Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, Michigan
Written Sept. 26
I am still trying to catch my breath from the magical experience of last night. I believe there was a little angel on my shoulder the whole time. Everything worked out seamlessly, as if it was meant to be. I wish I could capture just one moment from last night and put it in my pocket as a constant reminder of the beauty, love, joy, kindness and grace that I felt and shared in the presence of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. And if one day I felt sad, I could just pull out my little moment and take in a deep breath and the music would fill up my heart and soul.
I can’t express how grateful I am for the way everything worked out last night. Just a week ago, I was completely heartbroken that the friend I bought tickets with could no longer come see my favourite musicians with me :( For a week I sulked and desperately tried to find someone to take the ticket. To think that I considered skipping the show because I didn’t want to drive all the way to Michigan by myself….And then at the last minute, less than a day before the show, my dear friend Guinevere said she would love to join me but couldn’t get off work until 4pm and the show was at 7:30 in Michigan (2.5 hours). I figured there was no possible way for us to make it to the show on time with the after-work traffic. To our surprise, the roads were totally clear and crossing the border was a breeze! Thank you, little angel for watching over us!
We were absolutely ecstatic to not only be on time for the show, but we actually arrived an hour early. We stepped in to line with approximately 20 people in front of us and knew we had a good chance of getting a wicked spot in the front. And as we were standing in line, the drummer of the band, Josh Collazo walked by down the street with his beautiful wife Yvonne and their baby boy, Maximus in his stroller! I was so happy to bump in to them as I have been in touch with Mr. Collazo for quite some time now. It was a great pleasure to finally meet him and his little family and give them hugs and take pictures. Certainly not what I expected at the beginning of the week!
The doors opened at 7:30 “Sharpe” and Guinevere and I busted a move to get a spot in the front. We had no trouble getting right up to the barricade, centre stage, close enough that we could reach over and touch the edge of the stage. As the crowd buzzed with excitement waiting for the Zeros to come on, Guinevere and I chatted with the local photographers and the personnel of the Royal Oak Music Theatre. I am so grateful for all the kindness that we received from everybody. The crowd was so friendly, and the photographers, the bartenders and even the security guard were all so sweet and so happy to be there too! It was like one big room of positivity with a mighty forcefield that kept any negative energy away. If anybody from last night sees this post, I’d love to say THANK YOU for being kind and respectful, and having a smile on your face the whole time.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah from New York and Philly was a 4-piece indie rock band that opened for the Sharpes. They were tons of fun and Guinevere especially loved the lead singer:P
After much anticipation, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros started around 10pm and as soon as they stepped on the stage, the crowd went wild. They opened with none other than 40 Day Dream and everybody broke in to dancing, singing, clapping and screaming. I’m so happy that the venue was small and cozy, the vibe was so positive and everything was so surreal. It felt as if it was just the Sharpes and Gwen and myself. Time stopped and I completely surrendered myself to that moment. I was completely absorbed in the music, the love and the energy, my heart felt like it was going to burst “It’s true, we’re one, we are each other”.
