Freedom fighter Michael Franti and the Marley magic
Food drives, voting booths, elaborate costumes, simple drums, parents and children, T-shirts and ties, Merrell sneakers – so possessed by rhythm they transcended inescapable dog poop – and a wellspring of positivity and gracious behavior mingled at the Colorado leg of the current Michael Franti and Spearhead and Ziggy Marley tour.
The Colorado leg began in Colorado Springs, held two official shows and one spur-of-the-moment delight in Telluride and ended in Aspen before heading on toward Park City and the West Coast.
The gem of the weekend was the surprise afternoon set in downtown Telluride. A girl named Robin from Paonia organized a peace rally at Elk Park in Telluride for songwriters, speakers, storytellers, drummers, food-drivers, voting registrars and anyone else so inspired to share a gathering in the 75-degree weather. Franti showed up first and performed a few songs with members of Spearhead and Ziggy Marley’s band. Marley grabbed a drum and climbed to the stage midway through the set to participate. Franti passed Marley his guitar a couple songs later and Ziggy played an inspired acoustic “Redemption Song.”
During the tour, Franti made himself accessible; during each of Ziggy’s sets he danced his way around the outskirts of the crowd sharing hugs and short discussions. Marley’s air of regality and his thoughtful sets were illuminated by his grand and infectious smile. And, anyone would have been hard-pressed to find a dissatisfied or depressed audience member by each night’s end.