Lauryn Hill | 06.18.14

Lauryn-Hill 75Once I heard the guitar riffs playing for “To Zion” I burst into tears.

Lauryn-Hill 500

The Pageant, St. Louis

I entered a room that had little sprinkles of quite a diverse group of people. There were different races, ages, and clothing choices ranging from tailored suits to booty shorts. I guess the youth who came were so young the security went on alert, and I ended up getting stopped and asked to prove my ID was really mine. This had me a little grumpy before the show, but something shocked me out of that grump—it was the fact that there was such a small amount of people standing up. The show started with very few in front of the stage. The crowd in the front consisted of people only dancing to the songs the DJ played and not the performed tracks by Ms. Lauryn Hill.

The DJ was playing all 90s tracks with artists like Mary J. Blidge and Alicia Keys. I’m assuming the DJ was who Lauryn had as her opening act because after he was done, she came and performed. About an hour into the DJ playing, my peers and I got a little restless, but the front floor got more crowded none-the-less.

At a little after 10 p.m., Lauryn’s band came on and started playing reggae music. They went for about 10 minutes and her background singers came on to the stage and stood on the right side. Lauryn came out in a brown plaid blazer, a laced top, and a long skirt with a slit up the side exposing her white stockings. While she was performing she was conducting the band as well as killing mixes of her older tracks.

All her songs were performed effortlessly and her voice was not one to disappoint. I stopped myself to think about what a wonderful chance it was to see Lauryn Hill perform, considering she’s been doing music since 1991 and that this might be her last time performing in St. Louis. It just got even more emotional for me from that point. Once I heard the guitar riffs playing for “To Zion” I burst into tears. With it being my favorite and what I consider the most powerful song off her album, I knew hearing it live would be too much for me to handle, and it was. She ended that track with me in tears and her shoes coming off.

Remembering how long she’s been doing music, I wasn’t surprised when she came back from taking off her shoes and sat on a stool. That marked her a capella set where it was just her and her guitar. Each song blended together just as it did on her Unplugged album. The lights turned to a soothing blue and the band and singers played softer. The next section had a reggae vibe. She covered songs from the Fugees and several Bob Marley songs. She closed with another dance/reggae version of “Killing Them Softly.” | Alexy Irving

Track List:

Killing Them Softly

Everything is Everything

Final Hour

To Zion

Lost Ones

Ex-Factor

Jerusalem

Turn Your Lights Down Low

Zealots

How Many Mic’s

Fu-Gee-La

Ready or Not

Jammin by Bob Marley

Master Blaster

Waiting in Vain

Could you be Loved

That Thing

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