The weather was just as perfect as the night was going to be as fans lined up to witness a spectacle of performances by a living legend. 8-time Grammy award winning performer and former member of the multi-platinum group the Fugees, Lauryn Hill or in tonight’s case, Ms. Lauryn Hill made her way to the Sound Academy in Toronto to put on a show for her fans north of the border this past Saturday, June 21, 2014. This was the superstar’s first visit back to the city since she graced the stage at the Molson Amphitheatre back in 2011.
Fans didn’t seem to mind the semi-long wait time as doors began to open at the notorious music venue. Once inside, fans quickly settled in with drinks as the DJ spun the best of RNB music from the 90’s. The ambiance in the room was light and the lighting perfectly lit to portray three beams reflecting the colours of the Jamaican flag. As the night continued to progress the music slowly transitioned to reggae anthems and today’s hits including the best of Drake and Skrillex. Not so weird when you remember that she joined the electronic music artist during his set at Bonaroo just last week. This also showed her versatility and that she is able to adapt to the change in music over the last decade.
Time management seemed to be something that the artist needs to work on as she was scheduled to take the stage at 9:30PM but didn’t make her way to it until 10:00PM. Fans were restless as they awaited her arrival. Exhausted fans were now ready to see Lauryn do what she does best. As her band settled in and played the first few chords of “Everything is Everything” over and over. The stadium erupted with loud applauses and vigorous hollers, thirty-five minutes late but there she was! You couldn’t even be angry that she was late as she opened the show with a phenomenal rendition of assorted hits.
The night progressed with perfect vocals as she continued her set with classics “Lost Ones” before breaking into various freestyles hailing the city of Toronto for coming out that night for supporting the star. It was songs “Ex-Factor” and “Tell Him” that really portrayed the hard work she puts into her music. The night proceeded as Lauryn exited and returned to the stage with a guitar to commemorate her years as a Fugees member. Hit after hit with perfect chords and vocals Lauryn began with “Fu-gee-La” before serenading the audience with “Ready or not,” “Zealots” and “How many Mics.”
Dark, eerie shorts played in the backdrop as the multitalented artist took center stage solo to perform three songs from her MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. The crowd was mute as they carefully listened to the artist soulfully grace the ears of all in attendance. “Do I got any Bob Marley fans here tonight,” she yelled before perfectly executing the infamous “Could You Be Loved,” and “Turn Your Lights Down Low.” Fans were rambunctious, waving hands side to side while helping Ms. Hill perform the 80s hits.
The best part of the night came last as Lauryn was rejoined by her band to perform the final song of the night “Do Wop (That Thing).” After a full run through of the song it was than reprised and remixed a couple more times before she took the side of the stage to sign a few autographs before exiting stage left. Her two hour set can be said to be more than perfect as fans could not get enough of the artist the whole night. So much so, loads of fans stayed back just to catch a glimpse of the inspirational Ms. Hill after the show. If audience members were miseducated before they were definitely reeducated that night.
Check out the rest of the great photos taken from the show below and if you were in attendace let us know your thoughts on the concert.
Review written by: Hayatt Baanks for The Come Up Show. Photography by: Eddy Rissling for The Come Up Show.