M.I.A. brings so much energy to her live performances, the venue almost couldn't handle it.
The Sri Lankan-born alt-rapper showed up ready to perform at Terminal 5 in NYC Monday night, but due to the intense amount of rain the city was doused with in the past two days, the building lost power.
M.I.A. kept her fans updated on the situation via Twitter and Facebook, writing: "SUP WIT NYC+ME, EDISON POWER SAYZ THE BUILDING CAN SHORT CIRCUT IN THE RAIN! POWRCUT AT VENU/NO SOUNDCHECK/ GENORATOR JUS BLEW 2ND COMIN IN" Thankfully, for the hundreds of kids waiting outside in anticipation, Terminal 5 managed to fix the problem.
Decked out in a neon yellow hoodie and art deco neon pants, opener Rye Rye (who is the first artist signed to M.I.A.'s record label N.E.E.T.) got the party started with her club-ready rap, as the crowd went wild dancing to songs like "Shake it to the Ground" and "Bang."
Female D.J. Asma got the crowd even more riled up with her mash-up of techno and hip hop beats and then M.I.A. bounded onto the stage in a green safari hat and black burqua to the beats of "The Message," the intro to her newest CD entitled /\/\/\Y/\ (Maya).
After launching into "Illygirl" and "World Town," the multi-cultural banger from her second album Kala, M.I.A. took off one layer, revealing a t-shirt that read "F**k Google, Ask Me." Flanked by two male backup dancers, M.I.A. didn't stop moving the entire show. After a writhing and kinetic snake dance performed during "Boyz" and brand new single "Story to Be Told" she finally stripped down to her last layer: a white satin top and matching shorts.
At one point, M.I.A. was dissatisfied with the sound, running over to the speakers and turning them to face the audience, yelling "turn up the bass!" before Rye Rye jumped onstage to lend vocals to "Lovealot" and "XR2."
On "Born Free," a punk and politcally charged battle cry, M.I.A. threw herself into the crowd, surfing among the hands of rabid fans, before throwing her mic into the crowd.
During the encore, M.I.A. swigged from a bottle of Patron before singing "Teqkilla" and as a grand finale, hauled some lucky fans up onto the stage for a rousing and animated version of her monster hit "Paper Planes."
As everyone sang along to the gunshot-assisted chorus, bounced up and down, and threw their hands in the air, it was obvious M.I.A. used up every last bit of energy the crowd of amped up kids were saving for her. And the lights stayed on--the power held up.