Rock Report: The Roots @ House of Blues in Orlando

Okay, here is the deal. Real work has it’s size 14 firmly up my ass this week so this will be my last post till next week. Last Saturday we went out to the land of the rat for The Roots show. I have been a fan of The Roots for years but had never managed to see them live. Walking in my expectations were sky high….nice venue, large crowd, awesome band, a designated driver that was not myself and recently voted best hip-hop act in the Central Florida scene Sol.iLLaquists of Sound opening the show.

The moment Sol.iLLaquists of Sound took the stage my expectations were blown away like a frog with an m-80 in it’s ass. These guys are a social hiphop act with (1) male rapper, (1) female rapper/singer, (1) female backup vocals and (1) guy on the drum machines. They sound sort of like The Black Eyed Peas if B.E.P. was still making descent music. With politically charged lyrics heavy on social and self awareness. Notice I did not mention a DJ in their lineup? They have this guy…he has 3 drum machines and he plays them things like pianos. It is truly awe inspiring to watch live as he plays 90% of the music live. I hope to do a full feature on these guys in the coming weeks.

Next up was The Roots. They opened up their portion of the show by marching through the arena with horns and cowbells before taking the stage. First they took the stage, then they took over the night. To say these guys are talented is like saying North Dakota is a little chilly in February. Their show flowed seamlessly from hip-hop to soul to funk to rock to jazz and back again. Everybody from ?uest to the horn-line got their time on centerstage. They did originals, Bob Dylan covers, Police covers and a hip-hop montage in the middle of the show that was about 15 songs with snips of everything from Salt ‘n Pepper to Talib Kweli to Wu-Tang. Probably the most impressive moment of the show, to me, was when the guitarist, Kirk Douglas did a note perfect version of the Star Spangled Banner but replaced the lyrics with the lyrics of Dylan’s Masters of War. (youtube clip)

It is not very often you go to a show and have your already high expectations obliterated. This was one of those times. There will never be another Roots show in the Central Florida area that doesn’t have my ass firmly planted somewhere in the audience. I would reccommend both Sol.iLLaquists of Sound and The Roots to anyone. Seriously, even if you are not a fan of hiphop I can almost guarantee that you would have a great time seeing The roots. They are just that good. The Legendary Roots Crew indeed.

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