As far as Jimmy Fallon is concerned, the Roots are the best band in late-night. Though he's a tad biased—they back him up each weeknight on his Late Night show—he's also probably right. Not only that, the Roots are also possibly the best band in hip hop, and equally as refreshing in a live setting. While the group's roots (sorry, that's a sad excuse for a pun) go back over two decades, their first major success came with the 1996 album Illadelph Halflife. Largely motivated by the success of a video that poked fun at rap clichés, the Roots went on to achieve great success by mashing their thoroughly eclectic music with the powerful rhymes of the group's MC, Black Thought. Adding to the list of band's bests, the Roots might also be the best band when it comes to time management, sneaking in a tour between recording their ninth studio album and their Late Night residency (not to mention DJing dates across the country). With such a pedigree, and so many accolades, it wouldn't be out of line to think that the Roots' First Avenue gig will be another best for the group and its fans. 18+.
Thu., July 2, 6 p.m., 2009
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