Monday, July 12, 2010

The Roots & OkayAfrica@Prospect Park Bandshell, July 11th

My god, yesterday at the Prospect Park Bandshell for Celebrate Brooklyn! was perhaps the biggest crowd I've seen there, ever. By the time Bestest Boy and I got into the Friends line at 4pm, the regular line extended around beyond where we could see. I was so glad we had our passes.

We were lured into venturing out in the questionable weather (it was 90+ degrees out, muggy, and raining at times) mainly by headliners Talib Kweli and The Roots (both of whom I hadn't seen since a very sweaty show at Webster four years ago). The long afternoon showcased lots of other music, however, as this afternoon also served as the launch of Okay Africa, a new blog highlighting music that is African and/or African-influenced. We got a tease of The Roots to open the show, and then emcee Sahr Ngaujah, the star of Broadway's Fela!, led us through a lineup of bands from several African nations. We heard from diverse bands such as Dragons of Zynth, Zakee, Baja + The Dry Eye Crew, and Ngaujah himself, but my personal favorite was hearing the excellent hip hop artist Blitz the Ambassador from Ghana, who made the crowd forget the sticky humidity and got us on our feet, with his rapid lightning lyrics and big horn sound.

Unfortunately, Bestest Boy had an early call time the next morning, so we had to leave before Talib Kweli and The Roots' main set since the show was running up to an hour late. Even with our premature departure, we didn't feel that the time spent in the gross outdoors was a complete waste of time, for we did get a good 3+ hours of entertainment.

(More pics after the jump.)

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