Apr 25, 2011

Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill @ Fillmore 04/23/11

Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill
Let me count the ways...

The ways this concert has disappointed me on so many levels of  entertainment. I love hip-hop, especially 1990's hip-hop. With that said; I loved the Fugees. The Fugees was like the real hip-hop version of the Black Eye Peas. Fergie wish she had half the talent of Ms. Lauryn Hill. Her album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill is on my top 5 list of all time favorites. This album exhibited her self awareness of life, love, and heartache. I love every track on that album especially ex-factor because that helped me get through a very bitter break up with my daughter's father back in the day. Her voice shares her soul and her soul has such a unique and beautiful energy it touches the hearts of the world. I understand her story of how the industry changed her, made her angry, resentful, and lost. Every person on this earth has to find their own path to self-love and internal happiness, and unfortunately for Lauryn Hill her path was publicized for everyone to critique. I could not imagine if the whole world had access to see in my window and watch me struggle through life trying to find myself. She came out with MTV unplugged 2002 where she played acoustic guitar and sang very heart filled poetic songs about God, societies judgement, inner strength, and awareness. This music was more about expressing her soul and how she feels about her life than selling radio hit records, so the critics and fans alike did not respond with much praise or love for her acoustic harmony. I wonder if this is why the public had not heard from her in so long? I am sure having 5 children from 1997 - 2008 had a big part of her disappearance also. Despite what people thought of her MTV unplugged showcase, her true fans like myself still loved her and have been on pins and needles waiting for her comeback.

Living in Denver, Colorado and being a fan of hip-hop/r&b artist is often a challenge. Not many local promoters even bring out a lot of artist or artist just skip over Colorado because their fan base would be very limited. So when I was driving down East Colfax a few weeks ago and seen Ms.Lauryn Hill in bold letters on the billboard at the Fillmore Auditorium I almost crashed into the car in front of me. I was in that much shock that Lauryn Hill was touring and she will be in Denver out of all cities! I admit I was both excited and skeptical at the same time. The last thing I heard was MTV unplugged and I wasn't sure if that was the direction she was going with this concert tour or if she would sing her songs from Miseducation and Fugees. As the concert date neared I was becoming less excited and more skeptical. My friends kept saying she was getting bad reviews and my regular concert goers was not interested to see her. I pretty much talk myself out of going, and was going to wait to hear from somebody else about how awesome the show was or how horrible it was. The final hour my friend Ty talked me into going because his fiance also my friend Shannon needed a girls night out. I don't get to hang out with Shannon that often, so it wasn't hard to convince me to go because she is fun to hang out with, but I still felt unsure about how the concert was going to be. I just seen Method Man and Redman a couple of weeks earlier and that show was off the chain! I screamed like a 16 year old girl the entire time. It was awesome, so to come from that kind of concert to a concert I wasn't sure about had my expectations stuck in limbo.
$50 bucks later, I bought my ticket the day before the show 30 minutes before the box office closed. I am usually excited after I buy a concert ticket, but this time I felt the same way I feel after buying groceries. I put the ticket in my wallet and kept it moving.
Saturday night comes and Shannon and I carpool downtown to her apartment to meet up with her friend Ali and then the 3 of us would all go to the show together. Girls Night!!
Lauryn Hill finally arrives to the Fillmore and while the stage was getting set up, I started to get more excited to see her. Two Fat Tire beers later, finally she is about to come out on stage. Of course I have to pee like a cow or horse or any big mammal and the bathroom with no lines was blocked off because "the artist" was about to come on stage. I stood there and waited for what seemed like an eternity but was only a couple of minutes.She came out and I was let in; did my business and found the girls night crew and was ready for madness to begin.
Madness is what began. Utter madness. Live band, awesome band, live Lauryn Hill, awesome Lauryn Hill, until the music arrangements became everything opposite of what was recorded on her albums. The concert took a turn for disappointing half way through her set when I realized she is not going to play one song that is even a little bit close to the original track. Not one song. I could not recognize a lot of the songs because I had to pick up on the lyrics to figure out which song she was singing. It was like listening to Bob Marley singing on top of the classical arrangement of Bach. Polar opposite. Her band played jam band music and she sang Zion and Ex-Factor with it. It was unrecognizable and my excitement quickly dissipated and was replaced with anger. My anger turned into annoyance and more anger. I paid $50 to listen to the lyrics of my favorite artist played with music I never heard before. The music was not better than the original and as far as I was concerned it made the songs worse. If she came out with Miseducation with the music that played during this concert there would be no way in HELL she would of received all the Grammy's and Billboard awards she has now. The entire concert experience was like falling in love with someone and when you finally have sex with this person you love it turns out he is the worse lover you ever been with with no promise of getting better. What do you do?
I still love her music, I just won't go to another concert again to see her live.