Throwback Thursday: The Roots at Irving Plaza – Jan 23, 1994


As many of our readers know, Giant Step has a pretty epic history when it comes to breaking acts and producing landmark events in the New York music scene. Today, we’re proud to announce the launch of our Throwback Thursday series! Join us as we dig into our archive of flyers to give you the lowdown on the get down from back in the day.

Giant Step President and Co-Founder Maurice Bernstein shares the background on this early show with The Roots circa 1994.

This was part of a series we did for Dewar’s called Straight No Chaser – that was our first branded foray, series wise. At the time we were doing our club at the Supperclub, which was a great venue. And Dewar’s wanted to tap into the stuff that Giant Step was doing at the time.

We’d already worked with The Roots a few times at this point – this was not our first show with The Roots; we did their New York debut and ultimately, their first 10 to 15 shows in New York. And this was one of the biggest. We had the Groove Collective opening up – Groove Collective were the band that grew out of the Giant Step club, and at the time we were also managing the band. It was a great night, an iconic show. Beautiful venue. Definitely a night to remember.

On working with The Roots so early in their career and what they were like back then.

They were the same as they are now; they haven’t changed. And the other great thing is that it’s the same crew – like, all the people – same manager, same agent, same live production manager.

I knew about them when they released this live album and Gilles signed them to Talking Loud in London. And then they got signed to Geffen in the United States through an A&R person called Wendy Goldstein who I knew very well.

I remember Ahmir used to jump on the train from Philadelphia and come to New York and just like, work it; he really was very very hard working, even at that time. In those days, you know, people just expected the band to be quiet and do what they were supposed to do. But he had a very clear vision of what he wanted to do, even then; he was this young cat who was very very focused about what he needed to get done.

On The Roots rise and success.

They were one of the hardest working bands in show business and they deserve every success that they’re having.

  • Jackie Roc Murphy

    I was there every Thursday!!!!