Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros were faced with the ultimate challenge during the third night of their four-day Big Top circus.
How do you top what ESMZ called one of their best-ever performances on Thursday night?
“We had a really great show (Thursday night),” Ebert told the sold-out audience early in the band’s 13-song setlist. “It’s kind of hard when you have a really great show, because you’re like ‘I don’t know if I could do it again. How do I do it like that?’”
“Still, I’m personally going to try to make this even better,” he said. “We’re going to come pretty close … It could be possible.”
Well, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Edward Sharpe delivered on Saturday night.
The band brought out a few surprises, including their re-interpretation of the Beatles hit I Saw Her Standing There and an impromptu concert in the outdoor bazaar following the show.
After acrobats, dancers and sword swallowers entertained the crowd, Edward Sharpe kicked off the third night with Man on Fire – the band’s third different opener during Big Top.
When Ebert asked fans to tell their own story in the middle of their encore, Home, Jorge Narvaez of San Diego said he was “blessed to be here” and then passed the microphone to his young daughter, Alexa.
“We came from San Diego all the way to L.A.,” Alexa said. “This is my first time being in this… I’m too scared.”
ESMZ vocalist Jade Castrinos then invited both of them on stage to sing the rest of the song with the band, bringing the crowd of about 1,500 to their feet.
Earlier in the evening, Castrinos introduced her mother to the audience – a night after her father George joined her on stage during Fiya Wata. Castrinos also performed a beautiful version of her solo “Car Crash” – a newer song that Castrinos said she was “still trying to learn.”
In another surprise, the band invited L.A.-based guitarist Eric McFadden on stage during an extended version of I Don’t Wanna Pray, which once again featured band members and the audience members offering their own alternative verses to the song.
Edward Sharpe finished the show shortly after midnight, but they weren’t done yet. More than 200 fans gathered around a piano in the middle of bazaar for an impromptu and intimate acoustic gathering. Fans formed a giant circle as Edward Sharpe performed eight additional tunes, including All Wash Out, One Love to Another and covers of Lean on Me, Stand By Me and Apeman. The band finished the 1-hour after-show with Brother.
“This is a song we don’t do too much, and one of you all requested it,” Ebert said. “We didn’t plan on doing this at all, so we’re totally unprepared.”
Edward Sharpe will be back for more on Sunday, with a matinee family concert and a final concert inside the Big Top tent.
For full coverage of Big Top, including news and photos from all four days, visit JanglinSouls.com/big-top.
Man On Fire
I Don’t Wanna Pray
That’s What’s Up
When You’re Young
Motion Animal (Crash’s song)
Car Crash (Jade’s song)
I Saw Her Standing There
Om Nashi Me
Show After the Show:
All Wash Out
One Love to Another
Ain’t Got No/I Got Life (Nina Simone cover)
Lean on Me (Bill Withers cover)
Stand By Me (Ben E. King cover)
Ripple (Grateful Dead cover)
Apeman (Kinks cover)