If Les Schwab Amphitheater’s headliner Sept. 1, Brandi Carlile, is the reigning not-from-here queen of the Central Oregon music scene, then the man who’ll play the Schwab on Wednesday must be the king.
Michael Franti is a poet and songwriter, a political activist and yoga enthusiast, a reggae-rocker and positive viber. And today, he’s a long way from his glowering, confrontational work in the Beatnigs and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, his two politically charged industrial-punk-hop bands from more than two decades ago.
That’s probably just as well. As Franti has aged, he has found a way to express his firmly held beliefs through a more positive and accessible style of music, a bouncy fusion of funk, rock, hip-hop, blues and reggae that’s hard to resist, as evidenced by the growing crowds at his increasingly frequent shows in Bend.
Channeling all that positivity also gives him time and energy, no doubt, for other things he enjoys; a quick trip around his website finds Franti doing yoga, writing children’s books, fighting for people who need someone to fight for them and, of course, playing his songs for smiling faces everywhere.
Keep up with this busy fella at www.michaelfranti.com.
Michael Franti & Spearhead, with Amanda Shaw; 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, gates open 5 p.m.; $35 plus fees, available in advance at the website below or The Ticket Mill (541-318-5457) in Bend; Les Schwab Amphitheater, 344 S.W. Shevlin Hixon Drive, Bend; www .bendconcerts.com.