Following The Roots concert Saturday night, sans Fallon, we arrived for the sold out after party featuring Questlove at Bardot. Mobs of concert goers begged for entrance with their previously used tickets and were basically told to talk to the hand. It was just a week ago that our fried brains had sworn off alcohol and partying altogether but by the looks of the turnout, it was made perfectly clear to us that Miami had recovered from WMC/Ultra and regained at least a few brain cells.
With the stage readily converted into a dance floor in under five minutes flat, Questlove who had arrived fashionably on time tearing it up as he opened with The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache.” Spotlights were cast upon his afro and thick-framed glasses clad figure and everyone drifted towards the DJ booth.This night in particular hosted the dressiest and most concentratedly mature crowd we’ve seen at this venue in awhile, though we did spot a few Kreayshawn look alikes, we were both surprised and pleased with the change of scenery. Saying a few opening remarks into the mic, Questlove introduced himself whilst spinning Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You,” an unspoken obligation for every couple in the room to inch closer and every date-less person to wish they weren’t single for like two minutes, after all we are in Miami kids. Somewhere in between the thick cloud of smoke that hovered over our heads and people getting singled out by bouncers because of Quest’s infamous hatred of all things flash friendly, he dropped The Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic” which sent most into a 90’s alternative hip-hop frenzy. With transitions ranging from Redman’s “Da Goodness” to Aerosmith’s “Walk this Way” into Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle,” Quest had a little something for each attendee’s musical palate. The female announcer had no shame in her game, telling everyone to “get hyphy,” and during tracks like Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” and Wilder’s “Break My Stride,” she barked over the music telling the crowd to “get out” if they weren’t old enough to know the artists that created these classics. Later on in his set, he threw out some big band as well as Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five’s 1948 hit “Cornbread and Beans.” We dug it. Being surrounded by a group that acknowledges the worth of lyricism and the value of these genre’s as a whole put a smile on our faces…or maybe it was the dark rum shots being passed out by the staff. Either way, all of us were taken on a journey through Questo’s esoteric and adept brain that was legitimately worth the ride.
Its not a secret that Miami lacks DJ’s who spin an overall variety and who know how to make seamless transitions that keep us interested, and Quest has cleverly mastered this art. It was refreshing to hear some throwback jams that we haven’t heard in a hot minute. Those who feign for this old school/new school mix appreciate his quickness to play Run-D.M.C over the usual mainstream Top 40 that our ears are currently bleeding over, which is why he has the following that he does. The live set definitely beat seeing him on Late Night, guaranteed.