Last night, American hip hop group The Fugees performed together on stage for the first time in 15 years. The group, comprised of Ms. Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel, played in front of a crowd of about 3,000 people at the Manhattan rooftop venue Pier 17 in New York. The 45-minute show had the usual Fugees flair including classic hits, impromptu freestyling and a lengthy delay.
Earlier this week, the group announced that they would be reuniting for a global tour in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their incredibly successful 1996 album The Score. As the first leg of the tour, this show predictably had some issues. Doors opened at 6PM and The Fugees were scheduled to perform an hour later. That did not happen as the group finally took the stage around 10PM due to reported soundcheck complications. According to concertgoers, the group’s backing band was huge, which likely contributed to the lengthy soundcheck delay.
The concert itself had a bit of everything. Even though fans were required to put their phones in Yondr pouches, some still managed to capture the show. Bootleg videos show the group’s chemistry is still intact after so many years without performing together. The Fugees look engaged and invigorated for the 7-song setlist that featured songs exclusively from The Score. Hill’s voice remains powerful and strong. Jean and Michel treated the fans with some live freestyling. Jean even took a moment to plead for Joe Biden to stop blocking Haitian asylum seekers from being admitted to the US.
Inspired by the significance of this performance, Hill spoke to the crowd. “There was destiny in us coming together, there was destiny in the touring, and there was destiny in the people we inspired… Respect the miracle of this union. Respect that we can get on this stage and still do this,” mentioned the singer.
For those who couldn’t make this show, portions of the performance will air as part of the Global Citizen Live broadcast this Saturday. The next leg of the tour starts on November 2 at the United Center in Chicago. This 12-stop tour will also make its way to Los Angeles on November 12.
Originally active from 1992 to 1997, The Fugees has reunited two times this millennium for reunion tours. The Score was a commercial mega-hit and it is considered to be one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time by many critics and fans.
The Fugees Pier 17 Setlist:
1. The Score
2. How Many Mics
5. Killing Me Softly With His Song
6. Ready Or Not
7. No Woman, No Cry