Kid Cudi cancels, Roots Picnic rocks on anyway

Philly shows their love for The Roots Picnic.

A great hip-hop act once said, “You can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather.” So we all learned Sunday night at the fifth annual Roots Picnic at Penn’s Landing’s Festival Pier.

An early evening thunderstorm drenched the crowd, leaving puddles and empty beer cans all over the black concrete. On stage, the artists had to deal with microphone malfunctions and power outages. Just as Rakim was getting into the hook of “I Know You Got Soul,” the speakers went silent.

Five minutes later …

“I’m back, Philly. I’m back,” he shouted. “Been a long time, shouldn’t have left you …”

Black Thought, soaked in sweat, looked out at the crowd and took the vocals on Eric B’s parts of “I Ain’t No Joke,” Paid in Full,” “Juice,” and “Don’t Sweat the Technique.”

The inclement weather also delayed the flight of the night’s final act, Kid Cudi. The Cleveland rapper never made it to the show, but The Roots wouldn’t let anyone go home unhappy. Black Thought called for some “hometown hero shit” and brought out Philly rappers Freeway, Jakk Frost and Skillz.

“No one wants to go home yet, right?,” he said. “The show goes on.”

Not only did the show go on, it actually got better. Freeway, wearing a sling and cast on his right arm, started it off with “Rock The Mic.” Then, The Roots dug deep into their platinum catalog, playing “The Seed 2.0,” “The Next Movement” and a masterful cover of the Guns N’ Roses classic, “Sweet Child ‘O Mine.”

But the highlight was an electrifying, extended version of “You Got Me.” Black Thought put the spotlight on Captain Kirk Douglass, whose guitar solo dazzled the crowd, Jimi Hendrix style. Captain Kirk gently sang Erykah Badu’s lines and then stretched his vocal chords with his trademark scat. Kid Cudi who? The crowd ate it up.

The Roots played for an extra hour after announcing Kid Cudi had cancelled. Earlier in the day, as people sought dry shelter, Diplo held it down with two sets in the tented area. The Philly-based DJ – amid clouds of marijuana smoke – turned the tent into the weekend’s biggest dance party.

What we saw:

The Roots Picnic was a two-day affair, starting Saturday afternoon
and ending Sunday night. Here are three things we saw at the festival:

1.
Surprise, surprise … Mos Def showed up out of the blue Saturday night,
in the middle of The Roots’ set, and went toe-to-toe with Black Thought
on “Double Trouble.” The rapper/actor tore up the mic on classics “Casa
Bey” and “Umi Says.” De La Soul also played an unforgettable set, which
was highlighted by “Oohh Oohh.”

2. Vote Obama … It was hard to
ignore the overwhelming political presence there both days. Volunteers
for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign handed out bumper stickers at
the entrance/exit and tried to track down unregistered voters. The Roots
have long been loud-and-proud Obama supporters.

3. How much for
a beer? … As the rest of the city celebrated Philly Beer Week with
happy hours and specials on hand-crafted brews, the folks at Festival
Pier jacked up the prices. The big Miller Lite cans (22 oz.) were
selling for $11 a pop. Mixed drinks? We didn’t even ask.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

South Korea ferry disaster: captain's actions 'tantamount to…

The captain and some crew members of the sunken South Korean passenger ferry Sewol have been accused of 'murderous acts' by their own president, after…

News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.