You already know the deal. I don't have to write it. There are very few bands out there that can put on a show like The Roots. Seeing them live is like listening to your favorite mixtape. They hit you with a range of material from their 16 years in the game along with cleverly weaved-in covers of artists you may not expect. & they somehow manage to keep the energy level at 11 the entire time.
Three things I will say:
â€¢ New Roots album coming this summer entitled How I Got Over.
â€¢ Local Cut posted an interesting interview with Questlove
â€¢ Questlove's twit on walking the streets of Eugene cracked me the f up.
I was late getting to the McD Saturday ... even though I THOUGHT I was early. (Note to self: shows that say they start at 8 actually DO start at 8 sometimes.) So I missed Lyrics Born's set. Literally walked in as he was walking off stage. But he and Joyo were kind of enough to let me get a few photos backstage afterwards. He also filled me in on his plans to get his new album out by fall. Download a taste of the new stuff and keep up to date on the latest LB news here.
Wednesday was a beautiful evening for a concert at the Cuthbert. Thankfully, it was the only day this week it didn't rain.
Stephen Marley kicked things off about 7ish. (Sorry no photos per Mr. Marley's request. If you took some anyways, post 'em or links to 'em in the comments.) I wasn't all that hype to see Stephen. As I've said before, I reeeeeally wanted to see Erykah Badu open (since she's doing almost every other date with The Roots this tour.) But you can't be in a bad mood while
smoking some lying in the grass on a nice day listening to some Marley ... you just can't. It's impossible. The good vibes even lured ?uestlove (from The Roots) to the side of the stage to watch almost all of Stephen's set. But while the vibe was totally enjoyable, I felt like the song selection was a bit heavy on the Bob. It must be hard to be his son and play an entire of set of your own music 'cause you know the crowd wants to hear some Bob. Of all the Marleys, I would say I like Stephen's voice best but feel like Damian is the only one I've seen that has mostly stepped out of his father's shadow and has his own sound. (Damian's show at the McDonald Theatre a few years ago was incredible. I have seen very few shows since that could match its energy level.)
Next up: The Roots. It's been five years since they last played Eugene (on the Phrenology tour) but I had seen them in Portland a few times in between. & I have to say, I've NEVER seen a bad Roots show. Once at the Roseland (on their summer Okayplayer tour with Skillz, Dice Raw, & Jean Grae), the a/c went out and the environment was straight up MISERABLE but the fellas still came with it. Granted, Black Thought had to sit down a bit with towel over his head while doing some of the songs but the place was hotter than ass and the place lethally REEKED of B.O. I have to give it up to them for even performing that night. But anyways, back to this show ...
You really need to be up on your music to fully enjoy a Roots show. Their two-hour set is PACKED. Aside from their own material, they jump into a megamix of other artists' songs. & they hit you with so many different ones, it can be hard to keep up. Below are the songs I do remember (definitely not in the order in which they were played):
"I Can't Help It", "Proceed", "Rising Up", "Star", "Apache" (Incredible Bongo Band), "Made You Look" (Nas), "Flashing Lights" (Kanye), "Roc Boys" (Jay Z), "Hip Hop is Dead" (Nas), "Get By" (Talib Kweli), "Just a Friend" (Biz Markie), "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" (ODB), "Method Man" (Wu Tang), "Deep Cover" (Dr. Dre & Snoop), "This Is Why I'm Hot" (MIMS ... uggghhh I hate this song), "Sexy Back" (Justin Timberlake), "Sensual Seduction/Sexual Eruption" (Snoop), "Planet Rock" (Afrika Bambaataa), "Push It" (Salt-n-Pepa), "You Got Me" (with a bit of Outkast's "Spottieottiedopalicious"), "Act Too: The Love of My Life", "Get Down" (with a Kool & the Gang "Jungle Boogie" outro ... clever), "Next Movement", "The Seed", "Move On Up" (Curtis Mayfield), "Boom" & that's about all I can recall. If you remember more, help me out.
Also, ?uesto, Cap'n Kirk & Tuba Gooding Jr.'s power trio (Go Get Yourself A Late Pass) played a "halftime" set in protest of the war that seemed tailor-made for Eugene (even though I hear they've done this routine for a while now). They started off with Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" to the tune of the "Star-Spangled Banner" that turned into a lonnng superjammy (complete with drum solo) springled with bits of Band of Gypsy's "Machine Gun". Eventually, it morphed back into the original tune of the Dylan track and the place went ape shit ... hippies & heads alike.
Psyche ... but the show ended abruptly sorta like that. One minute they're playing a song, the next it's over and "Rising Up" starts playing on the speakers while The Roots exit the stage at almost 11 on the nose. No encore. Guess it must've been due to the Cuthbert's curfew.
Click any image to see a gallery of more photos.
If you haven't seen them live, you really should.
Live hip hop doesn't get any better than this.
As much as I like Stephen Marley, I have NO IDEA why left Erykah Badu was left off this bill. She is playing with The Roots on the majority of their summer tour (including the Seattle show the night after Eugene). I've always thought she'd EASILY sell out a Eugene show on her own ... but paired with the legendary Roots crew easily = BEST SHOW TO GRACE EUGENE ALL YEAR! Promoters need to fix that error.
Check out The Roots new blog to see their performance on The Colbert Report and download an alternate mix of the title track (â€œRising Down (Hum Drum)â€ featuring Mos Def, Styles P, and Dice Raw) from their new album (out April 29th).