But the highlight was when a man and a woman got engaged and then immediately married while onstage. If any of the other couples in the crowd had previously claimed "Home" as "their song," they lost that claim when Jordan and Desiree exchanged vows midsong (a first for the band) in front of guitarist Christian Letts, who is apparently an ordained minister. The two danced their first dance as a married couple to a spontaneous cover of "Sea of Love."
The 12-piece folk-rock band, originally slated to play a Kanrocksas set, had taken the stage around 9:30 p.m. Preceding them was a set by ZZ Ward. Preceding ZZ Ward, there was a rainbow in the evening sky. Those tuned into the spiritual undertones of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' music might have called such an occurrence a sign from God or the universe or something. (The group's latest album has Roy G. Biv on the cover.) At the very least, it set the mood for a high-energy night ripe with surprises.
It took little time for Ebert to make his signature descent toward the crowd. Fans grabbed onto him as if he were really the messianic figure Edward Sharpe, here to spread the truths of life and love. By the third song, "Man on Fire," Ebert had stepped over the partition and was dancing side by side with the crowd in the front few rows.
On the gospel-inspired "I Don't Wanna Pray," the band deviated from the studio lyrics. A few members added verses about their religious upbringings.
The intimacy among Ebert, Castrinos and the audience seemed to fuel the decision making of the set, especially in terms of attempting new material. At one point everyone in the band paused briefly for what seemed to be a partial group huddle. Ebert approached the mic and announced, "This is our new song ("If I Were Free"). Some of you may have heard us practicing it at sound check because we don't know it very well. I think we got it good now. We'll try it out."
Later, both Ebert and and percussionist Christopher "Crash" Richard got to perform songs from their solo ventures ("Truth" and "Tell It on the Mountain," respectively).
After the "Home"-induced lovefest, the band closed with a rushed version of "Om Nashi Mi" in order to comply with the 11 p.m. noise curfew. But despite their quick exit from the stage, they stayed after the show for more than an hour and a half to chat with fans, sign autographs and take photos. That seemed like a sufficient substitute for an encore.
40 Day Dream
That's What's Up
Man on Fire
I Don't Wanna Pray
If I Were Free - New
Truth - From Alex Ebert's solo album
A second new song (title unknown)
Tell It on the Mountain (I'm on Fire) - from Crash's solo album
Sea of Love
Om Nashi Mi
ZZ Ward set list:
Put the Gun Down
Til the Casket Drops
Got It Bad
Last Love Song
Charlie Ain't Home
Grinnin' (Son House Cover)
IF I Could Be Her
Move Like U Stole It