The electricity around Saturday’s pairing of Saharan desert blues band Imarhan and the spirited musical collective known as Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros still has us buzzing.
If you missed the concert click immediately on the video link above to start an impromptu office dance party!
The two bands – staples of KCRW’s DJ favs – lit up the stage and audience in front of the Annenberg Space for Photography at the debut of this year’s “Sound in Focus” series, which is a lynchpin in KCRW’s free Summer Nights concerts across Southern California. The concert, held in Century Park in Century City, was a spectacle of sights & sounds for the thousands of music-lovers in attendance.
First up was Imarhan, and they dazzled the crowd with their brand of swirling, psychedelic jams. Evocatively mixing old & new musical styles, from pan-African rhythms to guitar-based melodies, the Tuareg musicians got the onlookers grooving with tracks like “Touchal” and their namesake track from their debut, self-titled album, “Imarhan.”
By the time the sun fully set, the crowd was good and ready for longtime Angelenos Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, who hit the Century City stage and never looked back. The band featured a mix of songs from throughout their catalog, including their latest album, “Person A,” as well as some inspired covers of tracks from John Lennon, the Kinks and the Velvet Underground. Led by the nomadic, yet hypnotic presence of Alex Ebert, the collective finished up their set with Imarhan joining them on stage on a pair of favorites from their debut album: “Om Nashi Me” and, with the biggest crowd-pleaser of the night, “Home,” which their congregation of fans were more than happy to sing along to!
If these two bands weren’t enough, this Saturday evening’s free concert features a TRIO of station-approved artists of equally wide-ranging sounds: Baaba Maal, Classixx and Brazilian Girls! So bring a friend and get there early for another memorable night of live music!