Ludacris and The Roots bring the beat | VailDaily.com

Ludacris and The Roots bring the beat

Charlie OwenVail,CO, Colorado

Special to the Daily

Anyone who said Vail couldnt draw big names in music should look again.Feeding on the momentum of last years Snow Daze, rapper Ludacris and neo-soul hip-hop band The Roots are both headlining the event Saturday night at Ford Park in Vail. Local rock band M.T.H.D.S will open for both acts.The buzz has been growing in response to these two musical giants, as fans eagerly await their chance to see what could be one of the biggest concerts to come to Vail in recent years.Im really excited to see The Roots. They put on a good hip-hop show, said Edwards resident Jared Saul, who plans to attend the show tonight. Rarely does a hip-hop show sound better in concert than they do on their albums, but The Roots sound better live.Vails size doesnt exactly make it a hot-spot for larger musical acts to drop anchor when planning their tours. Thankfully, events such as this have been well received, making Vail a little more inviting to artists that would otherwise overlook it. There is the fact, too, that Vails an international resort destination.Although Ludacris has come under some fire for his sometimes vulgar and sexist lyrics, his popularity has grown exponentially since the release of his first album Incognegro in 1999. Famous for his humorous approach to the genre, Ludacris whose real name is Christopher Bridges appeals to a large cross-section of listeners thanks to his dance-beat driven songs that tend to make light of heavy social subjects.

Because he was influenced heavily by his upbringing in Atlanta, it comes as no surprise that his songs have a Southern flavor using heavy soul samples and bouncier beats.Disturbing tha Peace could describe one of Ludacris performances, but its also the name of his imprint on Def Jam Records under which most of his biggest hits, such as Roll Out (By Business) and Stand Up (his biggest hit to date), were released.His music is catchy and I figured it would be a good show. A lot of my friends are going, said Karen Pham, one-year resident of West Vail. Compared to past acts, Pham said having Ludacris play in Vail is a pretty big deal, considering his popularity and level of fame.For James Deighan, senior vice-president of Highline Sports and Entertainment, Ludacris is the perfect example of the kind of musical act Vail should be capable of getting all the time. He said Ludacris is one of the most entertaining pop icons in the world today, and thats why he wanted him to perform in Vail.

On the other end of the spectrum lies The Roots. Although not as radio-friendly or catchy as Ludacris, they are highly respected for their infusion of jazz and soul into their more socially-conscious brand of hip-hop.The band has won multiple Grammy Awards for their music, and Rolling Stone magazine labeled them one of the 20 greatest live acts in the world in 2003.They are currently working on their 10th studio album, due out early next year.The Roots are from Philadelphia and encompass a completely different model of hip-hop than what radio has come to popularize. One of the most surprising elements of the bands sound is the fact that the members play their own instruments instead of relying so heavily on studio production and synthesized music to define their style.I think its very hard to label yourself a musician if you dont know how to play your own instrument, said Wyoming land agent and resident Lance Lohse, who will be visiting Vail just for the show. They are so well diversified and they appeal to such a large fan-base.The drummer for The Roots ?estlove (pronounced quest love) has made several appearances on Chappelles Show and the band was featured in the movie Dave Chappelles Block Party, spreading the groups mainstream success and recognizability.Apparently the appeal of Ludacris and The Roots is strong enough to draw some fans from outside the valley. Boulder resident Greg Bean was planning on driving in for the show even through heavy snow fall. Ive seen The Roots a couple of times and Ive always wanted to see Ludacris, Bean said, adding the announcement that they would both be playing in Vail surprised him. He hopes to see them play at least one song together during the night.Arts & Entertainment writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.