Everything is Everything*

August 7, 2007 at 11:58 am (Entertainment)

Married To The Sea

Because I always need to be where the cool people are, doing what the cool people do, I went to Lauryn Hill’s concert in Brooklyn last night.   SuperFudge, as usual, was my Navigatrix.  (I have to say, the best “dates” I’ve had this summer have been with SuperFudge.)  We drove through the twisty Brooklyn streets to the obscure park where the concert was to take place, and we only got lost twice. 

The line to enter the park wrapped around the block.  Some people had been camped out since morning.  This created a false sense of urgency and despair among those of us wending our way through the line, and many concert-goers worried audibly that we would not get in.  As we approached the entrance, civility was shunted in favor of expediency, and some tetchy queens pushed us aside to get through the gate.

This impolitesse was unnecessary because, of course, the venue was a park, for crying out loud.  Once we got inside we discovered that there was room for the entire borough of Brooklyn.  We opened our blanket, set up our camp chairs, and sat back, ready for the music to start.

And we waited…and waited…and waited.  The emcee for the night was the Brooklyn borough president.  A less dynamic and charismatic man is not to be found.  The man who announces the produce specials over the intercom at my local Pathmark is more animated.  I think the emcee was worried that we might riot, because he kept telling us to be patient, and that Lauryn was on her way.   Other civil servants and politicians spoke, which made the wait even more unbearable.  Then a preacher led a long prayer that thanked Jesus for everything, including the grass, and the people who clean up the park after events, and sneakers, and chewing gum and I don’t know what else because I was trying to figure out how to send text messages on my phone.  (Crazy kids and the new technology).

Some teenaged boy was the opening act.  I have no opinion of him.  While he sang, I negotiated my first visit to the scary portable toilets.   It was realtively early in the event; so they were not especially befouled.  But the ricketyness of the structure itself unsettles me: I fear that one false move and I’ll end up ass-over-teakettle on the ground, with the toilet’s vile contents slowly oozing onto me.

I emerged from the toilet relieved and unscathed and was rewarded for my bravery with the sight of a 4 year-old girl crunking up a storm.  She was hands-down the most entertaining part of the evening.

Ms. Hill did not show up until 9:30 pm.  She seemed scattered, and her voice was hoarse.  Halfway into her first song, the man in front of me exclaimed, “I can’t believe I waited four hours for this shit!”  He and his companion packed up their belongings and left soon afterwards.  By the third song, one-fifth of the audience had departed.  I heard one woman complain on her cell phone, “I am so mad I want to go up on that stage and slap her.”

I suppose people had very definite expectations for the event.  SuperFudge and I saw no reason to leave.  Furthermore, as more guests got fed up, our view of the stage improved.  By the end of the night, we could see Lauryn herself, without the aid of the monitors.

Those who left early cheated themselves, because the show did get better immeasurably as the night wore on.  Lauryn’s voice was still hoarse, and I think her version of Eunice Waymon’s “Sinnerman” was a misfire, but by 11 o’clock, she was putting on an entertaining show.  Her revisit of the Fugees’ material was highly pleasurable.

SuperFudge and I did leave before the show officially closed, much as we would have liked to stay.  Toward the end of the third song of Lauryn’s encore, we both realized that we had to go to the bathroom again.  It’s one thing to visit the port-a-potty at the beginning of an event; neither of us had the emotional fortitude to deal with the toilets at midnight.

*I think I’ve used this title before in one of the Diaryland entries.  Forgive me for being repetitive.



  1. ashyknees said,

    Okay, after reading about your patience for Ms. Hill, I have to ask you this.

    So howcome we had to leave that soul band show early? All it took to get you outta there was a couple of goofballs from the audience jumping on stage and dancing with the band. They weren’t big stars, but they were a good band. Were you afraid that the goofballs would be on stage for the rest of the show?

  2. Quiconque said,

    The goofballs were the signal that it was time to leave, yes. But, if you remember, I’d been up all night working on a presentation. After the lovely gin and tonic you bought me, I found myself falling asleep. It matters not that the band was good. (And I did enjoy them). Mama Ass can tell you how I fell asleep in the front row of A Tribe Called Quest’s concert one spring fling.

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