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Although the genre-bending Michael Franti might not be a household name in Scranton, Pennsylvania or Bakersfied, Calif., he is bona-fide celebrity when he comes to Red Butte Garden to perform, which he has sold out before and has sold put again this year.
"We've been coming to Salt Lake for so long," Franti said in a phone interview. "Audiences are really ready to let go. Being in the mountains, there's a sense of exuberance and openness."
Ethan Tucker and Amanda Shaw open.
Franti's blend of reggae, surf rock, hip-hop and many other styles is displayed on his latest album, "All People," and while there are still references to his roots in activism, the music is upbeat.
"I want people to feel a sense of optimism," he said. "All my songs are commercials for hope."
He continued: "We really wanted to make a record that inspires real life. I wanted to inspire people through the 24 hours of their day."
Don't worry if you think Franti has abandoned his drive for social and environmental change. He bus still runs on biodiesel, and "every year," he said, "I see more and more gas stations with biodiesel."
When • Sunday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m.Where • Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake CityTickets • Sold out