The Cool Kids, M.I.A. at The Wiltern
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 10:04:58
She may be from London but M.I.A.’s style was tailor-made for Los Angeles. She proved as much at last Friday’s show at the Wiltern; mixing leftist politics and forget-it-all dance beats, she spoke to the LA crowd in a way they could understand: live and direct.
Tour mates The Cool Kids primed the stage for M.I.A. with an energetic set that won new fans with every track. The duo kicked rhymes about BMX bikes, girls and getting paid over skeletal drums and low-end bass skips. Getting the crowd going with bangers like “88” and “Pump Up The Volume,” they proved that you can pay respect to the old school without completely aping its style. They may be new to many fans but it was obvious they weren’t new to the stage, as they warmed up the house for the jungle-hot onslaught to come.
MIA | by Chas Reynolds
After a delayed start, the crowd was wound up and ready to let loose by the time M.I.A. hit the stage. Sporting a metallic body suit and white vinyl shorts, she came ready for action. Backed by a stage-wide video screen, air horn sound effects and two fit-as-nails hype women, she had total control over the crowd. Focused on bringing the globe together with her music, she pulled off the feat in small scale on the Wiltern crowd.
Audience members were invited onstage to dance during “Bucky Done Gun,” and the pit played backup ensemble on “Jimmy,” as she repeatedly thrust the mic into the crowd. In the end, nothing unites like violence and the evening’s highlight, “Paper Planes,” was boosted by a theater full of fingers firing sonic gunshots in the air. It was the kind of show that hinted at even greater heights for M.I.A. in the future. Between the rump shaking and the endearingly bratty political ranting, there was no more fitting way to start a weekend in the City of Angels.