The Roots-Break You Off Live In Detroit

Last night, Martell presented The Roots at a secret concert in Detroit at the Garden Theater. The Philadelphia icons recently formed a branding partnership with the cognac maker and the show was part of Martell’s travelling Vanguard Series which has stopped in multiple cities. Concert-goers were able to experience the band with cocktails made with Martell’s V.S.O.P. cognac in the Garden’s intimate space.  Questlove, who wore a sweater with a donut on it in a tribute to J.Dilla, and Black Thought spoke with media before the show. Kick Mag spoke briefly with them to ask about the group’s musical evolution since becoming Jimmy Fallon’s house band on The Tonight Show:

Questlove: “I’ll say that in the atmosphere of the Tonight Show, we do a lot more rehearsing than we’ve been accustomed to, where as the 17 years as The Roots before The Tonight Show because of the mammoth hours and the amount we’ve done on the road, like 470-something shows a year, 2-3 hour shows, we don’t tend to rehearse that much because we need down time to relax but I’ll say that we’ve probably gotten more personal rehearsing in that small space as a band. So I think we’re actually better musicians and songwriters because we have to create so many songs, for the show. These little 7-second songs, 6-second songs, it’s actually going to make us better songwriters.

Black Thought: It creates a different kind of discipline, I think we work better on short notice, just off the cuff. We work more efficiently under pressure, but it’s fun. Since we’ve been working with Fallon the band is also forever evolving, we got like 7 keyboard players, every day I show up to work it’s a new musician.

And they were also asked about their next future collaboration after making music with Elvis Costello, Al Green and Betty Wright:

Questlove: There’s a waiting list of people that’s waiting to work with us, we haven’t decided, I hear that Al’s ready to come down from the mountains of somewhere and he has a beard like this so I keep that from his people that Al’s ready.

There were covers of songs by Kool and the Gang and The Meters in between their classics like “Proceed” You Got Me” and “The Seed 2.0.” Watch the band perform “Break You Off” during one of the happiest Wednesday nights ever. Black Thought and Questlove also just took home a Grammy for Best Musical Theater album for co-producing the music for the Broadway play Hamilton. The show is headed for The White House on March 16th.