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Questlove gets the party started at SXSW

Danielle Lopez, special to the American-Statesman
Questlove performs with the Roots in 2017 during South by Southwest. He DJ'd this year's opening party for SXSW Gaming on Friday night at the Main. [AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2017]

Questlove knows how to throw a party.

From behind his table on stage at the Main for South By Southwest’s opening gaming party, the Grammy Award-winning DJ had the crowd going the moment he blasted David Bowie’s “Fame.”

Following the cancellation of his performance with the Roots at last year’s SXSW after a bomb threat forced security to shut down the show, the producer and New York Times best-selling author didn’t miss a beat. In a gloriously stoic fashion, Questlove didn’t say a word to the crowd. With an artful and consistent head bop, he simply played one track seamlessly into the next, going from Biggie Smalls’ “Hypnotize” to “Finesse,” by Cardi B and Bruno Mars, to “You’re the One that I Want” from “Grease.”

Questlove brought funk, soul, the ’80s, and hip-hop to the gaming crowd. Like a puppet master who knows just how to get his toys moving, the Philadelphia native gave the people just what they needed.

This wasn’t his first performance of the week, though. On Sunday night, he made up part of the roster for Amazon Prime Video’s “Good Omens” pop-up, an apocalyptic celebration promoting the upcoming television series. Who better to have ring in the end of the world?