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Photo Credit: Dan Sozanski

Photo Credit: Dan Sozanski

The Roots Picnic is a very unique festival in that the curators are also performers. I had come expecting to hear live versions of “Water,” “Duck Down!,” and “Web.” But what everyone got instead was much better. When The Roots perform at their own festival, they make it less about themselves and more about the culture of music they love–old and new. In that sense, not only are you enjoying yourself at the festival but you’re also learning something. For this reason, whether people are conscious of it or not, new people will come every year while past attendees will turn into 2, 3, or more time veterans.

Photo Credit: Ed Newton

Photo Credit: Ed Newton

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It may have been the cooler temperature. It may have been that everyone was tired from jumping up and down during their favorite acts. It may have been all of the second hand weed cloud hovering over the stages. It may have been the expected chiller atmosphere that everyone was expecting from Miss. Badu and The Roots. The crowd for the headliners was noticeably calmer. The final set of the night was a special one, not just because of the artists involved but the format of it. It started with The Roots’ “Star” and then Erykah joined them onstage. On motorized wheels with a reflective visor over her yes. After doing a short set of her classics, they did a supercut of “Love of My Life” that had interludes of live covers of various songs. They would seamlessly go from the hook of “Love of My Life” right back into snippets of other songs like “The Message,” “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Made You Look,” “Money, Power, Respect,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name),” and others. And by the way, YG, Freeway, and the LOX came out each to do a song. From there, various members of the band took solos. Guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas and DJ/MIDI controller extraordinaire, Jeremy Ellis, impressed the most. While none of this should be too surprising-coming from one of the most talented bands in music, period-The Roots’ recent stint on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon couldn’t possibly have hurt them when it came to the transitions and summarizing classic songs in 16 bars.

Photo Credit: Dan Sozanski

Photo Credit: Dan Sozanski

Oh, and then this happened on the internet after the festival:

Bryan Hahn will most likely be at future Roots Picnics. He’s on Twitter (@notupstate).