It took one man, and three friends to bring thousands to tears during Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ performance on the mainstage. The crowd was ready for a show as the band walked on the stage to welcomes that made Alex Ebert, frontman; gaze in aw at the crowd. Their performance was emotional. Changing the sound of most songs to incorporate the emotion and audience reaction the band seemed more into sharing the music than just performing. Running off the stage to let fans make up their own choruses to songs, jumping over the barricade to stand and sing in the crowd, and throwing a piece of his sunglasses into the crowd, Ebert was a fan favourite.
Though nothing was more touching than the moment a wheelchair went up in the back. Between songs, Ebert and band stopped and watched with tears in their eyes as a group of three friends carried a friend from middle school, bound to a wheelchair, to the front of the crowd. As soon as the act was shown on the giant screens, the audience cheered fighting off tears.
“You want to come up on stage?” Ebert asked. Fans cheered as he then jumped off of the stage to help security and friends carry the man out of the audience and up to the stage. Letting tears loose, the audience watched as the men took their place on stage for the rest of the set, dancing and swaying along with the band. If there was ever a moment of pure peace and togetherness at the festival this was it, an audience came together to help someone experience something extraordinary.
Finishing up their set Ebert sat on the stages edge and asked a simple question. “Last one. What do you want to hear?”
Without a single disagreement from the audience, Home was selected. Due to the lacking member Jade Castrinos the song, that is a duet, was sung campfire style with the audience. The performance was more than just that. It was a reminder of how touching and binding music can be.