Hussel Hussel Hussel
Written by Bwog Staff
Even though M.I.A.’s latest release Kala has been out for half a year, she still managed to sell out new venue Terminal 5. Bwog staffer Lucy Tang treks to the boondocks of midtown and finds that some artists are worth a 2-hour wait.
M.I.A. makes me feel less of a woman. Artist, singer, dancer, political activist, “refugee”–why are people still reading about Britney Spears and Lauren Conrad in Us Weekly? That being said, few artists can redeem themselves after the crowd seems ripe for riot, but M.I.A. thrives on that sort of tension.
Last night at Terminal 5, doors opened at 7 PM, M.I.A. went on at 10:45. Though many people have voiced complaints about Terminal 5’s awkward set-up, the only thing that caught my attention was the smell of wet paint permeating the entire venue, but it was soon covered up by the marijuana smell wafting about. After 9, the crowd grew more and more antsy. They didn’t pay $25 to see a DJ mash up T.I. for three hours, and began to boo the DJ and hype-man who failed to realize that the catchphrase “Whoop there it is!” should remain in the early 90’s.
However, M.I.A. was certainly worth the wait. She walked out in a ball of light, or maybe that was just the light reflecting off her sequined jacket and dress. Despite being wasted, (“I am sooo sorry I took sooo long… There was sooo much champagne.”), the girl put on a show. Regardless of your opinions towards her music or political agenda, it’s impossible to discount her as a performer.
The crowd, at least near the stage, was literally a glob of writhing bodies and sweat. Though the tight quarters prevented people from going crazy, the arms were waving and the bodies grooving. Needless to say, it’s hard enough to cross your arms and bob your head while listening to M.I.A, but live, her energy was infectious. In a move reminiscent of Girl Talk, M.I.A. invited the audience on stage with her. An extreme mish-mash of people flooded the stage–metallic leggings, low-cut tank tops, button-down shirts–and proceed to give it their all. She also joined the masses again during “$20” by crowd-surfing; the number of people that rushed to touch her was an actual exodus from one side of the stage to the other.
During one song (perhaps “Paper Planes”?), M.I.A. asked for the houselights to be turned off so the audience could light the venue with their cell phones, cameras, or lighters. It was ironic to see people eagerly waving around their Blackberry’s and iPhone’s to a song about third world inequality. Only at a M.I.A. show could capitalism and revolution co-exist happily. M.I.A. has a long way to go before her fans actually realize that her political agenda is more than just cool animation clips flashing in the background of her performances.
Tonight M.I.A. performs at Terminal 5 again with opener The Cool Kids.
(All photos by trotornot)