LIVE : Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

This adequately portrays just how cool this gig was

This adequately portrays just how cool this gig was

So I’ve had a pretty blessed week of music, seeing Gambino one Thursday and Edward Sharpe the next Wednesday. If Childish taught me how hip hop can bring a crowd together live, Alex Ebert here showed me how he can unite a room full of people with his charming, optimistic rock.

I have no doubts in saying that, as a stage presence, Alex Ebert is the best artist I have ever seen live. He absolutely owned that stage, an all singing all dancing monster up there, absolutely owning it all. His vocals were pitch perfect throughout, rolling through a mixture of the new album and some of the classics, one of which I will come onto again later. Home live was just utterly awe inspiring, a room full of us bouncing and going and loving it all. Backed by the whole band, who brought it all evening with bravado and charm and everything good about this group, and with the gorgeous Jade Castrinos supplying the compliment to his vocals beautifully all night, this gig was absolutely outstanding throughout.

What got me the most with this gig was audience interaction. Kicking off with a beautifully observed minute’s silence for Jade’s close friend who recently fell ill (all our best wishes for a hopefully speedy recovery), this was the signal post to an incredibly intimate gig. With some early chat to us all, Ebert then proceeded to jump into the crowd to get singing and dancing with us all, bring on a kid to play harmonica with the band (he killed it. Literally, he was insane.) and also let a girl in the front row sing a verse, both during Man on Fire, which for me was the best song of the evening. Ending with about 20 people on stage, this was an indication of how well crowd and band interacted all evening, and in my eyes, this is how music has to go forwards, because that was hands down the best live act I have ever had the good fortune of seeing. Here’s my favourite song of the night, with a gorgeous video to boot.

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