If you go

What: Michael Franti and Spearhead

When: 6:30 p.m. on Sunday

Where: Red Rocks Amphitheater, 18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison

Cost: $42.50-$50

More info: http://redrocks online.com/event/329797

Once in a while, a musician comes along with a take on life so refreshing that it could make birds sing. Michael Franti is this musician, and wherever he rolls through, he leaves a path of happiness and dance.

Michael Franti and Spearhead are playing Red Rocks this Sunday, and the rocks may even smile.

Franti has a transformative message of love and happiness that he blends into his smoothie of hip-hop with elements of funk, soul and dance.

"I believe that through music, it's possible for all of us to find that inspiration we need in something that's greater than ourselves," Franti said.

And if it sounds like a big joyfest, well it is. Franti's enthusiasm for life tells us to feel warmth inside. And he does so through his music.

"I want to be a solution-oriented artist. I want to write songs that inspire us to get up every day and go out in the world and want to do actions of compassion that make a difference," Franti said.

As well as a musician, Franti is a peace and social justice activist, and he works to incorporate his messages into songs.


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Franti recounts that his mindset on life stems from his diverse and open-minded upbringing, with his other instilling in him an appreciation of all different kinds of people. His social justice philosophies have largely informed his music.

"Without diversity we get stagnant," Franti said. "My desire to see social justice is to see that the differences that people have be celebrated by everyone."

Franti's live shows are high energy, including him running all around the stage and into the crowd.

One of the ways Franti garners his loving energy is from his yoga practice.

"When you're healthy, you can do things for a longer time. Having yoga intervene in my music life 14 years ago extended my ability to do this work," Franti said.

And in a more profound way, yoga has enabled me to be at a stillness of mind in chaotic situations. That helps me to focus when I write songs, and it informs what I write about."

"Colorado fans are some the most devoted music fans in the world, and I've travelled to many places," Franti said, "Music is always a part of that Colorado lifestyle."

Red Rocks seems to be the penultimate of Franti's enthusiasm for Colorado music fans.

"Red Rocks makes everyone feel like they're close. Coming together with the artist, coming together with themselves," Franti said.

They'll play their newest single, "Once A Day," written about Franti's son that was diagnosed with a kidney disorder. One of the messages is to smile through adversity and to show more love to the people around.

At the very least, Michael Franti and Spearhead will be a fun time at Red Rocks. But Franti seems to rise above the standard, and the crowd will be walking away with smiles.

"Everyone in the band and who works with us does music for one reason: we care about people."