NEW YORK — After what was described as "one of the greatest sound checks ever," John Legend and the Roots were set to entertain audiences for "Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series" at Central Park's SummerStage.
Before the cameras were even rolling, the music group entertained the waiting audience with Legend singing a "Good Morning" melody. When "GMA" hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos arrived onstage to greet Legend and the band, Roberts commented on the intimacy of the performance, saying, "Everyone thought you were singing just for them!"
Before the official beginning of the set, the audience enjoyed snapping photos of Legend and the Roots, and vice versa, with Legend taking pictures of the audience on his phone. The next song, "Little Ghetto Boy," from their forthcoming album Wake Up! got the audience going, with the Roots' Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) busting some mad rhymes and Legend singing the chorus before delving into the next verse. Legend then announced the release date for Wake Up!: September 21.
Good times were had with their performance of another fast-paced, jazzy song, "Hard Times," also from Wake Up! The SummerStage audience continued to grow as the song played, with more and more people arriving to witness the performance.
During the typical wait for the next on-air song performance, ?uestlove and Legend were joking around, laughing while having a look at the cover of their new album. When asked about it, Legend said, "It's funny seeing yourself as a cartoon!" He added that this album has been two years in the making, and ?uestlove said that "people will get uplifted by it."
The uplifting had already begun with the announcement of the next, more recognizable song, "Ordinary People," which was definitely a fan favorite. The audience sang along and swayed with the music.
After spirited audience applause, Legend performed "Waiting for Superman," which the singer explained he'd written for the movie of the same name, due out this fall. He played an instrumental riff with the Roots until we were on air again, and then the song "Shine" began.
After the epic finale, Legend took a bow with a nice "God bless ya'll" for the audience. And it wouldn't be a Roots concert without ?uestlove throwing his drumsticks into the crowd as souvenirs.
One enthusiastic audience member summed it up nicely: "There is no better combination for a live show than the Roots and John Legend!"