Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In Concert: Michael Franti & Spearhead

image from www.glidemagazine.com

Venue: Grinders at Crossroads; Kansas City, MO

Opening Act: Kawehi

Wow. Wow. Wow. I posted earlier this week about the dilemma of whether to see Robert Cray or Michael Franti tonight. I chose the latter and, boy, did I choose right.

I've seen maybe 40-50 shows in my life - more than some people, a lot less than others. This, however, was a transformative experience. I've never seen a performer more dedicated to making a connection with the audience. He had maybe an 8YO kid up on stage with him about 2 songs in singing and dancing. I figured it would be the highlight of the show. Boy, was I wrong. There was much more to come.

He told plenty of stories which evoked both tears and laughter. He wandered out into the audience for about a six-song set and then came back out again several more times during other songs.

He often asked the crowd to raise their hands in the air, jump up and down, hug someone, or introduce yourself to a stranger. At one point he pulled nearly a dozen kids on stage to sing and dance with him.

Oh, and this was all done as he sang songs with a very distinct "let's all love one another and get along" hippie vibe.

After the show, as the crew packed up the stage, Franti hung around talking to fans and taking selfies. When I left he was still at it and I imagine he doesn't leave until anyone who wants to hug him, take a picture, or share a story gets their chance.

Sorry all other performers I'll see in the future. Michael Franti has set a new bar which none of you may ever reach.

The Set List (based on Columbia show day before):

1. Light Up Ya Lighter 5
2. Hey Hey Hey (No Matter How Life is Today) 7
3. Yell Fire! 5
4. Hello Bonjour (w/ I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For) 5. The Sound of Sunshine 7
6. Stay Human (Family Affair) 3
7. I Got Love for You 9
8. Crazy for You 9
9. Good to Be Alive Today 9
10. Summertime Is in Our Hands 9
11. Get Myself to Saturday 9
12. We Are All Earthlings 9
13. Hey World (Don't Give Up Version) 6
14. Enjoy Every Second (new song) 15. Life Is Better With You 8
16. I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like) 8
17. 11:59 8
18. I Don't Belong (new song) 19. Say Hey (I Love You) 6
20. My Lord 9

Discography:

1 Home (1994)
2 Chocolate Supa Highway (1997)
3 Stay Human (2001)
4 Everyone Deserves Music (2003)
5 Yell Fire (2006)
6 All Rebel Rockers (2008)
7 The Sound of Sunshine (2010)
8 All People (2013)
9 Soulrocker (2016)


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