Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Roots @Webster Hall, Aug. 14th

(No pics for this one -- the rat bastards at Webster Hall actually made me check in my camera with security! And they charged me $4 for the privilege too!)

So met up with Jamie and Irene tonight at the hotbox, Webster Hall. Fucking sweated like I did one of my 2 hour Kung fu classes again. Never again will I bother going to Webster during the summer months. Yuck.

My other big complaint tonight is that Kool cigarettes somehow sponsored this show. This is the second show this month where I had to endure cigarette logos prominently displayed. (Phoenix featured Camel logos all over Bowery.) This time, on either side of the stage were plasma tvs constantly broadcasting Kool propaganda, every once in a while interrupted by the Surgeon General's warning. Lame.

But otherwise, the show was pretty fun. We once again stood on the side platforms so we had a good view of the stage. We caught the end of Pharcyde, which was, for lack of a better term, a'ight. They featured a freestyling MC named Supernatural who riffed off of items presented to him by the people at the front of the crowd. Very entertaining.

After a useless intermission featuring some Fly Girl dancer types and an annoying MC, the Roots got on stage around 9:45. They are an amazing act -- Black Thought is non-stop relentless with the words backed by fantastic live musicians -- ?uestlove being prolly the most prominent at drums. Throughout the show, they allowed the various musicians to play extended solos. I was most impressed by the guitarist who channeled both Santana and Jimi Hendrix during his solo (in addition to providing backup vocals).

Midway through the Roots' set, Talib Kweli hit the stage and did a few of his own cuts, backed up by two female singers, and his DJ. No live musicians for him, unfortunately, but good to catch, nonetheless. I really wish I had seen him and Mos Def perform as Black Star.

The Roots returned to the stage after Talib's set, playing full throttle. While their main set was captivating, it was their encores that really tore it up. They played a modified version of "The Seed 2.0," which rocked. But what brought the house down? Cee-lo of Gnarls Barkley himself joined them on stage and sang "Crazy." Fuck yeah!

After that amazing moment, the Roots were not done yet -- they played an amazing bunch of snippets of covers, basically taking us through a history of hip hop in some ways. A little bit of Kanye, a little bit of Wu, some of Salt 'N Peppa...friggin' bombtastic! It all ended at about 12:30. Nutty for a Monday night!

This was my second time catching the Roots -- my first time was two years ago at Irving Plaza. They made me sweat, but it was well worth it.

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