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Spearheaded Movement

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The sun was shining and the weather was sweet -- and Michael Franti's Bob Marley quotes didn't stop with the weather when he and Spearhead took the stage at Copper Mountain on Saturday for the final of three free concert weekends, part of the resort’s season ending Sunsation festivities.

Franti’s Marley melodies covered everything from "Sun is Shining" to "Stir it Up," "Lively Up Yourself" and "Get Up, Stand Up" as snowboarders and skiers got up and out of a half-pipe they rode still in sight of the show. It was a peaceful crowd of children and parents dancing and drinking the day away as Franti sang and two sheriff’s deputies sniffed out the crowd for ganja smoke.

For years people have been telling me that I need to see Spearhead, whose message of peace and love is refreshing in a time of war and hate. And although he comes across as genuine, he's really cheesy, at one point even asking everyone in the crowd to turn to a neighbor and show some love.

But for Franti, it's no big deal to be freakishly cheesy with his positive attitude, because, as he chants, "all the freaky people make the beauty of the world."

Although I didn't fall in love with Spearhead, it was my first trip up to Copper for the free season-ending shows, a great opportunity to see bands like Spearhead, De La Soul or Particle, all of which have played free shows at the resort this year and all of which I wouldn’t necessarily want to pay to see again.

All cheese aside though, Spearhead was enjoyable, especially when Franti called to the stage Stanley Jordan, a young jazz guitarist with a degree in music theory and composition from Princeton who started his career as a street musician playing for spare change. Jordan's technique is unusual, he slaps the strings of his guitar on the instrument's frets and creates a unique sound that's sure to keep him in the spotlight long after the sun has set on Copper's season. -- Luke Turf

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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