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Coachella 2016 Festival Review: From Worst to Best

on April 18, 2016, 4:30pm
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Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes


By nightfall on Sunday it’s expected that most of the crowd will appear exhausted, but the talent they’re still zombie-trudging across the field to see shouldn’t be. Leave it to Alex Ebert, who has never been remotely as focused as he was six years ago in the Magnetic Zeroes‘ fest-stealing Coachella debut, to turn a perfectly wonderful neo-hippie vibe-along into a bumbling mess that limped to a finish. It started off so stirringly, like so many Sharpe sets before, this time with an impromptu bit of hand clapping leading into “Somewhere”, a new track evoking the Jefferson Airplane having a folk freakout inside a stained-glass church, and then carried on livelier with the sway of “Forty Days”. After that, and a drag off a joint handed up from the crowd, Ebert, who always seems to be trying a little too hard to become the new Wayne Coyne, instead seemed as random as a unmedicated ADHD kid. As usual, for every inspired moment — like the sincerity of one fan (“you changed my life, man!”) when Ebert turned the mic over to the audience in place of banter with much-missed Jade Castrinos on “Home” — there were twice as many scatterbrained distractions. And damn did “Home” drag. –Ben Wener

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