HERE IS A ROUND UP OF WHAT HAPPENED, OK? And also detailed accounts of Black Thought's wardrobe every time he appeared onstage.
also I forgot to take pictures. *sad face*
The Roots opened the festival!
They jammed with the Jabberwockees and two of the New Kids on the Block. Jordan Knight didn't do anything but Donnie Wahlberg spat a line or two. Then they covered "Jungle Boogie". I would have preferred a Black Thought-Jordan Knight duet of "Jungle Fever". Tuba Gooding Jr. huffed and puffed and ?uestlove was predictably badass.
Black Thought wore shorts, a white polo, and a baseball cap!
I did not know this crazy group of kids was playing the festival. They let us know that they are not called the Pipes and they were pretty ok at music! Also the lead singer is Lenny Kravitz's daughter.
Busdriver figuratively drove that bus!
A quirky fellow with a rapid staccato-like flow. He only played four songs, but he made his mark even among the aging hip hop fans who just came for Public Enemy and the Roots (I overheard an older gentleman behind me, who before the set did not know Busdriver's name, say, "Well he drove that bus, didn't he?" He sure as hell did.)
Antibalas was exactly what I expected!
Multiculturalism! Antibalas is an Afrobeat group and everyone in the band is very good at what they do. It was a pretty fun show. Just not really my "thing", as the kids say.
Then Santigold came on!
She had a full band and two way cool dancers. The dancers wore big ol' sunglasses and kept completely emotionless, stoic visages while their bodies suggested just the opposite. Santigold likes to smile and dance (which are good things indeed!)!
The Black Keys had sound problems!
Dan Auerbach blew out his amp so hard and after a long intermission they had a bit of trouble recovering the pace of the set. They both are still very good at playing instruments, though.
Public Enemy fought the power!
They were recreating their classic It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back. But they didn't play it in order. They're not even going to conform to the expectations they themselves set, boi.
This was the first time the album had been recreated with a full band. But this was not just any full band. It was the Roots themselves! (And also Antibalas, but that is not as exciting (sorry Antibalas).) Flavor Flav was just as excited as I was about this, frequently saying that performing with the Roots was his "most legendary moment". This set was pretty much perfect, from the giant collective of enthusiastic musicians onstage to the lyrical intensity of Chuck D.
Black Thought wore a blue polo shirt and a different hat! He was also still wearing shorts.
TV on the Radio made the best album of this decade so far!
They played more songs from the new one, though. Which is OK, I guess. But the peaks of the set were clearly the older songs, such as "Young Liars", which they opened with. "Staring at the Sun" and "Wolf Like Me" were expected highlights, while "A Method" was an unexpected highlight. For "Method" they had a handful of chil'en come out and play percussion instruments. I do not know who each child belong too.
Then the Roots finished us off!
And they like covers, including covers of "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "Bad to the Bone." Amanda Diva came out to duet with Black Thought. She was pretty good on Q-Tip's last album and she was pretty good at the Roots Picnic. Unfortunately, I had to leave a bit into this set, but according to Rolling Stone, they ended up only playing 3 actual Roots songs. But then again, they also say that DJ Jazzy Jeff was actually there, so what do they know?
Oh, and Black Thought wore a long sleeve thermal, jeans, and another different hat!
Overall: F- because Jazzy Jeff did not show up :[