Indy Hip Hop World

"A setback is just a setup for a comeback." --from Bebe Moore Campbell's "72 Hour Hold"

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Square Roots ... here is how it all went down

Well hip hoppers ... it went down and I was there to witness it. The Roots, indeed, performed for not one, but two LIVE shows in Cleveland on Saturday, September 30, 2006. It was one of those rare evenings and your girl was there to witness it all - with comp tix for both shows, no doubt.

I'll have to give you the details in snippets because I am short on time.

@ Case Western Reserve University's (CRWU) Adelbert Gym
@ 7:30 p.m.

@ the Mirage on the Water (Cleveland's premier niteclub for the crunk crew; i.e. not me)
Doors opened @ 10 p.m.
**this show was sponsored by Tanqueray and they bought the club out for the evening; complimentary beverages were flowing

So here is how it all went down - FIRST SHOW:
  • arrive in Clev around 6:30 p.m. (after toiling around Akron w/the fam)
  • it's raining, but there's a parking lot right across from the concert venue (can I call it a venue, when it is truly - a gym...?)
  • My Roots groupie friend was running just a bit late, but no prob
  • He arrives ready to get his party on ... we get carded @ the door and are told we do not look nearly as old as we are ... huh?
  • The Case kids are lumbering around while the opening act - Scratch Track gets down; I like that group which includes an acoustic guitarist and a beat boxin-singin-and rhymin front man (it may sound lame, but it really was on point); Scratch Track does a full set; about an hour
  • The Roots take the stage @ about 8:30 p.m. with Black Thought coming on strong with "Web" from "The Tipping Point" cd. Then they came with "Here I Come" (I can't recall the exact order; that's what I get for leaving my reporter's notebook in the car)
  • They go on to perform "Star," "Don't Feel Right," "In the Music," "Long Time," "The Seed," "You Got Me," "The Next Movement" and several others.
  • The highlight of the night for me was the Capt Kirk solo during "You Got Me." And after seeing him perform that twice in one night, I concluded that he is one of the best musicians living today - that is a lofty statement, but he is above the shiznit. Not to mention that it was his birthday. He plays the guitar so intimately and with such passion and vigor. Now, I've seen him perform this before and he is consistently intense and visually and aurally expressive. dayum.
  • When the show was over after a encore of classics and popular tunes, I was physically exhausted, but no time to rest, I needed to make an attempt to get one of those much coveted drum sticks that ?uestlove tosses out after their sets.
  • The short story on the drum stick scenario is that I did not get one, not even close. Those college kids really showed The Roots some love and they deserve to take home a prize. Besides, I had another show to catch, right...?

So here is how it all went down - SECOND SHOW:

  • Arrive @ the second concert venue/club around 10:45 p.m.
  • Not much of a line, but I'd been in touch with others who were already there and they assured me that it was all good; parking was even easy to find
  • After being told that I am NOT VIP (are you kidding me? I am sooooo VIP that I can't talk to the girl who was merely hired by the hour for this function ... yeah ... I maintained my confidence and sashayed into the club (that is not arrogance, that is just 'what is w/the VIP b.s. ...?'; who care? What, they get a Tanqueray lanyard, a photo and more free drinks ...?)
  • There are not a lot of folks @ the club yet, but the stage was set and I confirmed in my head that it was true - I'd get the rare opportunity to see my fav band perform LIVE in a city that doesn't get a good look too often.
  • I mingled with friends while djs Mick Boogie and Terry Urban tried to get the crowd to get hyped (the crowd did eventually warm up)
  • Meanwhile, I began to get a bit sick; I had not eaten, but had a nice dose of caffeine; lil ole me thought that there'd be food, but I guess that goes hand in hand with me thinking I was VIP, huh? With no grub, I had to make several trips to the restroom to get my composure; I even turned in my free drink ticket for a glass of gingerale
  • Funny thing is when The Roots hit the stage @ about 12:30 a.m. I was very near the front of the stage and hyped as hell! It was back to party mode - HARD.
  • The Roots were just as energetic as they had been two hours ago across town; Black Thought came out again with "Web"; that is one hella way to get things goin because he delivers the lyrics for what seems like five minutes w/o taking a breath; then the other guys take the stage and it is on!
  • They perform a similar set w/songs from "Game Theory," "Phrenology," "The Tipping Point" and "Things Fall Apart" along with some others
  • I think the crowd got it, though The Roots LIVE is not about performing tracks as they are on disk (I think a lot of concert goers are disappointed to hear live versions of songs for that reason).
  • I was so close to the band that I felt a rush; I must admit, I did feel like a true groupie, but I don't want to embrace that title - not yet
  • So the show is over and I'm geeked because there is a 99.9% chance that I will come away this evening with a drum stick from ?uestlove. The crowd immediately began to disperse not knowing the old ritual and I sauntered to the front of the stage while looking for my boy. As I had my back to the stage, I got hit in the head with a towel from who knows who, but I took it and went for the big prize; I stood there for a few minutes before watching ?uesto make his exit stage left - what? You've got to be kidding ...? No f-in drum sticks for the club crowd? Oh, this is a travesty! I am positioned to be 'handed' a drum stick and what happens ... the show is over and said drum stick giver is gone. I stand there appalled for a while telling my friends over and over how wrong this is ... and oh, how wrong it is!
  • I was otherwise hungry and tired and obviously agitated and what I could not do was stay in the club whose demographic had changed exponentially while I was busy sulking. No longer were the stylish and chic in attendance, but a more, let's say, casual and crimpin type had infiltrated the scene - I won't elaborate. It was time to go.

This is a lengthy post and there is so much missing:

  • ?uestlove's and Knuckles drum and percussion solo @ CWRU
  • ?uestlove's dj gig @ B-sides on Friday evening
  • Paying to pee
  • Why college kids are soooo damn rude
  • and when will I see The Roots perform again

I am out ... need some much needed rest. But you, you keep your eyes open hip hoppers ... kfox

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Anonymous Angela said...

This is my first time reading the blog and oooohhh am I jealous! Your weekend sounded great! The one time I leave Cleveland this goes down? :(

Anyway, you've officially been bookmarked...keep up the good work.

9:12 AM  

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