Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, Belly Up: 4/15/2010

I got all pumped up when I heard that Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros were coming to San Diego. One more band that I wasn’t worried about missing at Coachella. Check! Pre-sale tickets are the way to go. If you want to get tickets to potentially sold out shows, you need to sign up for a few mailing lists. The following are my recommendations:

Belly Up Tavern VIP: frequent ticket giveaways and pre-sales
FM 94.9 Insiders: lots of contests and pre-sales
KPRI Freeqs: free shows all the time (but only for those signed up)
Any of your favorite bands: some have pre-sales, but really, who wants to miss out on their favorite band coming to town.

On with the show… I made sure to get there early to catch He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister. By the way this show wins for the longest band name pairing that I have been to. The gypsy, co-op vibe perfectly paired with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It wouldn’t surprise me if they weren’t really related – ala The White Stripes, Jack and Meg. The uniqueness of this band was actually the performance of tap dancer, Lauren Brown, who served as additional percussionist tapping along to the beat. Here is their cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Baby Be Good, Do What You Should”:

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros took the stage, opening with a children’s song they wrote called “Janglin.” The sound quality became worse as the headliner’s volume increased. I apologize for the distortion.

Overall, I was disappointed with the performance, and the hippie, glow stick twirling crowd was just a part of the issue. To boos of the crowd, Alexander stated that they were “saving themselves for Coachella.” It was also very evident that he did not want to play the hit single, “Home” from their debut album, Up From Below. Even as Jade chanted, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home,” Alexander gave her a look as if to say, “Noooo, why?” Sadly, they, well at least he (Alexander), has reached that point of disdain for the band’s most popular song. Like Radiohead’s “Creep” or Nada Surf’s “Popular,” I am disappointed when bands take the low road in hating the song that brought them to the next level instead of embracing it and hoping that the the masses latch onto something more. Not playing the song makes for dissatisfied listeners. Jade and Alexander managed to push through “Home” including the spoken word part, where Jade said “I don’t even know what to say here.” That’s alright Jade.

At the end, Alexander after inviting the audience to sit on stage, convinced the rest of the crowd to sit on the floor. Yes, the same floor where drinks were spilled and most likely a few glasses were broken. I must admit the stunning effect this had. It was on the same level as when Tegan and Sara convinced the entire audience at Spreckels Theatre to stay completely silent for a un-amplified version of “Ghost.” I sort of felt giddy inside to be a part of something so cool. For that I do have to say, “Thanks.”

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