At the beginning of this year, I read an article that reminded me of the importance of seeing our favorite musicians live. It spoke of the joy that these experiences bring us and also to the fleeting nature of life and how we never know if we will have future opportunities to see our favorites perform. Music has always been a big part of my life. It has been my most consistent form of therapy.
The article inspired me, so I set the intention that I would see my top 3 favorites this year, Xavier Rudd, Michael Franti, and Matisyahu, and I manifested all three FRONT ROW CENTER! I appreciate the fact that they all create with lyrics that are uplifting, meaningful, spiritual, real, and generally clean so that I feel good listening to them all on repeat around my young son. They aren’t just amazing musicians, but also amazing people.
I got to see Matisyahu on May 5th at Grizzly Fest in Fresno. I’ve been listening to Matis since June of 2016 when a family I was caring for in the hospital was listening to him in their room after having a new baby. I’ve listened to his albums on repeat so many times. He has played a big part in my transformation and awaking over the last 3 years. His music has gotten me through a lot! Aside from the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass concert my son went to when he was a baby, Matisyahu was my son’s first concert. We drove a few hours to the beach, so that we could see him live in San Luis Obispo. I taught my son how to get front row spots and keep them and he was all in. He was 8 years old at the time. We later met Matis after a show in Fresno and my son had him sign his shirt. As we stood there with him and had our picture taken, I could feel the good, grounding energy emanating from Matisyahu. That energetic impression of him has always stuck with me. Energy speaks volumes to me where oftentimes words and logic fall short. Matisyahu has amazing energy. My son and I have connected a lot through the concerts we’ve been to and Matisyahu’s music. His music also helped me a lot as I took my power back in my life, put myself first for a change, and quit my job in the hospital.
As my 40th birthday approached, I saw that Michael Franti and Spearhead were playing on the coast the day before, so I got myself a ticket for my birthday and drove over. I had a great time connecting with a couple who was also hanging out in the front before the show even began and the woman and I had a great conversation. I learned that she was interested in nursing and I shared about my leap of faith out of my nursing job in the hospital and of the Holographic Kinetics healing modality based on Dreamtime Healing of the aboriginal people of Australia that I currently use. We were both amazed when the opening band, Nattali Rize, announced that they were from Jamaica and Australia. In fact, the lead singer said that Michael Franti had found her on a beach in Byron Bay, Australia, the next place on my list to visit there! If you’ve seen my 21 day Michael Franti’s Show Me Your Moves dancing challenge videos on IG, then you already have a sense of why I love Michael’s music so much. He’s got some of the most uplifting lyrics around and a lot of it makes me want to dance! This show was extra special. Michael had a special guest, Jocelyn Goldman, come on stage and sing “Love Will Find a Way”. It’s a little girl I’ve seen videos of singing his music while playing the ukulele. The fact that kids can connect with him and his music is part of why I love him so much! He even had a bunch of kids come up on the stage and dance during his set. How cool is that?! I danced SO hard at this show! I got thanked for dancing during the opening band. And then I was straight up jumping for most of Michael Franti and Spearhead’s show. At the end of the show, I was blessed to have Michael come off of the stage and plant himself at the railing I was standing at RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! He stood there performing a song acoustically and I just had to look up at him to watch. I could have reached out and touched him. It was AMAZING! When he finished, he climbed over the railing into the crowd and I got to thank him and give him a hug. I was filled with so much joy that night! I felt like I was floating. It was the perfect way to ring in my freshest effin’ decade yet!
I was first introduced to Michael Franti and Spearhead by a coworker of mine in Alaska. After the job ended, she sent me a CD with a bunch of different artists and they were one of them. Several years later, I got to see them live at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival when I was working in New Mexico for the summer. I drove up with a group of coworkers in a VW bus and we had such a great time! There were years that I virtually stopped listening to music. I gave my power away and allowed myself to get lost in a marriage. The fact that I didn’t even want to listen to music should have been the biggest red flag of my life, but I didn’t listen and suffered the loss of my health because of it. Michael was there again once I was out of that situation. And he was there several years later when my health began cooperating and I was able to do the outdoor things I loved again. Often when I listen to Michael’s music, I am reminded of the summer of 2016 when I began to really get aligned with my spirit through following my joy as often as I could.
I got to see Xavier Rudd at the Whalerock Music Festival this September. My awesome friend Kamryn invited me to go with her. I discovered Xavier Rudd at a live show he did with Brett Dennen in Portland Oregon in about 2006. I was with friends who went to the show to see Xavier Rudd and didn’t know of Brett Dennen, and at that time, I was there for Brett Dennen and had never heard of Xavier. You can’t see a show like the one he put on and not become a huge fan! I was hooked from that point on. Xavier is from Australia. If you know me at all, then you know that I’ve been drawn to Australia and all things and people Australian my whole life. At the time of the show in Portland, Xavier sat surrounded by a circle of instruments that he, himself, was playing. He was a one man band. I had never before seen anything like it. He played a slide guitar in his lap, he kept a beat with his foot, and he wore a harmonica that he played in times when he wasn’t singing or playing the didgeridoo. I was blown away! Xavier has periods of time when he doesn’t tour in the US much, but luckily he was in California this year! We were front row center through his performance and we were both deeply affected by the loving, healing energy he was sending out that night. It was the most magical performance I have ever seen. My friend was moved to tears. I set the intention during the show to send Xavier and his band love from my own spirit. At one point, Xavier was standing right in front of me as he ended a song and he looked me right in the eyes for a long while as I was signing ‘I love you’ on both hands and saying it too. We smiled at each other. It’s a moment of connection between our humans and spirits that I will never forget for my whole life. He felt like family to me.
Friends, it’s time to prioritize our joy, because when we do, we align with our spirit which is the answer to everything else we want in this life. So go see your favorite musicians perform as often as you can! We get to choose what we feed our bodies, minds, and spirits. The more uplifting experiences we have, the more aligned we become, the more elevated our energy becomes, and the more we are able to THRIVE in this life. It’s time to stop surviving and start thriving! Seek out live shows of the musicians that you love! Seek out musicians who do good in the world. Seek out musicians whose lyrics have a way of always making you feel better. Seek out music that moves and inspires you at the spirit level. Every time we do these things for ourselves, we change our lives for the better, and therefore change the world for the better! Follow your joy and intuition to your alignment! You will be so happy you did! I am! When we cultivate inner peace, it is reflected back to us in the world. Do things that bring you peace and joy, and the world will be more peaceful and joyful.
You can see Michael Franti and Jocelyn Goldman perform “Once a Day” HERE.
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