The show was locked-down by some of Amsterdam's finest DJ's, PartySquad, who prepped the audience for a night with both original songs and remixes of pop hits like Kanye West's New Slaves. The crowd got down with every track played, while working themselves up into frenzy, waiting for M.I.A. to appear. PartySquad prolonged their agony by taunting the crowd with questions like, “M.I.A. is asking how New York City is doing; so how is everyone?!” and “After-party in Amsterdam, who’s coming?!”
The entire venue plunged into darkness. Drum beats filled the air. The ground shook, and then…BOOM! M.I.A. stormed the stage. Garbed in a uniform of red shorts and coordinating top, her gold jewels revealed her rank. Dark orange spiked heels spoke business, and a gold sequined hat and fan were added... because M.I.A. wasn’t cool enough already.
M.I.A.’s explosive energy consumed the arena, blazing through The Message/The World, Bring The Noize, and XR2, before jumping head first into her latest single, Y.A.L.A. She commanded attention when in the front of the stage, giving wide-eyed spectators a thrill as she shook it through Bamboo Banga, Warriors, Pull Up The People, and Lovealot. When she reached into the crowd, she was grabbed and clawed at like a conquering hero. Back to the job at hand, she sang to her people, and then stepped into a truly epic dance routine to Sunshowers and Double Bubble Trouble. The crowd roared, but then was quickly hypnotized by dizzying lights and a frenzy of strobes.
The well-known banger, Galang came next, but surprisingly served as the low point of the night. What we assume was the result of a soundboard problem, M.I.A.’s voice became overpowered by her backing track, and caused the crowd to deflate. She recovered quickly, infusing energy back into the venue for Come Walk With Me, Becky Done Gun, World Town, and Bird Flu.
The last leg of the concert featured M.I.A.’s most recognizable hits, starting with Boyz off her sophomore album, Kala, which caused the energy to overflow with its pounding bassline and call and response chorus. Following Boyz, M.I.A. brought down the house with the dubstep-inspired M.I.A., off her debut album, Arular, before delving into the song that everyone had been anticipating: Paper Planes. The exhausted – but still attentive crowd sang every word, and was charged when Paper Planes blended into the the notorious badass anthem: Bad Girls. The vibe in the venue during Bad Girls was awesome; with the crowd booming out the defiant lyrics, “Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well!” The final song of the night, Sexodus, was unexpected to say the least. M.I.A. chose to end the show on a relatively soft note, the sensual beat of her The Weeknd collaboration provided a well-needed cool-down after a highly-pumped night.
The show wrapped-up, and now once again, she’s M.I.A.