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Michael Franti (left) and Spearhead at the Pacific Stage.

Ben Fogletto

Michael Franti & Spearhead showed early Sunday evening on the Pacific Stage that anyone who sees their name on a concert schedule can know that a party is sure to follow.

Franti, from California, is not the deepest lyricist, or the best singer or rapper, but he uses the gifts he does have as an energetic frontman and the maker of an accessible blend of hip-hop, reggae and pop to his fullest potential.

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Franti was one of the best showmen of the entire three-day festival. He left the stage at least four times and sang one song - "Hey, Hey, Hey" - mostly from different parts of the audience.

He brought two fans onto the stage, gave them guitars and had them try to play along as his guitarist whipped out the main riff from Metallica's "Enter Sandman."

When Franti commanded the audience to put their hands up or jump, they did so, and beach balls flew around in the audience while he was on stage.

"Everything is better in sunny Atlantic City in the summertime," said Franti, who made most people who saw him feel that way.

-- Vincent Jackson

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