Five things I wrote in my notebook during Lauryn Hill’s Cosmo show

Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna

1. Opening act Murs (short for Making the Universe Recognize and Submit) can do a serious toe-touch, not to mention the James Brown splits. He’s aerobic physically and lyrically, and DJ Foundation is laying down instrumentals as thick as his dreads. Like the song suggests, I’m a “Dark Skinned White Girl” loving these juicy beats.

2. I’m told Ms. Hill didn’t show for a 2007 Vegas booking and that there was a DJ involved in giving the crowd false hope. This DJ just promised he’s an “appetizer.” But if the main course doesn’t get here soon, I will put this man on a Triscuit.

3. DJ Hors D’Oeuvre swears she’s in the building and needs to hear us greasing up with House of Pain and Montell Jordan hits from the ’90s. A man I’ve been sharing the rail with shows me his phone lighting up. “Patty T!” he exclaims. “Booty caaaaaaall!” It’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in the past two hours.

4. It’s 11:16 p.m., and fog and strobes are filling the stage (perhaps to disguise the lack of a singer). Wait—there she is, gorgeous in red and that signature black bowler. She wants the crowd closer, forgetting that we’re trapped in an empty swimming pool.

5. She’s rapping favorites from Miseducation, every now and then running the hot knife of her voice through a line. The energy is hovering between infectious and frantic, which works and doesn’t. Maybe I’m just too far away from the stage …

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Erin Ryan

Erin got her first newspaper job in 2002 thanks to a campfire story about Bigfoot. In her award-winning work for ...

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