From children to older couples, everyone waiting through the opening act, One Eskimo, was full of energy not to be exhausted before the headlining band, Michael Franti & Spearhead.
The vibe inside the Ritz Theatre in Ybor City on Wednesday night was all about peace and love, but most notably infectious optimism.
The audience didn’t seem to care that it was a weekday or a school night for some. All that mattered was that the music supplied would be echoing through their ears and resonating through their bodies.
Michael Franti & Spearhead opened for John Mayer earlier this year, and within a few months, Tampa fans who love the band got a second dose of its music.
The band that is full of energy, positive messages, reggae and even some rock anthems shared the stage with its audience. Whatever the reason, Franti didn’t use a wireless microphone on stage. Although, once he stepped down from the stage to sing a cover of “Tainted Love” with the audience, a crewmember held one in place for him as he sang and played guitar.
The band’s connection with the crowd could not have been stronger. They were loud together, danced together and one lucky woman shared a dance with Franti as he asked the crowd, “Does anyone know how to belly dance?” The girl came on stage during the song and danced alone [alone or along?] at times, and Franti was nice enough to get the audience to applaud her for coming up.
They brought the crowd to its feet one more time with their hit single, “Say Hey” and with something that isn’t seen often enough – allowing children to come on stage and dance along. The band ended the show with the crowd dancing its way out of the venue exclaiming, “This was the best concert of the summer.”
[Some of these songs have slightly different titles that what I was able to find online. Also, should “Tainted Love” be in the set list if they covered it?]
1. Love Don’t Wait
2. The Thing That He [you mean “The Thing That Helps Me Get Through”?]
3. Rude Boys Back in Town
4. All I Want is You
5. Hello Bonjour
6. Shake it Shake it
7. Anytime You Need [not “Anytime You Want Me”?]
8. Sometimes (acoustic)
9. Never Too Late
10. 911 EDM
12. Only Thing Missing [not “Only Thing Missing Is You”?]
13. Sound of Sunshine
14. Yell Fire
15. Hey Hey Hey
16. I’ll Be Waiting
17. I Got Love For You
18. Everybody Ona Move
19. Say Hey (I love you)