The group shot, with Jaz Tupelo of WRSI The River, front and center, and Franti in the back with the down coat and hat (obviously.) Jaz is kneeling a bit, she's not a midget.
WRSI, The River, gave away tickets and access to Michael Franti's soundcheck Sunday afternoon before the show at the Calvin Theatre. Us IHEGgers often take the access we have to the artists we book for granted, and we're reminded by the fans sometimes just how cool and interesting it is to get a peak behind the scenes; to watch a band work a song out, playing it three and four times through with subtle and sometimes dramatic variations. Initially we asked the guests not to applaud so as not to distract the band while they worked, but it proved futile and everyone clapped and cheered anyway. If Michael had complained (highly unlikely given his nature) I would have argued that we were only rehearsing our applause. The band treated everyone to versions of the Beatle's "Let It Be" and "Revolution," Peter Tosh's (and Mick Jagger's) "Walk and Don't Look Back" plus a chance to hear the fantastic new vocalist on this tour (and on Franti's most recent album), Cherine Anderson. Cherine gave everyone a copy of her new CD afterward in the lobby. Spearhead came out one at a time to say hi, and Michael finally arrived, barefoot as always, gracious and talkative. He hugged many of the guests who seemed very happy to meet the man who's attitude and music have certainly marked the way for the changes that the country is beginning to make. Oh, he also played a song whose title must be "Barack Obama," as the prez-elect's name is pretty much the only lyric.
Soundman extraordinaire Jim Frogameni with Spearhead's guitar army.
A peak behind the scenes.