Monday, October 22, 2007


Though no official announcement has been made thus far, M.I.A. has to be the surefire winner of this summer’s “buzz acronym” at the acclaimed 2007 Toronto Pop Culture Linguistics awards. Surrounding the lead-up and release of her sophomore effort Kala as well as her stop at V-Fest Toronto in August, the Sri-Lankan/British hybrid M.I.A. has covered a lot of ground publicity-wise in the past few months. She managed to land herself on the covers of every local music and culture publication lucky enough to score itself even a tiny piece of the PR pie, which was inhaled in record time by writers across the continent.

This past Saturday saw the culmination of all the hype, as she performed a sold out show at the Kool Haus, as part of the Red Bull Music Academy. The roster for the show was impressive all-round, with Holy Fuck (who I missed) and Datarock opening, as well as an ill-fated pseudo performance by Canadian two-piece the Carps, who threw in the towel to a non-responsive crowd after only two songs. (“Fuck it. We tried.”)

Datarock was just getting started as I stepped in. Clad in their trademark red-on-red matching jumpsuits, they looked a little more light-hearted (cheesy) than I generally prefer my rock bands. But nonetheless, the entertainment value was high, particularly during their karaoke-style closing number, (I've Had) The Time of my Life, solidifying that even the worst parts of the 1980's have their place at an M.I.A. show.

M.I.A. took the stage at 11:30ish, coincidentally just as the whole place went up in flames. Though militant terrorism was immediately suspected, investigators believe that it was in fact the combination of deafening bass, unparalleled electricity, and the M.I.A. being the hottest substance on earth right now, which set off the blaze. It ripped through the entire place for over an hour, burning through the hottest of shit the whole time, and many believed it could have gone much longer. Nonetheless, it was just long enough to spread 3rd degree burns across the face of every audience member; most of whom either went directly to the emergency room or treated their damaged flesh with alcohol and partied the fuck out of the night at one of sixty-five different after parties. I was definitely one of the latter.

Terribly imagery aside, this show is going down as likely one of the best of the year, and certainly the best of what was a much hyped week in the city. If you were there to hear the sound of gunshots erupt over the insane soundsystem during Paper Planes "All I wanna do is (BANG BANG BANG BANG!)/And (KKKAAAA CHING!)/And take your money", or to watch the swarms of audience members crash the stage during Bird Flu I’m certain you can share in my glowing opinion. If you got stuck without a ticket (as hundreds did), take this as a hard-to-swallow lesson: Toronto likes M.I.A. a whole lot.

M.I.A. - $20
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
M.I.A. - U.R.A.Q.T. (Hot Chip Remix)
Datarock - Fa Fa Fa (Get Shakes Remix)
Datarock - Princess

- bbbykmbrly.


a.m.p.m. said...

Paper Planes is fucking incredible. that Diplo/Switch production really paid off in spades.
Kala is ranking high on the tentative 'best of 2007' list.

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