Aftermath: Common and The Roots Crew's Private Engagment at the Corinthian, With Special Guests (Cough, "Nite and Day")
Photos by Larami Culbertson
9:10 p.m.: We pull up to the front of The Corinthian and hand the car off to the valet. He says, "It's $20 plus tip." Oh, so it's $20, then? Got it. Thanks. 9:20 p.m.: Common just walked in. He's way more stout than we imagined him to be. His skin is also less clear than we were anticipating. Not sure which one is more surprising, or even why we feel the need to write this down. Is this what our life has become? Taking notes about the girth of someone's chest and the relative smoothness of his skin? We were supposed to go to law school. Be proud, mom. 9:25 p.m.: In our brain we had all of these great questions about hip-hop we were going to lob up to Common that subtly complimented Be and Like Water For Chocolate (the two albums of his that everyone recognizes as great).He was going to immediately recognize how much fun we were and invite us backstage to hangout and talk about the history of apartheid in South Africa. Instead, we end up making a bunch of jokes with him about his penchant for playing a hitman in movies and how Jason Kidd used to play for New Jersey Nets. Such is life. 9:41 p.m.: During small talk with one of the PR ladies for this event she nonchalantly reaches into her cleavage, pulls out a business card and hands it to us. Is that acceptable behavior? Will it affect your opinion of the situation if we tell you that she's gotta be over 50? Are we allowed to carry stuff around in our crotch? We're going to be thinking about this all night.
Brotherhood: Common and the Roots embrace, literally and figuratively.
9:54 p.m.: We just ran into this guy that we went to school with. Our relationship with him now mostly consists of giving him endless amounts of shit online, namely being the worst writer at a bad magazine, being a full-time pre-K teacher and being an agnostic. Our barbs are in jest of course; he's a smart guy and is confident in his opinions so he makes for good conversation. We are glad to see however that he's continued to bald though, but not as happy as we are when we notice his girlfriend is several inches taller than he is. Tee hee. What up, Nibu? 10:03 p.m.: ELIZABETH the band, this New York alt rock band with a fireball for a lead singer, is on stage. They're kinda cool, but mostly because the singer, this eccentric black chick, is dancing her balls off. Every guitar solo -of which there are plenty- sees her launch into a different freestyle dance routine. She has one move where she fake checks the time on the watch that isn't on her wrist. Cool. 10:08 p.m.: This place is really classy looking -lots of high reaching columns and marble and whatnot - and everyone here is dressed up accordingly. Everyone except for the drunk guy stumbling around in official military fatigues. He looks like he just got back from Iraq. 10:22 p.m.: Have you ever been in the middle of a really crowded room at a concert and, through some insane amount of coincidence, everyone standing between your line of sight and the stage happens to move in just the right direction so that you have an unimpeded view of the stage? It's beautiful when it happens. 10:30 p.m.: There's a guy in here wearing a fancy dress shirt that has a hood on it. Yes. A fancy dress shirt. With a hood. That's pretty much the wardrobe equivalent to a mullet. 10:45 p.m.: We saw Ish the DJ a little earlier. A few of the guys from rap crew HISD are in here also. Soul One, their excellent DJ, is dressed head to toe in denim. He looks like a jean pocket walking around.
10:55 p.m.: The Roots jumped on stage. They are nuts. A few minutes in and the place is already rocking. They flipped that song that Will and Carlton danced to on Fresh Prince, as well as a snippet of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man." It's easy to see why these guys are so beloved. 11:03 p.m.: Common's out here performing now. He's way more energetic than you'd imagine him to be. He performs "The Light" and it seems like everyone in here is singing along. Very cool. 11:08 p.m.: There's a guy in here who's doing that crack fiend dance that Dave Chappelle does so well. He's done at least five or six times tonight. It's funny every time. 11:15 p.m.: We're not even sure how to explain this, nor if we even want to. Here: Just now we were eyeing the ridiculous outfit of a girl near us (it's a matching skirt/jacket combo that we suspect is made of the same fabric they use to make ShamWow). While we were silently laughing at her, we both happened to make eye contact with one another. It's not uncommon for this to happen, seeing as how we spend a significant amount of time looking for reasons to make fun of people; we are in total control of the situation. Only, she is very clearly making a "Yeah, In Your Dreams" face at us. Just like that, a person wearing an outfit that can sop up 12 times its weight in liquid has effectively stripped us of our ability to look down our nose at her. We're at a loss. Is this what it feels like when someone reads a joke that we've made at their expense? It's awful. We're suddenly questioning everything about our self that we thought to be cool and are in a curious position where we want the Queen of Absorption to find us attractive simply so we can make a "Yeah, In Your Dreams" face back at her. Why'd she have to make that goddamn face at us? This whole situation has blown our mind. 11:21 p.m.: Common just introduced Spanish performer Makano. Apparently, the bulk of the crowd is of the mind that "makano" means "Now would be the time to go the restroom and get your drinks refilled." Sucks for him. He is wearing white pants though, so pretty much anything bad that happens to him he totally deserves.
11:30 p.m.: Ah yeah, The Roots are back on. They are killing it tonight. You can always tell how good a concert is by how certain you are that you're going to download albums of the performers from iTunes. We're like 85 percent sure we're going to be spending at least $20 tonight. 11:41 p.m.: Oh shite! Big Daddy Kane just came out on stage. What the hell!? The crowd is crazy receptive to him. He tears through a bunch of his old songs. Nice. 11:57 p.m.: AHAHAHAHA. Kane leads the crowd through a medley of old school dances, culminating in The Snake. Dave Chappelle Dance Guy does not disappoint. He snakes all the way to the floor and back up. All is right in the world right now. 12:07 p.m.: Common's back too. Right now him, The Roots and BDK are all on stage together. Super sick. Easily one of the best concerts we've been to all year. Nice little hat tip to Nas's "NY State of Mind" during Common's performance. 12:13 p.m.: You know that awful Afrika Bambaata-sampled song that Common has? It's way better in person. He breakdances during it.
12:20 p.m.: Oh double shite! Al B Sure is here performing "Nite And Day." The crowd is bonkers. Everyone is bouncing around, singing together. The floor is covered in sweat and spilled Henessey drinks. Someone call ShamWow Skirt. (And we're back on top.) (Not really. That shit's going to bother us for at least a couple days. If you're reading this, ShamWow Skirt, please email us. We need some closure.)
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