Recap: Day 2 of The Roots Picnic (Rakim, Major Lazer, Diplo, Chill Moody, No Kid Cudi)

For its 5th year, The Roots Picnic was expanded to two days (both at Festival Pier). Day one went very well, but bad weather made a mess of yesterday’s second day. Diplo’s Major Lazer was able to take advantage of nice weather with a lively party set, but the weather turned sometime during Chill Moody’s set in the tent. Storm clouds grew nearer as the crowd awaited Rakim’s set, but was eventually told that the inclement weather made it unsafe to use the main stage and that Diplo’s tent set was being switched with Rakim’s set time.

Just as everyone started rushing to the tent, the rain started coming…hard. Eventually, the tent was packed with nearly everyone at the festival and Diplo was rushing up to the stage to start his all-of-the-sudden set. The storm seemed to catch everyone by surprise, but passed quickly. And while the crowd got crazy to hometown DJ Diplo, the crews got the main stage set for Rakim and The Roots.

The Roots came out first, performing several songs before the skilled rapper Rakim hit the stage to perform his classic album Paid in Full. Unfortunately, Rakim didn’t get on stage until after the three-song cutoff for photographers to get what they need in the photo pit…and what they (and I) needed (and wanted) was some shots of Rakim. While that bothered me and the other photographers, more damage was to come. First, it was the sound. The rain had done some damage, and the sound came in and out for a few songs.

The problem was eventually fixed and the crowd got back into the show, enjoying Rakim and awaiting Kid Cudi. But…after Rakim left the stage, Black Thought asked if he could get real with the Philly crowd. “Kid Cudi ain’t performing.” Like ripping of a band-aid, Black Thought had stunned the crowd. The weather had caused delays and Cudi’s plane had to land early. He wasn’t in Philly, wasn’t at Festival Pier, and wouldn’t be anytime soon. So, The Roots told the crowd they’d keep playing and the crowd approved enough to keep it going.

Many disappointed customers headed for the gates immediately, but a good amount stayed to watch the hometown heroes (and surprise guest Freeway) try to salvage the show. And, as much as I would have liked to see Kid Cudi, The Roots will always be a better show than him. So, while it was a tumultuous night, The Roots played their hearts out and closed the night out with as much of a bang as they could. It wasn’t the way anyone pictured the two-day event ending, but The Roots finished it off with some good vibes.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=36608027 Danielle Brockington

    It’s not that this is deliberately negative, but it’s so… negative. lol. Mind you, I made it into the tent for Diplo just as the rain started and got a little soaked and a lot moshed around, but Diplo’s “all of a sudden” set was AMAZING and the perfect way to dry off/get sweaty again. The energy was crazy and it seemed like everyone felt great afterward. (I bypassed the Questlove afterparties that I’d been dying to go to to catch Diplo again at Morgan’s Pier that night. Incredible set, 3 times in one day!)

    The sound issues were a problem. It wasn’t so bad if you were close enough to the stage to still be able to hear decently well when the main speakers went out, but whatever. That’s a valid point. They definitely kept the show going and the energy up, but that’s live outdoor shows for you.

    And I could be terribly biased because I’m not that much of a fan of Kid Cudi at all, but the Roots “tried to salvage the show?” they “went out with as much of a bang as they could??” Dude. Are you kidding me? Lol… I have no doubt that the audience gained much more musically out of the show than they would have if Cudi had shown up. Really. The festival was great. Yeah it rained (and stopped), yeah there were some sound snaggles (that got fixed), yeah there was a headliner cancel (covered for in stellar fashion by the actual headliners). Sunday, and the festival as a whole, was far from “a mess.” It was awesome!

    • http://twitter.com/theswollenfox The Swollen Fox

      Thanks for your comment Danielle. I certainly understand where you’re coming from, The Roots killed it when Kid Cudi couldn’t show. I didn’t intend to come off so negative, but day 2 had its issues.

      I was actually happy to see The Roots replace Kid Cudi, as I mention in the review. The way I see it though, a lot of the crowd left when they announced Cudi wasn’t performing, and with the rain and sound issues, much of the day had already been soiled. The best The Roots could do was send whoever was left home happy, which they certainly did.

      I’m sure that’s not how The Roots envisioned it happening, and of course the rain is not their fault. But day 2 simply did not run as smoothly as day 1 and did turn into somewhat of a mess. And the absence of Cudi obviously disappointed many people. I’d still say the whole event was a success, but day 2 had its issues.