Lead singer Alex Ebert wasn’t on the stage with the other dozen members of Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, but you could hear his voice. Slowly people realized he was coming up to the front of the outdoor amphitheater through the audience. Throughout the show Ebert would go into the crowd, dance with people, hold their hands and let them sing into the microphone. At one point, toward the end of the show, he accepted a girl in the front row’s tiara and pranced about with it. He also had the lights turned off for a moment so the audience could stare at the moon together. After the show he and female lead vocalist Jade Castrinos stayed at the front of the stage shaking every hand that wished to be shook.
It’s appropriate that the band has shows with so much audience interaction and joyful warmth because the name Edward Sharpe comes from a character created by Ebert whose purpose on Earth is to heal and save mankind. Ebert almost exuded the aura of his messianic Edward Sharpe by being barefoot the entire show and wearing slightly tattered pants and tunic. He sat down cross-legged on the speakers, chit-chatting with people, laughing as someone from the crowd critiqued his feet for being too dirty. During the band’s rendition of its 2009 hit “Home” Ebert and Castrinos talked about how they wrote the song after a day in Los Angeles’s Elysian Park. The audience members went crazy at the mention of how much the environment of their city influenced the L.A. band.
Photos by Annie Lesser