I Went To The Roots Picnic & All I Got Was A Good Time

TEXT & PHOTOS BY JONATHAN VALANIA & TIFFANY YOON

1. Quite probably, Ahmir ‘?uestlove’ Thompson is the greatest drummer on Earth. Speaking on behalf of the entire 215…drumroll, please…we could not be more proud or horny. Thank you, try the veal.

2. Black Thought is arguably the baddest MC in the game right now. (Bad meaning good, and also a ‘jive turkey’ is a bad person. Just sayin’.)

3. Not only is guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas a master of Hendrixian six-string psychedelic scribble and Maggot Brain-damaged space-funk, but dude can sing like Smokey Robinson, or close enough for sweaty white dudes six or seven Anchor Steams to the wind.

4. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings were worth a million in prizes. So was Spank Rock and Sean Agnew rockin the Emo costume in the chill-out tent.

5. Not sure why the Roots slotted Gnarls Barkley to close out the show — deference to Gnarls Barkley’s superior hit power? Just being a gracious party host? — instead of their own bad selves, but in the end they did Gnarls no favors. There was, quite simply, no following that motherfucker of a set, yo.

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deluca1.jpgDELUCA: The Roots’ marquee set offered wonders too vast to thoroughly explore here. It was a stunning showcase for Black Thought, who demonstrated seemingly impossible feats of breath control in taut salvos such as “Long Time” and the Sly Stone-sampling “Star.” It highlighted Douglas, as a guitarist and singer, who scatted as “You Got Me” morphed into Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry About a Thing” and then Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things.” It was an exhaustive, and exhausting, performance by one of the greatest of live bands. MORE

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