Roots w/ Talib Kweli & Pharcyde July 27, 2006 @ The Pageant in St Louis

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So I went to see the Roots, Talib Kweli and the Pharcyde last night at the Pageant with my man Eugene, or "Fudge" as he's sometimes known. I guess the odds were stacked against the guys from the get-go because the Roots claim they are socially conscious rappers and yet the tour was sponsored by a cigarette brand. Talib Kweli seemed to have a similar dilemma. I'd read in Jeff Chang's Can't Stop Won't Stop that record companies had branded him as a "conscious rapper" in presenting to the same fans as the Roots. But at the same time he didn't like this label, he felt as if he had universal appeal. And the Pharcyde, well I knew a couple of their songs but without Fatlip and his diaper + trenchcoat combo I figured they'd be a little bland.

But the Pharcyde weren't bland, they had the crowd going, I don't know why I haven't really listened to their music lately. The venue seemed perfectly set up, too. I'm embarassed to say I hadn't been to the Pageant before. It reminded me of the old Missouri Theater (now Roberts Orpheum), only larger. In between acts, some hype man came out, looking like he should be the small forward for UCLA and saying things like "I'm 25 and I still dance like THIS" and wiggled his legs. Everybody was laughing their asses off at that point. Then they brought out some girls who looked like they had been grabbed at the mall earlier in the day to do a little fly girls dance number. But the thing that got the crowd into it was a breakdancing demo from some little scrawny white dude.

Then the Roots came out and Jesus, they were a dissapointment for their set. I think it had to do with Black Thought's huge-ass Jacob the Jewler watch and the Surgeon General warnings and the product placement in the bassist's mouth. But I noticed the crowd kept getting more into the band everytime the rapping stopped. Then I realized all the Roots songs I like have different singers. Think about it. Their biggest hits are the songs with Erykah Badu and Cody Chestnutt. Anyway, I went to drink the pain away and next thing I knew 'lib was on the stage with a Cards hat.

Now the crowd was really into it, maybe because of the Cards lid but my guess is just that they fed of his energy. I had a good time too, even though I only knew a couple of his songs, one he did with Kanye, ("Get em High"), and "Get By." Then the Roots came back out for a bunch of songs with him, and then for some reason the Roots stuck around for about an hour for the most bizarre encore I've witnessed. They played White Stripes ("Black Betty"), Michael Jackson ("Smooth Criminal"), MOP ("Ante Up"), and a bunch of other songs I'm forgetting. For some reason I thought they played Fleetwood Mac's Dreams but I think I imagined that one through the smoke in the pit. Anyway, the encore blew me away and capped the show off nicely.

Oh and as a little sidenote, on the way out a couple angry looking dudes were just chilling in a parked car and one started jabbering at me. It took me a few to realize that he was just complimenting me on my new, free (thanks, CI) No Mas shirt. I told him to hit up the site and grab one from Turntable Labs.

Another note, if somebody let me know how to break this entry down I'd appreciate it. I know, I'm a computer programmer and I can't handle HTML, I'm like an armless cop.


rachel said...

"break this entry down"? like breakdancing? or you really want the html? http://webmonkey.wired.com/webmonkey/reference/html_cheatsheet/

Drew said...

yeah i want the html so that i can display half the entry and if you click a link, have the other half show up after the break. the "break" command doesn't seem to do it though