Photography: Andrew Wendowski
(PCM) The ninth annual Roots Picnic took place this past Saturday at Philadelphia’s newly renovated Festival Pier for one of the most anticipated lineups in its history here in Philadelphia featuring Usher (Backed by The Roots), FUTURE, and Leon Bridges. The ninth annual Roots Picnic was definitely a huge success put on by The Roots and Live Nation Philadelphia despite a few technical difficulties during FUTURE’s set which he cut short due to mic issues. The day was filled with surprise guest visitors watching and some taking the stage for a collab song.
The day launched with Lenny Kravitz daughter, Lolawolf a.k.a Zoe Kravitz on the South Stage which happens to be the stage Usher and The Roots will take later on in the day. Lolawolf rocked the stage for a good half hour with her funky but groovy tunes.
Launching the day for us over on the North Stage was Willow Smith who I would definitely say got the crowd energized, using almost every single space allowable to her as she flaunted her style and self-made outfit as her mom, Jada Smith as well as her dad Will Smith appeared side stage supporting their daughter at the 2016 Roots Picnic. Will Smith who later exploded onto the stage with undoubtedly one of the catchiest songs of the summer, “Summertime.” In addition to Will Smith taking the stage to perform “Summertime,” he also brought out a special guest; Longtime friend and former collaborator DJ Jazzy Jeff.
King of Dabber’s then taking the stage was Migos known for his hit song “Hannah Montana” and his latest single “Look at My Dab” which has been conquering the radio. Migos put on one crazy party-filled performance which got the crowd jammin’ after Willow Smith’s set.
The North Stage was a popular and more party type stage with party anthems and energy filled performances compared to the other stages that is however until DMX took the stage with his songs which are all anthems that EVERYONE knows and was singing along to at the South Stage. DMX also brought out special guest and performer who just put on a crazy set of throwback jams over on the North Stage, Swizz Beats who then performed a few songs together.
The Classic Man a.k.a Jidenna brought out his style during his set with his stylish blue suit known best for his hit song “Classic Man.” Entering the stage with a Game Of Thrones themed intro which was perfect being that Comic Con was happening just a few blocks away from The Roots Picnic at The Convention Center. Meek Mill making a surprise guest vocals appearance with Lil Uzi Vert as his girlfriend Nicki Minaj watches from side stage over on the Oasis Stage. Soulful and jazz singer Leon Bridges serenading the crowd on the South Stage before FUTURE killed it over at The North Stage.
FUTURE taking the stage at 8:00pm sharp and performing hit after hit as the crowd went absolutely insane, his very loyal fan base was definitely present there as Future had one of the biggest crowds there was all day over on the North Stage. His fans worship him and were enjoying his hour long set that is until he cut it short due to some technical difficulties with his mic. Future performed for about 20 minutes, exiting after the mic problems and not reappearing upsetting fans causing them to throw bottles and objects at the stage as his DJ packed up his gear.
The fans all then began going over to the South Stage which the entire venue was packed at with anticipation to see Usher backed by The Roots. Starting the set with a 20 minute or so set by only The Roots before welcoming the legendary Usher onto the stage. Usher then joining the Philadelphia band for a soothing jazz like set of hits from his very expansive catalog. The 37-year-old R&B singer, who also happen to be wearing a Muhammad Ali T-shirt in honor of the late boxing legend who past away the day prior to the festival, opened with “Caught Up” before serenading the crowd to “U Make Me Wanna” then adding some Philly style to “U Remind Me.” Usher also brought out a few surprise guests like Lil Jon to perform “Yeah” with him which sounded even better then it did on the record and R&B singer Yuna for their very satisfying duet of “Crush.”
The Roots Picnic performers also included Chloe x Halle, Tish Hyman, Rich Medina, Lil Dicky, Everyday People feat. DJ Moma, Metro Boomin, Kaytranada, Jodie Abacus, Ibeyi, Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals, Kehlani, Gogo Morrow, Paris Monster, and Blood Orange. The ninth annual Roots Picnic was a huge celebration for The Roots incredible talent and work they put into this lineup yearly and it was definitely a huge success and one of the best years and most anticipated lineups that the picnic as seen thus far. I would definitely recommend checking out their picnic in New York this October, For More Information on that check out: http://rootspicnic.com/newyork/