Michael Franti & Spearhead wowed the crowd on Sunday night at this season’s final installment of the KCRW World Festival series at the historic Hollywood Bowl. MTV.com was in the house and gushed “the World Fest concert was one of the most high-energy and just plain fun shows I’ve ever been to…Michael Franti & Spearhead had fans on their feet right from the start…the energy was really pumping through the crowd.”
Superlative entertainers, the performance was a testament to the band’s creativity and talent. Franti & Spearhead opened their set with a single spotlight focused on a giant boombox. An aggressive reggae beat had the sold-out crowd wondering if maybe they had wandered into a hip hop show by mistake, but once the band joined in and Franti ran on stage, the crowd was completely mesmerized by the original mix of reggae, pop and rock n roll.
Accompanied by Kingston dancehall diva Cherine Anderson, who appeared on several tracks on Franti’s/Spearhead’s latest, All Rebel Rockers and who has collaborated with Madonna, Britney Spears and Sir Paul McCartney, Michael Franti and his band had even the most jaded Bowl-goers dancing through the entire set. At a time when all news seems to be bad news, Michael Franti & Spearhead reminded 17,000 concert-goers that night that there is fun to be had in hopefulness.
Gratifyingly for the venerable and hardworking band, All Rebel Rockers cracked the Top 40, entering the Billboard charts at #39, a first for Michael Franti & Spearhead. With multiple formats of the new release, including a super-deluxe version that features a CD, DVD, seven vinyl singles and a slew of extra items, All Rebel Rockers is Michael Franti’s & Spearhead’s most ambitious and interesting record yet.
Michael Franti and Spearhead on tour:
Sept 24 Cottonwood Park Mancos, Colorado
Sep 26 Paolo Soleri Amphitheater Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sep 27 Pine Mountain Amphitheater Flagstaff, Arizona
Sep 28 Rialto Theatre Tucson, Arizona
Nov 7 Royal Oak Music Theatre Royal Oak, MI
Nov 12 Brown Theatre Louisville, KY
Nov 13 Carnegie Hall of Homestead Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 14 Palace Theatre Albany, NY
Nov 15 Lupo’s Providence, RI
Nov 16 Orpheum Boston, MA
Nov 19 9:30 Club Washington, DC
Nov 21 Nokia Theatre NYC
Nov 22 Nokia Theatre NYC
Nov 28 Fillmore Denver, CO
Nov 29 Fillmore Denver, CO