Review by Kristie Nicolas
There are few bands that could get away with pulling apart their own songs and reinterpreting them live on stage. There are even fewer bands that could make that sound good. The legendary hip hop crew The Roots are one of them. This past Friday, 27th December, at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney, The Roots took to the stage to show all hip hop heads not only how to successfully do just that but how to go beyond any boundaries put on them by their genre. But did fans really expect anything less from one of hip hop’s most notable groups and the house band of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon? No.
From the get-go The Roots showed just how versatile they are as a band, with disjointed and re-worked versions of classics like ‘The Seed’ and ‘You Got Me’. Keeping their energy at well beyond 100% throughout the whole show, the band bounced off each other and let each member have their moment to shine. Whether it was guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas covering Guns & Roses or the keys player taking off from Earth in the direction of Mars with his interesting solo or ?uestlove and percussionist F.Knuckles giving the crowd a ten minute drum solo, the legendary Roots crew were here to entertain and get the crowd moving in their unique way.
What stood out the most though was not only their outrageous amount of energy but the way they seemed to genuinely be having fun, almost too much, and to the point where it seemed like they weren’t taking it all that seriously. Sharing private jokes and running around the stage like kids hyped up on sugar from one cup too many of red cordial, The Roots took the crowd to not just any block party, but the block party you did not want to miss, where it was all about good vibes and tight beats.
Although there may have been moments were it appeared they had gone a little too left of centre on their musical journey, the band was quickly forgiven. Mostly because they never faltered in their musicality and the band all supported each other in giving the crowd a high energy, feel-good show. With a mc like Black Thought on the mic with a tight flow that seems to know no bounds and a band that can make just about anything sound fly, there was no doing wrong for The Roots. After all, this is how hip hop should be; free, off the cuff, raw and with tonnes of head-nodding beats.
Artist: The Roots
Venue: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Date: December 27, 2013
Photos by: Alicia Stephenson for Life Music Media
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