"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


I found religion...

...and God plays drums for The Roots.

10 hours after arriving in the bright sunshine of promise and carefree, our smiles swimming in the smells of sweat, spilled beer, and acrid smoke, the high hat and kick drum started and the distorted sousaphone spinning around on stage walked us out onto the beat and then away into paradise.

For the first hour I was under a spell. Before the music started there were four of standing on the picnic table and it was crowded. Now there were at least eight and I had all the room I needed.

While it was free flowing as I've ever seen, they reminded me much more of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band than a hip hop act. The raspy sousaphone contributed much to that, but these guys definitely knew their audience. It was the first time I've seen The Roots live, and it was far from the chill, laid back session Maggie said they usually give.

The beat was much more forward (The Seed seemed even rushed), the sound brassy and tight, and they even threw out a medley of Guns n Roses, George Thorogood, and Led Zeppelin towards the end of the night. It could've seemed over the top and even insulting but it fit so well with what Summerfest is, and it spoke more to their sense of humor and musical breadth than anything. Insulting, to be frank, was the obnoxious 10-minute bass solo shortly before. That I could've done without.

As a perfect cap on the night, The Roots finished up just after 11:30 but the beer vendors were still selling until 11:45. So we were out of the gates and headed toward the shuttle bus before the real crush started.

Friday July 3rd at Summerfest was a better day than I could've ever hoped for.

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