Heartist Set Review – South By So What?!

I checked out the band Heartist a couple months ago on a friend’s recommendation. After listening to a few songs, I wasn’t overly impressed and thought they were fairly generic sounding. However, I got a chance to see them perform live at South By So What?! this past weekend, and these guys are definitely sick live! Heartist is one of the newest bands to sign with Roadrunner Records, and these California boys put on a hell of a show, easily getting a crowd hyped up. The audience for the set at South By So What?! was largely first time listeners with a few die-hards sprinkled in here and there. Heartist was truly great at keeping up a solid musical performance and interacting with the crowd, getting people to jump, dance, or mosh.

This was my first time hearing Heartist live, and they were pretty damn good! They played a good group of songs off their debut EP Nothing You Didn’t Deserve, starting off their set with the title track. “Nothing You Didn’t Deserve” got me hooked, and it showcased Bryce Beckley’s remarkable vocal range. His voice is on the higher pitched side, but it’s definitely not whiney or screechy. “Rhinestone” was definitely a crowd pleaser, and I was definitely one to jump along to the chorus and lose myself to its infectiousness. Throughout their set, their guitarists Jonathan Gaytan and Tim Koch, showed off a lot of skill, playing some really technical, intricate riffs. Heartist’s breakdowns were tastefully placed and not over-used.  However, I think what impressed me the most, was the insanely awesome drumming from Matt Marquez. When the man wasn’t helping keep a song together with his tight drumming, he was adding in his own fillers, which definitely enlivened the performance. The bassist, Evan Ranallo, showcased some solid playing as well, but at times his sound was overshadowed by chugging, heavy guitars. Heartist ended their set with “Disconnected,” Beckley definitely taking advantage of his amazing vocal range, and it was nothing short of outstanding.

Heartist’s set was definitely an enjoyable one, and it showcased some all-around solid musicianship and some killer stage presence. These guys were a lot more impressive live and definitely left me wanting to check out more of their stuff. An awesome performance overall, I can’t wait to see them out on another tour! If you’re into metalcore/post-hardcore definitely catch these guys out on the Generation Now Tour alongside Crown The Empire, Capture The Crown, Palisades, and Famous Last Words.

-Lauren L.



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