Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 30 September, 2023
After showing up 2 hours late to other European gigs and playing for 30 mins, Lauryn Hill surprised Irish fans
“I don’t know what Lauryn Hill has got against other countries.”

IT’S SAFE TO say that Lauryn Hill fans were very nervous ahead of her Dublin gig last night. Many were probably wondering if it was worth skipping The Late Late Toy Show, after reading some, eh, mixed reviews of her previous performances on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Tour. 

From the get-go, it was reported that Lauryn Hill was showing up ridiculously late for gigs, before getting on stage and performing a half-hour’s worth of songs. It’s long been established that Lauryn’s not too concerned with punctuality, as in 2016 she posted a lengthy Facebook status explaining that she doesn’t “show up late to shows because [she doesn't] care”. 

I have nothing but love and respect for my fans. The challenge is aligning my energy with the time, taking something that isn’t easily classified or contained, and trying to make it available to others. I don’t have an on/off switch. I am at my best when I am open, rested, sensitive and liberated to express myself as truthfully as possible. For every performance that I’ve arrived to late, there have been countless others where I’ve performed in excess of two hours, beyond what I am contracted to do, pouring everything out on the stage. 

Try that one out on your boss. Two years after posting this statement, Lauryn was forced to apologise to fans in Paris and Brussels after disappointing them with her tardiness, with another lengthy statement on Twitter.

They weren’t too impressed. In a review by The Times, it was acknowledged that this is just part of Lauryn’s persona. 

It was notable, on this first night of her UK tour, how much respect Lauryn Hill showed her fans: almost none. Arriving on stage at 10pm, 40 minutes after the advertised time, an 11pm curfew looming, it was clear that she didn’t care about your train home, your babysitter, or your bourgeois ideas of value for money. Filling time, the supporting DJ had played Rock With You, imploring a restless crowd to, “make some noise for Michael Jackson”. There seemed more chance of him putting in an appearance.

FL: Lauryn Hill Miseducation 20th Anniversary Tour SIPA USA / PA Images SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

To everybody’s surprise, however, Lauryn managed to tap into her energy right on time for her Dublin show and left fans in awe. 

She even stuck around for an hour and thirty minutes, as late as she possibly could (until 11.30pm) which nobody was expecting. 

And the gig didn’t come to an end there, either.

Countless fans on Twitter remarked that the sing-song on the Luas home was almost as spiritual an experience as the gig itself. 

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