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    Despite the stormy weather yesterday, the Iroquois Amphitheater was packed full with a variety of different people for the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros show last night. This was the first time ESMZ have visited Louisville and the turn out could not have been better. Kyle Meredith from WFPK jokingly said he hoped the crowd was enjoying the extra light show, meaning the dynamic lightning show that was going on. The lightning was a pretty cool addition.

    The opening band was Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Both bands’ names are quite a mouth full to say. Long band names must be the in thing now days: Jukebox the Ghost, Mumford and Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, etc. Maybe I just didn’t notice this abundance of long band names before now. 

    When Clap Your Hands Say Yeah first started playing I was a bit apprehensive. I had never heard this band before, and when they first started I thought they were going to be some loud experimental noise band because that is exactly what it sounded like, noise. Once they got playing though I started warming up to them. Their overall sound reminded me of a mix of New Order and Franz Ferdinand with their synth keyboard riffs and creative drum beats. In the end they earned enough credibility with me that I decided to like their Facebook page.

    After their set was over there was an excessively long 20-30 minute wait before Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros came on stage. It may have been a sound system issue as Alex Ebert’s, lead male singer, microphone wasn’t working when they came on stage. They came out anyway, probably sensing the crowd's restlessness, and did a little a capella number while they worked on the sound equipment.  Once they got that fixed they kicked the show off and they were phenomenal! There were twelve band members on stage making the sound huge. There were many different layers to the music. I could hear the core sound of the band with the guitars, vocals, and drums. Then their sound was expanded with a horn section, strings, and other little instrumental details that really made their overall sound blossom with color. ESMZ uses every band member to their full potential.

    The audience loved every minute of the performance. Most people were standing and singing along. Ebert showed his love by jumping into the crowd and walking through the front row of fans. This was my first experience ever seeing girls weeping because they were in such close proximity to a performer. Luckily no one ripped his clothes off or did anything inappropriate. At one point during the concert, one girl was literally drug up the aisle by a security guard kicking and screaming. He had to have another security guard help him. Somehow she squirmed out of both their grips and plopped onto the ground. The guys just kind of stood their looking defeated as the girl flailed about on her back attempting to dance. I have no idea what events led up to her removal, but it was the most humorous moment of any concert I have ever experienced.

    The show was an amazing experience. It felt like one giant love fest at the Iroquois Amphitheater with great music, ambient lighting, stormy weather, and a more than enthusiastic audience.

    Photos: courtesy of Anna Blanton

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    About Anna Blanton

    Anna Blanton holds a Bachelors of Arts in Music (violin) and a Minor in Marketing from the University of Louisville. Anna currently plays with the Paducah Symphony, Southern Sirens, and The Porch Possums. She is also organizes the backup string section for the Beatles festival, Abbey Road on the River.

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