The Roots Spectacular Three-Night Run Across Oakland, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles


The Roots, a legendary hip-hop band formed in 1987, wrapped up the year 2023 with a triumphant series of three consecutive shows from December 28th to 30th. The tour spanned across iconic venues in Oakland, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and the Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA, leaving fans in awe of their unparalleled musical prowess.

Throughout the year, The Roots were on a whirlwind journey, headlining LL Cool J’s The F.O.R.C.E. Live summer tour. Serving as the house band, they shared the stage with notable artists like DJ Jazzy Jeff, Salt-N-Pepa, Common, Rick Ross, and Ice T. The tour concluded in September, but not without two memorable make-up shows in October and November.

In February, the band graced the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, CA, the night before the Grammys, treating the audience to a stellar performance alongside a lineup of special guests.

The Roots, founded by co-founders Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (drums) and singer/rapper Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, have become a musical institution over the years. Questlove, a six-time Grammy winner, clinched the 2023 Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll for R&B/Funk, adding another accolade to his impressive resume, which includes 20 Grammy nominations for his work with The Roots and collaborations with artists like John Legend, Erykah Badu, and the hit musical Hamilton. Advertisement

The band, comprised of 12 exceptionally talented members, boasts a lineup featuring keyboardist Kamal Gray (94), guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas (03), sousaphonist Damon Bryson/Tuba Gooding Jr (07), keyboardist James Poyser (09), keyboardist Ray Angry (10), bassist Mark Kelley (11), beatboxer/sampler Jeremy Ellis (14), saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith (15), trumpeter Dave Guy (2015), and the newest member, beatboxer/sampler Stro Elliott (17).

Known for their dynamic role as the house band on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon from 2009 to 2014, The Roots later transitioned to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Questlove’s distinctive drumming style, featuring a 4-piece Ludwig Kit with a second snare, three Zildjian cymbals (hi-hats, crash, ride), Evans heads, and his signature Vic Firth sticks, continues to be a driving force behind the band’s undeniable energy.

The Roots showcased their musical prowess during the three-night year-end run, delivering a nonstop 2-hour set that solidified their status as the ultimate jam band in hip-hop. As they bid farewell to 2023, The Roots left an indelible mark on the live music scene, proving that their legacy in the world of hip-hop and beyond remains as vibrant as ever. Advertisement