Love At First Sight With Michael Franti & Spearhead & Ziggy Marley

2004 continued No Comments »

Love At First Sight With Michael Franti & Spearhead & Ziggy Marley

by terri sapp

Photographs by Leah Yetter

© Concert Sutra, All Rights Reserved

Michael Franti

click photos for photo gallery

Do I believe in love at first sight?  Well, not usually…until I had my first “exSpearience” with Michael Franti and Spearhead on St. Valentine’s Day followed by Ziggy Marley at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.  Cupid must have been in full force all night, because I flew out of SCAD pulling arrows out of my heart.

From the time Michael Franti and Spearhead took the stage to Ziggy Marley’s grand finale, I felt everything from political consciousness to elated happiness to love to an overwhelming urge to hug a beautiful dready man.  Mr. Franti must have felt the emotional overload in the house, because he kept asking, “How you feelin’?” (at least 23 times). 

Michael Franti and Spearhead opened their show with “Soulshine” from “Stay Human.”  It was a wonderfully upbeat start for the very beginning of my journey into Michael Franti and Spearhead.  The percussionist, Roberto Quintana, stated this one off right.  Just to ease right into one of their newest tracks, “What I Be” from their newest release, “Everyone Deserves Music.”  What a fun song!  Michael Franti has a wonderful voice, both inside and Ziggy Marley, Bob's DNA!out.  The harmonies are pure and the beat bounces the crowd.  I love self-realizing songs.  “Well, well, well.”

The third song “Pray for Grace” also from “Everyone Deserves Music” was the one that really won my ear.  It burst out with a strong reggae beat, “why must I feel like this today?,” and crowd participation.  I ask myself that quite often.  This song rocks.  The drummer, Manas Itiene, and bass player, Carl Young stole the beat of my heart on “Grace,” as did the harmonies that I didn’t quite understand at first, since there wasn’t a woman in sight.  This was the first that I heard the falsettos flowing from Mr. Itiene (from what I could tell), even ending with a bit of beatbox.

Then during a break, wherein the band broke into a tease of Bob Marley’s “Mellow Mood,” Michael Franti said that this was their first time playing in Savannah, and that some folks had told him to “forget about Atlanta” because the people of Savannah love music.  Well, as someone from Atlanta who was in the audience that night, I hope that is not the case, and that we (in Atlanta) see them come around soon.  Onto “People in Da Middle,” which is a dirty reggae beat with more of the best harmonies from Itiene on drums, rockin’ percussion from Quintana, and a guitar solo from Dave Shul that seemed to sing itself.   This song from Spearhead’s album “Home” is another that makes it impossible to pick a favorite from these guys.  Read More »

The Concert Sutra Loving Snake Oil Medicine Show & Ras Alan

2004 continued No Comments »

The Concert Sutra Loving Snake Oil Medicine Show & Ras Alan

by terri sapp

Photographs by Leah Yetter

© Concert Sutra, All Rights Reserved

Carolyn and George Pond

click photos for band website

            Just after the turning over of the new year, I heard a rumor that a really cool bluegrasstafarian group, Snake Oil Medicine Show, would be opening a show at the Georgia Theatre.  I had heard mention of SOMS from close friends before.  Having to work on Fridays, and not living in Athens usually prevents me from making the Georgia Theatre before the second act comes on.  However, having heard of the good time that is a Medicine Show, and also finding out that there would be a bonafide reggae master in the house, Ras Alan, I knew immediately that I would do whatever it took to make it for the WHOLE show from the first second!!!

            From the beginning, there was reggae music playing over-head, which was the perfect vibe to get the crowd ready for what was to come.  Having never heard one note from either the Snake Oil Medicine Show or Ras Alan, I did not know what I was in for.  Before the show started, I went over to check out the merchandise table and check out what they were all about, and much to my surprise, there were band members AND Mr. Alan setting up and waiting to go on stage.  I couldn’t help but be drawn to want to say hello to who I found out to be Ras Alan, basically, just because of the positive vibration that exudes from him and the dreadlocks that have, over many years, grown all the way down his back!  Read More »