Ms. Lauryn Hill

Notorious for being habitually late, it was a relief when Ms. Lauryn Hill took the stage at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool on May 13 only an hour and a half after opener Murs ended his set. Hill emerged draped in gold chains, with long pants and hat as her pregnant stomach protruded from beneath her red jacket. Apparently tired of performing the same old songs, Hill and her band rearranged “Everything Is Everything,” “The Sweetest Thing” and “Fu-Gee-La” with a more up-tempo vibe. Although her voice is not what it used to be, her raspy tone delighted the audience. She paid homage to her extended family with a reprise of “Is This Love” (the late musician Bob Marley is grandfather to her children) before closing the evening with fan favorite “Doo Wop (That Thing).” Despite barely resembling her former self, it was an evening of nostalgia as fans soaked in her energy for two hours.

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Nicole Atkins

Concert Review

Nicole Atkins

By Sean DeFrank

With her rich, powerful voice seemingly built for arenas and a songwriting style that blends rock, folk and psychedelia, Nicole Atkins sings like a headlining star of a bygone era. Because of this, it was a treat to hear her perform within the snug (albeit sparsely attended) setting of the Cosmopolitan’s Book & Stage on May 7. Atkins’ emotionally packed songs, especially those from her most recent album, Mondo Amore, deal with painful issues such as deception and relationships gone wrong, but she even made heartache sound uplifting.

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