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1011

Concert review: Natalie Prass in Copenhagen // From Sass to Prass

Archive, Folk, Jazz, News, Pop, Singer/Songwriter

August 19, 2015

Natalie Prass was on tour with Ryan Adams as his opening act earlier this year. Unfortunately, an airline strike from SAS prevented her from joining him in Copenhagen, but this did not stop Ryan from giving the audience the experience of her music. He came out on stage in a dress and tights, and became his own opening act and alter ego: Natalie Sass.

Five months later, Natalie and her band finally took the stage at Vega. They opened the ball with ‘Your Fool’ followed by ‘Never Over You’. As a live music fan, you worry about whether or not the artist can take their studio recordings and execute them live on stage. However, with her reputation as a live act that has been spreading like wildfire, it was never anyone’s worry. The strings and horns that heavily shaped her album was not present on stage. With two guitars, a bass and a drum set, she turned the delicate timeless songs into a groovy rock show. Next on the agenda was the old song ‘Sand Dunes’, which started to loosen up a crowd who possibly had expected a quiet evening with no dancing. The tempo was taken down a notch by the melancholic ‘Christy’.

There are no compromises with Natalie. The tenderness she emits does not exclude the muscle and control in her performance and proves you do not have to leave behind the brittleness in exchange for strength. With a fast and upbeat cover of ‘Sound of Silence’ she explained “they only rehearsed it once at soundcheck”, we were invited into their band practice with animated energy and smiles all around.

She continued her journey in mesmerizing the crowd with her single ‘Birds of Prey’ and another intimate cover of Janet Jackson’s ‘Any Time Any Place’. She mentioned the Ryan Adams in drag episode and played her own version of ‘Winding Wheel’, with great appreciation from the audience.

From the rollercoaster ride of a new song called ‘Jass’ (“it’s spelled with the z’s backwards”), which left quite a few people puzzled in terms of what genre that song fell in under, the song ‘Violently’ well, violently pulled at our heartstrings, and the theme continued on through ‘My Baby Don’t Understand Me’.

An unexpected highlight was the spoken word ‘Reprise’ that reached deep. The women beside me whispered to her significant other, “Oh my God, do you have tears in your eyes?” which speaks for itself. Whatever comes out of Natalie’s mouth, she means it, and there are no irony or excuses, which is in contrast to her laidback and chatty atmosphere in between the songs.

Natalie Prass is a mysteriously, tall, dark elf queen from something out of Lord Of The Rings, who with a smile and a riff sweeps in and pulls the rug from under your feet — which of course, you do not even realise until she points at the floor. She has got a touch of the old soulful days with a timeless honesty, and with a final encore of a powerful rendition of ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ the audience didn’t even look down once.

Support:
The opening act was the local band The Orange Grove, who most of all sounded like they would fit right in cruising down Malibu beach to Trestles in the 70s California, with a couple of early Al Merrick-surfboards tied to the roof of a van. Unashamed inspired by the likes of Grateful Dead, they won the crowd over song by song. The band in the current constellation has only been together for a little over a year, but there was undoubtedly much experience between them displayed in their performance. They released their debut album Stare Into The sun earlier this year, you can watch the video to ‘California Night’ here.

Setlist:
Your Fool
Never Over You
Sand Dunes
Christy
Sound Of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
Bird of Prey
Any time Any Place (Janet Jackson Cover)
Winding Wheel (Ryan Adams cover)
Jass
Violently
My Baby Don’t Understand Me
Reprise
Why Don’t You Believe In Me

Encore:
You Keep Me Hangin’ On (The Supremes cover)

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1981

Album review: Another One // Mac DeMarco

Archive, Editors Choice, News, Rock, Singer/Songwriter

August 8, 2015

There is new music from everyone’s favourite weirdo, Mac DeMarco. The mini-album Another One, (arguably more an “extended” EP), came out just over a year after the release of last year’s well-received Salad Days. The album is only 23 minutes long, and while all songs are definitively similar and done in a style where you cannot always tell them apart — something that would normally drag down on his grades — it works. Like fish fingers and custard, it would in theory be wrong but the final result deserves an A+.

