Never Underestimate The Power Of Positive Vibrations…
Especially at the hands of Michael Franti & Spearhead, who appeared at the Lowell Summer Music Series last weekend.
While the heavy rains forced the show to be held indoors, nothing dampened the spirits of either the band or the audience, who was on its feet before the show even began!
Us season pass holders are always disappointed when a show is moved indoors, but I think for this show it quite possibly improved the experience. Michael was able to move easily through the auditorium and touched (literally and figuratively) most of the people there.
Michael’s music may span a number of genres – reggae, roots, rock, hip-hop, soul, funk and pop – but all of the songs send a message of hope or love or respect or peace. In these troubled times, there is no arguing against that message of positivity. One of his guitar straps reads ‘Stay Human’.
At one point when Michael was in the audience, he seemed to disappear although we could hear him singing. He reappeared in the balcony because he did not want anyone to miss the opportunity to dance with him!
When Michael is doing one of his numerous walkabouts through the audience, his terrific band keeps the rhythm going from the stage. J Bowman on guitar, Carl Young on bass, Manas Itiene on drums, and Michael Blankenship on keys are the talented members of Spearhead.
Half way through the show, Michael invited a couple to come on stage and dance with him. Michael gave the man the microphone, and after a couple of minutes we realized we were witnessing a marriage proposal! She tearfully said yes!!!
At the end of the show (as is typical at a Michael Franti show), children were asked to come on stage and dance. One of the children turned eleven years old the day before and this event was her birthday party! Despite the shift indoors which impacted their picnic plans, she had a blast with her friends on stage (she is on the right in this shot)!
Michael has much goodness in his heart. He spoke of his own adoption and upbringing. He also told of a charity he started to grant people a music wish. The recipients may be having health issues or going through emotional turmoil, and they may be young or they may be old. The Do It for the Love foundation is another example of the positivity Michael hopes to bring to the world.
Opening the show was Nattali Rize, an artist Michael found busking on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica (I believe) and she is now touring with him as well as other reggae luminaries.
Possessed of a beautiful voice and compelling lyrics, Nattali spreads a message of truth and justice through her reggae music.
If anybody walked out of this show with anything less than a broad grin on their face, I would be amazed. Walking through the pouring rain to my car, I felt a glimmer of hope for the world.
Posted on June 25, 2017, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Boarding House Park, boston, Carl Young, concert photos, concert review, J Bowman, Lowell Summer Music Series, Manas Itiene, Michael Blankenship, Michael Franti, michael franti & spearhead, Nattali Rize, reggae music, roots music. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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