Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros helped bid “Fare Thee Well” to the Grateful Dead Friday, playing a late night show at Thalia Hall following the first Grateful Dead show in Chicago. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros were one of several bands performing as part of the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary reunion shows at Soldier Field in Chicago. “We’re honored to be playing these shows for the Grateful Dead,” said Alex Ebert as the band came on stage, “They really did something.”
Christian Letts started the night, performing songs from his solo album “Letts.” He was joined on stage by Seth Ford-Young on upright bass, Josh Collazo on drums, Mark Noseworthy on guitar, Nico Aglietti on guitar, Stewart Cole on keys and trumpet and Ryan Richter on the slide guitar. The Letts live show provides a mellow yet dynamic take on the album — with delightful solos and haunting crescendos featured in several songs.
As Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros took the stage, Alex immediately called for requests from the audience. In fact, the sold-out show was marked almost entirely by fan picks, resulting in an eclectic and jam-packed set. The set list included Desert Song (opener), Janglin’, If I Were Free, Up From Below, Man On Fire, Brother, I Don’t Wanna Pray, Mayla, Better Days (played as a fast tempo zinger), A Million Years, Truth, 40 Day Dream, Home and Om Nashi Me (closer). The band gave a second nod to the Grateful Dead during the set with Christian Letts leading a cover of Ripple.
Home featured a stage appearance from Haden DeRoberts of Home Live at Bonaroo, who reminisced with Alex about seeing the group play at his hospital and again at Bonaroo where he shared his story. Haden was at the show working with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to register fans to the national marrow registry through the organization “Love Hope Strength.” To find out how you can get on the list to become a potentially life-saving marrow donor, visit lovehopestrength.org.
The combination of audience interaction, Alex dancing with the crowd, fantastic fan verses to I Don’t Wanna Pray and a number of stories during Home all made for an extremely high-energy show that was truly one to remember.