Spring Jam update: The Head and the Heart, philanthropy

by Nickalas Tabbert

A cool, cloudy day at the University of Minnesota didn't dampen the spirits of those who watched The Head and the Heart perform at Coffman Front Plaza.

The Seattle-based band entertained for about an hour Thursday, playing nearly a dozen songs like "Rivers and Roads" and "Down in the Valley."

Josiah Johnson, one of the band's founders, said this is only the third or fourth time the band has played on a campus like the University.

"We feed off the different energy on campus," he said.  "And it's extra special for Charity [Rose Thielen] because she has family here in Minnesota."

The band was well received by the crowd despite the weather, climaxing at the final song with loud cheers and applause.

"I hadn't heard of them before today but I thought they were good," said Nathan Freeman, who came with some friends.

"They had good harmony," said Kevin Kitchen.  "Their voices really mesh well together."

Evan Jungbauer, who came with Freeman and Kitchen, said he thought it was good that Spring Jam branched out to other genres.

"It all depends on the style of music you like," mechanical engineering junior Becky Kinchen said.  An avid The Head and the Heart fan from Seattle, she said Thursday's concert was the one she was most looking forward to.

Johnson said he enjoys coming back to the area to visit friends he made at previous shows.  The band will now head back to Indio, California for a Saturday show at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Over at the Field House, music was playing as well – expect not live.  Thursday was service day for the greek pairings, who spent most of the afternoon packing meals for Students Against Hunger.

In its second year, groups of eight or nine volunteers combined "vitamins, veggies, soy and rice" into bags to be donated and sent to over 60 countries.

Each bag weighs between 390-400 grams, and volunteers placed 36 bags into each box.  In all, the effort attempted to prepare 50,000 meals using 80,000 pounds of food.

Approximately 667 greek pairing members signed up for 45 minute shifts, said Jon Van Keulen, a spring jam coordinator.

Students Against Hunger University President Taylor Moore said having Fraternity and Sorority Life fund the event makes it more manageable.

"Our group is small and the meals are expensive to make," she said.

Students Against Hunger is in its third year as a student organization, Moore said.  It is a satellite of Kids Against Hunger, which is where the food will be sent to once prepared at the Field House.