You can bomb the world into pieces
But you can't bomb it into peace...
Michael Franti and Spearhead: Bomb The World (Armageddon Version)
In a lifetime count of over 300 concerts, from tiny venues to huge stadiums, the best concert I EVER attended was a turn of the century Michael Franti and Spearhead set at the Iron Horse, a small, generally folk-oriented club in Northampton, MA. I remember little in detail but the feeling itself, though I have faint recollections of a full range of sound from beatbox hiphop to Franti's acoustic growl. Mostly, though, I just remember two hours of grinnin' glee and madcap hopdancing on the wooden stairs, eye to eye with Franti himself, the whole crowd pogoing with me as one, until I was sure the whole place was going to bust open and the party spill off to subsume the entire universe.
And it wasn't just me. On the way out of the show, one of the students I was chaperoning lay down in the middle of the street and screamed "kill me now, God, and I can die happy." I picked him up -- after all, I was supposed to be the responsible grown-up -- but I knew exactly how he felt. The best kind of happy drunk, without a lick of liquor.
Since then, I refuse to see Franti again, though I continue to keep his songs in the mix whenever I can, and welcome any opportunity to share the works of this undersung peace-loving, world-changing, roots-showin' hip-hop-slash-folk wild man. Because from here, it's all denouement. NOTHING could match that show. And given Franti's lifemessage -- that music can change the world -- maybe that's the point.
Who said peace songs have to be merry and bright? Christmas is over; let's funk this place up. Play at full volume. Power to the peaceful, y'all.