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Wyclef made my Saturday night

The hours leading up to his 9 p.m. concert at the Joint had been not very pleasant. First, my family drove away in a U-Haul, crying their eyes out, leaving me forlorn and alone on the sidewalk. Then my phone died, the charger was lost and three phone stores lacked the correct charger. I also was unable to find anyone to go to the concert with me.

So I went alone. I walked out to the Hard Rock poolside where Wyclef was scheduled to play to find it empty. I eventually discovered it had been moved inside to The Joint, and arrived at the door to find out I had arrived ten minutes too late to use my free Spy-on-Vegas ticket. Undeterred, I paid the thirty bucks and defiantly entered the concert, determined to see Wyclef perform.

I stood alone in the back of the packed concert hall with my arms crossed, watching Wyclef sing enthusiastically and jump around on stage. Soon a goateed guy grabbed my hand and we shoved our way to the front, where I danced to “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Sweetest Girl” and other songs out of Wyclef’s danceable repertoire.

Things were improving. Wyclef was on fire, taking intermittent sips of tea mixed with Patron and explaining that where he comes from, you say goodnight in the morning, because he wakes up at midnight and parties all night. He did flips off the stage and flew onto the audience’s uplifted hands three times (should be on YouTube by now). He told stories of being stood up at prom and fired from Burger King, only to show up years later, rich and successful, to get the last laugh at Suzie and his supervisor. Wyclef climbed up on the balcony and hung from the rafters, his blue-shirted, blue-toothed security reaching out to cradle his ass so he wouldn’t fall to his death. He endlessly insisted that we get our hands up, that we jump up and down, that we dance.

Wyclef gave shout-outs to Bob Marley, Obama, Marvin Gaye and Lil’ Wayne, played his guitar with his tongue and was the epitome of a true performer. Goateed guy (who had also come alone) and I had a marvelous time, especially when we slowdanced to Wyclef's rendition of "Sexual Healing," which I highly recommend doing with a stranger. The whole experience, thanks to Wyclef’s talent, antics and pure passion, almost made up for the fact that when I then headed over to the Palms for the Naughty Nighty party of the century, I found I had arrived ten minutes too late.

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Jennifer Grafiada

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