After a series of visa and censorship issues, M.I.A. made her way back to N.Y.C. for the second time in years for her October 18th show at Terminal 5 last Thursday (preceding her October 19th CMJ show). Though the show was AMAZING, some may argue that it wasn't worth the wait (and trust me, there was quite a wait.)
The dj who spun tracks by everyone from Justice to Elephant Man was able to keep the crowd moving for hours-- literally. Although the doors were supposed to open at 7:00 and opened about twenty minutes after, the opening act wasn't slated to come on until 10:00. The problem? Many fans were already growing irate by 8:30. So when new-comer Rye-Rye (a Baltimore-based, Lil' Mama wannabe) came on, she was met with much opposition-- oh and a lot of jeering. M.I.A.'s protégé, Afrikan Boy attempted to assuage the crowd, but this was a vain attempt.
Posted by Virginia Jackson-Reed
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Eventually the clock struck 10:30, the lights dimmed, and a short, subtitled video of a speech made by Japanese nihilist, anarchist, governornal candidate, Kouichi Touyama. A few of my fellow concert goers were a bit worried that the F.B.I. might have been listening the entire time. Then, it was finally time for M.I.A. to take the stage. The fans, some just very excited, others, wasted on over-priced drinks roared with applause. The wait was finally over.
The ever-flamboyant Brit stepped on stage with a sky blue, sequin, cut-out dress, a funky pair of legging, metallic Converse kicks-- and literally a feather in her cap. She was perhaps even more beautiful and commanding in person, in spite of her small stature. The show was very high-voltage. She shimmied and shook about as her hype girl (who also sings the hook for "Sunshowers") assisted in keeping the crowd pumped. She performed nearly all of the tracks from both albums, including her debut "Galang." The three most notable parts of the show? The first time she crowd surfed, the second time she crowd surfed, and of course, her letting the fans bum-rush the stage! Granted, a few really wasted fans and their constant pushing caused a bit of aggravation for the rest of us, but overall, quite the amazing show. Let's just hope she doesn't have any more visa issues so we can do this again sometime soon. (VJ-R)