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Monday, July 4, 2011

In Which Some Days Are Incredibly Special

Okay, so last Wednesday something really cool happened at work. Michael Franti stopped by to sing on our little dog and pony show. THE Michael Franti... beloved barefooted, Rasta-headed, yoga-loving purveyor of peace, love and sunshine was in our studios!!

Shut UP!!

I know, right? An actual huge name in music brought his ridiculously upbeat songs to our hovel.

It was fabulous! He could not have been more lovely or kind. Not one prima donna bone in his exceedingly tall frame. From the minute he stepped off the limo shuttle, he warmly embraced everyone in his path, literally and figuratively.

Our Wednesday regular, Christine of Whirl Magazine, is a ginormous fan of Franti's and managed to snag an interview at the last-minute. She's kind of my hero now.

We dedicated two long segments to him and his small posse.

His guitarist, Jay, was so delightful to watch perform. He never stopped smiling and be-bopping in his seat. Seriously. Look at him. The happiest guy in the room. His positive energy was contagious. Clearly his job makes him giddy.

Or he was high.

I kid. I'm kidding. I'm a kidder.

We all were floating.

That evening Franti and company played to a packed house on the north shore. I was joined by three newbies to the church of Michael. If you recall (and I know all two of you do because I AM the center of your universe, right), I had the pleasure of being part of his Cosmic Congregation last year.
our band of merry revelers

From the minute his shoeless feet hit the stage, he had the crowd jumping, waving their arms and singing back to him. We were putty in his loving hands at the first note of the opening number.

Once again, he fearlessly wove through the crowd not once, but three times.
feeling the love from the crowd
During his playful tune, Shake It!, Franti invited everyone to come up on stage to shake their groove thang. When the dust cleared, this little tyke wasn't ready to go, so they strapped on Michael's big ole gee-tar and let him join in.
Go, Little Man, Go

Smiling J, shredding like a rock star

the coolest man in the room

another trip through his adoring fans

how long will these two talk about this night, huh?

Oldsters next to us
even though it doesn't look like it, they were boogieing

"raise your hands in the air"

me, a wee bit too excited about that free coffee
a Woo and a Hoo
Hola, Hola y'all

And Seriously, who can resist giant, yellow balloons? So fun!! His shows are just one huge party where no one fights... or throws up in your toilet. Aaaa, but there was ganga. Oh yes there was, but again young people do not share. What the eff is up with that?!?

For Hey, Hey, Hey Franti scoots backstage while the band is playing and magically pops up amongst the audience to everyone's delight. I LOVE this song! It's impossible to sit still while the message seeps in...

I say Hey Hey Hey 
No matter how life is today
There's just one thing I got to say
Don't let another moment slip away

A mantra to live by, for sure.

Dude! He stood right next to our table! I was bummed to have missed him standing next to me because I chose to dance on the stairs, but then I remembered that I actually got to hug and talk to him that morning, so... I'm good.

Note: Keeping the covers streak alive, the band did their take on Bob Marley's classic Could this be Love. Is there a more fitting song for Franti to cover? I think not. 

As is tradition at a Spearhead concert, Franti calls to stage all the children and people over 60 from the audience. He made the comment that this was the first time they had that many older people on stage. For once our aging population in Allegheny County paid off. Our oldsters kick ass, Yo! Ha Ha!

young and old tearing up the stage

check out the posture on the girl in tie-dye
can you say annoyed?

representin' the hippie elders

this 82 year old stepped up with her purse and cane
she's all about awesome
I aspire to be her at 82

When they finally said their farewells to the adoring crowd, the positive vibe was reverberating off the walls. I didn't see one person who wasn't sporting an ear-to-ear grin, except for the cranky pre-teen behind our table who spent the entire evening forcing a pout save for one moment of weakness when he dropped his snear to high-five my friend after their brush with musical greatness. That family has a looooooong couple of years there, boy howdy. The rest of us walked away filled with shear, unadulterated joy, spirit sufficiently uplifted.

They won't be back through America in a while, but from September 29-October 5, Spearhead is headlining the Rombello cruise along with my fantasy husband and musical love, Rhett Miller. There are a number of other notables performing on the cruise to Cozumel as well.

If only I was independently wealthy...

The unflappble optimism of Michael Franti and Spearhead AND Rhett Miller on the same ship for five days!! How fun is that boat ride going to be?

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