Here is a story I wrote on the band when it performed at Kingsbury Hall in 2012:
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros headline Friday's show at Kingsbury Hall, with Rocco DeLuca opening. Many of the Magnetic Zeros and DeLuca hail from Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood, known in recent decades as a hotbed of creativity. "I know most of the [Zeros]," said DeLuca in a Tribune interview. "I have played and sat in with all of them."That is what makes Friday's show so puzzling: DeLuca is a solo singer-songwriter who accompanies himself with a 1931 National Dobro guitar, while Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are a freewheeling collective known for their retro approach to hippie ideals and joyful power pop.Well, no one has ever said rock 'n' roll isn't a dynamic medium. The Tribune talked to DeLuca and Sharpe the stage name of Alex Ebert about their respective types of art.Edward Sharpe » Sharpe is the type of person who ends conversations with the word "Peace," while he seems like the type of person who really means it.With long hair and straggly beard, Sharpe took leave from his pop band Ima Robot in the last decade. Then Sharpe created an alter ego that he describes as a messianic figure sent by God to save mankind through music.With fellow singer Jade Castrinos, Sharpe brought together as many as 20 of his friends and released "Up from Below," in 2009. The band created a local stir last year when it headlined one of the Twilight Concerts at Pioneer Park. Sharpe was a vocal supporter of Utah's Tim DeChristopher, the recently convicted environmental activist who disrupted a federal oil and gas auction in 2008. During protests at the federal courthouse, Sharpe joined protesters and penned a song called "Let's Win!" that served as a rallying anthem for DeChristopher's supporters.In a Tribune interview from an artists' colony in Ojai, Calif., Sharpe said the date of the group's next record, tentatively called "Here," has been pushed forward to May, so he was working day and night to finish the mix. "I intend to sleep enough to stay healthy," he promised.While the first album was largely created from the fertile mind of Sharpe, the next album includes "much more collaboration in the pow-wow stage," Sharpe said. "Writing is somewhat of a sacred experience. Creation comes from the group. The blossoming can take a while ... We're a band now, and we share in this."During recording sessions, Sharpe discovered how much he enjoys fostering other people's creativity, which led him to feature others in the band and taking turns singing. One of Sharpe's inspirations for the album, curiously, is Bruce Springsteen's infamously stark "Nebraska" album.He describes the music as more "familial" than Springsteen's somber meditation on financial and emotional poverty, but he borrowed the informal spirit of that recording. "This album will be different," Sharpe said, and you believe him.Rocco DeLuca » "Nebraska" might seem like a more apt ancestor for the work of the 36-year-old DeLuca, whose new album "Drugs N' Hymns" is a collection of spare, intense ballads.DeLuca described them as "songs of toil" inspired by stories from his and his friends' lives. "The truth is way better than anything we can make up," DeLuca said. Referencing the title of the album, he added, "I remember my dad making a drug deal at a church."DeLuca, who used to tour with a band called The Burden, will be playing solo tonight, accompanied only by his most prized possession, a Dobro guitar. The instrument's sound is produced by spun metal cones instead of the sound board of a wooden acoustic guitar. "I'm always in fear of something happening to it," DeLuca said. "Metal has a different energy, and this one has a wild energy."Told he was opening for Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, DeLuca half-joked that he would "bum everybody out."But like most musicians, DeLuca's songs of despair usually have hues of hope. "Edward Sharpe will come out with power and numbers," he said. "My thing is a little different. I'm a busker, and the dream I have is to have the show in a moment of grace."Peace.