Michael Franti and Spearhead roll out heaping doses of positiveness and good vibes to willing Louisvillians along with Devon Gilfillian
On a cold and very wet Saturday evening in Louisville, everyone seemed to know the place to be was with Michael Franti and Spearhead. Michael Franti is touring in support of his latest album Stay Human Vol. II which was released earlier in the year. Franti believes in using music as a vehicle for positive change, stating, “I feel a deeper sense of purpose in music today than I ever have in my career. My goal is to make the most inspiring music I possibly can for this crazy and wonderful time we’re all living in.”
At two minutes before 8 PM, the house lights dropped and the show countdown began. (displayed on the large video screen which served as the stage backdrop). As the countdown reached into its last 10 seconds the crowd eagerly joined in 10,9,8… ultimately erupting as zero flashed on the screen and video of Michael’s youngest child, Taj, was shown along with an open letter to his son.
What followed was pure magic! Opening with “I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like),” “Little Things,” and “Yell Fire!” Michael Franti and Spearhead poured positive and feel-good vibes over everyone in attendance. Onstage Michael, along with guitarist Jay Bowman, drummer Manas Itiene, bassist Carl Young and keyboardist Mike Blankenship were non-stop energy along with never-ending smiles, feeding off the crowd.
For first-timers to a Michael Franti concert, he made sure that all were welcomed with open arms early in the show into his fan group, The Soul Rocker family. (is that part of the group name? If not, take it out…)During the show, Michael was out in the crowd on several occasions performing on small, lighted platforms on either side of the main stage so he could get as close as possible to the crowd and really feel the positive energy in the room. At one point during “Work Hard and Be Nice to People” he brought close to 20 people on stage, dancing and singing with Michael and the guys, further adding to the overall “we are one big family” tone that started the show.
Unfortunately, all great things ultimately come to an end and this evening was no different as Michael Franti and Spearhead ended the evening with “Say Hey (I Love You),” “When the Sun Begins to Shine” and a fantastic cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” that seemed to be the perfect closer to an incredible evening of positivity and optimism!
Nashville’s red hot Soul and R&B artist, Devon Gillfillian is no stranger to Louisville and Kentucky having performed on the mainstage at the recent Railbird Festival in Lexington as well as featured on WFPK’s September Waterfront Wednesday showcase. With a smooth and soulful vibe, Devon’s songs are a study in life’s events and adventures and this evening’s set is indicative of that with moving performances of “The Good Life” and “Unchained” during his all to brief time on stage. Devon Gilfillion debut album, Black Hole Rainbow is due to be released on January 10th and he just recently released the second single from the album “Even Though It Hurts”.