I had the unique opportunity to interview one of my favorite artists, Michael Franti, before his Honolulu show!
Tag-teamed with Flash for this interview with Michael. He chats about his return to Hawaii, his passion for yoga, changes in his music, social activism, and more. Check it out!
I've been a fairly big fan of Michael Franti & Spearhead for about 9 or 10 years now. I was familiar with a couple of his songs years ago, but when his single "Say Hey (I Love You)" blew up in 2009, I dove deeper into his music. I fell in love! After looking into him some more, I saw that he was going on tour. As an opening act. For my favorite artist and the love of my life, John Mayer. I couldn't believe it. I franti-cally (haha so punny) bought my ticket, and impatiently waited for his show in my hometown of Seattle.
March 31, 2010. KeyArena. Seattle, WA. My first ever arena show, and my second ever concert. Weeks prior to the show, I somehow got extremely lucky on Craigslist and bought a ticket closer to the stage. 4th row, to be exact. At the time, I was still in high school and was probably one of the youngest people sitting on the floor! I was going to make this show memorable, and oh man. It's still one of the best shows I have ever attended.
He was supporting his seventh album, The Sound Of Sunshine, and also busted out his hits from All Rebel Rockers and Yell Fire! as well as a cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" while going into the crowd! I was hooked - his energy during his performance was contagious, which had the entire arena on their feet and dancing. During the last song, "Say Hey (I Love You)", he began pointing to people in the crowd to join him up on stage...and ya girl was one of the people who had the chance to join him!
After that show, I fell in love with Michael Franti's music, and kept up-to-date with his music and his tours. I've had the pleasure of seeing him a total of 6 times now, in both Seattle and Oahu. Every show I have attended were all uniquely memorable, and such a blast in their own way, which makes being a fan so exciting!
The show on May 3rd at The Republik was incredible. His last show was in Hawaii was also at The Republik two years prior, which happened to fall the night before my graduation from UH Manoa. Went with my dad to that show, and we were both exhausted during my commencement ceremony, but it was worth it!
I somehow made it near the 2nd row of people in the crowd that night, and was dancing, singing, and jumping along to basically every song! The people around me were also enjoying themselves, which made for such a positive and fun environment to enjoy the show. If you're not having fun at a Michael Franti & Spearhead show, you're doing something wrong. Everyone is in a good mood and leaves the show in an even better mood. That's the power of not only his music, but the message behind his words.
There came a moment where Michael hopped down from the stage, performed at the platform stage in the middle of the crowd. While making his way back to the stage, Michael spotted me, greeted me with "hey Ash!" and a huge bear hug. Such a special moment, and meant so much to me.
Thank you Michael, for all the years of your music, and the incredible amount of love you display. It's contagious, and so, so needed in this world. Sending you lots of love always, and can't wait to see you again soon!