Noise Pop Show Review: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes at Bimbo’s 365 Club, 2/28/10

by Megan Costello on March 2, 2010

Happy happy joy joy all the time

Noise Pop is over, and what better way to bring the festival to an end than Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  It was a lazy Sunday here in the city, so lazy that I lazily missed the opening bands at Bimbos and spent 20 minutes looking for parking because I was too lazy to take public transportation to beautiful Bimbo’s 365 Club.

But enough about my inability to be on time, let’s talk about Mr. Sharpe (actually Alex Ebert, front man of Ima Robot), his merry band of bards, and their ability to perform.  It would be an understatement to say that they put on a great show.  They had the crowd at a very giggly “Hello, San Diego!”  There was enough flannel in the audience to clothe Williamsburg in the winter, and by the smell of things, everyone was a jolly as the crowd at Woodstock.

Before last night I was only a casual listener of the band.  I’m sad to admit that the only song title I recognized was their hit Home (the obvious highlight of the night, but more on that later).  Not being a superfan of the band, I felt like a bit like an outsider at the show — like the night I accidentally wandered into a quinceañera in Mexican restaurant in L.A.  But it was impossible to be an outsider for long.  The infectious energy of the crowd sucked in every last person in the venue.  If you weren’t flailing your arms around and stomping your feet like you were at a hoedown, something must have been seriously wrong with you.  I have to give it up to any band that travels with an upright piano, not to mention the bonus points they get for the extra large tambourine.

From the start of their set, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros were at a 10 for energy level.  All 10 people in the band seemed to be doing their part in aiding in the robust sound emanating from the stage.  There was very little banter with the audience, but more of a series of smiles and giggles that seemed to say everything.  Home was a surprise, popping up mid-set rather than saved for the encore as everyone in the crowd expected.  I overheard whispers of “is the show over now then” as the opening notes pinged through the room.  Once the shock wore off, the crowd turned into a jaunty sea of dancing and bobbing.


The female vocalist Jade Castrinos is a tiny woman with a huge voice.  Every time she opened her mouth to sing out the verses I was shocked.  Her voice is so distinctive and clear; she gave a flawless performance.  But it was really an audience member who crowd surfed his way to the stage that stole the show.  He hopped up onto the stage with a fiddle and bow in hand to be greeted and embraced by the band.  He proved that he was fit to be up with the band (not only because of his massive beard and unkempt pony-tail) by jumping straight into the song without missing a beat.  Microphones were shoved in front of him and he was even able to take a solo.  Like I said earlier, if you weren’t having a good time at this show, you are a soul-less human.


This explosion of energy mid-set begged the question: Where do you go from there?  Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros chose a slow jam.  Never failing in energy, they finished out the show strong, coming back with a two-song encore.  Just to prove how big of hippies they really are, they invited much of the crowd onstage with them for the final song of the night and made everyone in the audience sit.  The words of advice for those who didn’t want to sit on the floor? “Just everyone sit on everyone’s lap, that way no one has to sit on the floor.”  And so we all finished out the night and Noise Pop like the Zeros, one big happy family just singing along and enjoying each other’s company.

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Here’s a link to download some free music from the opening band, A B & The Sea:

Megan Costello

radio dj and music reviewer stuck in the life of an architectural designer

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Gordon Elgart March 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm

The hippie energy of this band feels a little forced to me. I mean … I’ve seen Ima Robot live. And the videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpQVXOBNU5E

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Roxy March 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm

sounds like an amazing show!
I love bimbo’s, it’s so pretty in there. I’ll definitely have to catch edward sharpe next time they’re in LA.

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yogurt March 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Having known a few of these folks from this band back in high school (plus a few years) I initially had a similar feeling to the first poster. Having given it a little thought it seems like jumping whole heartily into this collective music has an infectious way of drawing people in. My consistent anti-modern hippy view (cultivated from my resistive stance of hippies at my liberal arts college – who have more money than I will ever have) has been slightly scratched away by this band. I think it’s mostly the female singer’s voice. She seems genuinely odd and alluring. Plus check out that sweeter that Alex Ebert is wearing. Top Notch!

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Johanna April 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I just went to their show in Sydney, and after looking at a few reviews of Edward Sharpe’s gigs, it seems they have a very specific formulation. They did everything you mentioned, from playing Home in the middle….leaving everyone wondering how they can top it off, to getting people on stage, and asking the audience to sit. He even said “Just everyone sit on everyone’s lap, that way no one has to sit on the floor.”
I still think it was a really good show, but I guess the whole WOW! element I got from that concert has been diminished when I realised that every one of their shoes is identical.
Anyway…moving on 🙂

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Johanna April 4, 2010 at 6:37 pm

By shoes, I mean shows hahah!

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