Deb-Michael-FrantiThunder Vibes II was held at the unlikely location of Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, California. Headlining for the second time are Michael Franti and Spearhead. Recently dubbed as “The Unrestricted Monk” by the Dalai Lama, Michael continues his lifelong and passionate crusade to bring meaningful world activism to the population through important lyrical commentary and progressive musical style.

I have had the honor of attending many of Spearhead’s shows throughout their musical evolution and have never once been disappointed. The artist himself has tirelessly brought along guest musicians on almost every one of his tours and is a true friend of the struggling newcomer to the business. This year is no exception. Travelling with the band on the SOULROCKER tour for some dates is Arizona-born songstress Zella Day. Also hitting the stage is a young Jamaican singer named Yasmin Brown and I can tell you her voice belts across the venue and sends a chill up your spine!

The tour namesake and album SOULROCKER was released on June 3rd, 2016, with the first single “Good to Be Alive Today” preceding as a video teaser on May 29th. Woven into the set are some Spearhead classics, but as always the man himself Franti-Thundervibescreates a blend of serious humanitarian torch songs with lover’s rock, carefully crafted popular tunes and this year something a smidge different, some EDM drops. One thing is for sure; Michael has an uncanny intelligence in his writing and the mission therein. Fusion of current genres is essential when sending this type of world message, and that is why when you attend his concerts you will see a wide age range of “All People.” From Grandmothers toting along their second generation offspring to teenagers hanging with their peeps and enjoying the current compositional commentary, there are literally no boundaries to this man’s musical reach.

This year’s progression in composition features some delicious EDM drops that even the cleverest, most predominant DJ’s in that genre will raise up to and use in their sets. The album is produced by IMG_8633Supa Dups and D’Genius who knock it out of the park with stellar engineering, amazing session-worthy band members, and careful looping. It contains 13 songs and every single one of them is more contagious with each listen. The band has a core audience of devotees that have been there from day one sharing Michael’s mission and music each time he releases new material which solidifies his place on the music scene for decades to come.

What is a “Soul Rocker?” Alan Light, (of Rolling Stone fame), asks Michael in a recent interview for AOL Build. His reply? “A Soul Rocker, to me, is a person who has compassion for all, and who lives from their heart and who has a tenacious enthusiasm for music, life, and the Planet.” In the same interview, Michael pays homage to John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder and Run DMC as some of his favorite artists. No Surprises there and no doubt that one day in the future another musician will reel off the same influences, in a similar interview including his name as one of them!

If you are a music lover, earth hugger, or just a passionate activist for world peace that likes to dance and make a difference and you have not yet discovered Michael Franti & Spearhead? Get on it! He is the musical humanitarian of our age and Franti-Thundervibesdeserves to be acknowledged and heard. Coming from a hugely diverse background and being adopted by The Finnish “Franti family” his devotion to his message is genuine and real. After every show, without exception, you will see Michael and his band greeting their fans, taking selfies with anyone who asks, and giving out large hugs, heart-warming smiles, encouragement, advice and most importantly, love. As a true man of peace he deserves veneration in the class of Mother Theresa, Gandhi, The Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela. A lofty compliment? You bet! He deserves it but truthfully would never accept that compliment with anything but sheer humility. I’m a fan. I love his message, and I am honoured and happy to share his mission with Lauren ignited.

The SOULROCKER Tour is ongoing and dates are as noted below. If you can’t make any of these fear not. Michael tours tirelessly every year and is a staple on the festival circuit. Thanks Michael for all your hard work and for the love you share with us and “All People.”

Tour Schedule and Ticket Links via the Michael Franti website.

AVILA BEACH RESORT

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA

WITH ZELLA DAY

BROOKLYN BOWL

LAS VEGAS, NV

WITH ZELLA DAY

RIALTO THEATRE

TUCSON, AZ

THE SANTA FE OPERA

SANTA FE, NM

WITH LILA DOWNS

BUMBERSHOOT FESTIVAL

SEATTLE, WA

BRITT PAVILION

JACKSONVILLE, OR

Sold Out

VAN DUZER THEATRE

ARCATA, CA

RIFFLANDIA FESTIVAL

VICTORIA, CANADA

THE CROXTON

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

METRO THEATRE

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

CALOUNDRA MUSIC FESTIVAL

KINGS BEACH, AUSTRALIA

THE CHANCE

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

OPIUM ROOMS (THE VILLAGE)

DUBLIN, IRELAND

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

MANCHESTER ACADEMY 2

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

SWX

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

HEAVEN

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

FESTIVAL DES LIBERTÉS

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

DEN ATELIER

LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

MELKWEG

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

GEBAUDE 9

COLOGNE, GERMANY

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

STROM

MUNICH, GERMANY

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

ZONA ROVERI MUSIC FACTORY

BOLOGNA, ITALY

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

ROTE FABRIK

ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

MAROQUINERIE

PARIS, FRANCE

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

OGDEN THEATRE

DENVER, CO

WITH MICHAEL FRANTI DUO

SOULSHINE BALI: YOGA + MUSIC RETREAT

BALI, INDONESIA

Sold Out

SAIL ACROSS THE SUN

TAMPA TO COSTA MAYA, FL

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