One of the giants in Maine pop rock are officially playing their last show this Saturday in Portland at H.O.M.E. They had a great run and we recognize them for many great times!

photo: Matthew Robbins

After a run of super fun records and ep's and a dozen years putting on high energy shows for super passionate fans, the Portland based pop rock band Headstart will play their last show on Saturday at Portland House of Music & Events

After some years with Portland rock band Shufflin' Tremble; Kevin Kennie was looking for something new. Something specific. He just wasn't sure what exactly it would be. Soon enough he'd team up with the core of what would be Headstart after a suggestion by Dave Gutter of Rustic Overtones to guitarist Ben Flood. After investigating Flood's partial line up in no time at all Kennie he was instantly convinced this band was where he wanted set up shop. Kennie and Headstart would jump, bounce, rock and shout for the next dozen years.

Kevin singing for Headstart live at the Big Easy

As the mid 2000's barreled in, a Warped Tour world of pop rock and punk influenced rock seemed to slam the music world. Headstart was right at home with their own brand that sat neatly on the shelf with Jimmy Eat World, Story of the Year, No Doubt, Good Charlotte, The Ataris, Yellowcard, Green Day and others.

The key to Headstart's longevity (to me at least) was their love and respect for each other and their "up" attitudes. They were always cool and always positive. Sounds cliche, but these guys were a band of brothers. All or nothing. Literally. One time the band was facing a huge opportunity to get into the big picture of the music world, but were asked to drop one member of the band for this chance to happen. To this day Headstart is still proudly the 5 same guys! Some of the nicest bunch of dudes you'll meet in the local music scene too. No posing or pissy attitudes. Top notch guys all the time. Class acts the whole lot of them. With the music, they set things off with a pop rock classic for the Maine music scene called, "Do This". The song found it's way on to local TV and radio with CYY.

Ben, Kevin and Adam appearing on WCYY's Spinout in 2009.  (Adam was unfortunately and sadly never officially endorsed by Snickers or the Mars company)

Their second record, Sincerely Yours upped their game in every way. By then, they were all over the local live music scene like nobody's business.

Their top achievement though, for me at least, was the extremely personal, blood-sweat and years of tears filled, Our House. The band's 3rd release was not only the best record they made but it was one of the most sophisticated local pop rock records I'd heard. With local musician friends piled on for guest appearances and assistance and with the coolest artwork by Walt Craven, Our House was the complete package for Headstart. The band was drained from this entire process and might not have felt fully content in the long run looking back due to a lack of stronger sales, but they should always hold their head high for this record. Sales never made an album great.

artwork by walter craven

With some killer ep releases to follow and always a vicious appetite for the stage, Headstart kept the beat as the 2000's turned into the two thousand teens. Their presence has been spotty over recent years for one simple reason; life happens. Wives, babies, homes, jobs, family. Music will always be with you. It might not be the main dream anymore or the thing that takes the most of your minutes, but when your life truly happens, there's nothing that takes priority over the people in your real home.

As we plan for one more get together with Nate, Ian, Adam, Ben and Kevin of Headstart this Saturday we remember all of the good times and happy times spent with those guys, which, were all the times spent with them.