The rain came in around 5 o’clock. As staff tarped over the stage equipment the growing crowd gathered under the bleachers as the rain picked up. Ballpark food and refreshments were available for purchase and lines began as people searched for a warm meal to combat the cooling air. At around six commentators announced the stage was now safe for people to gather around. Some ran and others walked but everyone had a clear agenda in mind: Getting close for Broken Social Scene
The band made their way to stage one by one. Member after member walked to their designated spot and with over 10 people on stage the band was ready to kick things off. One of their guitarists started off singing. The band powered through several songs with this lineup. Four guitar players could be found on stage playing in unison and helping give their sound a large, busy, appeal. After this, the one guitarist stepped aside for another man to take over on lead vocals. This brought a unique diversity to the band’s sound. If I had to guess, each lead vocalist also pathed the courses of their songs and brought their own approaches to sound with them. A female member of the band was the only other person to take over on lead vocals. Her songs had to be the most upbeat of the set.
The best way I could think to describe this set, not knowing the band’s studio work, would be to consider them a somewhat noisier version of Arcade Fire. Diverse sound but clear indie-rock focus. With multiple people playing the same instruments their sound was loud and filled every corner of the field.
The crowd seemed ecstatic over Broken Social Scene; they are after all a rather popular band in their respected field. But it was clear the headliner of the night was the evening’s main draw. It has after all been over three years since Edward Sharpe was in the Twin Cities.
After less than a half-hour of equipment change, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes approached the stage. Over a dozen band members made their way to stage, with lead singer Alex Ebert appearing last. They wasted no time in jumping into hit song “Man on Fire.” Like every song of the night this opening track was a drawn-out jam full of sing-along moments, dancing, build-ups, and heavy hitting choruses. A somewhat unfortunate instance turned comical happened during this track. Lead singer Alex made an attempt at jumping off stage to near the crowd. His foot, however, was hurt in this process giving him an opportunity to improvise a verse all about his now aching foot. After wrapping up the song the band followed with another hit of theirs, “40 Daydream.” This song brought more of the same excitement and energy. Most of the crowd was singing along but everyone was dancing as if it was impossible not to.
The set then became much looser. The band let the crowd take over on song selection giving audience members a chance to hear many of their favorite tunes. Alex urged the crowd not to think of them as unprofessional but rather unique and barrier bridging with their set. He interacted with the crowd in almost every song, even handing off the microphone to some audience members so they could sing verses of their song “I Don’t Want to Pray.”
This year marked the ten-year anniversary of their first album. The group seemed excited about this and was eager to play suggestions of tracks of this album including “Janglin” and “Home.” While members of the band have come and gone over these ten years the sense of family and togetherness was apparent with this group.
This Summer of Love inspired band brought much of the energy of the era with them Saturday night. Everyone left the show with smiles. If you to are in search of positive energy I recommend searching for the next Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes show.