the band was having a great time, and it was infective, even for those who couldn’t sing along. Not only that, but the lead singer made it into a performance as well as a concert, dancing during the solos and blowing kisses at the audience.
At one point a girl managed to get herself onstage, and no one stopped for a second, not even the percussionist, who kept playing as she leaned over to keep her standing. Every member of the band was entirely in sync and playing off of one another, and it was a palpable feeling. It was something so drastically different then the image in my head, but it was definitely worth it.