Back in April, I received notice that Lauryn Hill was going to be at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, CA. I was juiced! I loved the Fugees, I loved the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (the rawest female album of the 90's), I love Lauryn!
The day tickets became available for sale, I was right there, perched on line, on both my laptop and desktop computers. I had cleared my schedule to make sure that at 12:00 PM, when tickets went on sale I would be right there, and so I was. I jumped right in and purchased 4 tickets, 3rd row from the stage, cause that's how I roll. $400.00, later, I called my son, daughter, and my BFF Kim, to let them know that we were in the house for the June concert. We were all excited and anticipating the date.
At long last, the date comes. We arrived at the venue ready to get our grooves on. The opening act Jupiter Rising, was great but after about an hour of them playing, the crowd was getting restless. We all came to see Lauryn. They cleared the stage and we waited...and waited, and waited, and waited. People were leaving, booing, chanting Lauryn - Lauryn - Lauryn. It was beyond ridiculous. Finally after two hours of sitting and waiting, this is what showed up
What the Hell? My kids were like "Mom, who is that?" I was speechless to say the least. She looked like a homeless Ronald McDonald starring in Tim Robbins, The Nightmare Before Christmas. I was just stunned. My son was saying, "she on that powder man", and I could not justifiably argue his allegations. It was insane. She fell down on stage at one point, and continued singing from the floor. She did manage to recover, blaming the fall on the very high (5 inch) heels she was wearing. Ok, I could give her that, but her sound was raspy and crackling, very staccato. She played a lot of music that was completely unfamiliar to the crowd, who did not know how to react. She then began barking at her band to "give 'em something they can recognize." Yes, please!
Later in the show, she very coherently shared with us her woes with the industry trying to sculpt and mold her art into a product which is not reflective of her, and her rebellion to that process. Now, I don't want to see anyone oppressed but damn, I didn't spend $300 to see this ghetto hot mess.
I told my children and my friend that Lauryn needed our prayers, and proceeded to pray for her on the spot. It seemed the only Christian thing I could do. I was sorely disappointed with her performance and appearance, and will not spend two cents to see her again. I should have done my homework because there is a ton of information out there attesting to her having a reputation for showing up in this fashion. My bad! I will however keep her in prayer, and just keep listening to my Miseducation of Lauryn Hill CD, and reminiscing over better days.