I may have just lost one. Or two…tickets that is.
Lauryn Hill is scheduled to perform in no less than six shows across the NY metro area, starting at the Highline Ballroom on Dec. 27 and concluding on Feb. 4 at the Wellmont Theatre in NJ.
The skeptic in me said don’t splurge for the tickets even though the idea of seeing L Boogs touch the stage in the small confines of say, the Blue Note (she is set to do three shows there from Jan. 3–5), was tempting. I didn’t plunk down the $125 per ticket to share a table and an inevitably obstructed view at the jazz club. I let shows at the Highline, Music Hall of Williamsburg (Dec. 28), Bowery Ballroom (Jan. 1) sell out too.
So I’m not sure what prompted me to pull the trigger for the show in February at the Wellmont. Hope, I guess. That fanboy-level hope that your favorite MC/singer will perform like you know they can (and have seen before). Earlier this year I gave DOOM the benefit of the doubt and purchased tickets to see him and Mos Def. The show got canceled. Now I hoped that Lauryn would just channel Lauryn circa ’98 for the few weeks she’s on tour. Perhaps I should’ve trusted my inner cynic because reports are back from an early tour stop in Vermont. Peep the photos below (from BrooklynVegan) and read some of what the good folks at The Big Takeover had to say:
The show was advertised to start at 9:00. When we got there we heard rumblings about the show not starting until 10:30. I hoped this was just scuttlebutt, since it was a Sunday night. As it turned out, Ms. Hill did not grace us with her presence until 11:45. There was no explanation, and no opening act. I could see and feel the energy drain from the room as the wait got longer and longer. By 10:30 some people started going to the ticket window to try to get their money back (I don’t know if they were successful). After two hours of standing around and waiting, her DJ came onstage and spun some tunes. Thirty minutes after that the band took the stage. I got the sense that even they did not know when (or if?) their bandleader would appear. They just stood there shuffling their feet for ten or fifteen minutes before Lauryn eventually showed up.
“Ok, so finally we get to the music (consider this review as an allegory for the show itself). After all the drama, if she had actually come out and killed with her brilliance, all might have been forgiven. But alas, it was not to be. The band was a lesson in overkill: three guitarists, three keyboardists, three backup singers, bass, drums and DJ. The result? It was hard to hear much of anything. To make matters worse, the songs were sped up to the point of rendering them almost unrecognizable. It took me half the opening song to realize it was “Lost Ones”. There was no groove; it was so fast you couldn’t even dance to it. Needless to say we did not make it through the whole set.”
Sounds like this summer’s Rock the Bells debacle all over again. And genius me has to still figure out a way to get to Montclair via public transpo to see what could be a tour-capping nightmare. C’mon Lauryn, wake up from your dreamstate and do me this solid. At the Wellmont, just do it like it’s supposed to be done.
Did I just waste my money or will Lauryn come good on the rest of the tour? Share your thoughts.