Michael Franti, Bob Weir to play shows at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in June
Live outdoor music is returning to The Amp in a big way in June
After his first summer in 33 years without touring, Michael Franti is itching to get back out on the road. And he’ll start off in a familiar place: The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail on June 4.
Franti, the Bay Area-based musician and activist, along with Spearhead, will reunite with the Soulrocker community at four shows in Colorado this summer, dubbed the Good Day For A Good Day Weekend. The series of concerts starts with the June 4 show in Vail followed by shows June 5-6 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison. Franti and Spearhead will play two shows back-to-back on June 6.
The following week, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros will play two nights at the Ford Amphitheater in Vail on June 11 and 12. The concerts coincide with the return of the GoPro Mountain Games. The shows follow two dates at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 8 and June 9.
The shows are a joint collaboration with the Vail Valley Foundation, which also puts on the Mountain Games and operates the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, and AEG Presents.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to send along an announcement with this much energy and excitement behind it,” wrote Tom Boyd, the director of public relations for the Vail Valley Foundation and Ford Amphitheater, in an email.
All three Vail shows are expected to have limited capacity and there will likely be a mask mandate in place, with spectators required to wear face coverings except while actively eating and drinking, Boyd wrote.
Getting back on the road
Last summer marked the first time in 33 years in which Franti wasn’t able to go on tour and perform for his fans across the globe.
“The pandemic has been challenging for all of us, and I want to say thank you to all of you who’ve followed along online as we’ve done our livestream shows, on Instagram and all of the additional online events we’ve put together over the last year,” Franti stated in a news release announcing the shows. “I can’t wait to see each of you in person again and share community as we return to touring with safety protocols in place and good vibes in our hearts. One of the most important things I’ve learned this past year amongst all the uncertainty is the importance of having good days. And today is a very good day for a good day.
“We just can’t wait to see you there!” Franti added. “We are going to play completely different sets each show and are already putting together lists of classic songs and a bunch of new music for you guys to rock out to. We’ll see you soon!”
The live shows are also the first for Weir and his band since March 2020.
“Been too long,” Weir said of the performance, “but I can’t think of a better place to pick it back up …”
Tickets for the Vail shows will go on sale at 10 a.m. on April 30. Buy online at grfavail.com or call (970) 845-8497. General admission tickets for the Weir concerts are $75 to $89.50 plus applicable service charges. Tickets for Michael Franti and Spearhead are $65 to $89.50 plus applicable service charges. All ages are welcome.
About Franti and Spearhead
To celebrate live music with an in-person audience returning, Franti shares the official music video for “Work Hard and Be Nice,” the title track from the band’s 11th studio album that was released on June 19, 2020.
The video features people from all different backgrounds, occupations, trades and arts sharing their own personal reasons for why they are diligent in their efforts as Franti sings, “Don’t complicate it, keep it simple: work hard and be nice to people,” leading to a series of messages for fans that shine through like the light at the end of the tunnel: “Family gatherings will be back.” “Art will be back.” “Dancing will be back.” “Hugs will be back.” “Culture will be back.” “Live music will be back.” “We will be back.”
Franti is a globally recognized musician, humanitarian, activist, and award-winning filmmaker revered for his high-energy live shows, inspiring music, devotion to health and wellness, worldwide philanthropic efforts and the power of optimism. Throughout his multi- decade career, Franti has earned three Billboard No. 1’s with triumphantly hopeful hits “Sound of Sunshine,” “Say Hey (I Love You)” and “I Got You.”
“I Got You,” the lead single from his latest album, “Work Hard And Be Nice,” marked Franti’s first No. 1 in nearly 10 years and landed on NPR’s “Most Popular Songs of 2020,” while the music video boasts over 1 million views since its release.
Franti and Spearhead continue to foster their community both on and off stage with a wish granting nonprofit, Do It For The Love, founded by Franti and his wife, Sara. Do It For The Love brings those with life threatening illnesses, veterans, and children with severe challenges to concerts worldwide, fulfilling over 3,300 wishes and touching the lives of over 12,000 people to date. Franti also owns SOULSHINE Bali (where he and his family have resided since February 2020), a 32-room top-rated yoga retreat hotel located in Ubud, Bali.
For more information, visit MichaelFranti.com.
About Weir and Wolf Bros
The Wolf Bros are Bob Weir, Don Was, and Jay Lane. The Colorado shows will also feature Jeff Chimenti on keyboards and Greg Leisz on pedal steel, along with The Wolfpack: Alex Kelly, Brian Switzer, Adam Theis, Mads Tolling and Sheldon Brown.
Weir is a founding member of the Grateful Dead, who received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. He has become one of rock’s finest and most distinctive rhythm guitarists. In 2016, Weir released “Blue Mountain” on Columbia/Legacy, his first album of solo material in more than 10 years and his first album of entirely original material in more than 30 years.
Weir is also currently a member of Dead & Company, which features Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti.
Don Was founded the ’80s funk-rock band Was (Not Was), known for hits such as “Walk The Dinosaur” and “Spy In The House Of Love.” As an in-demand, highly acclaimed producer, Was has been honored with four Grammy Awards for his production work in each of the past three decades, including Best Album honors for work with the Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt.
San Francisco-based drummer Jay Lane played with Bob Weir’s RatDog for more than 16 years. He was also one of Primus’ first drummers. More recently, Lane performed with Phil Lesh and Friends.
Keyboardist Jeff Chimenti has a long history of working with former members of Grateful Dead; he currently plays with Dead & Company and has also played with Bob Weir & RatDog, The Dead and Further.
Southern California-based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Greg Leisz has recorded and performed with the likes of Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, the Eagles, Joe Cocker and Emmylou Harris, among others. Leisz received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association in 2010, and a Grammy in 2011 for his work with Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs on “God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise.”