The gap-toothed hybrid of Andy Samberg and Noa Deane (this has been an affectionate description more often than not), is known for the peculiar laid-back sounds. He is an eminent guitarist which scarcely comes across on the studio recording of this album. It is his live shows where his records and musings comes to live and roars. In the video for the title track he impersonates Michael Jackson while playing instruments on the water, all done in the homemade video style filmed with a potato. Although this isn’t his weirdest piece by far. Last year the singer songwriter’s private parts were on display in TOPS video for ‘Way To Be Loved’.

Another One is the soundtrack for the late afternoon barbeque on the beach with the kind of friends where your guards are down, or a humid road trip in the late summer evenings. There has always been an undisclosed honesty from Mac DeMarco. Straightforwardness paired with no regards for his surrounds and I mean this in the nicest possible way. Or, perhaps, it is with regards for what he loves and thereby delivers to the world, in a raw format.

On the final track ‘My House By The Water’ Mac DeMarco gives us his address and asks us to “Stop on by, I’ll make you a cup of coffee.” And if this is the soundtrack to a hazy afternoon in his company, my only complaint would be there are not enough songs. I am certain Mac would be a great host for a coffee or five.

Article by Flipse Flebo

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1521

The 10 Best Music Documentaries of the 21st Century so far…

R&B/Hip-Hop, Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

August 7, 2015

10 Best Music Documentaries of the 21st Century so far…

  1. Charles Bradley: Soul of America (2012)

Everybody loves a feel-good story. And this is one to truly warm your cockles. It tells the story of one Charles Bradley and his journey from working man of the American anti-dream to praised soul revivalist. For years Bradley struggled with poverty as he provided for himself and his mother, gigging as a James Brown impersonator. The film joins him just as he has started recording with New York based soul studio Daptone Records, and ends with its acclaimed release. His story speaks of suffering and hardship, but also the ability to overcome.

  1. Searching for Sugarman (2012)

The story of singer-songwriter Rodriguez has now become the stuff of legend; an unrecognized artist of immense talent, a long forgotten relic of yesteryear whose recordings were surely destined to fall to the bottom of a dusty box in the back of a warehouse. Oh, bar the fact that he was actually a multi-million selling artist in South Africa. This documentary shines light on one of the most bizarre true stories in music; How an artist can remain completely unknown in his home country, whilst simultaneously becoming one of the biggest selling artists in another, and not even know it. The film itself unfolds in such a way as to keep you guessing throughout and is a great example of what documentary can be.

  1. Muscle Shoals (2013)

A good documentary discovers a story that already exists but is largely unknown. In the case of Muscle Shoals, it uncovers the tale of one unsuspecting recording studio in the middle of nowheresville, U.S.A, which, behind the screen door, played it’s own significant part in sculpting modern music. Artists to have recorded there included Aretha Franklin, Etta James, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Cliff… The list goes on.

  1. Marley (2012)

A film about the great Bob Marley the way it should be told. A well crafted documentary chronicling his life from humble Jamaican beginnings to Reggae/Rastafarian spokesperson for the world. It gives meaning to some of his well known songs and tells of his internal struggles as an artist and a family man. The impact he had and continues to have on global culture is incalculable and this provides good evidence as to why.

  1. Dig!(2004)

Dig! Is one of those ‘right places at the right time’ type of stories. Director/Producer/Writer Ondi Timoner found herself smack-bang in the middle of the perfect storm; two bands on the verge of something big. The Dandy Warhols went on to fame and fortune. The Brian Jonestown Massacre remained in the realm of obscurity. It became a case study into the inner workings of the music industry and what it takes (or doesn’t take) to crack the big time. Timoner stayed with the bands on and off for 7 years, collecting hundreds of hours worth of footage and the result is one of the greatest music documentaries of all time.

  1. Scratch (2001)

A must for any hip-hop fan old or new, Scratch is a crash course in all things hip-hop, covering everything from the Elements, to Turntablism, to Battling. It has interviews with everyone whose anyone in the hip-hop game, both past and present, including; Mix Master Mike, Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Shadow, DJ Q-Bert and DJ Premier. Its a great film not only because of its high-profile guest list, but because of its in-depth look at Hip-Hop which, broadly speaking, is a comparably young genre of music. If you’re looking to get fully immersed in the world of DJs and learn a thing or two, check it out.

  1. A Band Called Death (2012)

2012 seemed to be the year for documentary makers to discover forgotten or underrated acts. Much like Charles Bradley and Rodriguez, the band Death never experienced any real success in their heyday. And much like Bradley and Rodriguez, they should have. Death were a Proto-Punk band out of Chicago formed by three brothers with an unrelenting ethos for making furious Rock n Roll with a mostly political stance. Sound familiar? Only, these boys pre-dated Punk. Had they been more fortunate with studios and label executives, they might have been more of a household name today.

  1. End of the Century (2003)

You don’t get to be the pioneers of a genre and have a career that outlasts most marriages without one hell of a story to match. End Of The Century probes deep the story of punks, the Ramones; why they started making music, how they got their break(s), their rise to fame and their eventual collapse. The film also focuses on the unusually tense relationship between singer Joey and guitarist Johnny. It includes rare footage and interviews with the band and gives real insight as to what made them tick, and what made them explode.

  1. 20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

This is the previously untold story of the unsung singers behind some of music’s greatest performers. It shifts the lime light to the back of the stage to grant credit to some of the voices that helped create the sound of songs from the Rolling Stones, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. It serves as a reminder of the names and faces of talents that go largely unnoticed within the music industry, but that play a major role.

  1. Beautiful Noise (2014)

Beautiful noise was no easy film to make. It began its first stages of production back in 2005 and was completed in 2008. Unfortunately, due to various legal and financial issues, the film sat unreleased for years until a Kickstarter campaign earned the project enough money to be distributed. Then there it was; a documentary that told the story of the often overlooked yet oh-so important Shoegaze movement of the early 90’s. The film focuses on three bands primarily (Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus & Mary Chain) but explores the genre as a whole and discusses its vast influence on the world of music.

Article by Edward Acheson

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861

This Might Be The Worst Song of The Summer

Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

August 5, 2015

Well, I think it has finally been done. The most annoying song of the summer is here. No I’m not talking about OMI’s “Cheerleader” and I’m not talking about “Want To Want Me” by Jason Derulo. I’m talking about LIZ’s “When I Rule The World”.

For a song that is being regarded as “one of the summers most off-the-wall anthems”, I am baffled. To start the beat of the song sounds like something that came from a club scene in the first season of Jersey Shore. I’m also not sure if she is singing or rapping, whatever is going on there, LIZ has me incredibly confused and quite annoyed with whatever it is.

The lyrics are another thing that get to me with this song. I can support the female empowerment tone that I think LIZ was trying to capture but using a ‘dog collar round your neck’ and being ‘on your knees’ to ‘go scrub the deck’ was just a little too much for me and in the grand scheme of things, maybe even too much for the radio? I get where LIZ is coming from with these lyrics but man-oh-man I just cannot get on board with them. Also they become repetitive and when they’re in that strange rapping/singing voice, it makes it so much worse.

Although the song sends me into a small furry, I do have to give LIZ credit for the “When I Ruled The World” music video. It is a pretty funny homage to the 2000’s and as someone who’s childhood took place during those years I understand everything that is going on in this video. Everything from the Care Bears to the Y2K JLO-esque headband makes me want to give her a big high-five for doing the 2000’s their justice in this video, not to mention LIZ pulls off one hell of a Hillary Duff impression in this video as well.

This song is guilty of some serious fetish undertones, a confusing vocal style, and a beat worthy of only the Jersey Shore soundtrack, like I stated before it might just be the most annoying song to be released this summer. But, it does have a pretty great music video, now in true 2000’s style I would like to drop a Video On Trial verdict on this track. LIZ I sentence you please pick a vocal style, wear that insane blue jumpsuit in public for the rest of forever and keep on living in the 2000’s girl, you keep doing you.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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797

5 Music Videos You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

Archive, Editors Choice, News, Pop, Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

August 4, 2015

Lately there have been a mass of great music videos being released and to be honest I can hardly keep up! Here is a small snapshot of some of the amazing videos that have come out over the last week or so that you do not want to miss, and of course why you don’t want to miss them.

1. The Weeknd – I Can’t Feel My Face 

It seems like every time I get in the car lately this song is playing, and thank goodness it hasn’t yet reached the point that the Weeknd’s previous hit “Earned It” did. I never fail to turn this song up and the video just took it right to the next level. Watching the Weeknd bust a move left me feeling some type of way, times ten, and I’m pretty sure all the people in this video felt the exact same way. Who knew he had moves like that? I’m not going to ruin the entire video because of course I’m trying to get you to watch it but, if the first half of this video left you feeling hot just wait until you get to the end.

2. New Found Glory ft. Hayley Williams – Vicious Love

For my second choice I ended up at New Found Glory’s video for “Vicious Love”, which features Hayley Williams the pop-punk princess/ lead-singer of Paramore. Now, New Found Glory is awesome to start but throw Hayley Williams in there and it becomes a match made it tattoo and hair-dye heaven. This video is pretty hilarious due to the way it pokes fun at people getting couple tattoos and it all just going to crap pretty much immediately. The fake beards are also a great touch just for fun because why the hell not, right? I very seriously wish I was in the crowd for this video and would like to formally invite New Found Glory to formally invite me into their next video. This song perfectly explains that not all love is easy, fighting is almost inevitable but it doesn’t mean you don’t love that person more than anything else in this world. But, it also does not mean you should tattoo you partners name on you forever, this video should be enough proof of that. If you still need convincing by the end, hit replay.

3. Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – Omen 

I am pretty sure I can speak for a large percentage of people when I say I have been waiting for another Disclosure/Sam Smith masterpiece since “Latch” was released in 2013. I think I can speak for all those people again when I say that I was not at all disappointed by “Omen” or its video. If the club in this video exists in any form I would really like an invitation, yet somehow I think it is strictly reserved for Freddie Mercury reincarnates and Scarlett Johansson look-alikes. But lets be totally real here this joint looks like some kind of Great Gatsby fever dream and the lighting has Sam Smith looking super fine, but everyone knows he is super fine in general. I can’t wait for this song to hit the radio and/or my invite for this club to come in the mail.

4. 5 Seconds of Summer – She’s Kinda Hot 

This song has a lot of people wondering is 5SOS is taking Green Day’s spot on the much loved pop-punk scene, and this video might have just nudged them closer into that position. This Aussie foursome has stollen the hearts of millions of girls (admittedly mine as well) and everything they release seems to get better and better.  The video has some serious All Time Low vibes and the pop-art animation reminds me a lot of their own video for “Weightless“, which was released back in 2009 (and was also the anthem of life at the time). The 5SOS boys always look like they have one hell of a good time making their videos and it really comes through in this one. Although I’m not quite sure what is going on with the light up float contraption in this video, I can only guess that it is somewhat of an homage to My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade” because that makes a lot of sense to me. One day I can only hope that I come home to 5SOS singing this song on my porch but, a girl can only dream.

5. The Lighthouse and The Whaler – I Want To Feel Alive

My last but not at all least choice for not to miss videos is, “I Want To Feel Alive” by The Lighthouse and The Whaler. This is one of the cutest music videos I have seen in a while and also Holland Roden has a staring role within it, so of course it makes me love it even more. For those of you that don’t know of Holland she stars in Teen Wolf on MTV (a show of which I am a devoted fan) and she burns it down every week with her insane amount of talent. But, back to the video. This video left me wanting to feel alive and I’m sure it leaves everyone else who views it the same way. It leaves a longing for every summer to be much like the video depicts, full of laughing, friends, fun, love and adventure. Yet at the same time it leaves you nostalgic for the summers and moments that you’ve already lived that consisted of all those things. This song is adorable, the people in the video are adorable, in general it is just a great watch that makes you feel things, so you know, watch it.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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886

Album Review: Jason Isbell // Something More Than Free

Archive, Country, Editors Choice, Folk, Singer/Songwriter

July 26, 2015

Jason Isbell hails from the state of Alabama. With the drawl when he sings, and the dusty, slow, southern atmosphere that fills his music, that is a secret to no man. Something More Than free follows up on the enormously well received 2013 album Southeastern. With producer Dave Cobb on board yet again in his studio in Nashville, it is hard to imagine him not spitting out another great record with those blueprints.

From the single light in the darkness-approach, and the splinter of hope for better times we saw on the previous record, Isbell seem to have found humbleness and embraced contentment and appreciation of what he has. Singing about family, the earnest hard work, and the small but imperative things in life, Jason has decided to press the saturate button on this album. There are a far bolder expressions and an added playfulness to his words.

With ‘If It Takes A Lifetime’ opening the album, a humble vocal declares that hard work gets you better, and while not being at complete peace with everything you have there is a satisfaction, and with the backstory of Jason’s sobriety this speaks volume. Halfway through the album we meet ‘Children of Children’ that has an early Neil Young feel to it. The hypnotic strings and guitar solo that seem to continue forever enchants you.

In this song he reflects on his influence on his mother and the prospect of ‘what ifs’ to her life. “I was riding on my mother’s hip / she was shorter than the corn / all the years I took from her / just by being born.” The heartbreaking statement leaves you wondering how much soul-searching heartbreak has cost Jason himself, but it is where he shines the brightest. He paints atmosphere, surroundings and emotion in very few phrases with no misses, which continues through and through.

The bluesy song about the Civil War, ‘Palmetto Rose’ is where he contemplates the history of his country with conflicting attitudes but ultimately states, “I follow my own free will.” In the other end of the spectrum, there is the classic acoustic song ‘Speed Trap Town’ that tells the tale of a defect father figure and finding the means to leave a small town.  “She said, ‘It’s none of my business but it breaks my heart’/ dropped a dozen cheap roses in my shopping cart / made it out to the truck without breaking down / everybody knows you in a speed trap town.” Jason Isbell’s blueprints turned into a well-crafted 5th studio album that most of all shows personal growth from the man himself and his willingness to share those stories with no filter.

Article by Flipse Flebo

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2366

Ones To Watch // George Ezra

Archive, Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Ones to Watch, Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

July 25, 2015

Bluesy British babe George Ezra released his first full-length album “Wanted On Voyage” in 2014, yet is only now beginning to pick up speed in North America but trust me; this is one voyage you don’t want to miss.

The first time I was introduced to George Ezra was in an article produced by NPR Music in January. It was titled “George Ezra: Listen To This Man, He’ll Make You Swoon”, and as soon as I read about being swooned I was more than ready to hit play. I’m really glad that I did hit play, because swooning was exactly what happened next. George is a great looking guy but a voice as great as his face was not what I was expecting when I first listened to him. It more than caught me off guard, but in the best way possible. His big voice is exactly what we need in a world where most music seems to blend together. So when I finally started to hear his first single “Budapest” on the radio I was ecstatic.

Ezra’s album was inspired by a weeklong train trip where he took in all that he could which eventually became the great compilation that is “Wanted On Voyage”. Everything about him and his album is enjoyable and different. His music has an almost addictive quality to it and every time I’m listening to him I find myself trying to imitate his enchantingly deep voice.

“Wanted on Voyage” has already made its way to the top of the British charts and has made some notable famous fans as well. Sir Ian McKellen another famous Brit even made his way into Ezra’s music video for “Listen to the Man”. People all over the place are in love with George Ezra and I can’t wait for them to be in love with him here in North America (mainly because I would really like to see him in concert).

