In the late 90's, Lauryn Hill, riding on the success of her solo recording, seemed poised to rule the world. However, as it can happen in the topsy-turvy world of the music biz, she went insane and dropped off the face of the earth. Well, that's not exactly true, but she did have five children. As the father of merely one child, I can tell you that four more would probably put me in the clock tower wearing something in a semi-automatic.....
"Nobody could participate because NOBODY knew the music!" a concertgoer told entertainment blog Sandrose, via theboombox.com. "Everybody was looking around like 'WHAT SONG IS THIS?"
Now, tardiness is not something I like to condone. Who knows what the excuse could have been? Unless she was, ahem, indisposed due to some bad shellfish, there's no reason for being three hours late. And especially due to the fact that Hill has been for the most part out of the game since 1998, you would think she would try not to make her audiences angry at her. This apparently has been happening throughout the tour. So it wasn't like, "Oh, my flight was canceled and I had to connect through Denver to get here, I'm so sorry." It gives off a certain arrogance, and for someone who claims to be a humanitarian, it shows a lack of respect for your audience, most of whom would be instantly fired if they showed up to their jobs three hours late with no reasonable excuse.
But what fascinates me most about this Lauryn Hill comeback tour is the remarks about the music. There were comments about the music being unrecognizable and not being able to sing along with hits. This is where I would overwhelmingly defend Hill. As a jazz musician, I enjoy, and I believe I am expected, to play things in a new way every night. Even if I were lucky enough to have a so-called "hit song", which I'm not banking on ( at least not if it's a jazz song), then I believe it would still be understood that jazz musicians are improvisers, not classical musicians. Therefore, our whole being is about taking material and making it new, and having the freedom to find new things every time out. We are decidedly NOT playing the same thing every night.
I would think that if you were a so-called fan of an artist, then you would go to hear them do what they do, as opposed to expecting to hear things exactly like they are on a recording from 13 years ago. Why not just buy the CD? Then you can listen all day long to the same thing over and over. But in terms of a live show,why wouldn't you respect the artist to give you something of quality regardless of whether it's exactly like the recording? If you are so easily disappointed by your favorite artist, why did you become a fan in the first place?
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|The Great Gary Bartz|