At Northern Lights last Friday night, Michael Franti and his band threw a huge party, and the sold-out crowd was eager to join in the festivities, dancing, singing along and steaming up the windows of the big Clifton Park nightspot. Outside it was cold, but inside the atmosphere was that of a Miami dance club party fueled by a reggae beat.
He plays what you can only categorise as “happy music.” Franti has a warm, broad smile, and his dreadlocks bounce around when he moves and shakes his head. He is so charismatic that you can’t help but like him and want to hear what he’s got to say.
And he certainly wasn’t shy about engaging the crowd, either. At various times throughout the night, he invited audience members up on stage with him. And at one point, Franti shed his coat and leapt off the stage, singing while wading through and disappearing into the crowd. He finally re-emerged, standing triumphantly on top of a table singing and playing his guitar just inches from the faces of his enthusiastic fans.
And by the time he launched into his hit tune, “The Sound of Sunshine,” the crowd all but drowned him out as they heartily sang along on the chorus.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk