Black Thought and Usher share the stage at Roots Picnic 2016. Photo by Seher Sikandar for Okayplayer.
There’s no summer music festival quite like the one that goes on in the City of Brotherly Love. This year, we had the honor and the pleasure of putting together the 9th Annual Roots Picnic, and the community came through to have a grand ol’ time with The Legendary Roots Crew, their featured guests and, of course, Okayplayer.
The carefully curated lineup had its ups (DMX reuniting with his father) and major-ups (the entire Kaytranada set), yet it was the headlining acts of The Roots and Usher Raymond that made Roots Picnic 2016 into another excellent sonic adventure for audiophiles who attended the Festival Pier event.
Established at the South Stage, the Hardest Working Band in the World took to the crowd, performing a jam session to warm them up for nearly 15 minutes. When Usher joined them, the 37-year-old singer, who also wore a Muhammad Ali t-shirt in honor of the late boxing legend, opened with “Caught Up” before segueing into “U Make Me Wanna.” The Roots would showcase their deep musical knowledge by meticulously crafting the arrangements to bridge old grooves with Usher’s timeless sound.
With an excitement that is sorely missing at other big festivals around the country, The Roots Picnic 2016 had hits, surprises and celebrated grooves that sent shocks-and-awe throughout the festival-goers body. As the night wore on, Usher and the Illadelph band offered soothing tunes, which you can see below, in the form of “Nice & Slow” and “Break You Off.”
Watch the guys show off their expansive catalog by pressing play on the video underneath:
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