On Thursday August 15, 2013 adult alternative rocker and poet Michael Franti and Spearhead brought joy and wonderment to a nearly sold out crowd at the Knitting Factory Concert House in downtown Reno. The place was packed.
Also appearing on the bill was the very talented, Ethan Tucker.
This was this examiner's first time seeing Franti live. I must say that I was very impressed with his stage show and especially how he treats his fans. All his songs were upbeat and joyful which in turn had every person young and old, jumping, dancing and singing to every song. Franti even joined the fans as he crowd surfed nearly all the way to the back of the venue, the place was rockin'.
During the song "Let it Go" which featured opener Tucker, Franti invited all the young kids that were all up front onto the stage to help him sing and dance. It was truly an amazing sight to behold.
Michael Franti is an American poet, musician, and composer. He is the creator and lead vocalist of Michael Franti & Spearhead, a band that blends hip hop with a variety of other styles including funk, reggae, jazz, folk, and rock. He is also an outspoken supporter for a wide spectrum of peace and social justice issues.
Current band members include, Michael Franti-(vocals, guitar), Carl Young-(bass, backing vocals), Manas Itiene-(drums, backing vocals), Raliegh J. Neal, II-(keyboards, piano) and Jay Bowman-(lead guitar).
Franti's set went over the two hour mark and went like this, (from the set list on stage)
"I Don't Wanna Go", "Yes I Will / Stay Human", "Sound Of Sunshine", "11:59", "Earth From Outter Space", "Life Is Better With You", "Gandsta Girl", "All People", "Say Goodbye", "Hey Hey Hey", "Let It Go" (w/ Ethan Tucker) and three encore songs, "Long Ride Home", "I'm Alive" and "Say Hey".
This examiner highly recommends seeing this wonderful experience anytime they come around. It was definitely a feel good kinda night.
Franti just released his latest album "All People" on July 30, to order on-line (click here)
Starting the night off was the young and up coming star, Ethan Tucker.
Ethan Tucker may only be in his early 20s, but he has already made a big name for himself in musical circles throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Washington-born singer-songwriter has been performing since the age of 16 at venues and festivals throughout the Northwest, Canada and various other parts of the U.S. as well as Jamaica.
Although primarily a solo artist Tucker also performs and tours with his band the Ethan Tucker Band, formed in 2011. (fb)
Tucker's set lasted around 45 minutes and went like this, (from the set list on stage)
"History", "All I Need", "Tease Me", "Dream", "Misunderstood", "Roxanne", (Police cover) "Every Moment" and "Cool Kids".
Tucker who plays guitar and harmonica, is well on his way as a featured artist as he showed in his performance. Joining him on stage during the song "Cool Kids" were Spearhead members, Franti on drums, Carl Young on bass and Raliegh J. Neal, II on keys. It was quite impressive.
All in all this was a very up lifting night of feel good music, singing and of coarse lots of dancing.
A good time was had by all.
A very big congratulations goes to the Knitting Factory Reno for sweeping all their categories in the Reno News & Review "Best of Northern Nevada 2013". Good goin' Cisco (the Knits GM), keep it up.
As with all this examiners reviews and feature stories, "The Photos Are What It's All About", so check out the photo slideshow and enjoy the show.
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All photos by, JOHN TUCKNESS
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