Franti at Pearl Street February 13

I love live music. I have seen dozens of bands perform live, including U2, and working class bands that perform only in the Valley. Highlights have been Fishbone at small night clubs in New York City in 1990; Natalie Merchant at a historic theater in Oakland, California; and Toots and the Maytals at a tiny bar in Long Island, NY.

The best concert I have seen was Michael Franti with his band Spearhead at the Iron Horse in Northampton in 2002.

Franti will perform an acoustic concert at Pearl Street in Northampton – a small night club – on February 13. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m., according to Franti's web site, or 8 p.m., according to the club's web site. Tickets are $41 in advance, including a “service fee.”

I saw Franti several other times, once at Pearl Street, which was outstanding; once at an excellent acoustic performance with an audience of five or so people at a live broadcast at WVEW in Brattleboro (a former “pirate” station, WVEW is now legal but still all-volunteer run); and once in front of a huge crowd at an outdoor music festival in Greenfield a few years ago. The Greenfield show was a disappointment – the audience seemed distracted; the musicians were simply too far away.

Almost everyone in the audience danced at all the indoor Franti concerts that I went to.

The video for his song "Say Hey (I Love You)" has been watched more than 10 million times on YouTube. It was filmed in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Franti lives in San Francisco, California and performs concerts all over the world, usually at venues that hold thousands of people.

In a recent press release that applies to the upcoming Northampton concert, Franti said:

"In every show that I do with my band Spearhead, I always take time to do a few songs with just me and my guitar and strip it down to the bare bones so the lyrics and melody can shine through. I've done lots of acoustic sets but never an entire tour, so I am thrilled to be doing this for the first time. When I play acoustically it's still an energetic dance affair.”

Here are some of the lyrics to Franti’s song Bomb the World to Pieces:


We can chase down all our enemies,
bring them to their knees.

We can bomb the world to pieces
but we can’t bomb it into peace.

Violence brings one thing:
more and more of the same.

So I sing out to the masses,
stand up if you’re still sane.


The USA spends more on its military than every other nation on earth combined. The USA's population is about 5 percent of the world population. Groups working to reduce the USA's military spending have web sites at:


This concert has been

This concert has been postponed; a new date has not been set yet. Franti injured his knee.

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