Michael Franti and Spearhead coming to the Ritz Ybor
Before I reviewed John Mayer's concert at the St. Pete Times Forum in February, I didn't know much about opener Michael Franti and Spearhead, aside from the fact that they had that one hit song Say Hey (I Love You), and they might be the same band who had an MTV Buzz Clip with Hole In the Bucket back in the '90s. Oh, and their fans love them.
In my review of the show, here's what I ended up writing:
Opener Michael Franti and Spearhaed kicked the night off with a set of unimaginable energy, blending rock, ragga and boistrous beach-party anthems -- like last year's big hit Say Hey (I Love You) -- into a crowd-rousting jam session.
Franti hotstepped and moonwalked across the stage (on a cover of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean), and at times even achieved Bono-like grandiosity, such as when he ran out into the crowd to sing and play guitar from the stands. The band's joy was impossible to constrain all night long, and they definitely came away with a few new fans in Tampa.
So did Tampa fans fall in love with Franti and Spearhead? We'll find out on May 19, when they come to the Ritz Ybor for a headlining concert. Tickets are $24, and they go onsale at 10 a.m. Friday. Click here for details.
If you're not sure about this show, let me just say this: If the Black Eyed Peas played instruments, they would be Michael Franti and Spearhead. That's how lively, energetic and fun this group is.
If that sounds like a show for you, then you should buy tickets to see Franti.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: AP.