November 15, 2005
Music Video Distribution
Rap, Alternative Rap

Album Review

Those who have followed the career of Michael Franti from his days with the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy know that the rapper's anger still burns, but his delivery has mellowed. It's easier to catch flies with honey and to get your message across when you sweeten your sound, thus the formation of Spearhead. This DVD captures the group in Sydney, Australia, during their 2003 tour, and thus before the departure of Radioactive. Even when playing to an arena-sized crowd, as the group does here, Franti deftly creates a bond with the audience, soldered when he pulls one young woman from the crowd to dance with him on-stage, and cemented when he brings up another female fan to sing along with him during an acoustic segment in the center of the 75-minute show. The sound is superb and the mix crisp enough that one can appreciate not just the frontmen, but each of the musicians' contributions to the music as well. And with the band's fabulous blend of hip-hop, classic rock, soul, pop, and R&B, the arrangements are as crucial to the songs as the lyrics. With the set drawing heavily from their Everyone Deserves Music album, the title track gets a superb workout, although such faves from Stay Human as "Rock the Nation," "Sometimes," and "Every Single Soul" are also delivered up to much delight. The crowd eat it up, but it's Franti's insightful, politically aware raps and lyrics that leave them mesmerized, while the (usually) Latin-tinged arrangements have the entire audience jumping along. Ripping a page from the socially conscious Jamaican artists, Franti delivers his positive messages with a musical punch. There's more concert footage in the extras, and even better, Live in Sydney is a DualDisc, watch it at home then flip it and stick the CD on you i-pod so you can carry the band's positive vibes with you wherever you go.
Jo-Ann Greene, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. What I Be
  2. Pray for Peace
  3. Every Single Soul
  4. Stay Human
  5. Feelin' Free
  6. Everyone Deserves Music
  7. Rock the Nation
  8. Sometimes
  9. Taxi Radio
  10. Never Too Late
  11. Radioactive Beatbox
  12. Ganjababe [Multimedia Track]
  13. Bomb the World [Live]