House of Blues – Chicago, IL
Wednesday, November 21, 2008
This chick is pretty much the coolest on the block. I LOVE her. I saw her for the first time at Lollapalooza this past summer and she blew me away. I was going to see her again on Friday, November 23 at a different venue (The Vic Theatre) in Chicago, but I ended up having to work that night. I was bummed to miss out on two M.I.A. shows in three days! Chicago’s very own The Cool Kids opened for her. Since Against Me! Played an early show that same night at the HOB, M.I.A. did not go on stage until 1:08 AM and performed until 2:30 AM! Thank God the HOB’s late show curfew was 3 AM or else I would have passed out from exhaustion. She came out on stage in wearing her signature shades, even though the lighting in the venue was nothing near too bright. But whatever, if the girl wants to wear sunglasses at 1 AM inside a dimly lit room, then more power to her! I had no idea what she was saying or singing about pretty much for 90% of her songs, because her mix of British/Indian/Sri Lankan accents is like a foreign language to me. I just keep my mouth shut and watch her super fans sing along to every word of every song. She had two backup singers/rappers/dancers and a DJ for her set. She also got behind some crazy weird DJ booth or mixing board and contributed some special effect sounds of her own.
I give her the most credit for audience interaction though. I was on the main floor in the pit with two friends on the far right – in front of the speakers. She spent most of the time either in the middle of the stage or on the right (stage left), directly in front of where my friends and I were standing! She was so close to us. She kept climbing up the speakers and sitting on them to sing her songs. She also got down off the stage and stood on the barricade rail while the security guards had to hold her up and the fans tried to pull her into the crowd with them. Kinda scary…The BEST part of the whole show was when she brought up about 30 kids from the front of the pit and let them dance and sing along with her to one song. Security must have been warned about this because nobody stopped the kids from running up there. She put her mic in front of a few of her fans and let them sing/scream/shout along to the lyrics of her song with her. I was very impressed with her at that point. She totally won me over. It was like some rave up on the HOB stage at 2:15 in the morning on a school night! All the colors of the rainbow were represented at this show. American Apparel was EVERYWHERE!