Michael Franti & Spearhead announced in November last year that they would be opening for the 2010 John Mayer “Battle Studies Tour” in the spring. It was difficult to picture Mayer, known mostly for his colorful love life rather than his guitar compositions, and Franti, known for his fights against political, religious and racial wars, on the same stage.
Franti’s practicing what he preaches. He is closely involved with CARE, an organization trying to educate mainly women and girls in developing countries in quest against poverty. He travels all around the world on CARE missions. One of the last places he visited was East Timor. A few years ago Michael Franti & Spearhead released their Yell Fire! album, inspired by Franti’s trip to the Middle East war zones including Israel, Baghdad, Iraq, and the Gaza Strip.
But despite the mixed reactions after the announcement of the collaboration, Michael Franti was confident that his music is compatible with Mayer’s and that Michael Franti & Spearhead would connect to Mayer’s audience. Franti, in whose veins flow all kinds of blood, is equally open to people of all ages, genders or races. And according to the positive reactions of fans after the first concerts of the Battle Studies Tour, he was right. The light, positive music blending hip hop with funk, reggae, jazz, folk, and rock, turned out to be a perfectly matching opening act for John Mayer’s “Battle Studies.”
Michael Franti & Spearhead gained mainstream recognition last year with the hit single "Say Hey (I Love You)" from their “All Rebel Rockers” album. “Say Hey (I Love You)” turned out to be a gold mine and became double platinum with more than 2 million sold copies sold.
“All Rebel Rockers” was recorded mainly in Jamaica. Franti finds inspiration not only in Jamaica but also in classical albums like Stevie Wonder's Songs In the Key of Life. But what really makes their sound so unique is the live performance of the band. Something that draws Michael Franti to reggae are the vibes that the band creates when they play together.
Right now Michael Franti & Spearhead are working on their next album. Fans of Franti & Spearhead can buy cheap tickets online to enjoy Michael Franti & Spearhead concerts live!