Every once in a great while, there will be a musical performance that leaves a lasting impression on its audience. This was indeed the case with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at McMenamin’s Edgefield. The opening act Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s jazz horn sounded its last note into the gray sky as mother nature answered in response with a gentle drizzle upon the venue’s green lawn seating.
The audience sat in waiting, muttering amongst themselves until Edward Sharpe slowly slinked onto the stage, followed in close pursuit by the Magnetic Zeros. The band burst into their first number, and, as they continued to play, the rain’s pace slowed to a lull and gave way to beautiful shafts of light piercing through the dull sky.
Suddenly and serendipitously, as if planned amidst the clouds, a rainbow stretched across the entirety of the crowd. People began to point and stare as the natural phenomenon gradually painted smiles on all the faces of the audience. Song after song, the band created a wall of sound in which each member blended his respective color on the musical canvas. Sharpe’s voice then crooned atop the 10-piece multi-instrumental behemoth, evoking feelings of revere.
An almost hypnotic pulse came from the hearts of the musicians. Sharpe projected a nonchalant and humble demeanor throughout his performance. Cutting the song “Janglin’” half-way through and going into his version of Lennon’s “Instant Karma”, he invited a woman from the crowd named Jasmine to play tambourine and encouraged the crowd to speak into his microphone regarding moments of love.
As the evening winded down to an end, they played “Home” while the entire crowd sung in unison almost every lyric. A few songs later, Sharpe guided the audience back down to earth, bidding them farewell. Light-hearted and humming, the crowd began to leave, all with bigger smiles than the ones they had entered with.