Edward Sharpe Plays to Chilled Out Crowds
Student Government Productions has done it again.
SGP brought indie-folk group Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros to the University of Florida on Friday, encouraging eager music-loving souls to venture into the cold abyss to bear witness to this California-based band’s cool rhythms.
Even though the show took place outdoors at the Band Shell stage on Flavet Field, the weather seemed to have no impact on the crowd’s attendance; the turnout was exceptional.
Though temperatures plummeted throughout the opening act, the crowd grew steadily. Individuals, mainly distinctive college students, merged together with a blend of unique characters and Gainesville locals. The cold seemed to turn to warmth generated by the love of music, and this enthusiastic plethora of attendees would eventually spread beyond the front of house tent in the middle of the venue.
The Knocks, electronic funk group from Brooklyn, opened with an early set starting at 7:30. This was their first performance after coming off of a brief hiatus, and they genuinely seemed as if they were eager to get back in tour mode.
DJ B-Roc and JPat took the stage. They spilled an upbeat jam from the instruments into the crowd, seemingly to guide the weathered gathering into a cozy environment.
Between DJ B-Roc, formally known as Ben Ruttner, jamming solo on the keyboard and the hype brought to us by James Patterson, also known as JPatt on guitar, the performance was a diverse mash up of ‘Brooklyn funk’.
The performance was grand, and a great foundation for another round of live performances. Friday night was the starting date for the ambitious pair’s recently announced tour.
When the Knocks exited the stage, the crowd emitted a displeased attitude due to the brief interlude that replaced musical fulfillment with silence as the stage was being set up for the main act. Through mic checks and instrument tuning, this 25-minute intermission seemed endless to the freezing audience.
These feelings of anticipation and mild annoyance were finally quelled when Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros finally took the stage.
Lead vocalist, Alex Ebert, brought the additional seven members onto stage, lending to the recreation of positive energy.
Edward Sharpe, a persona created by Ebert, danced and whirled around stage in conjunction with the bodies of hundreds of eager audience members. The rhythm, style and enthusiasm of the performance brought the University of Florida closer to the roots of the indie music scene.
Though the absence of Jade Castrinos, a former core vocalist, was notable, the performance didn’t decline because of it. The only time the absence was explicitly mentioned by Ebert was when it came time to sing the band’s most well-known song, “Home,” on which Castrinos is heavily featured. However, Ebert used the crowd to make up for the loss, resulting in an interactive finale.
The event last Friday night was nothing less than a success.
The episode brought two-and-a-half hours of a perfect mixture between funky Brooklyn beats and indie root choruses from the Magnetic Zeros.
The hard 10 p.m. curfew rapidly concluded one of the better jam sessions put on by SGP. And with the grass of Flavet Field lying flat and worn by boot-clad footsteps, was empty once again, awaiting the arrival of the next big Band Shell concert.
Feature photo courtesy of: Tyler Hunt