As is standard fare this time of year, there are slim pickings when it comes to live concerts in the coming week. After all, most holiday travel involves going to visit family and friends over school vacation week.
That said, there are a few shows worth noting over the next week or so and we here at Nightlife are happy to help those who either aren't traveling or just need a break from the holiday hustle and bustle. We'll focus on one of them in this week's column.
The Roots will be at the House of Blues in Boston. If you only know The Roots as ?uestlove or the backing band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, you should know that the Philadelphia-based group has been around for almost 30 years.
The Roots formed in high school when Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter started playing on street corners in 1987. Questlove played bucket drums while Tariq provided the rhymes.
A few years later, they appeared at Lollapalooza and the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1994.
Through the years, they worked with Mos Def, Common, Erykah Badu, Eve, Jill Scott and Beanie Sigel. They played the Woodstock '99 concert in New York state, backed Jay-Z for his MTV Unplugged concert in 2001 and backed him again for his 2003 farewell concert in Madison Square Garden (yes, he's still around, but you know how the "farewell" concert thing goes).
In 2006, they performed in the film Dave Chappelle's Block Party.
In 2010, they collaborated with John Legend on their album Wake Up! and played a concert with Legend and Jennifer Hudson that was streamed on YouTube in September of that year. In 2013, they released Wise Up Ghost with Elvis Costello.
Of course, they are most popularly known for their work with Fallon. That relationship started in 2009 when they became the official house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. When he took over as host of The Tonight Show in 2014, they came with him.
The Roots are displayed prominently in each episode, with their music playing in and out of commercials, along with the opening song and the closing theme. They also provide the music to introduce guests as well as for games with guests and regular features such as Thank You Notes, Slow Jam the News and the Classroom Instruments sketches.
They've won three Grammy Awards and three NAACP Image Awards, demonstrating they aren't just popular, they are respected.