Reggae/rock/pop/fusion’s Franti & Spearhead delivered an uplifting 135-minute set to a packed Meijer Gardens. Review, photos — plus view images from Spin Doctors & Sister Hazel in Grand Haven.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS: MICHAEL FRANTI, TROPIDELIC, SPIN DOCTORS, SISTER HAZEL
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There’s something about musician/philanthropist Michael Franti that, while highly infectious, is, unfortunately, not as widespread as we might wish.
The singer/filmmaker/activist is a gentle soul; a man of peace, love, justice and acceptance. All qualities that we could benefit to see more of in the world.
Performing to a packed house Thursday evening at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Franti was a veritable powerhouse of all things good and positive — and as he does, he generously shared that spirit with an adoring crowd spanning the ages.
In a triumphant return to a familiar stage — the Meijer Gardens regular’s 2020 show was among those canceled due to COVID-19 and he was absent from the abbreviated 2021 schedule — Franti and his band Spearhead delivered 20-plus songs over the course of more than two hours.
The career-spanning set included familiar favorites (“The Sound of Sunshine,” “I’m Alive [Life Sounds Like],” “My Favorite Wine is Tequila” and “Say Hey [I Love You]”) as well as tracks from his 2022 release: “Follow Your Heart” (“No Makeup,” “Life Reminds Us We’re Alive” and “Life Is Amazing”).
Reliably high-energy, generous and kind, Franti deployed all of his familiar-but-welcome standbys — bringing kids up on stage to sing and dance, mixing into the audience for multiple songs, imploring the crowd to clap/sing/dance/hug/high-five along.
And while expected, nothing was the least bit boring about Franti’s antics, welcome as they were in a world that is weary from gun violence, facism, pandemics, climate change, isolation and so much more.
What’s not to love about someone reminding us to be human, and encouraging us to “be alive” and hug our friends? Thank you, Michael Franti, for being kind and reminding us to do the same.
Cleveland-based Tropidelic kicked off an evening of great vibes with a tight but peppy 30-minute, brass-infused set of reggae-funk fun.
Next up in the Meijer Gardens’ Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts series: The sold-out Lyle Lovett show at 7 p.m. Friday (July 15).
PHOTO GALLERY: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tropidelic
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek
SPIN DOCTORS, SISTER HAZEL HEAT UP GRAND HAVEN’S SUMMER SESSIONS
On the lakeshore, about 38 miles west of Meijer Gardens, Courtyard Concerts’ Summer Sessions series continued on Thursday night with sun-splashed performances by a pair of ’90s stars: New York alt-rock band Spin Doctors (“Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”) and Sister Hazel (“All for You”). View the photo gallery below and check out Spin Doctors’ set list online here, with Sister Hazel’s set list here.
Next up in Courtyard Concerts’ Summer Sessions in Grand Haven: John Waite and Ambrosia on Aug. 18. Get tickets, $60, online here.
PHOTO GALLERY: Spin Doctors, Sister Hazel at Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium
Photos by Bryan Bolea
Copyright 2022, Spins on Music LLC