I Went 2 The Roots Picnic & All I Got Was A Good Time

[Performer photos by TIFFANY YOON/Crowd shots by AMY SALIT]

meAVATAR2.jpgBY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR ROLLING STONE When it comes to The Roots — currently in-residence as the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and arguably the greatest live act on the planet — you must always expect the unexpected. So it should come as no surprise that Saturday’s second annual Roots Picnic at the Festival Pier in Philadelphia was a 12-hour all-you-can-eat-and-then-some feast of wonderful WTF-ness. What other band would kick off their own multi-genre lollapalooza — featuring the likes of Public Enemy, TV On The Radio, The Black Keys, Santigold, Kid Cudi and Asher Rother — with an impromptu improv with guest MCs Jordan Knight and Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids On The Block (who just happened to be performing later that night across the river at the Susquehanna Center in Camden)? Who else would dare back up Chuck D. and Flava Flav for a beginning-to-end live rendition of Public Enemy’s 1988 landmark album It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back? Who else would book the Black Keys’ sludgy biker-blues choogle in between Ohio player Kid Cudi’s uber-catchy indie-rap and Santigold’s retro-pop readymades from the Ray Ban-ed dawn of MTV? Small wonder we saw so many ?UEST FOR PREZ T-shirts in the crowd. MORE

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