Michael Franti: “Because all the freaky people make the beauty of the world!”

Michael Franti & Spearhead performed an electrifying double-bill at the Orange Peel on Thursday, Feb. 26. The early show/family matinee was packed corner-to-corner with fans of all ages. Infants, toddlers, children, parents and grandparents shouted and danced in the sweltering concert hall. Perched high on their parent’s shoulders, children threw kisses to the stage and waved their arms above their head with enthusiasm.

Franti & Spearhead performed an array of songs from All Rebel Rockers (2008), (including “I Got Love For You,” and “Say Hey I Love You”) as well as songs from their albums, Everyone Deserves Music (2003) and Yell Fire (2006). For the younger fans, Franti sang the Sesame Streets theme songs and a song about rainbows, encouraging everybody to sign along with him. 

For the last two songs of the early show (Say Hey I Love You and The Obama Song), Cherine Anderson, a Jamaican musician featured on the band’s latest album All Rebel Rockers, and Franti invited more than a dozen children to join them on stage. The band passed out toy guitars, tambourines and other instruments, requesting only that each participant dance and sing as loud as possible. The kids loved it and many had memorized the words to his songs. One young girl sang directly into the mic, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

For the evening show, which began at 9 p.m. and ended a little past midnight, Michael Franti & Spearhead delivered a powerful line-up of songs, ranging from acoustic solos to all out reggae-rock and funk jam sessions. The band works extremely well together and have the expertise to create seamless improvisation.

Reggae artists Anderson and Courtney John opened the concert and joined Franti & Spearhead for select songs throughout the performance, adding a collaborative and vocally rich texture to the show. Anderson, who performed a dazzling opening, engaged the audience with her sultry charisma and soaring voice. At one point she even invited a photographer on the stage with her. “You want some good shots?” she asked playfully. “Well, then climb on over, just climb over!”

From contemplative songs like Hey World What You Say (which moved many in the audience to tears) to reggae songs like The Rude Boys Back In Town, Franti’s vocals were elegant and strong. He is an utterly commanding performer committed to spreading a message of love, unity and peace for all men, women and children of this earth.

Check out our photo gallery of both shows here.

About Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt
Aiyanna grew up on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. She was educated at The Cambridge School of Weston, Sarah Lawrence College, and Oxford University. Aiyanna lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she proudly works for Mountain Xpress, the city’s independent local newspaper.

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15 thoughts on “Michael Franti: “Because all the freaky people make the beauty of the world!”

  1. Power of Love

    It took a minute to figure out what you mean, i think..
    Franti sings a gospel of Love and Unity, anyone who has seen him in concert or not knows that this is Genuine and Powerful and THAt is why he sells out…
    But I’d love to hear more about these “sheep” please explain.
    …Power to the Peaceful!

  2. Joe wheelchair

    The show was awsome! Well worth the efforts of myself and others to get me there and and see Franti

  3. homer

    The Love and Unity stuff is fine but i have seen him live and think his music is nothing special. sheep comment needs no explanation…

  4. evolved

    I was so thankful to be next to my work friends, with my kids, dancing with my mortgage advisor, random hippies, teachers, grandmoms, mamas and papas, all feeling the vibe of what’s to come. Who feels it knows it ya’all…….

  5. Trey

    People like to be preached to.

    Love and unity and sell out to Pepsi.


  6. Get on over yourself

    Hey Homer, no need to bring people down with your bad vibes dude. Just because people like things that you don’t doesn’t make them farm animals, k?
    I don’t dig on Michael Bolton of Celine Dion like you do but I’m not calling you a sheep. Maybe a donkey, but not a sheep.

  7. homer

    mr. bad vibes dude. yeap you fit the sheep profile with that kind of talk. im allowed my opinion just like everyone. Franti is way over-rated. you dig…. Please dont assume my musical tastes as they dont involve either one you have listed. you dig…

  8. Joe wheelchair

    I get the feelin Homer was mad cause they didn’t buy a ticket.

  9. dave

    franti is easy listening for the PC hippie crowd.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  10. evolved

    It is a gospel– that’s for sure, but has anyone ever heard Franti’s song, “It’s a crime to be black in America”?- it’s hardly pc or hippie. purely factual and realistic…….

  11. homer

    well said dave! Joe im not mad at all, i would not see him if someone gave me a ticket. Made that mistake before.

  12. Piffy!

    If you think ““It’s a crime to be black in America”” isn’t PC, may I suggest some of the forefathers of hip hop and their message? You might be pleasantly surprised. Try Chuck D and KRS-One, Eric B and Rakim, for starts.

    Happy Listening!

  13. evolved

    Heck yes! I love KRS– especially that live jam he has about the zodiac– which reminds me of something michael franti might do! Anyways, to each his own, right?

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