by Michelle Bird
Not even a mile away from “Hollywood civilization,” the Greek Theater calls the hills of Griffith Park, home. Known as one of the past stomping grounds for peace, love, and free-spirited folks (aka hippies) in the 1960s, Griffith Park still holds that magical essence– hence to why the Greek found itself to be the perfect place to watch Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros this past Friday. The outdoor amphitheater, that’s cradled by Goliath sized trees, combined with the tunes performed by Sharpe and the Zeros, made you feel like you were out in the middle of nowhere, while still very much in the city.
The eleven members, along with their barefoot frontman, Alex Ebert, made their way to the stage at 9pm, opening with the highly popular tune “40 Day Dream.” The music instantly galvanized the audience, as they eagerly sang-along, clapped, and stomped to that first song. Not only are all the members in Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros equally passionate when they perform, but these talented musicians all bare a deep connection on-stage; a packed venue seemed more like a family gathering.
They are also strong supporters of each other’s solo-careers outside of the band, with Ebert performing “Truth,” from his solo album Alexander and pianist Aaron Embry serving as the opening act.
That same sense of family was transmitted to the audience, as Ebert interacted with the crowd, making his way into the pit, dancing with folks while sharing his microphone. At one point he even accepted a tiara from a girl in the front, and while dressed in his white tunic, playfully pranced around. Ebert definitely holds a lot of spontaneity, during “Janglin” he stopped the song mid-way, and had everyone look up and admire the moon.
Jade Castrinos (lead gal) swooned the audience with her strong soulful vocals, and sweet persona…ok, and maybe those nice dimples whenever she smiles too. When she grabbed the acoustic guitar and let out the first words for “River of Love,” the crowd went crazy hollering for her.
The energy of the old songs hit like a gnarly wave, and the new ones from their sophomore album, Here (out May 29th), although more serene, were still quite appreciated and catchy at that. Among the new songs performed were the rag-time gospel-sounding “I Don’t Want To Pray,” “That’s What’s Up,” “Nothing” and “Mayla.”
Bright red lights caressed the band onstage for the ballad “Man on Fire,” (also from the upcoming album) where Ebert made his way back into the crowd and danced alongside his mom.
With no setlist carved in stone, Ebert asked the crowd what they’d like to hear, in which everyone eagerly replied “Home!”– the 2009 hit, that put them on the map. Soon enough the band began to whistle while the crowd went wild singing along. Half-way through “Home,” Jade and Ebert reminisced how they wrote the song after spending the day together in Elysian Park.
For more pictures of the show visit our Facebook page (Facebook.com/BlackVinylMag).
Catch Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on tour this summer:
05/11 – Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theatre
05/12 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
05/13 – Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
05/15 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
05/16 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
05/18 – The Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion *
05/19 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion *
05/21 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
05/22 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
05/24 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
05/25 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze on the West Bank
05/26 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre
05/27 – Kansas City, MO @ Crossroads
05/29 – Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
05/30 – Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion
05/31 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
06/01 – Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa Music Festival