Review: Ms Lauryn Hill at Dubai Jazz Festival

An electric evening filled with all the major hits

Review: Ms Lauryn Hill at Dubai Jazz Festival

This year organisers of the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival have pulled out all the stops, with Ms Lauryn Hill taking the stage last night (Wednesday February 26), Lionel Richie due to perform this evening and OneRepublic on Friday.

A Wednesday night isn’t prime time for a huge concert (as close to the weekend as it is, it is unfortunately still a school night) but that didn’t stop the crowds coming out in force.

First to take the stage was Bruno Major, who joked that the venue was the “nicest place he’d ever played”.

He was the perfect warm-up artist for the event, with his mellow tunes matching the mood perfectly as most of the audience was sitting on the grass enjoying a picnic.

He played a couple of tunes from his new album as well as Nothing, the perfect love song for the Netflix generation – “But there's nothing/Like doing nothing/With you”.

Finishing the set with Drake’s Hold On We’re Going Home upped the ante. Midway through his performance Major joked he knew the audience weren’t there for him, but that he hoped to make a few more fans, and we think he certainly managed it.

If anything, his set was far too short, as the gap between Major and Hill was long.

As soon as Hill got on stage, the entire crowd leapt to their feet for the performance. It was like watching a pack of hyenas descend, except instead of cackling they were rapping loudly and waving light-up plastic hand clappers.

Hill has been performing her 20th anniversary tour for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill for the past two years now, and it certainly shows.

Watching her on stage felt a bit like watching a conductor with her orchestra, with her constantly adjusting the sound of different elements, making sure everything is perfect.

She played all her major hits, including Everything is Everything, Lost Ones, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, sending the crowd wild every time she name-dropped Dubai in a song.

A highlight was Killing Me Softly, with Hill and the piano taking centre stage before the rest of the band joining in.

By the end of the night, the crowd was screaming so loudly we could barely hear Hill leave.

It was an electric evening and we hope she’ll return to Dubai again soon.

For all you need to know about Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival, click here.

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