Lauryn Hill Slayed the Haters With Her Moving Target Playdate at Grand Central Last Night

Categories: Last Night, Video
Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
Haters, you shoulda seen Ms. Lauryn Hill at Grand Central.
See the full 20-photo slideshow of Lauryn Hill's Moving Target Intimate Playdate at Grand Central.

Lauryn Hill's Moving Target Intimate Playdate Series
Grand Central
Sunday, March 20

Better Than: Hill's Saturday set at Jazz in the Gardens.

At 1:45 a.m. on Sunday, Crossfade broke the news about Ms. Lauryn Hill's last-minute Moving Target playdate at Grand Central. And almost immediately, the haters were out and haunting the comments section, even though it was the middle of the freaking night.

One naysayer, Pamar30, was bummed out by Hill's Jazz in the Gardens gig, writing: "I love Lauryn but I was truly disappointed with tonight's performance. So not interested in a repeat perfomance." And george added: "People left in droves ... This band is not tight... And lose the retarded wig and wardrobe for god's sake."

Honestly, Crossfade can understand all the hating and complaining. But we just don't agree. When Ms. Hill hit up the University of Miami homecoming, it was awesome. In fact, one of 2010's best Miami concerts. And even Jazz in the Gardens (which we admitted in the recap wasn't Lauryn's most flawless set) still showed flashes of deep genius.

Last night, though, there was absolutely nothing flawed about Ms. Lauryn Hill. She totally slayed the haters.

The playdate officially started at 1:10 a.m. when Hill's deck man DJ Rampage dropped the needle on her classic 1996 collabo "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)" with Nas. This track seems to have become the de facto signal at every show that Lauryn's ready for her people. And so, out wandered the band as Rampage cut into the snotty refrain ("You fancy, huh?") from Drake's "Fancy."

A minute later, Hill strode out, dressed in a little cap, bob wig, tweed jacket, black harem pants, a blouse with a white leopard's face across the front, and tons of funky chunky jewelry. She told the crowd, "You look good tonight." And then she slipped into last night's variation on her standard setlist, beginning with "Everything Is Everything" and "Sweetest Thing."

Continuing to sift though Miseducation material, Hill and her band wound out tighter and tighter takes of her old solo stuff -- "Lost Ones," "Superstar," "To Zion." The only exception was a version of "When It Hurts So Bad" that never hit any kind of real groove.

Generally, though, unlike Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium, nothing fell off-balance or out-of-sync. And then the first half of the show wrapped with an ungodly strong cover of Bob Marley's "Is This Love."

That's when the serious hater-slaying began with a slashing sci-fi rock reconstruction of "How Many Mics." The entire place spat and sang along with Lauryn. They pogo-ed with her. They threw hands to the sky with her. And when the riffing and raging was over, Hill and the band seemed genuinely shocked and stoked, smiling and laughing as if it was the best thing they'd ever played.

Then, bleeding from a slow-burning cover of the Flamingos oldie "I Only Have Eyes for You" to "Zealots," which samples that previous song, the energy shot up even higher. Tearing through "Fu-Gee-La" and "Ready or Not," there was an intense exchange of psychic energy between Hill, her band, and the crowd. Trapped together in the dark and close quarters of a club, it was like an intense feedback loop that reached peak intensity with the set's last song, "Killing Me Softly."

The club went dark. Ms. Hill disappeared backstage. But it was only a tease. If you've seen any of her recent shows, you alreaddy knew that two more songs -- "Turn the Lights Down Low" and "Doo Wop (That Thing)" - were definitely part of the plan. But like DJ Rampage was saying: "How much do you want more Ms. Lauryn Hill?"

There was screaming, wild clapping, and chanting pleas. She didn't make her fans wait long. Within minutes, Hill was back at the mic, smiling, and singing another Marley tune. And then, as she does every night now, she closed her encore with "Doo Wop" and a sing-along, calling on the ladies for "Girls, you know you better watch out/Some girls, some girls are only about/That thing, that thing, that thing" and then the men for the flip of that lyric.

