Mrs. E and I went to a concert in the Pittsburgh area last Saturday. We went to see Michael Franti and Spearhead. I have loved Michael’s music since he was in the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy in the early 1990’s. In Spearhead Michael continues doing music about social justice and peace.
I have to say the microphone he was singing into was not getting his lyrics across because of someone doing a poor job sound mixing. That is a shame because of the poetic nature and importance of Franti’s lyrics. In “Bomb The World” he sings, “You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can’t bomb it into peace.” In, “Time to Go Home” we hear, “Those who start wars never fight them, and those who fight wars never like them.” The song, “East to West” states, “Life is too short to make just one decision, music is too loud for just one station, love is too big for just one nation, and God is too big for just one religion!”
So how good can a concert be if such a great lyricist can’t be heard? Actually, pretty damn great! That is because Franti has pretty much the same idea of music as Mike Stout who I talked about last post. They both present the problems we face and then ask us to put our differences aside and connect with one another to build that better world we all want.
Connecting with one another in love is what happened at the Michael Franti and Spearhead concert, Mrs. E and I attended. People were on their feet for over two hours dancing and hugging one another. This while Michael and the guitarists strolled through the audience. At one point Micheal’s voice was coming through very clear. I looked to see that he was standing next to me in the balcony singing into a portable microphone. At one point Franti asked for all of the children and anyone over 60 to come up on the stage. A couple of dozen children (including Franti’s son) and a dozen folks over 60 were soon dancing to the next tune.
It really is music with a message that appeals to people of all ages. I truly have never seen such love and soul at a concert. It was an event that included both tears and laughter and every emotion in between. I highly recommend a Spearhead concert to energize your, “Soulshine.”
Let me quote comments at Michael Franti’s website from various fans who can express it better than I can: “My son Gabe, who has Autism, danced with you onstage to “Say Hey. I Love You” at the show in Columbus, OH last year, and it was truly a life changing moment for him! He had never wanted to do anything like that before, and now he has opened up to being with lots of people all the time ! He has become very social, especially when there’s music involved, and most especially when it’s Michael Franti & Spearhead’s music.”
“Michael, just saw you in St. Louis and it was a night to never forget….magical.”
“I actually could not stop dancing the entire time. I love the message Michael sends. Michael will forever be my all time favorite artist!”
“My kids are dying to meet Michael again ever since he brought them up on stage in Indianapolis last year!!! Your cutting edge positive messages inspire our whole family. Please don’t ever stop…”
“I go to a lot of concerts and I don’t think I’ve ever been to one where people were so loving and respectful toward one another, and I think that’s all because of the attitude that Michael and Spearhead project.”
“I felt more of a sense of spirit and purpose and just togetherness last night than I have felt in a very long time and I want to thank Michael & everyone in the crowd for that. I really needed the love & peace and last night was like a shot of hope for me.”
“Saw you for the first time at this year’s spring Hookahville and fell in love with your music and your message. It’s an honor and a privilege to feel a part of something so real! Look for me in the crowd… I’ll be the one dancin’ like nobody’s watchin’ “Power to the Peaceful.”
Here is a video of Michael Franti being interviewed.
Musicians like Franti and Mike Stout are my favorites because they are trying to open minds to help build that better planet, I so much want for my kids. Add their music to your life and you’ll feel happier to learn that there are singers who share your voice.
Here is a note about another singer of note coming to our area. It’s Jann Klose whose first band was composed entirely of musicians from the Youngstown scene: Teddy Pantelas, Joe Kaplowitz, Kevin Hindes and Sherry Luchette. Here’s what the media is saying about Jann: Time Out New York says, “Bronx-based singer-songwriter Jann Klose writes warm, hooky pop music.” The Advance Newspaper Wire Services praises, “The first thing that’s totally unmistakable about Jann Klose is that voice – which is just light years beyond that of the typical singer/songwriter a sound that is classy, distinctive and often irresistible.”
Check out Jann’s music here. Jann Klose will be performing At Madison, 802 Elm Street, Youngstown, OH 44505 on November 13, at 8 PM. Admission is $15. For more information, please call 330-743-2665.
Michael Franti and Spearhead: “Every Single Soul”
“The human interest, and the natural interest, and the spiritual interest of this planet need to begin to take a priority over the corporate interest, the military interest, and the materialistic interests.” ~ Michael Franti