As should be expected from Temple, the doors that claimed to be opened by 7 p.m. were really opened closer to 8. Needless to say, Saturday night was a gorgeous 47 degrees with the ghastly wind making it feel more like 38 degrees. Luckily, the doors were opened just in time to prevent any students from suffering hypothermia.
Unfortunately, Temple students had to bear another hour and a half before The Roots would take stage. Until then, we were forced to listen to a horrible opening rap act and Temple TSG students killing time by talking about Homecoming events.
Finally, the announcement that The Roots were coming out was made, the lights went off and everyone scanned the stage, holding their collective breath from anticipation, for the band members to appear.
Just as we thought we were being hoodwinked again, we heard a faint beat from the other end of the gym. And there they were.
Led by drummer ?uestlove, The Roots walked out from the upper level entrance by the bleachers of McGonigle Hall. ?uestlove and the other drummer beat wooden blocks with their drumsticks on their way onstage.
Although few beat it out of there, the crowd’s energy seemed low throughout the concert. Whether that was due to waiting outside in the cold for more than an hour or the horrible opening rap act, one may never know.
Though The Roots’ individual songs were not outstanding, the best part of the show was indisputably the solos performed by each musician. The bassist started the solos with an outstanding performance, followed by the drummers, guitarist and the keyboardist, interspersing each solo with songs from their new album “Game Theory.”
It was no surprise that ?uestlove’s drum solo was by far the best. Known for his expertise in percussion – and his malleable fro –, he’s played on tracks for Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, D’Angelo and was part of the “Philadelphia Experiment,” a collaborative jazz album featuring only city artists. But his set on Saturday night left his arms tirelessly flying across the drum set and left everyone in attendance speechless.
As they played their “final” song and said their “have a good night”s, most students seemed eager to exit the hall and skip the possible encore. But The Roots didn’t even fake an exit; the lights turned off for several seconds then turned back on as the MC Black Thought began talking again. Within seconds they were playing their hit “The Seed 2.0” from 2002 album, “Phrenology” captivating the audience once again.
“The Seed 2.0” kicked off a set of hip-hop covers including Talib Kweli’s “Get By,” T.I.’s “Why You Wanna,” Lil Jon’s “Snap Your Fingers” and the many-covered rock hit, “Black Betty.” This encore was by far the biggest crowd pleaser, allowing The Roots to leave on a high energy note. Just as they had come in, The Roots exited via the bleachers and around the upper level of the gym as students shouted their admiration and touched whichever band member they could.
Morgan Ashenfelter can be reached at email@example.com.