Photo © Holden Richards
Sweating before the show, Alex Ebert looks like he just led a youthful tribe of Israel out of the desert. The frontman of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros wears a shirtless well-worn-out white suit with a long red sash draped around his neck. His hair is tangled mostly on top of his head with a few unruly strands making a rebellious dash for his shoulders. He speaks softly and carries an immensely big stick, his talent. Alex sings from the depths, and with his company of spiritual merry pranksters wants to lift you up.
The Zeros are on their way to greater successes with songs on radios and televisions everywhere but touring the east coast (as they are located in LA) with 10 people plus gear is no small task. The show at the Cat's Cradle was loaded with the Magnetic Zeros trademark energy and soulful sensibilities while giving the sense that if your guru-of-choice had a favourite band it might be these people.
Particularly memorable from this night are the crowd pleasing "40 day dream" and the effusive "Janglin'". But there is a serious and darker side to Alex's song writing that deals with the struggles of childhood, death and finding healing from the jolts and bruises of life. "Up From Below," is a ballad that compares recovery from addiction to reincarnation. "I've already suffered/ I want you to know God/ I'm ridin' on Hell's hot flames comin up from below." On "Om Nashi Me" its just the chanting chorus of the band singing "Om nashi me, I will love you forever" until it diminishes into an incantation of "aummmmmm" alone. Spiritual Energy? Good Vibes? Regardless, its redeemed a hundred times over before the night is ended. Songs like their hit single "Home" had them dancing from the first row to the very back of the club.