Photography by Ruby Mora
Normally, bands and artists create an album, release an album, and then go on tour, performing songs form the album. However, in this circumstance, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros is anything but normal. The band is due to release their fourth album PersonA and announced a North American tour this month. However, the first six shows on the tour are unique, in that they are the only ones where the band will perform the entirety of their new album before its official release on April 15th, and World Cafe Live was one of the lucky six to be the venue of what turned out to be an intimate and mesmerizing performance.
The night started with two of the members of the band choosing five brave fans form the crowd to be the opening acts for the band, instruments and all. There was guitar-playing (with a bad-ass cover of Kurt Vile’s “Pretty Pimpin”), a tear-jerking original piano ballad, and even an a cappella rendition of Grateful Dead’s “It Must Have Been the Roses.” It was a generous and scary opportunity that the band gave when fans became the opening acts. Imagine getting the opportunity to open for one of the most iconic indie folk bands out there: yeah, I wouldn’t be able to hold myself together, either.
From the moment they came on stage to the very end of the show, the band passionately played every note (and likely then some) of PersonA. Before doors opened, the first 200 fans in line were given masquerade-themed masks of different kinds and were told to wear them until the second half of the first song “Hot Coals,” where lead singer Alex Ebert directed the crowd to take them off. That sense of freedom from being hidden can likely describe the feeling many of the fans felt during that night. There’s something magical about a new album and new music, overall, but the act of performing new music to fans that still haven’t experienced it through any other typical media gives the band the opportunity to put their heart into performing these new and astounding songs, in addition to giving the crowd the opportunity to listen to such a new, raw, and heartfelt album.
Check out photos from the show below. Were you at World Cafe Live Saturday night? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments after the jump!