M.I.A. is more than ready to take over the world. She can headline Madison Square Garden any day now and I am sure the show would sell out. Move over Madonna, there is a new queen in town.
Madonna is a suitable icon to compare M.I.A. to, merely because of her audience. Lots of gays were out in Brooklyn on Friday night having a great time. I was one of them even though I was not 100% into the show. At the moment I had a nice reason for not losing all my shit, like I did last time I saw her, but right now I kind of regret it. I should have got closer to the stage, dance as I always do without paying attention who was around me, and being more myself. M.I.A. gave almost everything of her it was just fair I had done the same, but I didn't. It seems I should not go out in a date to see one of my favorite artists. I wasn't paying enough attention to her to enjoy her fully and it seems things went wrong with the guy I went out with cause there's no sign of a second date. Bad luck, I wish I could change both because both are pretty nice.
In Madonna style, M.I.A. dresses up nicely, wears a white hair wig (thanks!), and now has a lot of people on stage, although not all of them are experienced dancers. She keeps having one backup singer, inviting people on stage to dance (which is getting kind of bad for the flow of the show), and a DJ to play her beats and samples. I do not really know how much M.I.A. actually does on stage besides singing, which she is doing perfectly fine anyway, but I was wondering. Is she still using the famous Rolland 505 she started with for Arular?
The stage looked like the stage of a play telling a story of a modern queen in Ghana. Tropical palms, everybody wearing multicolored clothes, and visuals on three big screens made me feel that way. The show once again started with the one and only Bamboo Banga, the track that made me fall in love instantly with Kala, the best song to start an album, and now a show. M.I.A. played all of her hits, that is almost all of her songs, but little details were missing for me. It's not that she has to play the same tricks for every show, but last time I saw her she played snippets of New Order's Blue Monday and Eurythmics's Sweet Dreams before and/or during a couple of her own songs and it was so much fun that I was expecting that kind of game on Friday too. Never happened, besides the known sample of Pixies' Where is My Mind she has in $20. Instead she blended her own songs like in a mixtape and sometimes it sounded disconnected.
For the encore Afrikan Boy showed up to sing Hussel with Maya and the show was over with Paper Planes. Something cool that happened for that song was that lots of people on stage were given actual paper planes and they started throwing them to the crowd. It was a fun way to end the show... why hadn't she done it before? [photos of the show]
Were you at the show? How did you like it?
M.I.A. Links: Stream Kala, Official Website, MySpace, Wikipedia, YouTube, Pitchfork interviews M.I.A. (2007), Pitchfork interviews M.I.A. (2005)