Loves gumbo: Ingredients for loving and lasting relationships

Our families are falling apart and are in crisis. Want to do something to ensure that your family stays together or that you choose the right mate. Make this small investment for $3.99 and start the journey of thinking differently about love.

Here's my new Jewelry Rockstar Website

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lauryn Hill Concert Part Deux

I enjoyed the show in Miami so much that I decided to blow the whole concert budget on Lauryn Hill. My husband and I went to see her again on Wednesday, although we had just been on Saturday. Let me just say that was a great decision. However, my feet might disagree. Here's the skinny:

  • We arrived at 9pm, but there were some early hardcore fans already piled in a room to get early general admission entry. They rushed to the front of the stage, and we filed into the room. We were only about 5 rows deep. Pretty great I would say. At the Miami show it was all jumbo tron viewing. This show was up close and personal.
  • We stood around getting drinks and what have you until 10pm. Her DJ comes out and pumps up the crowd with Reggae (of which I am not a big fan), old school hip-hop, and some new stuff (not a fan of that either). The crowd was hyped for about an hour, and then all of the sudden we realized that she still hadn't shown up. The DJ was still spinning hits, but nobody really moved after 11:00pm. We all just waited with upside smiles and scrunched up brows. One lady who had heard me say I saw her in Miami a few days prior accosted me about the late arrival as though I was part of her crew. I didn't know what to say, but "we only waited about an extra 30 mins in Miami. My husband still maintains that is was an hour and a half in Miami, but that's just not how I remember it. I facebooked when she came out at both shows, so let the record show, blah, blah, blah.
  • Around 11:30 she came out smiling, happy, fashion-enviable (yes, her outfit was right this time), and acting as though she had no idea that I had just stood on 6 inch heels for 2.5 hours waiting on her. I was a little grumpy (but it wasn't all Lauryn's fault). The woman next to me was super-grumpy.
  • I'm going off-road a little here, but I must explain why I was grumpy. I mentioned the standing in 6 inch heels for 2.5 hours part, but the physical pain associated with standing in my new Jessica Simpson 6 inch heels goes beyond explanation. I looked cute, but it was not cute at all. Plus, there was this annoying couple in front of me for like a two hours dancing. One of them kept backing up her squishy body against me and I was pissed and grossed out. I wanted to swing on these inconsiderate jerks explained that she was violating my personal space several times and finally in the middle of the show, they just pushed forward and got out of my way. I literally shouted "hallelujah." So with my hurting feet, and the squishy body and cig and weed smoke these two brought with them, I was a little pissy perturbed.
  • Lauryn was happy and electric. She looked out in the crowd and I could see that she noticed me and Ms. Super grumpy that was next to me, so I was little embarrassed to look like a stick in the mud. I quickly got in the spirit of things. Ms. Super Grumpy next to me left. I wasn't going anywhere because I knew what was in store for me, a great show.
  • This Tampa crowd was way different than the Miami crowd. They paid about the same ticket price to see Lauryn all by herself, as the other crew paid for a huge line up. They quickly forgave the lateness and partied all night long.
  • The show itself was exactly the same, so I take that back about a formula for her show and a stage manager needing to step in. She has a formula, she has just chosen to push people to the point of total piss-offivity (by being late) and then start off with a song no one knows. I think that is counter-intuitive, but hey that's just me.
  • The show was even more awesome and she was very engaged with the audience. She showed no fear only the desire to rock the mic. She did it over and over again! Perfect pitch, new notes, new rhymes, new arrangements. She was giving it all to us.
  • She did some of the band reprimanding antics, but not too much. I also noticed, I guess because I was closer, that the band seems to get pumped by her directives. They actually looked excited and they played better, but they were already incredible. It appeared that she has all the music and vocals planned out in her head, and she really encourages her band to play it out the exact way she sees it.
  • Anyway, we all loved the show and many many people were hobbling out of there smiling from ear-to-ear. Men and women, were complaining about their feet. All told we stood about 4 hours. Get your ticket if she comes to your town. You won't regret it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jazz in The Gardens - Lauryn Hill

I know I said I wouldn't be posting here anymore, but I had to get this out. My site is under construction, so I am using this one. I'll post it there once I do the big reveal.

Last night I saw Lauryn Hill. Not on the internet, not on the television, but in real life. I've been wanting to see her for so long, and I finally got the chance. I went with the full expectation that she was going to be spectacular and she truly was. However, many in the crowd in Miami Gardens, FL probably wouldn't agree. Let me break it down for you.

