“That’s like a match made in Heaven for you.”
I had two different friends tell me that same phrase after it was announced Moon Taxi would be opening for Michael Franti & Spearhead in Madison in the final week of September. Both of these artists are in the exclusive group of my top 5 favorite artists, finding themselves consistently on my playlists.
This was my 2nd Moon Taxi show, with the first coming last summer when they opened for Matisyahu in Milwaukee. This show was very similar in all aspects, including a great set. Before their show, I got a chance to interview 2 members of the band thanks to my cousin (whom I’ll be writing about soon) who is close with the band. Read the interview here.
Although the set was just a half hour, the musical quality far exceeded the quantity. Moon Taxi opened their set with “Running Wild,” a fresh track of their new album Mountains Beaches Cities. A stand-out moment in their set appeared in the “Morocco,” also off their latest album, with some trancey exploration, showing off their jamming capabilities. Their set closer featured a rocking “Cabaret” that featured keyboardist Wes Bailey’s exceptional keyboard wizardry.
Moon Taxi Setlist
Running Wild, All the Rage, Morocco, The New Black, River Water, Mercury, Cabaret
After a brief intermission, the main attraction took the stage. Having seen Franti 5 previous times, I was expecting the opening song to be a track off their latest album, as the norm for Franti shows. I was not wrong, as “I Don’t Wanna Go” opened the show, from All People. Franti didn’t wait long before jumping in the crowd. In the second song of the evening, “Stay Human,” Franti hopped off the stage and navigated through the general admission pit on the lower level, stopping along the way to give high fives and dance with fans. He found his way back to the stage for “Yell Fire!”, and before “The Sound of Sunshine,” he shared a story with how he wrote that album: in the hospital after suffering a ruptured appendix. The mood quickly elevated as what seemed like a hundred of over-sized yellow beach balls came from back stage and flooded the crowd, dancing through the air after bouncing off the hands of anyone able to touch one.
A surprise “Ganja Babe,” appeared in the middle of the set, apparently inspired by whatever Michael smelt in his journeys throughout the crowd. A feel-good moment occurred in “Gangsta Girl,” in which Michael brought several fans up from the crowd with him to join as dancers, with one fan truly seizing the moment as he ran back and forth on the stage, encouraging the crowd to do the wave. After the song ended, Michael jokingly offered him a contract to the join the band.
To close the set, Michael lead the crowd in a sing-along of “Happy Birthday” to one of his crew members before bringing up members of Moon Taxi to join for an upbeat and funky “Let It Go.” As expected, he encored with his biggest hits, “I’m Alive” and “Say Hey,” welcoming any children fans on the stage for the latter, but surprised me with a very well placed “Long Ride Home” between the two for an impressive sandwich.
Michael Franti Setlist
I Don’t Wanna Go, Stay Human@, Yell Fire!, The Sound of Sunshine#, 11:59@, Closer to You@, Ganja Babe, Life is Better With You@, Gangsta Girl^, Hey World (Don’t Give Up)&, Bomb the World&, All People@, Say Goodbye@, Hey Hey Hey@*, Let It Go+
E: I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like), Long Ride Home, Say Hey (I Love You)~
@ Michael singing in the crowd
# plethora of beach balls released into the crowd
^ random fans brought on stage to dance
& Michael on acoustic guitar with Minus on djembe drum
* Get Lucky (Daft Punk) verse
+ with members of Moon Taxi
~ kids brought on stage
Pretty Lights has finally taken his analog show on the road! The making of his newest album, A Color Map of the Sun, involved an intense process of creating his own tracks, putting them on vinyl and then mixing it up into a dance party frenzy. The album has been out for a few months now and has been viewed as one of Pretty Lights’ most personal peices of work to date.
The making of A Color Map of the Sun was unprecedented. Derek Vincent Smith personally traveled around the country in search of the best musicians in the world of music. He then conducted them in the studio in order to produce the perfect sound for his tracks. Already knowing how he wanted each song to sound, he was able to tap into the raw talent of these musicians in order to create a perfect complement to his vision.
In a way it all makes sense, I mean a successful DJ is just a maestro who can access all his instruments with the tips of his fingers. Yet, I find there is always something lacking with the live show. Unless a DJ is straight up balls to the wall, the lights are usually the only visually stimulating element to the show. Well Pretty Lights already mastered the lighting aspect of his live sets and now he is finally ready to move forward into uncharted territory. It might be extremely risky, but a full band will be on the road with him this whole fall tour, that includes over 30 shows in less than two months! BOOM.
Hopefully this circus will be coming to a city near you because this PL tour is one for the books! Get your tickets HERE!
|Fri 10/11/13||St. Louis, MO||Chaifetz Arena|
|Sat 10/12/13||Nashville, TN||Greer Stadium|
|Wed 10/16/13||Auburn, AL||Auburn Arena|
|Fri 10/18/13||Miami, FL||Klipsch Amphitheater At Bayfront Park|
|Sat 10/19/13||Miami, FL||Klipsch Amphitheater At Bayfront Park|
|Tue 10/22/13||Columbia, SC||Township Auditorium|
|Thu 10/24/13||Atlanta, GA||The Tabernacle|
|Fri 10/25/13||Atlanta, GA||The Tabernacle|
|Sat 10/26/13||Las Vegas, NV||Downtown Las Vegas|
|Sun 10/27/13||Asheville, NC||ExploreAsheville.com Arena|
|Tue 10/29/13||Boston, MA||House Of Blues Boston|
|Wed 10/30/13||Amherst, MA||Mullins Center|
|Thu 10/31/13||Albany, NY||Times Union Center|
|Fri 11/01/13||Camden, NJ||Susquehanna Bank Center|
|Sat 11/02/13||Wallingford, CT||Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theatre|
|Sun 11/03/13||Los Angeles, CA||Los Angeles State Historic Park|
|Wed 11/06/13||Columbus, OH||Lifestyle Communities Pavilion|
|Thu 11/07/13||Detroit, MI||Masonic Temple Theatre|
|Fri 11/08/13||Chicago, IL||Aragon Ballroom|
|Sat 11/09/13||Chicago, IL||Aragon Ballroom|
|Wed 11/13/13||Louisville, KY||The Louisville Palace Theatre|
|Thu 11/14/13||Milwaukee, WI||Eagles Ballroom|
|Fri 11/15/13||Lincoln, NE||Pershing Center|
|Sat 11/16/13||Saint Paul, MN||Myth|
|Sun 11/17/13||Fargo, ND||The Venue|
|Wed 11/20/13||Missoula, MT||Adams Event Center|
|Thu 11/21/13||Spokane, WA||Knitting Factory Concert House|
|Fri 11/22/13||Kent, WA||ShoWare Center|
|Sat 11/23/13||Portland, OR||Veterans Memorial Coliseum|
|Wed 11/27/13||Reno, NV||Grand Sierra Resort & Casino|
|Fri 11/29/13||San Francisco, CA||Bill Graham Civic Auditorium|
|Sat 11/30/13||San Francisco, CA||Bill Graham Civic Auditorium|
Download “A Color Map of the Sun” here for FREE!
Gramatik just started his Age of Reason Fall Tour in Buffalo, NY on September 4 and it was glorious! He’s hitting up some major cities through November, so if he’s coming anywhere near you this Fall, MAKE SURE YOU SEE HIM! His lights and sound are so stellar. If you were lucky to catch him at Summer Camp this year, you know exactly what I’m saying!
Check out a recap from the first night as well as the tour dates below: