Day one of Live on the Green 2017 complete with rock, rap, soul

Photo by Tayhlor Stephenson / Lifestyles Editor

Canadian rock band Arkells busted open Live on the Green 2017, Lightning 100’s free outdoor concert series at Public Square Park, with an exuberant spirit. The five-man band set a high bar for the following acts, American rap artist Michael Franti & Spearhead and Alabama-native 6-piece soul band St. Paul and The Broken Bones.

Arkells began their 60-minute set with three tracks from their 2014 album “High Noon,” including “Come To Light,” “Never Thought That This Would Happen” and “11:11.”

The band’s remaining setlist centered around their most recent album “Morning Report.”

“I like the way we’re moving out here,” said lead vocalist Max Kerman. “This is feeling like a rock show right about now.”

The very moment Franti and his band took the stage, the rock concert was no more.

Like Arkells, Franti kept the audience engaged with his spunk. He invited children from the crowd onstage, which oftentimes led to a wild free-for-all, and even walked among the audience. Franti made it clear that he was there to do nothing more than entertain his fans.

He sang many of his happy-go-lucky hits, such as “Say Hey (I Love You)” and “The Sound of Sunshine,” but he showed off his humanitarian side as well.

Just before performing “My Lord,” which portrays a more serious side of Franti, he stated that every person deserves to be “happy, healthy and equal.”

He ended his set with a strong message as he and his band lined up side-by-side, wrapped their arms around one another and swayed back and forth as they sang a piece of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The crowd was pumped from start to finish.

Headliner St. Paul and The Broken Bones took the stage at approximately 9:30 p.m., and the crowd roared with elation the second they did. Though they didn’t quite match the previous acts’ high energy, the band, led by lead vocalist Paul Janeway, demanded the audience’s respect with smooth vocals and impressive instrumentals, including both horns and keys.

St. Paul and The Broken Bones sang tracks off their 2014 album “Half the City,” such as “Like a Mighty River” and “Grass Is Greener,” along with several tracks off of “Sea of Noise,” their most recent album dropped nearly a year ago.

“So now that we broke your heart, we gotta groove ya a little bit.”

The band grooved with audience until 11 p.m., completely shutting the night down.

See Sidelines’ full day one gallery below.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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