The Roots, Erykah Badu Define ‘Live Show’ at Sold-Out Chicago Performance [Exclusive]

Posted 8 years ago by
Download DJBooth's new App, The PLUG By Brian “Z” Zisook

There is an elemental difference between a ‘concert’ and a ‘show.’ A concert is a rapper in a white t-shirt, followed across the stage by his posse (see also, crew), while a DJ spins two-minute versions of their songs. A show on the other hand is much more than simple posturing; a show means live instrumentation, back-up singers, set design, lighting effects and (unnecessary but always talked-about) outfit changes. In other words, a show is The Roots and Erykah Badu delivering a sold-out performance at the historic Chicago Theatre.

Fresh off the release of their eighth studio album, “Rising Down,” Philadelphia’s Legendary Roots Crew was the show’s opener. Playing to a late-arriving crowd, the seven-man band rifled through songs from their massive catalog of music with a sublime energy. Led by emcee Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, who donned his Yankees fitted cap, there wasn’t a moment during the group’s hour performance that didn’t leave the audience completely enthralled with the musical fireworks exploding in front of them.

Though very little material off their new album was included in the set list, the audience was more than content with the ?uestlove-led crew and their twenty-minute throwback medley, which included oldies like “Apache” by Sugarhill Gang, “Just A Friend” by Biz Markie, and “Everybody Get Up” by Salt ‘N’ Pepa, as well as new school favorites like “This Is Why I’m Hot” by MIMS and “Flashing Lights” by Kanye West.

Roots Show Roots Show
Photos courtesy of Eric Weiler

Providing most of the on stage energy during the memorable performance was the group’s sousaphone (tuba) player, Damon Bryson, and guitarist, “Captain” Kirk Douglas, both of whom induced standing ovations during their individual solo routines. As ?uestlove explained during his interview with DJBooth in April, “Wherever [Bryson] goes, that’s where the audience reacts. I have him there because he is sort of like the spike in the punch.”

After concluding their set, The Roots exited stage left while the crowd excitedly awaited the star of the evening, Badu, to take center stage. Despite minimal changes to the set, however, the crowd was forced to sit for nearly an hour before Badu’s six-piece band, DJ, and four back-up singers appeared.

Roots Show Roots Show
Photos courtesy of Eric Weiler

With an array of purple and green lights shimmering behind her, Badu strutted across the stage toward “her crowd,” immediately garnering a half-hearted standing ovation from the capacity audience. During the eclectic singer’s nearly three-hour performance (no, that is not a misprint), the Dallas native performed an assortment of her most popular records from the platinum-plus albums, “Baduizm” and “Mama’s Gun,” as well as newer records from the most recent release, “New Amerykah Part One (4th World War).”

Though her set was full of the kind of raw emotion and passion for that’s rarely seen by performers today, Badu’s unbelievably long act led many in attendance to head towards the exit early. Regardless of the lengths to which concertgoers stayed put in their seats, though, everyone in attendance was treated to undeniably memorable evening. I’ve seen too many concerts, it was good to finally see a show.

The Roots   Erykah Badu   Concerts

Get The PLUG app by DJBooth and get the best hip-hop writing and news delivered daily.

You Might Like

Featured Video

Hip Hop News

Drake’s “Please Forgive Me” Short Film is Problematic

The film further blurs the lines between Drake's homage or exploitation of reggae, dancehall and Afrobeat. Read More
Posted 14 hours ago by Tara Mahadevan

Isaiah Rashad Forced to Tweak “The Sun’s Tirade” Due to Sample Clearance Issue

Sometimes you cannot recreate the soul or an original sample. Read More
Posted 14 hours ago by DJ Z

Kid Cudi’s New Album Includes Two Guest Appearances by André 3000

Also making appearances are Pharrell Williams, Travis Scott and Willow Smith. Read More
Posted 17 hours ago by DJ Z

Albums Are Dying a Slow Death at the Hands of Prospering Playlists

The album has been dying for years, but playlists are on a tremendous rise. Read More
Posted 18 hours ago by Yoh

Chance The Rapper Secured #MCD All-Star Line-Up Through “Personal Conversations”

Magnificent Coloring Day is another example of the power of establishing relationships. Read More
Posted 19 hours ago by Tara Mahadevan

Forget The Numbers, Mac Miller’s “The Divine Feminine” isn’t a Disappointment

If it wasn't for the charting anomaly that is Drake, Miller would have notched his second No. 1 album. Read More
Posted about 20 hours ago by DJ Z
Sample Text - Sample Link




Discover the best new songs, videos, and albums added to the Booth.