With the video for his new single “Barcelona” being released just this week his popularity is bound to peak again and hopefully with a whole new fan base. Keep an eye out because it won’t be long before you will be seeing a lot more of George Ezra.

Article By Emily D’Orazio

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915

Nick Mulvey // Summer Series Gigs

Archive, News, Singer/Songwriter

July 22, 2015

Throughout this (not so summery) British summertime, Somerset House are providing us with beautiful music as part of their Summer Series Gigs. Singer/songwriter artists from James Bay to George Ezra are performing at this prestigious London venue, lulling audiences into a care-free state of bliss.

Tuesday 14th July came around incredibly quickly as I woke up to my Nick Mulvey ticket sat gleaming on my desk. As I tried out what seamed to be every item of clothing in my wardrobe and ate all easily accessible food that stood to attention in the cupboards my excitement grew.

We ungracefully hurried to the front of the courtyard when 19:30 hit and managed to secure a place at be barrier, ready to be wowed. After a captivating performance from Aurora, Nick graced us with his incredible talent. Starting and finishing with his most popular hits, Nick also included some more personal performances. He faultlessly covered Björk’s ‘Bachelorette’ which sent to the audience into a dream of silence and swaying. Opening lyrics ‘I’m a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl’ are so powerful that he repeated them, our hearts throbbing as he did.

The Cambridge singer/songwriter formed a particular bond with the dedicated-despite-downpour audience by telling us the story of hit ‘Cucucuru’ which was written from a poem he was once given on the back of an envelope. This set the scene for what was my favourite performance that I have witnessed in the flesh.

Mulvey’s rare, exquisite talent mesmerised the filled venue seconds from Waterloo Bridge and left us feeling at peace as we waltzed to the station pasts London’s lights, awaiting the comfort of our beds.

Article By Sophie Hope

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838

From Indian Lakes to Across the Atlantic Ocean

Archive, Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Rock, Singer/Songwriter

July 22, 2015

From Indian Lakes is a five man band from a little town called Indian Lakes just outside Yosemite National Park in Northern California lead by front man Joey Vannucchi. The band first came together in 2009 and have released three studio albums, the newest of which “Absent Sounds” released by Triple Crown Records in October of 2014, reached the Billboard top 200 albums list only three weeks after coming out landing number 200.

When I first heard about From Indian Lakes, it was by complete coincidence. I was preparing to attend a concert for which my favorite band Lydia was headlining and as I always do, I educated myself on the opening bands. I listened to a few songs the day before the show, but it wasn’t until I was at the show that I really fell in love with the music. I saw how they interacted with the crowd and how into the music they got. I realized how they simply lived to play their music. So, naturally, From Indian Lakes became my favorite band. I made a point to listen to every song, buy every album and go to every concert I was able to go to.

Since that first time, I have seen them five times. Four in Portland, Oregon, and Once in Brooklyn, New York at the Knitting Factory for their Absent Sounds release headlining tour. At each of their shows, I have noticed something huge about them: no matter how long their set was, no matter how tired the guys are, they always have time at the end of their show to hang out by the merch stand and talk to the fans and sign posters and take pictures. They are all so very down to earth humans, and they are purely playing music for the art. They aren’t doing it to get their name out – although I’m sure the bit of fame they do have doesn’t hurt their egos – and that is something I will always love about them. At one of their shows, I was speaking with drummer Tohm Ifergan and he said, “I don’t think we’ve quite gotten to the fame level yet. People still don’t see me on the street and know who I am. I usually have to tell them I’m in band. I don’t really consider us to be famous.”

On the road, Keyboardist Enrique Gutierrez spends his spare time drawing sketches in either a sketchbook or the occasional used drum head. He signs them and sometimes has the whole band sign them as well and then sells it during the show. I currently am in possession of 3 pieces of his original art and the money I spent on them I will never regret because it went directly into the pockets of a band who means the world to me.

