September 29th marked the 5th time I have been lucky enough to see Michael Franti and Spearhead in concert. And as always, he brought the love and energy that’s expected, and then some, to liven up the crowd. Unfortunately I was only able to catch a little more than half the show, as it was an early start time and I had to drive over 2.5 hours straight after class ended on Thursday to get there. He was the opening act for Train, but that didn’t take away from the quality of his show at all.
Fresh off the debut of his latest album, All People (which I wrote about here: http://summercampfestival.com/2013/08/03/album-review-michael-franti-spearhead-all-people-deluxe-edition/), many of the songs from the setlist were off tracks from the love-spreading album. Nearing the Grandstand entrance, Closer to You could be heard already from afar and the excitement settled in. Michael kept the crowd jumping throughout the rest of the set, as several times he went in and out of the crowd keeping the fans engaged and enthusiastic. In the midst of the Sound of Sunshine track “Hey Hey Hey” he snuck in a verse from Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” a pleasant surprise that excited the portion of the crowd that was only there for Train, the evening’s headliner. The next song actually featured Train’s saxophonist, “Let it Go,” with a nice little jam for him to lead which featured a tease from their hit song, Hey Soul Sister. Michael Franti and Spearhead then closed their show with his two most popular song, I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) and Say Hey (I Love You). As per Michael’s tradition, he brought all the children in the front rows on stage to help him out for Say Hey, and gave one little girl the microphone to sing the lines, “Seems like everywhere I go, the more I see the less I know, but I know one thing, that I love you.” We love you too, Michael!
Latter part of the setlist:
Closer to You, Life is Better with You, All People, Hey Hey Hey@, Let It Go#$, I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like), Say Hey (I Love You)%
@ with Get Lucky verse (Daft Punk)
# featuring Brian from Train on saxophone
$ Hey Soul Sister tease (Train)
% with children on stage and one girl singing a verse (with help from Michael)
After he finished, my girlfriend and I were able to sneak up to the front and snag a picture with him as he was greeting fans in the front row
We then ventured around the Minnesota State Fair grounds for a little bit, as neither of us were that committed to seeing Train, and it was our first time at this fair. We returned to the Grandstand to see about the last half hour of Train’s performance, which was an entertaining show. As we entered, Train, like Franti, had several kids up on stage and teased a little bit of Bob Marley’s Can be Loved in one of their songs. Everyone left the stage, and front man Patrick Monahan invited a girl on stage to help sing their latest single, “Bruises.” At the conclusion, they played a 2 minute medley mix of pop songs with a tease of dubstep as well. They then played their hit “Hey Soul Sister” that segued right into Macklemore’s “Ceiling Can’t Hold Us,” before closing the set with “Drive By.” For the encore, they performed their long time hit song “Drops of Jupiter,” and then surprised the crowd with a final cover of Aerosmith’s classic “Dream On.”
^ Roster McCabe
So we’re just getting started here at Summer Camp and it’s already been better than I ever could have imagined. The process of checking in and setting up my tent took a few hours, with several trips back and forth between the car and campsite. Upon finishing all the preparation and organizing came with a huge sense of not just relief of being ready to start venturing through the festival, but also a feeling of triumph; I finally made it!
I was able to catch one of my favorite bands last night, Roster McCabe, at the Camping Stage. Including last night I’ve now seen them 13 times, all of which over the past 3 years. It’s been an amazing journey to witness how they’ve progressed and developed their sound over the years as they have evolved their music with the fusion of new trends of electrorock. They played a few new songs which I’ve never heard before, which is always a treat, and then blew the crowd away with a dance frenzy cover of Daft Punk’s new single, “Get Lucky.” They’ll be playing here at Scamp quite a few more times and I’m stoked to see them again, and I highly recommend them to anyone else.
After Roster McCabe finished up I was able to catch most of Digital Tape Machine’s set at the Starshine stage. I knew that Joel and Kris of Umphrey’s are in the band which was the compelling reason for me to check them out, and I definitely picked up on some of the UM influence in their sound, although they were far more electronic.
There’s quite a bit going on the grounds here today, and I’m ready to go take on the day. I’m looking forward to checking out the “Activities with Umphrey’s McGee” at the VIP tent today, not really sure what that entails, but any opportunity to meet one of my favorite bands, I will take. After that, I plan to check out moe. for a little bit before I partake in the Golden Ticket event for Umphrey’s merchandise, and then stage hop around the grounds between Medeski, Martin & Wood, Keller Williams, Papadosio, Yonder Mountain, Umphrey’s, EOTO, Roster McCabe, STS9, Medicine for the People, and Big Gigantic! So many bands and so little time! There’s supposed to be a super moon tonight during the Medicine for the People set, so great times are destined for this night as well as the rest of the weekend!