ACL Live Shot: The Roots

Zilker Park, Oct. 13

ACL Live Shot: The Roots
Photo by Shelley Hiam

Forget hip-hop, the Roots may be the most precisely packaged band on the touring circuit, period. Coming out just after the rains had washed most of Saturday away, the legendary Philadelphia collective opened their set with a tribute to late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, flipping "Paul Revere" on its edge and giving it some brass. Then came the first batch of oldies, "The Next Movement" and "Proceed," a teaser of "Mellow My Man" from 1995's Do You Want More?!!!??!. Jazz interludes spliced in throughout, with drummer ?uestlove (in cornrows!) directing the 20-year-old crew into Phrenology's "Break You Off" and the epic Things Fall Apart ballad "You Got Me," which guitarist Captain Kirk took to another planet. That's when the medleys began. "Sweet Child o' Mine" segued into a "Mannish Boy" stomp. Black Thought and ?uestlove went one-on-one for a spell. The two teased out an exit and then came back with "Thought @ Work" before "How I Got Over" invited biting city soul. The Roots closed with Game Theory's "Here I Come" and 2003 breakout "The Seed (2.0)." "Can you dig it?" Black Thought shouted like Cyrus at the end of his sermon. The answer, emphatically: "Yes, we can."

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