Wyclef Thrills with Old and New on Blissful Friday in Vegas

Posted on Monday January 11th in

Wyclef Jean :: 2016.01.08 :: Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas quickly filled on Friday night. Eager fans crowded the floor in anticipation of former Fugee and solo superstar Wyclef Jean, and as “Ready or Not” blasted from the stage, Clef appeared. The rapper, multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer, and everything else-er frequently refers to his live show as “the Carnival,” a reference to his ’97 breakout solo album and a fitting title for a show that never sat still, switching from full-band performance to DJ-driven jams to acoustic segues — and even an elongated a cappella flow from Jean. At times, dancers and roller skaters filled the stage, other times he performed alone, but throughout it was clear Wyclef can control the room.

Wyclef Jean :: 2016.01.08 :: Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

His set list featured Fugees favorites, solo hits, including “Gone Till November,” and his recent collaboration with Avicii, “Divine Sorrow,” plus a few covers, like Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” We were even lucky enough to hear a preview from Jean’s upcoming untitled album. Midway through the performance, he asked, “You wanna see if I still got it, don’t you? See if Clef still strong?” It’s impressive that more than 20 years of success behind him, the Haitian (by way of New Jersey) musician is still laser-focused on accomplishment and improvement. I’m happy to report he hasn’t lost a step, in fact he’s gained a few since the days of analog recording in his father’s garage.

Wyclef Jean :: 2016.01.08 :: Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

The genre-spanning Renaissance man was determined to create a party atmosphere at the Bowl even going so far as to enter the crowd and interrogate fans not waving their hands in the air and pulling willing audience members onstage for a “block-party” dance-off. The night was a crowd-pleasing home run lasting nearly two hours before seamlessly flowing into an impromptu after-party, also hosted by Jean, first at the DJ booth, then in the crowd, and even up on the second floor, hanging from the balcony. —Chris Bitonti | @bitovegas

Photos courtesy of Wayne Posner


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