Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros - Hollywood Bowl - August 4, 2013

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Daniel Kohn
Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Hollywood Bowl
8/4/13

Upon the release of their third album almost two weeks ago, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros have a lot to prove. For starters, they need to overcome the perception, true or false, that they're a one-hit wonder. "Home," released in 2009, was a smash that broke open the previously tepidly recognized genre of indie folk. The song could be heard on all types of radio stations and was one of the most licensed in recent memory (except maybe The Heavy's "How You Like Me Now"). But since then, they've barely made a dent on radio or in their album sales. Though that doesn't mean as much as it used to, not having a mega hit to tour behind means that the indie folk troupe needed to make up for the lack of song familiarity with their live show. And that's what they did.

From the jump, singer Alexander Ebert was ready for the big stage. Supported by a projection screen that varied between kaleidoscopic images and a vintage background along with a fancy lighting set up, the singer, who could easily have been mistaken with a character from the Steinbeck classic The Grapes of Wrath, proved to be quite a bandleader.

Ebert has been through his fair share of personal struggles through the years and seeing how much he enjoyed and appreciated being on Hollywood's largest stage wasn't lost on him. Throughout the night, he couldn't contain his bouncy energy, often wearing a smile of a man who just won the lottery.

Despite Ebert's claims that the group didn't have a formal set list prepared, they knew what they were doing and seemed ready for songs to come. While this may seem obvious for any professional band playing at the Hollywood Bowl, not many have so many instrumentalists and moving parts that it's difficult to keep track of them all.


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