Austin City Limits Taping – John Legend and The Roots

As I mentioned, John Legend and The Roots taped a performance for Austin City Limits last night. It will air locally on KLRU on Saturday, November 20, 2010. They’re promoting their new album, Wake Up, which will be released on September 21st. It’s a mix of mostly 70s soul covers and a few originals. They had performed the night before in Las Vegas for the Miss Universe pageant.

Austin City Limits is moving to its new location downtown at the beginning of next year, so there will probably only be a handful of performances at Studio 6A before the move. Bob Schneider tapes a set tonight and I’m assuming there will be a few tapings with the ACL Festival coming up at the beginning of October. There were the usual ACL taping amusements last night: people spilling the free beer (the only time I’ll drink Ziegenbock because it’s at least a little better than Budweiser – pro tip: always get two on the way in, it’s too hard to go back and get more) and watching people narrowly miss getting bonked in the head with the boom camera. The most adept at avoiding the camera is the official ACL photographer, Scott Newton, who just released a book collecting 35 years of photos from the show on UT Press.

Black Thought, who was present at the GMA Central Park performance that I linked in my preview post, wasn’t there for last night’s taping. They played pretty much straight through the set without too much talking in between songs and obviously the rap portions of the songs were dropped with the absence of Black Thought. “Captain” Kirk Douglas had a blistering guitar solo at the end of the Bill Withers cover “I Can’t Write Left Handed” and ?uestlove got pretty animated by the end of that song, definitely the best one of the set. I’ve heard “Hard Times” twice now and it’s been stuck in my head all morning.

Being a drumming nerd, I situated myself stage left so I’d have a better view of ?uestlove during the taping. Watch for some elaborate duct tape muffling during Legend’s solo performance of “Ordinary People” though I doubt that will make it into the editing. There was a lot of eye contact between ?uestlove and the rest of the band for the endings and build ups of the songs.

Here’s the set list from my own notes so it may not be completely accurate:

  • Hard Times
  • Compared to What?
  • Little Ghetto Boy
  • Our Generation
  • Hang On In There
  • Wake Up Everybody
  • Ordinary People
  • I Can’t Write Left Handed
  • Stay With You
  • Green Light
  • Shine (theme from Waiting for Superman)

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