Michael Franti and Spearhead will be coming to Portland Thursday September 10. I am very excited to see him perform, it is been a bit too long since I saw him last. I am actually very fortunate because I am going to see him in Boise at the Idaho Botanical Garden on September 22 as well - at that show will be outside!
It is so cool to see that Spearhead has broken the Top 25. Hopefully this will expose more people to their music. It has such a positive message and the music is so groovalishious.
Michael’s music inspires me. The first time I saw Michael and his band play he opened for Blues Traveler at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver. Carl was wearing a shirt with big lettering UNFUCK THE WORLD. There music was political, spiritual, with great infectious grooves, soulful and poppy and rockin as well. The set at Red Rocks was shorter but it was enough of a taste for me. I slowly became a HUGE Spearhead fan.
My two favorite Spearhead shows where Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in Anchorage.
Steamboat was great, first of Steamboat is home to my favorite hot spring Strawberry Hot Springs. Developing Hot Springs is a tricky proposition. The best thing about Hot Springs for me is that it is a naturally occurring feature, too often natural hot springs turn into swimming pools. Strawberry Hot Springs is everything a developed hot spring should be. Made out of native materials to the area, a minimum of concrete, divided into pools of different temperatures with a nice pebble bottom.
Obviously that is a digression but it was part of what made the weekend so great. Steamboat is a great mountain, we skiied all day then at night a huge tent was set up for the show. What an amazing vibe at that show, total love fest. I hooked up with a new friend Dave who lives in Steamboat and an avid taper, after the show I got an amazing copy of what I just heard. I just about cried when he did Bob Marley’s “Get Up Stand Up” so damn inspiring and moving. Here is a link you can download to Spearhead at Steamboat in 2005 unbelievable show.
Second favorite show was in Anchorage. I basically talked my boss into vising customers (we did some business in Anchorage). It was very untypical for me to fly first class, but my boss was a frequent flyer and was able to get me upgraded. First class of course gets seated first, then I saw who I thought was Carl, then I saw Dave - Spearhead was on our flight! I was waiting in anticipation then finally Michael came through (I forgot to check if he was wearing shoes). I greeted him excitedly when he came by and told him we were going to see him, he said “Cool, what do you do for a living?” Perhpas bemused that I was sitting in First Class. Given that Michael’s music is anti corporate, perhaps anti first class I kind of felt caught with my hands in the cookie jar. It was interesting, I felt like a deer caught in the headlights. A bunch of thoughts went through my head, first, I felt like I should give up my seat to Michael, but I was thinking that could be weird, so I opted not to (what about the rest of his band). So I pondered his loaded question of what my occupation is. At the time I worked for a financial institution that I did not particularly feel proud about, so I just tried to keep it as neutral as possible and hope he didn’t judge me for working in the “Real Estate Investment Field”. But his presence inpired me to consider what I was doing professionally and that it did not necessarily reconcile with who I am. As painful as yet exciting that moment was it was helpful in fertilizing the idea that I needed to get out of that Rat Race. The Alaska show was great, at a Brew Pub outside of town called the Bear Tooth. He did two nights there, we saw the first. The anticipation before that show in the crowd was amazing. Alaska in the summer is a party time. The weather like Portland is not great most of the year, but when summer comes it is sublime and in Alaska that means the sun basically does not set. I got a sense that the croud might have some component of people just wanting to be entertained - good music does not come to Anchorage often. To my surprise the crowd was full of Spearhead fans it was great milling about before the show talking about how they could not believe Spearhead was in Alaska. The two Alaska shows became a live album for Spearhead. The one painful downside was that we had a flight back to Portland at midnight - it is typical flying to/from Alaska that you need to take a Red Eye one way or the other. So we had to leave the show early. I believe we left at 11pm, it was still twilight out. Of course when we got to the airport our flight was delayed an hour! We could have seen the rest of the show!! That was painful, I was having such a great time when we had to leave. I now always check for flight status before I leave.
I do wonder now that Michael is in the top 25 - maybe he flies first class as well………..
Post your favorite Spearhead stories if you have one. If you are going to the Portland or Boise Show I will buy you a beer before the show. Hope your able to make it - Are you ready for Spearhead!!?