Every time Lauryn Hill is booked to play a gig, one question arises: will she show? And if she does, how late will she be? To her fans, just the virtue of her turning up seems enough to justify the ticket price. Yet when she does show and she’s feeling the performance, the result is often mesmerically energetic, as she hurtles through double-speed renditions of her Miseducation hits, as if barely suppressing an appetite large enough to devour her own back catalogue, and to devour the audience and her own precision-commanded band in the process. In these moments, we see testament to Hill’s much-lauded status as one of hip-hop’s foremost lyricists and one of contemporary soul’s most passionate vocalists.
So, on the Pyramid stage, 10 minutes after the scheduled start, there was a palpable nervous energy that rippled through the gigantic crowd. Hill’s tour DJ valiantly spun the classic pre-gig fillers: Drop It Like It’s Hot, et al but the audience was beginning to reckon with another disappointment. Happily, though, five minutes later and Hill appeared resplendent and imperiously hatted in black, backed by three singers and a five–piece band.
Read the review in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 28/06/19]