In "Green River" Mass, Franti Thrills the Big Crowd

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WOW! That’s how I remember last night’s Green River Festival. It was a beautiful night, with many friends, colleagues, aquaintances and fabulous music, all beneath a gentle summer night that ended with five enormous balloons being filled with hot air, lit up with their firestacks blasting into the nylon billows.

Michael Franti and Spearhead were all that my music mentor Joe O’Rourke promised they’d be. About as high energy and exciting a band as I’ve ever seen live. From the moment Franti took the stage it was non-stop audience participation, and the waving hands, jumping feet, and total attention focused on the tight band showed just how great a musician this guy is. Plus his band has to chops to do snippets of familiar tunes and then revert back to their own song, it was uncanny and enjoyable. They did reggae, rock and caribbean dance with aplomb.

The show was sold out….the lines snaked all the way down the long, long Greenfield Community College driveway. We ran into our friend Suzanne who brought us to her prime spot she’d staked out a few hours before, with a view of the stage. We stayed until the last song, and the only tiny disappointment was that he didn’t play his song he wrote during the campaign. I know that his Barack Obama tune would have been a great big hit here in the fields of ‘Green River’ as Franti exclaimed. No we’re not in Green River, but boy I was glad I saw that show last night!!