This past May, the band was fortunate enough to finally get their very first tour in the UK after six years of playing local shows and touring only the United States.  They accompanied Circa Survive and RX Bandits – their second tour with RX Bandits in the past year.

Article By Taylee Gittins

 

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1048

Concert Review: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Editors Choice, Events, Folk, Singer/Songwriter

July 19, 2015

This week I had the amazing opportunity to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (ESMZ) live. I had high expectations for this concert since the day I bought the tickets but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the marvellous show that the Magnetic Zeros gave me that night.

To start, the crowd was like nothing I had ever witnessed. The sheer diversity of the people in the hall alone was a sight in itself and the atmosphere was something from another world. There were people of all ages and walks of life, from kids I went to high school with, the girl that works in the LUSH at the mall and even the grade 8 teacher from my elementary school were all there waiting for the vision that was the concert to begin. During what seemed like a years worth of waiting, people talked with one another, others were singing together, everywhere you looked every single person around me was happy to be in the company of each other and soon the company of a band they all love.

After the aforementioned wait was finally over, the lights went dim, the volume went up and the fever dream began. Lead singer Alex Ebert danced onto the stage, clad in his trademark white linen jacket and messy top-knot ready to bring the house down, and that he did. Lights began to flash on the bands back drop and a psychedelic video show began to play in rhythm with the music and it was time to begin.

The massive group brought a show I could have only imagined was real if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. I thought I knew what I was getting into considering I had seen close to every live concert video they have ever been posted online and probably account for a third of the views on their NPR Tiny Desk Concert video by myself. But I was wrong, I knew nothing.

The tiny stage of the London Music Hall was jam-packed with people and instruments galore. There were two full drum sets, two pianos, and abundance of guitars, trombones, trumpets and what seemed like everything in-between. It was hard to concentrate for the first few minuets between the lights, the people and the total awe of the fact that this day had finally come, but as I started to come back down to Earth my eyes were glued on Alex and it was hard to drag them away. He danced and sang with amazing stamina and the rest of he band followed his lead in a sync that was both fluid and robotic at the same time.

The singing, playing and dancing wasn’t where it ended either. On more than one occasion Alex jumped into the crowd, dancing and handing the mic off to fans to sing and tell stories with him. At another point he reached into the crowed for a girl’s cellphone (who coincidently was named Emily as well, but sadly was not me) which was recording and he sang and spoke to create a video for her before handing it back to her. He dragged people on stage held hands with close to everyone in the first three rows and even had fans pick the set-list at different points in the show. Somewhere in the middle of the show as well the music just stopped, not for an intermission, but to grab joints from fans in the crowed to take a quick puff and pass, and the sold out show roared the a freight train.

With all of this interaction within the crowd you think that people would become aggressive as most people do in a mosh pit concert situation, but it didn’t. In all the concerts I have attended at the Music Hall this is the only one where no one pushed, no one shoved and everyone seemed generally happy to just be there with this band. It was all good vibes and through the concert it seemed they only got stronger.

As the set started to come to a close the band took a pause, gave each other small nods and then Alex proceeded to sit on one of the stage speakers as the lights dimmed. Everyone in the building seemed to know what was coming and as the band stood silent Alex slowly belted out “ALABAMA” and the crowed responded “ARKANSAS” Alex then responded to his patrons “I DO LOVE MY..” and again the crowd responded “I DO LOVE MY MA AND PA”, then the band started the tempo picked up and it was like a religious awakening has started.

As the bands most popular song ‘Home’ bled trough every wall and bounced off of every surface in the hall, it was like the Magnetic Zeros had truly brought me home. They reminded me why I love them and why I love music; especially live music as much as I do. I looked around the at what was no longer a crowd but a congregation, staring and stinging along with Alex who had become their preacher and I was truly home. As I’m sure everyone in that building was too. Sadly the concert ended one song later and for a few days afterwards I had what felt like a small hole in my soul because I had to go back to real life.

But in the words of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros themselves, “Holy-Moly-Me-Oh-My” what a show, what a night, it was worth the wait and a great big thank you for reminding me why this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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