Summerfest Grounds – Milwaukee, WI
July 3rd 2009, I met my friend Kim who came over for Summerfest weekend in Milwaukee, we rolled out to Mark’s Sports pub, local to my area. Since parking has always been a bitch, taking a shuttle to the Summerfest grounds was a good idea. We were at the stage by 7 since I intended on to grabbed the closet seats possible, being a free concert. We had to wait in the freaking lunch/dinner line for drinks to get our crunks on. As expected, the scene was very diverse. That is pretty much typical for a Milwaukee hip hop show; very mellow atmosphere with no egos flying around like at the Chop Suey. It wasn’t very crowded either, at the beginning, which is always a plus.
At 10, the Roots came on to the stage, opening the set with” Thought and Work“. The energy was amazing, everyone was moving together, and, as Black Thought was spitting, veins were popping out his neck. Tuba Gooding Jr. was jumping around with his damn sousaphone and I was sure that Nick Cannon was gonna come out marching a drumline or something. ?estlove’s afro set the backdrop for the stage, and his drum solo knocked out the crowd. They rocked a variety of tracks from old to new. A jazzy “Mellow My Man” morphed into a Dead-style drum off between ?uest and Knuckles, which led right back into mellow my man. Black Thought’s performance on “Here I Come” was dope. The Roots covered cuts like Kool and the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie“, Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll” , and GNR’s “Sweet Child of Mine“. Mid show, they did a 15 minute tribute to Fela Kuti, during which Black prompted the crowd to organize and unite as the weed smoke filled the venue. It was pretty inspiring and the crowd was pumped. Capt. Kirk did his Jimi Hendrix routine, briefly going in to Outkast’s ” Spottieottiedopaliscious“, which was badass.
When they were finished, they made the crowd beg them to come back before encoring with a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up” and Kool G Rap and DJ Polo’s “Men at Work“. There was only one problem. I run into hip hop shows and that is that I couldn’t make out the vocals at all. As I’ve been mentioning this frustration to others, it seems to be a pet peeve for many. With that said, that was the best Hip Hop show I’ve seen in a while. We had a blast and got a chance to reconnect on some real shit. I would advise all of those who haven’t witnessed a Roots show yet to do so. You will not be disappointed