The performance was absolutely magical and I felt a genuine, personal connection with each and every member of the band. By the end of the night, I had managed to make eye-contact with every member and sent blow kisses, thanking them for sharing such a beautiful experience with us. Early on during the show, I decided to put together a make-shift shaker out of a blue solo cup (which was previously filled with diet coke), a couple quarters and a toonie, some paper and an elastic band. So here I was, this weird kid with unicorn hair and a makeshift solo-cup shaker, giving ‘er my all. At one point the paper ripped open and coins went flying out. Jadey looked right at me with an expression that said “Oh no!” I probably made a fool of myself, giving it everything I had- I danced and clapped and laughed and cheered. I didn’t give a shit how stupid I looked because I wanted to show the Sharpes how much I appreciated THEM for all their energy and opening up their hearts to put on such a magnificent performance. As long as music was playing, I was dancing and clapping and I wasn’t going to stop unless they did. The best part of all this is that I truly did make a connection with the band members to the point that Alexander Ebert would always come out to our side of the stage and reach out to the crowd. He stepped up on the little ledge of the barricade directly in front of me and I gave him a BIG TREE HUG while all the fans behind me went wild reaching to touch him and give him little things to sign. I just wanted to hug him! As the night went on, people were screaming all sorts of things, mainly “I love you Jade!” or “I love you Alex!” and it was so fun how well the members responded to the crowd. There were actual conversations that went on in between songs. I knew my voice wasn’t going to be loud enough to scream something that could be heard on stage so I sent blow kisses to everyone and made them heart signs with my hands. Eventually I borrowed Gwen’s eyeliner and wrote “THANK YOU” on the paper of my solo-cup shaker. During “Simplest Love”, Alex asked the crowd for “One Word” that they wanted to say. Unfortunately, I had two. All I wanted to say was THANK YOU to each and every member of the band to express how grateful I felt for the music that created and shared with us, music which enriched my soul. They knew I loved them, they didn’t need to hear it. But I wanted to ensure that they knew how much I appreciated THEM for being themselves and hoping they will continue to do the things they love most, because that is the most inspiring thing about all of this. I was able to make eye contact with everyone at different points and show them my Thank You message during the performance. I got lots of warm smiles and nods (and a hug from Stewart too!) in return and it was more than I could ever ask for.
During a quiet part of “Home”, I managed to grab Jadey’s attention and waved for her to come over to me. She looked at me with her big smile when I signalled to her that I wanted to give her a hug and slowly made her way across the stage over to my spot, hopped on to the little ledge and we embraced each other while whispering in to each other’s ears. I told her thank you so much for being so sweet and how much I adored her and that she smelled surprisingly very nice for having danced on stage for hours. She said, “No way! I smell horrible by now! And you are the sweetest thing, and I love your hair!”. It was such a cute moment. I’ve always felt connected to Jade on so many levels and for years she has been an example of free-spiritedness, individuality and grace for me. It was so nice to just have her in my arms to express how much I adored her for being who she was. I’m sure the rest of the crowd behind me was a little jealous but also happy that I could make the connection with Jade and bring her over because they all got the chance to reach out and touch her too. I managed to get Jadey to come over to me one more time to give her my hair flower (I wish I came prepared with a real present for her!). During the improv part of “Home” Jade decided that she and Alex should do some interpretive dancing, that they were going to grow in to flowers. So sweet Jadey rolled herself up in to a little ball on stage and said that she was a seed that was about to bloom in to a flower. Alex played along for a little while, then decided he wanted to be a cat instead. Jadey slowly stretched up from her seed position and blossomed in to a beautiful, cheerful flower! That’s when I thought it would be nice gesture to give Jadey my hair flower. I reached out for her and she came to me again and I spoke in to her ear “You are the prettiest flower in the world!” To my surprise, she unclipped her little navy flower from the back of her hat and gave it to me in return. It was such a significant and magical moment for us to exchange flowers. It’s like in Fiya Wata, we are all part of the River of Love, we flow in to each other and we are one. I didn’t expect it at all and I was just blown away by how generous she is. I only wish there was more that I could give to her.
And just to top things off, at the end of the night, Alex invited the crowd on stage to sing and dance with them for one last song. I found a tambourine laying around and asked Jadey if she wanted to use my shaker and like the happiest little hippies in the world, we all sang and danced along to “A Million Years” from Alexander’s solo album. It was absolutely magical and so beautiful to see the fans patiently approach Jade and Alex to tell them how glad they were to meet them, sharing hugs and tears. It was too perfect for words. Thank you thank you thank you to Alex, Jade, Stewart, Orpheo, Josh, Nora, Christian, Mitchell, Crash, Mark, Seth and the lovely Odessa, for pouring out your hearts and souls in last night’s show and sharing with us an unforgettable experience. “I’m sending you all of my love, you with the heart to feel it!” I simply can’t wait to hear more about your adventures and I’ll be anticipating the day we meet again “in the twi-ly-ly-ly-light”
And here are links to far better quality photos of the event shot by professionals!