ACL Fest 2012
ACL in Review: After two decades The Roots prove explosive hip hop legacy
Any list of the tightest bands in the world would be incomplete if it didn't include The Roots.
The endlessly versatile Philadelphia-based hip hop crew are equally at home going on extended jazz runs — as was heard to notable effect during "Mellow My Man" early on in the ACL set on Saturday evening — or in the day job serving as the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, or backing seemingly everybody from Jay-Z to John Legend when they want some live-band cred for a record, or recording a nigh-endless string of essential albums of their own.
In any case, there weren't a lot of tubas on stage at ACL, but it's guaranteed that none were funkier than the one featured in The Roots' set. Which is the point: It takes a band whose tightness is unquestioned, and whose versatility can be taken for granted, to pull off what The Roots accomplished onstage on Saturday.