As her band kept playing, Hill said: "Goodnight." The crowd screamed: "We love you, Lauryn." And Hill reciprocated: "I love you too, Miami," promising, "We're gonna do this again soon."

It sounds like Ms. Lauryn Hill might already have a set of secret plans.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: A gathering of 400 young yet grown types who could stay out on Sunday night till 4 a.m. and not give a shit about getting up in the morning for the office.

Random Detail: Hill's fingernails and toes were did up with fluorescent orange paint. The girls in the front row were fawining all over that flash.

Lauryn Hill's Setlist:
-"Everything Is Everything"
-"Sweetest Thing"
-"Lost Ones"
-"When It Hurts So Bad"
-"To Zion"
-"Is This Love" (Bob Marley cover)
-"How Many Mics"
-"I Only Have Eyes for You" (Flamingos cover)
-"Ready or Not"
-"Killing Me Softly"

-"Turn Your Lights Down Low" (Bob Marley cover)
-"Doo Wop (That Thing)"

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

Location Info


Grand Central

697 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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Does this lady ever show ON TIME for her appearances??? If she was three hours late here, the day after Jazz in the Gardens (JIG's), where she also appeared on stage late, what's the matter? Ditch the bold jewelry, and fashion don't, and invest in a reliable time piece, I say.

Disappointed with her performance at JIG.'s by the way, especially after waiting for her in the freaking draft!!!!

JIG's spectators expect performers to give it their all and that did not happen with Ms. Hill.

A disappointed Bahamian spectator (2011)

JennyLee Molina
JennyLee Molina

I announced it at 12AM... come on New Times, you were a whole hour and 45 minutes late?! ;) Don't you subscribe to my e-blasts? Because of Jazz in the Gardens, the show only had less than 24 hours of promotion and it worked out perfectly, it was just the right amount of cool, in-the-know people that deserved to be there... I still don't understand why the sound guy (@ Grand Central) is next to the stage instead of the front. Ms. Lauryn kept asking for her mic to be louder throughout the first 2-3 songs. She is notoriously late.... so if doors open @ 9 and you were there, too bad for you, you should know better by now. She went on pretty late... but that's what the bar is for, she was worth the wait.


Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)


Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)


I WAS ONE OF THE LADIES DYING AND LIVING FOR LAURYN IN THE FRONT ROW! My feet are killing me, i had 3 hours of sleep, and still at work but loving life. Despite all the haters and critics, i still came out for Lauryn and she did not disappoint this intimate crowd. At several points of the show she made eye contact and sang with me as i sang along. And at the end of her show she gave her towel to me and my girlfriend and shared a moment...I LOVE THIS WOMAN AND F*CK THE HATERS! I waited 3 long hours and would wait longer if i had to.


thats it????? thats the whole review???? Yo I dont know if they are paying you for this but cmon man. you had me excited to read a review of a concert I had to unfortunately miss and thats all you write???

did you even go? arent you the editor or some shit??

Herby Garcia
Herby Garcia

Did you wait 3 hours for her to get on stage? Sean you are sounding like a fan boy.

Sean Pajot
Sean Pajot

Yo Wahappened??, when you came by this morning it wasn't actually a "review." It was a video recap. I figured you and others would probably wanna see vids from last night's show.

The full review's been up since noon for your reading pleasure. Plus two more videos, bro. And a setlist.

Sean Pajot
Sean Pajot

Yeah, Herby. I did wait three hours. And maybe I am becoming a fan boy.

Three months ago when I went to see Hill, I had planned to talk a ton of trash, especially after hearing all the negative stuff about her Rock the Bell shows. But she convinced me that her current trip is some important shit.

It would be dishonest to toss off sarcasm or snark just for the hell of it.


ok thanks!! sorry I hadn't had my morning joint when I wrote that.

Sean Pajot
Sean Pajot

Also, I'm getting sick of people whining about Hill's chronic tardiness. So I won't even bother.

A bit of advice: If you're going to see Ms. Lauryn Hill, get drunk while you wait. Or show up three to four hours after the doors officially open.

Problem fucking solved.

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