Matangi Tour Proves The UK Bad Gyal Still Does It Well

“Truth is like a rotten tooth,” M.I.A. observes on “Bring the Noize,” a single from her fourth studio album, Matangi, which drops next Tuesday. “You got to spit it out.”

Much truth was spat during her concert last night at New York’s Terminal 5, starting with the opening act, Julian Assange, who couldn’t make it in person since he faces all manner of threats—ranging from assassination to international extradition—for various unauthorized disclosures published on his fearlessly truth-spitting website Wikileaks. Assange delivered his opening remarks vis Skype chat from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which has granted him political asylum for the time being. It was a perfect gesture of rebellion from M.I.A., whose father fought with Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers and whose latest release is named for a Hindu goddess of music and learning with special powers that include vanquishing enemies of the people by skillful use of supreme knowledge.

After a brief DJ set, M.I.A. took the stage rocking shiny gold and silver garments, dark shades, and pink stiletto heels. She kicked things off with “Bring The Noize,” whose automatic-weapon onomatopoeia hook had hundreds of gun fingers in the air from jump. (The gunfingers were only slightly outnumbered by mobile recording devices, which was also fitting for a multimedia maestro like M.I.A.) “Vicki Leekx bitches, back by dope demand,” she roared, referring to her 2010 Assange-inspired mixtape, and the eclectic crowd packed into the three-story venue—including a generous portion of rave kids in post-Halloween gear—roared back. By the time she got to the rabble-rousing punch line, “It’s not me and you, it’s the fucking banks!” M.I.A. had the place feeling like an Occupy Wall Street rally. But when she told her selector to “pull up” during “Galang” we knew she was still a bashment girl at heart…. Video After The Jump…

“Paper Planes”

“Bring The Noize”

“Y.A.L.A.”

More M.I.A. madness…

Photograph by Liz Barclay

(Show review via Complex)

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