Best Audience Interaction: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Singer-ringmaster Alex Ebert wasted no time engaging with fans during the early Sunday evening set of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Right in the middle of the opening song, he climbed the crowd barrier to wade deep among Coachella faithful, then climbed back over to other side to ask: "What do you want to hear?" For "I Don't Want to Pray," Ebert sprinted and hopped along the barricade, stopping to ask random fans to sing along. Most knew the lyrics word for word. During "Man On Fire," Ebert and the nine players behind him began with a solemn organ passage, then soared into a joyous melody, as the singer hopped and danced around, singing "I want the world to come dance with me!" At one point, he tossed a compact video camera into the masses as "an experiment" and asked fans to shoot themselves dancing before throwing it back. He asked, "Hey, y'all, anyone got a story you want to tell?" And soon he was leaning into their faces, hearing their stories of overcoming depression, or driving to Coachella for 36 hours from Canada. The stories continuing as the day turned to night, and the band was ready to hear them all.