I was dragging my feel a little upon entering the Michael Franti concert- had just flown back to NZ and the jet lag was kicking in. Half way through the first song'Love Will Find A Way' however I was feeling like life was worth livin' again and by the end I was feeling quite happy about this fact.
It wasn't long before my analytical mind kicked back in and I noticed how flat his voice was in some songs. I don't expect vocalists to be pitch perfect every song, but the balance wasn't right and the vocals should have been buried more on the work the talented Spearhead musicians we're putting forth.
I first saw Michael Franti in 2006 at the St James when he was touring 'Everyone Deserves Music'. Michael had just had kidney stones and despite the pain it was a pretty awesome show and I clearly remember a beautiful impromptu dance he did with a willing audience member. I have seen Michael a few times so had some idea what I was in for.
It's not like I have any problems or even disagree with any of Michael's lyrics, but there we're times at this show I found myself shying away from the overly simple messages "love each other, we are one" "it doesn't matter what your religion is, just get along". It's a very tricky thing to do to strike at the heart of potent social and political problems with a simple message in an entirely unique, fresh way. I don't think Michael has achieved this in a while.
There is a bassey folk quality to much of his music, which is relatively atonal. Michael often picks up the guitar, but really needs to pick up a new one as his old beat up roadie guitar (while looking good) sounds muffled and dull. He strummed it with enthusiasm and I noticed everyone seemed to shine the brightest when he broke out into Reggae Ragga and there was a naturalness to the enthusiasm.
I was hoping audience participation wouldn't be too overblown... At the last Michael Franti concert I went to he told us all to get down on the ground to signify being humble people and I'm not talking bend over, but hands and knees on the grubby, alcohol soaked floor and refusing to continue the show until everyone was down there. No Michael no. This time round there was thankfully no floor scrubbing, but in every song there was encouragement to wave our arms around or clap in certain ways. So at times it was like being reluctantly at a friends aerobics class.
'Sound Of The Sunshine' was a highlight with 30 big helium filled yellow balloons batted about thePowerstation. I was both impressed and dismayed by the very polite kiwi crowds who dutifully returned them onto stage when the song finished.
Although at times I felt the concert was a bit forced- it can get confusing to be asked at the end of every song how I'm feeling and if I'm feeling it, Michael Franti really is a great demonstration of how music can be inspiring, uplifting and transformative. This can sometimes translate in a trite and cheesey way when listening to his recorded music however his live show (if your catching him on form) is well worth the visit.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
After crisscrossing the Northern Hemisphere for over a year in support of their brilliant seventh studio album Ellipsis, Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro announce their return to New Zealand for one all-ages show at Spark Arena on April 24.
Evoking blues the likes of Hendrix, Rival Sons, Jack White and The Black Keys, the four piece Radio Coma formed in 2016, coming together in New Zealand from different corners of the world to create heavy rock'n roll grooves.
Due to significant weekend rainfall, and the forecast of more rain over the next 72 hours, Coffs Harbour City Council, Frontier Touring, John Logan Entertainment and Midnight Oil management have met and reviewed the site for Midnight Oil’s show on Thursday 19 October.