Apologies in advance for the oversharing that will be taking place throughout this blog post. The level of excitement usually works in tandem with the amount of words. When you go to see Dave Chappelle and The Roots perform you can’t just go straight to the performance. This show was like getting into the ocean on the first day of summer. You had to ease your way into the majesty you’d be experiencing.
That’s why the evening started with a small plate dinner at Hanjan. I chose Hanjan because of its close proximity to Penn Station, 26th St., and also because they choose to serve meat raised with no antibiotics or hormones and fish that are not overfished or endangered. A small Korean restaurant, Hanjan offers traditional as well as more modern cuisine, with a helpful staff that helps you navigate your way through unfamiliar territory. Really quickly, try the rice beer. It’s PHENOMENAL. Also, the chicken wings really exemplify the taste difference in meats with and without hormones/antibiotics. The Leaf Dumplings and the Scallion Pancake with Squid, were two of the favorites, and the Kimchi Duo is a wonderful side dish.
Okay so now we’re ready. We’ve had some great food, a Beer we’ve all never had before, our minds are open. We are ready to wade into the waters.
The First Mezzanine, The First Mezzanine, The First Mezzanine….Sit here, in the first three rows. It could be that every seat in Radio City is amazing, I don’t know for sure. But these seats were EPIC. Slap yo mama for making chocolate cake with fried ice cream epic.
Opener Comic – 21 gun salute with your orgasms when you’re 21….hit 40 might ruin your birthday….Opening Dj – got the crowd hyped but played songs, in my opinion, everybody plays, Poison, This is How We Do It…etc. etc. etc.
And then Dave.
Who is hysterical. I can’t retell his jokes for you, because, I’m just not that funny. So go see him. He talks about everything. Family life, sex tapes, LGBT jokes, racial jokes. Also, Dave Chappelle has matured into his own skin perfectly. He presents this aura on stage, not necessarily of not giving a f*ck, but of knowing who he is and being comfortable being himself. I think that adds a lot to his comedy.
“Bass for your face, highs for your eyes, Don’t blink, Black Ink has arrived ALL RISE.”
I definitely was not cool during this performance and neither was anybody else. It blew my mind. As you can see from the video above, they had a full orchestra on stage with them. A full orchestra, and before I get into the details of the show, I just want you to understand the artistic thought that went into this concert and the perfection in which it was performed. It was The Roots concert, but it was an artistic showcase as well. I know they got a lot of negative feedback to the release of their last album, “And Then You Shoot Your Cousin,” which was released in conjunction with a performance art piece, but I thought it was beautiful.
Why was it a showcase? It was a showcase because their songs were performed a lot like that video was edited. Songs were not performed as separate entities. They were blended together, lyrics were changed, in some cases DRAMATICALLY. What they did to “You Got Me,” if my mind could keep up with the apparent freestyle of Black Thought I’d hand it to you all on a silver platter. Of course, they did “Adrenaline”, “Step Into the Realm”, “Why, What’s going on.” It was also a showcase because they brought out talent not formerly associated with them. The singer you see above, a female jazz vocalist, and the dj/producer at the end, Jeremy Ellis. Jeremy Ellis is an alien by the way. Check him out. I sure as hell will be, in depth.
You can see from the video, THE HUMAN BEATBOX RAHZEL, was there. He worked with The Roots a lot over the years, mainly on their album Do You Want More?
And that would be the only negative, I did want more. A lot more. I wanted “Break You Off,” “Double Trouble,” “Act Too (the Love of my Life),” “What they Do,” “Pussy Galore,” “The Seed.” In my heart I feel like a greedy person because there was so much and so many wonderful things about the show. But the discography of The Roots is so massive they really do need at least a two hour set to get through enough material for any fan to be satisfied. It was a trade off. One I’m very happy that I made, but there will be just a Roots concert at some point in the near future.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Hope you enjoyed the video.