Kathy, Joanne, and I arrived relatively early at the venue, and managed to avoid the large crowds that got stuck lining up to get in a touch later. It was a good thing we got there early, since we had come out to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, who were set to play early on around 6:45 pm.
The venue for this year's Bluesfest at the LeBreton Flats site has changed somewhat, in that there is more protection and sound muffling being offered, with a whole series of other changes that have been made, some for the better and some not. Insofar as the music goes, well it was an absolutely beautiful night to go to a concert of any type, and for the most part, Edward Sharpe and his friends did not disappoint. The music of the 11-piece cult band from California has been described as a cross between the Polyphonic Spree, Bob Marley, and the Incredible String Band.
While they looked like they had been living in a Volkswagon bus for a few month, Alex Ebert (the leader of the band) and his fellow Magnetic Zeroes delivered a summery vibe and mix of music that bears influences from everyone from The Band to an unplugged Grateful Dead. I mean, the instruments on stage ranged from accordion, banjo, upright piano, toy keyboard, trumpet, as well as guitar, drums, and bass. Ebert is definitely a pleasant sounding enough singer, although he seemed to be out of it somewhat, rambling between songs how he needed to figure out what the Magnetic Zeroes are and trying to determine the time by the position of the sun. His singing was terrific, and the rest of the band was tight, and while they performed their hits "Home" and "40 Day Dream", among others, he seemed to be taking requests from the audience. I liked the rendition of "Desert Song" (at least I thought it was that one), but was quite taken with the somewhat subdued version of the dark and moody "Black Water".
Overall, I thought that the show was quite good, the sound quality was excellent due to the muffling structures that have been incorporated into this year's venue for Bluesfest at the LeBreton Flats site. It took us a bit of time to exit the place after the concert, what with the massive number of folks that showed up for the Soundgarden appearance after Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and the sheer number of folks present at the first night of Bluesfest, so I didn't get back home until well after 11:00 pm. That said, had a terrific time on a lovely summer evening, and am looking forward to tonight's concert with MonkeyJunk.