By Chris Patmore, Rock At Night London Correspondent
VENUE: Islington Assembly Hall, London on 15 August 2016
Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros know how to fill a room, even one the size of Islington Assembly Hall. Not only did they sell out two consecutive nights at the venue, but also took up all the available space on the stage, which is hardly surprising given the band is made up of three guitarists, two keyboard players, two drummers and a bassist hidden away in a dark corner. And, of course, the exuberant singer Alex Ebert, who could not be contained by the stage. A few minutes into the first song he was over the barrier and in the crowd, dancing with the excited fans. Their music spans many genres ranging from gospel to americana and folk, to rock and psychedelia. There is very much a Woodstock/Haight-Ashbury/Merry Pranksters vibe to the whole affair, and audience participation is key to the show. Apart from spending time singing and dancing in the audience, Ebert took requests from the outset, and even bought audience members onto the already packed stage to join in songs. Ebert is very much the frontman and public persona of the band, but, as with Ian Dury, it is the musicians behind him that held it all together. Ebert may have been spontaneous and freeform, but the band didn’t miss a beat. The idea of folk/gospel/psychedelia might not be everyone’s idea of a great night out, but for sheer showmanship and musicianship it is very hard not to have a good time with Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
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