So, news went out via Twitter yesterday around 5 p.m. that Lauryn Hill and Dave Chappelle were going to do an impromptu surprise show at The New Parish in Oakland, after Lauryn's gig at the Warfield last night. The thing was thrown together, $90 tickets went on sale, with $140 for VIP, and the shit sold out pretty quick. Chappelle, as you may remember, has popped up a bunch around here recently (we think he has a home here) and has done a couple of shows at the small downtown Oakland venue. Also, he's been friends with Hill for a while, and arranged a Fugees reunion for his 2006 concert film Block Party.
All Shook Down was among the crowd who lined up after midnight last night for a quick topical comedy set by Chappelle (Barry Bonds? Check. Somalian pirates? Check. "Where the fuck you gonna cash a $20 million check in Mogadisu? There isn't even a liquor store there!"), starting around 1:20 p.m.
Then Hill wandered on at about 2 a.m. and did eleven songs, and All Shook Down was totally taken with her, despite some diva behavior about sound issues, and her typically cantankerous, demanding self:
"Even with the issues, Hill's 11-song set rushed by like some fleeting late-night ecstasy high, filled with the greatest hits from her one still-incredible solo album, some Fugees material, and a few Marley tunes. Her voice eventually proved itself to be the speed-rapping, high-pitch-grabbing, bellowing instrument we all know it can be, racing deftly into the upper registers in a way that would make Janelle Monae jealous. Not at all tired despite the ridiculous hour, Hill flailed her arms around onstage, cracking some imaginary whip as she conducted her band to play faster, harder, or quieter."
She ended with an encore of "Doo Wop (That Thing)," the fans went wild, then Dave came back on, in a tank top showing off allegedly new muscles, told a few jokes, and at 3:30 a.m., ended things by emptying his pockets and doing a stage dive.
We are sorry we missed it, but we'd still be sleeping now if we hadn't.