LIVE: The Roots 5th Annual Picnic, Festival Pier

The 5th annual Roots Picnic returned this year bigger and deffer. Hosted by MTV’s Amanda Seales (pka Amanda Diva) featuring Shabazz Palaces, St. Vincent, Diplo w/Major Lazer, punk-alt emcee Danny Brown,  tUnEyArDs, Quadron and Jazz chanteuse Jessi Teich.  And DJ sets by Starslinger, Stretch Armstrong and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. With De La Soul headlining Saturday and legendary emcee Rakim co-headlining Sunday night with The Roots (Kid Cudi missed the festival due to inclimate weather).

The Roots opened Saturday night’s set with “Paul Revere” to honor the late Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys and “Bustin’ Loose” to celebrate the legacy of the late Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown.  De La Soul ran through their lengthy roster of classics “Me, Myself & I” ,  “Saturday” and “Buddy”.  But when Yasiin Bey (pka Mos Def) casually strolled out, the crowd greeted him with deafening roar.  Bey remained on stage for the remainder of De La Soul’s set then dropped a few of his own gems “Casa Bey”, “Umi Says” and “Double Trouble”.


Sunday’s line up was way smaller than the previous day, but the energy level was on high when Producer/DJ Diplo and Major Lazer turned the festival into one big party before the rainstorm, then again during the storm– Diplo & Co took over the tent stage to party some more.  After a few technical difficulties stemming from the monsoon rainstorm, Rakim performed Paid In Full in its entirety tossing in “Don’t Sweat the Technique” and “Juice (Know the Ledge)” from the Juice soundtrack.  It was around that time that Black Thought of the Roots informed the crowd that Kid Cudi didn’t make it to the festival.  So in true Roots form they closed out the festival  with guests Freeway and Skillz.

It was quite ambitious of the Roots crew to expand the festival. I feel that they did a good job in putting on such a large scale event in the midst of everything else they have on their plate.  Can’t wait to see what they serve up for next year’s 6th annual festival