It’s been almost 18 years since Lauryn Hill dropped her legendary album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”. Since the debut it seems as if her career has had a downward, slow spiral. For Lauryn Hill lovers, Pittsburgh got a small dose of her strange behavior at a May 11 concert in Homestead.
While the concert started at 8 PM, The Fugees singer hit the stage at 9:58 PM. The dimly-lit candles, dark lighting, and long-winded opening ballad were just some of the initial indicators that we were in for a bizarre evening. The random sound checks and clear rehearsal moments were strange. Her dancing was strange. It was overall a peculiar series of events.
Good news is the show got better as it progressed. Lauryn Hill sounded amazing! Most importantly, the voice that we so intimately adored since “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” (1993) has aged like fine wine. Her voice is grittier, raspier and magically beautiful.
The miseducation of Lauryn Hill has taken on its own meaning lately. Pittsburgh received a glimpse of what the rest of the world has been complaining about in her appearance and concerts. Lauryn Hill seems misguided and miseducated on punctuality, professionalism, and presence.
There’s no excuse for a two-hour late arrival, interrupted sound checks, and singing one song for 20 minutes. There’s a thin line between artistic creativity, song rendition, and compete, utter exaggeration. Some songs went on for way too long.
After her Atlanta concert where she hit the stage at 10:30 PM and left a half hour later, you would think she would he needed this Pittsburgh concert to redeem herself. She needs the good press! I don’t know if I’m helping with this mixed review, but it’s clear that a new publicist and genuine makeover is in her near future.
While she performed songs from the iconic album, none of them were performed in their original form. She performed well known songs like “Everything is Everything”, “Lost Ones”, ‘Final Hour” “Ex-Factor” and ended the concert with “Doo Wop (That Thing)”. She accurately covered Sade’s “Sweetest Taboo” and Bob Marley’s “Jamming”, and threw it back with a few songs from “The Score” and “Love Jones” soundtrack.
There’s no question that witnessing Lauryn Hill live in concert, even in the midst of her chaos, is a task off of one’s bucket list. The best of luck to Ms. Lauryn Hill on her upcoming concerts and endeavors.