Monday, February 3, 2014

The Incomparable Lauryn Hill- L Boogie Vs. The Philosopher

That strong mother doesn't tell her cub, Son, stay weak so the wolves can get you. She says, Toughen up, this is reality we are living in.

Reality is easy. It's deception that's the hard work.

I need to be surrounded by people as passionate and as dedicated as I am.” Lauryn Hill

The above quote by Singer/Rapper/Actress Lauryn Hill (born Lauryn Noelle Hill in South Orange, New Jersey on May 26, 1975) is the absolute reason as to why I am a admirer of this creative genius and whom I like to call a womanist "philospher" in her own right, and so it was with great delight to have the opportunity to see Ms. Hill this past Friday in Port Chester, New York performing at the Capitol Theater. 

I didn't know which Lauryn would show up that night, as I stated earlier, the conscious philospher who delves into heavy topics such as spirituality, depression, the perils of fame and success in the music industry, Unrequited Love OR L Boogie, the homegirl from the bricks who most remember from her early beginnings with the Hip Hop Alternative group, "The Fugees".  I have to say, I love all of her complexities, however, I was hoping to hear from the "Philosopher". I was hopeful she would add to her setlist some of my favorite songs from her MTV Acoustic Live Unplugged set, songs like "Mr. Intentional", "Peace of Mind" and "Mystery of Inquity" however she did not, and that is okay, she's still Lauryn freaking Hill!!! 

But, it made me sad because it was kind of easy to see that the lovely Ms. Hill, who walked onto that stage as beautiful as can be, so much so, that the audience literally drew in an collective breath of awe, was there simply to do a job.  Now was she good? Absolutely!  However, I didn't feel the passion and I wasn't the only one, as another concert goer while discussing the performance afterward initially put words to what I felt but couldn't describe, "she was simply working" he said, the passion was there, albeit dimmed a bit.

Thereafter a few fellow concertgoers whom I chatted with briefly before the event, mostly younger generation, (which was the beauty of the concert, all ages, ethnicities, races came together, music has a way of doing that) who kept saying, "I hope she doesn't get all "preachy", they wanted "L Boogie!, while I secretly wanted the deeper passionate woman. I can't help but wonder did she also feel this struggle? If she did, it didn't show. She didn't give any long diatribes or speeches at ALL, any nuggets of her brilliance (outside of her singing/rhyming ofcourse) and I longed for that a bit. During one part of the show, towards the end she did share a bit of her feelings and told the crowd how much she missed them, as she was receiving sooo much love from the crowd!

Her band was extroadinary! Background singers, awesome..she directed them almost throughout the whole concert which was hilarious to someone like myself, who can be a bit of a perfectionist. Some of the songs were "sped up" and I'm not sure if this was due to time constraints as she did not get on stage until after 9 pm, an hour late, and I remember asking the bartender afterward, whom happened to be a P/T musician, Did they have soundcheck? he said yes, however he also had an "ear" and felt the music was too loud making it hard to hear her more AND the band, too fast paced for most of the songs. What was so awesome, was that Ms. Hill's children were right there by her side, front and center as mommy worked, at one point sitting on stage as the crowd roared and she performed!, this warmed my heart because you do not see alot of artists this comfortable, image be damned...

I MUST relate how beautiful a voice Ms. Hill has, even moreso than I'd imagined as I listened to her belt out the Stevie Wonder classic "I'd never dreamed you'd Leave In Summer"..just beautiful vibrato and raw emotion.

As the quote from Ms. Hill stated, Reality is easy. It's deception that's the hard work.
  Visit her website for upcoming concert dates. You won't be disappointed!

YES I had goood seats!

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