A Tribe Called Quest have had themselves a bittersweet slate of tour dates thus far in 2017. Following the release of their 2016 album We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service, the group embarked on what they've been calling their final run of live dates, the first tour they've undertaken since the passing of longtime member Phife Dawg. After a very solid outing at this year's FYF Festival, Tribe looked poised to kill it again at the Bay Area festival Outside Lands. However, after moving their performance date from the Friday to the Saturday, the group cancelled outright the day after and left many fans who had bought day passes just to see them upset and disappointed. However, according to the Tribe's members, there is a reasonable explanation for all this.
According to the Los Angeles Times, A Tribe Called Quest missed on performing at Outside Lands because the group's members are still in the process of grieving over the loss of Phife Dawg. Apparently, while getting off stage the night before playing what they described as a show packed full of die-hard fans, the emotional burden of not having Phife out there with them was too much for them to bear. Read the full statement they released about their absence from Outside Lands below:
"We want to sincerely apologize to you for our absence at the Outside Lands Music Festival. Your love, dedication and support of our music is important to us. Our performance at the festival has been months in the making and in those months we have been fraught with an emotional and eager excitement to touch the stage in the place where Phife Dawg made his home.
Upon the eve of playing for you, we performed not to a mixed crowd of festival patrons but to a filled house of solely Questers. It was humbling. The beautiful Red Rock amphitheater was filled with voices helping us get through a difficult performance without our brother Phife. You would think that with every performance we heal a little more and the sadness is easier to handle. Sometimes that is the case and sometimes the grief and loss is compounded. Although the house was filled with love and we felt it all, we also felt the huge void of Phife's absence. We walked off that stage deep in grief.
In show business there is a notion that the "show must go on" no matter what. Sometimes though, when you have lost someone close, you are riddled with the notion that there is no going on. That Friday morning upon traveling to San Francisco, a wave of grief was still on us and in that moment we could not see the “on” to go on to. Eventually though in face of loss you find that glimmer of light to bring you to your center and you find the “on.”
We missed Friday but we found our "on" the following day. We wanted to play for you and we wanted to honor Phife's wife in their hometown. Unfortunately, everything did not come together before the closing curfew. For that, we are deeply sorry. We look to correct this and regain your confidence.
Actually, let us restate that — we will correct this and regain your confidence.
A special shout out goes out to Another Planet Entertainment, the promoter/organizer of Outside Lands.
They put together an incredible event that was enjoyed by many despite the fact that we were unable to add to that joy. We want to express our appreciation for their efforts and encourage our fans to continue to support them. And to those who traveled far and wide, we sincerely apologize and are looking for ways to make this up to you. We are fully aware that without you (the fans), we would not be where we are today. We appreciate you having our back during this challenging period.
We are not making excuses for our absence. We just wanted you to know that we are still grieving and yet we want to honor each and every one of you for 28 years of music love. Thank you for the support.