The Roots Perform At The Public Theater In NYC

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The Roots came out to The Public theater in NYC this week to perform their new album live. XXL was in attendance and wrote a review from the night. Check out the excerpt below.

The band’s 11th album, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is their second concept album in a row after 2011′s undun, and they set out to represent visually at the theater what they had set out to create musically on the album. The problem was, nobody had really heard the album yet, and conceptual performance art—while visually entertaining and definitely engrossing—isn’t always the best way to convey a complex idea. The show opened with a hooded Black Thought alone at a microphone, a five-piece orchestra behind him and Questlove above in the back in front of a set of turntables; shortly after he began a spoken word poetry section, what must have been 1,000 balloon animals fell from the ceiling—which, on closer inspection, also had nooses hanging from it—and the show really began.

Click here for the full XXL recap.

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The Roots gave the digital world its first listen to their new album …and then you shoot your cousin Tuesday via an online stream. That night (and again last night) the band–in slightly mutated form–took the stage at New York’s Public Theater  to present it live–or rather to wrestle with the longplayer’s dark themes in a live setting. The result–equal parts deconstruction of the record as it is recorded and live elements comprising dance, poetry, DJing, performance art, piano, strings, beatbox, guitar and MPC b!*ch-slapping–is better described as a brilliant if unsettling post-modern cabaret than a ‘concert’ (let alone ‘listening session’).

Click here for the full Okayplayer recap.

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New York’s Public Theater sits along Lafayette Street, an easily forgettable thoroughfare.

As the grid of Midtown slowly peels away to Lower Manhattan’s tangled, arterial web of vendor-lined mainways and cobblestone side streets, Lafayette gashes its way from City Hall to Cooper Union, nary a care given for its neighboring Broadway or East Village’s lower numbered avenues. “F*ck you,” it screams, probably in some shrill, nasally soprano, a boroughs accent becoming harder to find as the sh*tbirds (like this author) move from places like Strongsville and Scranton to occupy its former warehouses, tenements and brownstone walk-ups. It elongates the “you,” holding it out like a balloon deflating. It’s quarrelsome and contentious–try having to live in Broadway’s legendary shadow.

But the Public Theater–Lafayette’s cool with it. The distinguished, 158-year-old building’s columned front can be reached from the smooth slatted stairs leading to the double doors that freckle its face. Walk inside, become engulfed by its high-ceilinged lobby, but make sure it inevitably spits you up to its slightly congested second floor where you can find the Public’s Anspacher Theater.

If, by chance, you remembered Lafayette and you schlepped its several blocks to its Public Theater on the night of Tuesday, May 13, you would’ve seen The Roots perform their eleventh studio album, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, for a packed house.

Click here for the full Smoking Section recap.

Click here to pre-order “…and then you shoot your cousin” on iTunes