After a 3 weeks of laying low and taking in the holiday season I’m back on the event wagon! Tonight I will be seeing ?uestlove at the Howard Theatre and I couldn’t be more excited.
I’ve been a fan of ?uestlove and The Roots since I was in college — specifically when they came to the UMass Amerst in 1995. They were opening up for Redman, who was riding high from his popular Whut? – The Album as well as guest spots on various tracks that were blowing up college and urban radio. The Roots were still “underground” with two albums — Organix and What More Do You Want?!?!? — under their belts, so a college tour is perfect.
As most students who go to a college in the boondocks (Amherst, MA, for all is awesomeness, forces you to be a bit creative when it comes to looking for a nightlife) I had tickets to the show. Actually, the Black Mass Communications Project and other student groups on campus did a phenomenal job at bringing some great concerts to UMass, and this was before the Mullins Center came into existence.
So, here I am at the concert (I’ll assume it was at the Graduate Student Ballroom — specifics at that time are a bit…ahem….hazy) with a crew of folks. The Roots come out and amazed the hell out of the audience — when you think of Rap music, you think of two turn tables, a couple MCs and a ton of hype men. Nope, this was a band just breaking all “norms” and providing some awesome music at the same time.
Well — we got some extra time with Black Thought, ?uestlove and the rest of the crew that night as Redman smoked some serious weed and couldn’t do his set. So, instead of just shutting down, these guys just played a second set with some of Redman’s music for us.
For years, I just assumed this was a “UMass legend” and that Redman has decided not to show up – but recently (the other day) one of my friends confirmed this to be true. Yep, he was on campus alright and some lucky students living in Gorman got to see him lifted to a whole other level. Let’s be honest, the weed supply in the Amherst area was ridiculous as that point in time.
For real though — since that time I was a fan of The Roots and made the point to support and follow them through the years as they broke out from under the radar to now being looked upon as one of the most versatile bands in show business.
I say all of this because — well, I’m honestly surprised that story is true and I’m excited for a chance to watch ?uestlove do his thing on the turntables. It’s the perfect way to begin 2015 and I can’t wait to see what random songs he digs out of his collection to share with the packed house.