Music Monday: Michael Franti Concert

A couple years ago, we saw Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Edmonton Folk Festival.

And he blew our minds!

His music is amazing for three reasons. First, it's about love and peace and happiness, not depressing violent crap that other people sing about (well mostly not about that anyways). Second, its peppy and cheerful and upbeat - I dare you to not get up and dance to it. Third, he is a seemingly lovely man, who is very charismatic and has an awesome stage present. Thus, the complete package.

Last week's Winspear Centre concert might be the best show I've seen this year so far.

The opener, Ko or whatever, started promising, then sang songs about weed and the four Mayerthorpe Mounties. After that I wanted nothing more for him to leave.

All was not lost though. The minute the lights went down for Michael Franti, the entire Winspear crowd stood up and mostly remained standing for the rest of the show. Keep in mind this was in the concert hall the symphony usually plays in. Standing up and dancing do not happen there often, I imagine anyways.

It was an amazing concert. We sang and danced and clapped the whole time. He is such a great performer, who really interacts with the audience. At one point, he did a song walking up the left aisle, around the back, then down the right aisle. Later on he disappeared, and suddenly the crowd was looking at us - he reappeared right above our heads in the second balcony, and did another song from there.

He got this little boy up on stage at one point. The kid had a sign saying 'Can I have a hug' or something, and he certainly got hugged! For one of the encore songs, the entire band started the song from the back of the theatre, and slowly made their way to the stage (check out a video here).

And for the last song, he invited all the kids and people over 60 to join him. They were all dancing, and he let a little girl sing part of the song. It was so cute. Michael Franti lived in Edmonton for a year while he was in junior high, and every show I've seen he always mentions his old coach. Well sure enough, the coach and his wife the typing teacher ended up dancing on stage too, hanging out with the band.

Gosh it was a great concert. I left feeling all happy and hopeful.

I can't wait until next time!

You can find Michael Franti and Spearhead at:
Michael Franti official
Michael Franti myspace
Michael Franti Wikipedia

The 'Yell Fire' album is still my favourite, but here's one more, because it's fun and will make you smile for sure...


  1. I too was at this concert and I had a great time!
    Generally, I enjoy reading your blog.However, I'm disappointed in this post. It's a shame you wrote off Ko's performance so early on. I think he's one of the best Canadian artists to come out in a long time. I'm not sure why exactly you were turned off by his songs about Canadian events (Mayerthorpe killings), or Cannabis...
    I think you should give his chance another listen.

  2. As I said, I started off not minding Ko, might've not minded the rest if it was in another venue, and it wasn't the worst opening act I've ever seen. The messages of his songs didn't seem to mesh with Michael Franti's messages of peace and love. I didn't need to hear a whole song about getting high as I don't agree with that (looking out over the crowd at the middle-senior aged patrons, I don't think they needed to hear that either). I'm sure it's a great song in a club though. I didn't need to hear a song from Roscoe's point of view about the Mayethorpe Mounties, as this didn't seem to honour their memories. Maybe I didn't get the message of that song correct, it was quite loud and I couldn't make out all of what he was singing. Perhaps it was the sound problem that turned me off? Perhaps it was that I really wanted to get up and dance and be happy while Michael Franti sang. I guess I just wasn't in the right frame of mind.

    To each his own I suppose.

  3. Ummm...

  4. Good point. I've never heard that before as I've only seen the concerts and don't have any cds.I concede the point to you then.

    Just so you know, Ko is playing Edmonton again soon:


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