Outside Lands — The Roots

18 08 2011

We’re still on Day Two of Outside Lands 2011. And without a doubt, the best set of the festival, in my humble (yet expert) opinion belonged to the one-and-only, the hardest working, the legendary ROOTS band from Philly, PA.

My boy,Matt, took a lot of great photos over the weekend, but this one with The Roots’ Black Thought (AKA Tariq Trotter) is my favorite one of the entire festival. This was my first time seeing The Roots, and I have to tell you, it was definitely an experience and a half. When we got to the Twins Peak Stage about 20 minutes before they were scheduled to perform, about half the Speedway Meadow was full, but 2-3 minutes in, and the crowd extended across the Meadow, ’till about 30 feet before the Panhandle Stage. I have no proof, but it was like, a quarter-mile worth of people.

And they put on an amazing set. Here’s a bit of their opening. I wanted to record more, but I was way more interested in enjoying the set.

Yeah, and that was just the beginning. There are very few bands that arguably, sound better live than when you listen to their records. The Roots are on that list. They are just so versatile and speak music, all forms of it, so fluently — it’s like listening to your favorite foreign language spoken in the most incredible accent you have ever heard … and falling in love over and over again. I feel that way about French.

Of course I had to put The Roots in my final review, and here’s what I wrote: The set of the festival belonged to The Roots, the hip-hop band from Philadelphia. Honestly, is there anyone hipper, fresher and for lack of a better word, sicker than The Roots? All the rumors about how fantastic they are live are true. And if you still don’t believe, ask the thousands of people that took in the 60-minutes of cool at the Twin Peaks stage – the crowd stretched for about a quarter-mile, almost reaching the Panhandle Stage. There is a reason why The Roots are called “legendary,” and they showed San Francisco why on Saturday. 

There’s more to say, like, how super sick Captain Kirk Douglas in on the axe — The Roots did a rendition of “Bad To The Bone” which he completely killed, channeling the spirit of Jimi Hendricks (not that I ever saw Jimi, but I figured that is what people must have felt like watching him shred back in the day). And don’t get me started on ?uestlove. To me, he’s one of the freshest, most influential musicians on the planet. My musical round table/dinner with whoever I want ever would include him. Anyway, you can hop over to my boy’s Facebook page to see more photos, here are some thumbnails.

So we leave the Twin Peaks stage to upload photos, and get ready for MUSE. Oh yeah.

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