Head East Setlist
20 Aug - Des Moines, IA - Iowa State Fair
21 Aug - Des Moines, IA - Iowa State Fair
04 Sep - DuQuoin, IL - DuQuoin State Fair
05 Sep - Independence, MO - Santa-Cali-Gon
12 Sep - Chesterfield, MO - Chesterfield Amph
19 Sep - Melvin, IL - Ford County Fairgrounds
10 Oct - Northwood, IA - Diamond Jo Casino
21 Nov - Medina, MN - Medina Entertainment Center
The band has actually been around in some form since 1969, starting out in east central Illinois and made noticeable waves with their 1975 album, Flat as a Pancake and song ‘Never Been Any Reason’ and brought the current incarnation of the band to rock a tent full of people for New Richmond’s Fun Fest.
The band was ideal for an event like this, playing songs everyone knew and could drink and toast along to. Of course, the last song was “Rock and Roll All Nite’ complete with everything from the original Kiss except the confetti cannons and pyro.
Head East: Darren Walker
Opening with ‘Raise a Little Hell’, a 1978 cover of Canadian band Trooper, then following with their own ‘Get Up and Enjoy Yourself’, the band clearly aimed to elevate the party spirit inside the music tent. The only distracting thing was the large steel tent pole positioned right in the middle front of the stage, which looked awkward and made the drummers in each band, difficult to see unless you watched from an angle.
Playlist stayed mostly in the 70’s, working in over half of Flat as a Pancake (which was fine with me), but a few newer songs were slotted in as well. Singer Walker had good vocal range and brought a heavy metal edge to the blues rock band, moving constantly from one end of the stage to the other and even posing with fans mid-verse for selfies.
Guitarist Bridger shone on the new, ‘One Night’ while ‘Prisoner’ took its lyrical inspiration from Native American legends. Another cover and radio standard from the era, 1977’s ‘Mama Let Him Play’ sounded fresh again with Walker’s vocals and Bridger’s soloing, so much so that most in the audience likely didn’t realize it wasn’t their song originally.
Head East continues to tour the Midwest and beyond, doing 30-40 dates a year and are well worth catching for anyone into blues-infused classic rock. or that grew up listening to the group’s ‘70s hits on midwest FM radio.
Head East at Fun Festival, New Richmond, WI (11 July 2015)