Usually, when lead singers of rock bands shout to the crowd “Are you feeling good?!” they don’t mean it in a holistic or spiritual way. But that might change at the Soulshine Tour Featuring Michael Franti & Spearhead, which hits Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton on Tuesday.
This concert is a bit different. It’s billed as the first music and yoga lifestyle tour, and will even provide more than 1,000 yoga mats for fans to use before the show. Musically, Franti and Spearhead will perform sing-along, reggae-kissed hits including Say Hey (I Love You), I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) and Soulshine, with SOJA, Brett Dennen and Trevor Hall opening.
Basically, the amphitheater promises to radiate positive vibrations.
“It’s actually the best tour we’ve ever been on, and this is the band’s 20th year,” Franti says. “I’m a fan of all the other acts on the tour, and we’ve all been friends before the tour. So there’s a lot of collaboration between the bands onstage.”
And enough musical diversity to keep things interesting.
“All of us have a little different vibe with our music,” Franti says. “SOJA’s really straight-up reggae. Brett Dennen is kind of roots-rock, Trevor Hall plays a mix of acoustic and reggae and his own version of rock, and we do our thing with combining all different styles.”
Musical compatibility isn’t the only bond these artists share, however.
“Throughout it all I guess is a thread of consciousness,” Franti says. “All of us believe that you can change the world through music. Sometimes naively we believe that [laughs], but other times, we really feel it and see it happening. I’ve been making music since 1987, and to be on tour with artists who share that vision is really exciting. I haven’t always felt that in my career.”
Part of that idealism is manifested in the fact that more than a decade ago Franti chose to go barefoot 24/7, except for airports or restaurants (“summer’s my favorite time of year, obviously,” he says with a laugh), to raise awareness for the hundreds of millions of children from families around the world who can’t afford shoes. And part of it is simpler and more immediate, focusing on the personal benefits of yoga at each show.
“We do two things,” says Franti. “Every day at about noon or 1 o’clock, we do a band and crew yoga session; and then later the doors open, and I play acoustically while the teachers are teaching the yoga class. And a lot of the guys in the bands get out there and practice yoga with the fans, so it’s a pretty cool experience.”