UPDATE: Lauryn Hill coming to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa
File this announcement under Stuff We Didn't See Coming.
Reclusive, oft-erratic R&B moldbreaker Lauryn Hill, who in the past year has begun to initiate her long-awaited comeback from self-imposed pop-cultural exile, is coming to the Ritz Ybor on March 23, according to the venue.
Ticket info will be announced soon
***UPDATE*** Tickets will start at (gulp) $65, according to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, which is partering with the Ritz on this show. Click here for details. (Hill is also scheduled to perform March 16 at the House of Blues in Orlando, according to Live Nation.)
The iconoclastic ex-Fugee, of course, is best known for her 1998 masterwork The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which won five Grammys and to this day is hailed as one of hip-hop's all-time defining albums (check out this recent episode of NPR's All Songs Considered for a discussion of the album's continued relevance). But it is difficult to imagine what Hill brings to the stage these days. A recent Baltimore Sun concert review said her performance of the song Lost Ones...
...was almost unrecognizable because of the God-awful arrangement. When It Hurts So Bad was also problematic. Again she showed off her vocal chops as she belted out pitch-perfect riffs. Too bad her soulful sounds were pretty much incoherent. I couldn’t tell what song she was performing at parts.
Hill truly hit her stride with Everything is Everything. She told the audience that it was her first time performing the song with her band. But you would never know. Her energy and presence on stage entranced the audience, and was the mark of a world-class performer.
This is what you get with Lauryn Hill circa 2011: Transcendent in places, head-scratching in others. This show just shot to the top of our must-see list for spring.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images.