ALIVE ON ARRIVAL: M.I.A. at her Criminal Records CD signing.
(photo by Scott Householder)
Even though it was Halloween, there seemed to be only one costume on display at the M.I.A./Cool Kids show a week and a half ago. Neon clothing, spandex and gold chains reigned supreme.
Chicago-bred openers the Cool Kids were charming on stage in flat brims, calling themselves âthe new black Beastie Boysâ â which was pretty much a spot-on description, though they bring a more laid-back delivery than the Beasties. It was exciting for me, a Beastie fan. The Beastie Boys are the patron saints of Jewish boys everywhere, so my education started early on at Jewish summer camp. There was even one year when my 8-year-old self was brought in as the only girl in a performance of âPaul Revereâ at the end of the summer talent show. Naturally, I killed it.
A few songs in from the Cool Kids, including the hit â88/ I Rock,â and the crowd was happy, but chill.
It all changed when M.I.A. burst forth with spastic flashing colors in the background and eletro hip-hop beats. The British artist of Sri Lankan descent has lived in both places. Her father is Tamil activist-turned-militant Arul Pragasm. M.I.A.âs extensive visual art is influenced by his leanings, with political images/figures and pictures of Sri Lanka sprinkled throughout the blazing colors and patterns.
Bouncing energetically across the stage in an oversized T-shirt and a military hat adorned with a red feather, M.I.A. belted out songs from her new album, Kala, with a few older songs as well. Even drinks repeatedly spilled on me by a guy dressed in a spandex unitard couldnât dampen my spirits. Other than a few energetic interludes by her sidekicks, M.I.A. dominated the stage and her fans loooved it. The girlâs got spunk. And sheâs so damn cute. Sigh.
At the end, amid chants of âM.I.A.â and âencore,â I snuck out before the crowd to avoid death by neon sneakers.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?