"If you're not crying at a Michael Franti concert you're not doing it right" is what I was told by a fellow concert goer as I walked out of the St. Augustine Amphitheater after witnessing yet another Franti experience. Coming into town on the last night of the "Stay Human" tour brought the band in good spirits as they rocked the amphitheater with their blend of reggae-rock infused music to an eager crowd. What I love most about a Franti show is the fact that you are part of an experience and not just another concert from afar. Franti makes it a point to engage with the crowd and this was no different. Bringing people up onto stage from the crowd to sing and dance with him as well as going out into the crowd throughout his set made this concert very different from any other show you might go to. Additionally, the music you are hearing is bringing a positive impact into the world. Shortly after a synagogue was senselessly shot up, the music was even more relevant to those in attendance. With themes of love and live your life with an open heart, it proved to a be a very emotional roller coaster ride. Mid concert Michael brought up a woman he had met in years past up onto a small stage riser out in the crowd pit. He dedicated "Only Thing Missing Was You" to her as he told the crowd that she recently lost her daughter to a terminal disease. Clearly moved by the experience, you could see the array of emotions the lady was going through in a matter of seconds from joy, to sadness, to sense of deep loss and back to celebration of life all within a three minute song. Later, Franti brought out his wife and their new baby boy for another dedication of "Life Is Better With You" as they sang and danced onstage together with baby cocooned in headphones and swaddle. If you've never been to a Michael Franti show you don't know what you're missing. Even if you don't know the music, you can't help but get hooked by the grooves and melodies as your body starts involuntarily moving to the music. In January Franti will be releasing his new album " Stay Human Vol. II" so do your part and pick up a copy wherever you get your music.
For photos from the show check out the slideshow below.