Covered in sweat and smoke, I left M.I.A.’s concert with loud ringing in my ears. Ringing that stayed for several hours too. The concert was very loud, very fun, and very very hot. This, I guess, marks the beginning of summer concerts.
Elliphant opened the show, and although she did a great job as an opening act I won’t be purchasing any of her music in the future — mostly because I had no idea what she was singing. This was really more like yelling than singing unfortunately. Still, the beat of her songs was the right match for the party-ready crowd. Elliphant seemed pretty excited to be performing, and was jumping around on the stage. Her energy paired with the tune of her songs was sufficient for an opening act.
In the twenty or so minutes between Elliphant and M.I.A. the crowd literally became a cloud of smoke. Several spilled drinks later, M.I.A. took the stage and it was impossible not to get sucked into the mosh pit.
I felt like I was having a multipurpose experience. First, from the crazy stage lights I felt like I was at a rave. For every second of every song, the lights put on a show of their own, giving the event that rave-like appeal. Secondly, the way the crowd worshiped M.I.A., I felt like I was at a religious experience. She took command over the crowd and they obediently chanting the lyrics to her songs at top volume. And finally, I felt like I was at a concert. With everything combining on stage, her dancers and backup singers, the smoke and lights – M.I.A. put on a real show.
She had a pretty long set list. With eighteen songs in her main set and three songs in her encore, M.I.A. was able to cover a wide variety of songs. M.I.A. stole our attention by opening with Helicopters, giving the effect of her swooping in to steal the stage. For every track, there was endless motion of people, lights and sound as if it had particles. The bass was almost deafening, but I don’t think any other loudness would have suited M.I.A.’s attitude. As she performed, she acted as if her stage was her throne for the night.
Wearing sunglasses, short-shorts and a golden T-Shirt, the artist definitely dressed for the heat of the venue better that I did. With so many people constantly moving and touching, the sweat level was almost equivalent to that of a 10 km run. Despite the sweatiness, M.I.A’s performance was infectious. Every moment was amazing, and it was well worth going even if you’re not a huge fan.
M.I.A. and Elliphant performed on May 4 at Metropolis