The 2nd annual Roots Picnic took place in Philadelphia, PA this past Saturday, June 6th. The day long festival was curated by The Roots included performances by Santigold, Kid Cudi, TV On The Radio, Public Enemy, and two sets from The Roots themselves.
Santigold pretty much stole the show with her new live band and a special guest spot from Philly hometown hero Spank Rock. The band behind her provided the live show with that extra spark she's been missing on stage. She's decided to hold onto her two fly-girl, both of whom who are still really dope. Good move.
Kid Cudi brought a lot of energy to the seriously inferior side tent. It felt like a high school gym with a stage set-up on low risers. Cudi fought threw the loud sound coming from The Black Keys playing on the main stage to gain control of the mostly under-age crowd. People were singing along and bouncing around as Cudi's charismatic stage presence took hold.
Public Enemy killed it with Antibalas and The Roots backing them up for a complete live rendition of their 1988 album It Takes A Nation Of Millions… As seemingly nutty and (wh)acked out as Flava Flav has become, he still destroys it onstage with great energy. Combined with the consistent militaristic tone of Chuck D (and Black Thought on most songs), the album got solid treatment.
TV On The Radio brought the night to a close for me. They played a beautiful, simple set mixing oldies such as “Staring At The Sun” with new crowd favorites off of Dear Science.
It was a well-organized event in a beautiful setting right on the water with a real sense of Illadelph pride and community. As concert organizers work out some kinks it should become a summer-staple a few weeks after Coachella and a few before Bonnaroo.
— Words by Will Suter, Photos by Thomas Pacchia