Lauryn Hill Faces Technical Difficulties, Still Rocks Los Angeles' Greek Theatre
“Can y'all hear me?" a concerned Lauryn Hill asked the crowd. With echoes of loud screams, it was evident fans enjoyed the performance whether or not she could hear herself. Despite technical difficulties, an at times frustrated Hill still rocked the Greek Theatre Thursday night (Oct. 20) in Los Angeles.
Part of the Tidal X MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling! concert series, Hill performed for a packed crowd while virtual viewers were able to stream the concert live exclusively on Tidal.
Coming off of performing in New York, Hill sang her newly premiered song “Rebel” (which is exclusively available on Tidal). The song was written years ago after police killed a man named Amadou Diallo in 1999. Hill noted, “I was asked specifically to play this song for Birth of a Nation," but that situation didn’t work out and she released it on her own. She performed the song that resonates with a society still dealing with the problems of police brutality today.
Hill gave fans and causal listeners alike a chance to enjoy the show, singing hits like “Ex Factor," “Doo-Wop (That Thing)" and "Fu-Gee-La." Much of the pacing of the show was upbeat and quick, but Hill made sure to slow it down and give fans the usual emotional delivery on the popular cover song “Killing Me Softly,” originally performed by Roberta Flack in the '70s. Years have passed since the 1998 debut of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, but the singer didn't miss a beat vocally and delivered her usual runs and strong tone.
Besides being a phenomenal singer, Hill is a beast on the mic. Her ability to rap extremely fast while staying audible and never getting out of breath was a sight to behold at her L.A. show. On hits like “Everything Is Everything” and “Lost Ones," attendees caught a glimpse of the singer who is an inspiration to the modern day powerhouses of Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj (who raved about meeting her earlier in week backstage at New York's Tidal X: 2015 show).
A delightful surprise was the breakout Sade medley, which got the crowd grooving and brought a pleasant air of nostalgia with the Nigerian-British singer’s greatest hits, like “Your Love Is King” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).
Overall, Hill delivered a solid show -- and it was clear from the energy and joy of the audience that the songs from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill remain timeless.