1) Lauryn Hill was the headliner or the last act after a long line up. There was Al Jarreau & Lalah Hathaway, both of whom I missed because I was late. The crowd claimed that Al Jarreau was drunk and that he wasn't any good. I don't believe it because this particular crowd didn't seem to have discriminating taste when it came to music. Bobby Brown, Ralph & Johnny were there too. They were the epitome of a washed up group, but the crowd loved them. Their voices were beat down, and they were boring. I felt like something was wrong with me because these people were going nuts for this crap. It was like the way people run to buy Sunny D instead of real orange juice. Next came Charlie Wilson. Charlie Wilson is about 58 years old and he is the consummate professional. Great voice, engaged the crowd, danced and was sticking the moves, he was great. I've seen him before with the Gap band, so I expected no less than what I got.

2) Charlie went off at 10:45pm with his hit "There Goes My Baby." He was scheduled to go off at around 10:00, but he has a bunch of music, plus he played new music too. Lauryn was scheduled to go on at 10:30pm, somehow some the crowd began to get negative about Lauryn while Charlie was still on. They blamed her for him going over. They said she was the reason. I didn't get it. They got more show, but started complaining immediately.

3) Around 11:45 Lauryn Hill hits the stage, so technically she was only about 30 mins late because there is usually about a 30 min lull between sets. Let me just say the liquor shut down at 10:30, so you know...happy drunks were getting sober and turning into cranky people looking for another drink.

4) She came out to a crowd that was about 80% full because 20% left before she came on. I wasn't prepared to wait 2 hours, but 30 mins didn't seem unreasonable. The crowd seemed to be caught up in the "we're mad at Lauryn" wave that's been going around the internet. It's probably big in Miami too because Wyclef and Pras have done a great job trashing her when she wanted to be producer on a new album they were working on. Miami is full of first, second, and third generation West Indians, so they might choose Wyclef over Lauryn, but I'm just guessing. Although, I thought the whole beef between them seemed like a sexist move on the parts of Clef, Pras & Jerry Wonder, who thought they should be the only ones to produce despite the fact that Lauryn has produced artists like Aretha & Mary J.

5) She came out with a fly jacket on, a dope skirt on, a sick pair of earrings, a cool hat, a nice tee-shirt and a stylish scarf. They all worked on their own, but not together. When dressing you must decide whether you will be fly, dope, cool, sick, stylish or nice-looking, but they shouldn't all be done together. Tameka Raymond used to dress Lauryn, and I think she should go back to relying on a stylist.

6) Next she stated that she would do old songs and tracks, and immediately went into something none of us had heard before. Another 10% of the crowd bolted toward the exits, which was great for me because I moved up closer.

7) Then came all the hits and the artistry. However, they came to us in new arrangements. They didn't sound like the radio versions, which I thought was AWESOME!!!! She gave us some ridiculous music. The new arrangements were sick. She lost another 20% of the crowd by presenting herself as the artist that she is now, and not the one she was back in 1998. As an artist I totally understood the evolution, and the need not to repeat the same things over and over. It's not expression if you just do it and do it again the same way. It's more like production and being a technician.

8) My husband said that she asked them not to leave, I didn't hear that. I just know that she was presenting her new masterpieces, and that she is definitely ready to give us new music.

9) Internet reports always talk about how she verbally berates or at best over-instructs her band. She did that last night a lot. It felt like she was a bit obsessive or insecure. The best artists are that way. The key is to hide the behind the scenes perfectionist that creates the work, so that you don't alarm your audience or come off as a rigid tyrant. We got a little rigid tyrant vibe from her. Plus, she didn't do the "this is my band, aren't they wonderful" piece that we usually see from vocalists.

10) Overall, I got the sense that Lauryn is afraid of us. She seemed afraid to truly connect with the audience. She tried a bit at the end, but not really. She might be out of practice with performing live, but it seemed like fear to me. It seemed like she was afraid we wouldn't appreciate her, and many in the crowd didn't. It's funny how our energy creates situations we claim we don't want. Concerning the show itself, she could also benefit from a professional stage manager who will make her adhere to a formula that works for the everyday audience. We love her and she will continue to draw crowds even if they just want to say "yes, I saw her and she wasn't all that" like many from the crowd last night.

She's actually in Miami tonight at Grand Central. I really would love to go see her again, but I need to get back home. I still might throw caution to the wind and go. That's how refreshing it was to see a real artist do her thing.

Update: Just found out that Lauryn will be in the Tampa Bay area in just three short days, and I will be there again!!! Yippee!