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Thread: What was MIA thinking?

  1. #1

    Default What was MIA thinking?

    On Saturday night, the Sahara tent witnessed one of the all time great meltdowns in rock history. Ashlee Simpson's SNL hoedown has nothing on MIA's Coachella debacle. Never has an artist with so much to gain slipped so far in one performance.

    Don't get me wrong; I'm still a fan. MIA has given us two of the most exciting albums of this decade. She still has the potential to go down as a great voice of the third world in an age when global capitalism rules the roost. But, Saturday's performance compromised the quality and safety of this great festival and for this she has lost a great deal of credibility.

    I was so looking forward to watching a coronation. MIA's 2006 Coachella performance was almost completely void of the charisma she often shows in her recordings. She needed this to go down right.

    And it couldn't have gone done more wrong. Something wasn't quite right from the moment the overweight, bearded guy in the zoot suit (we assume her manager) started barking orders during the setup. "Roadrunner" got the party started. But was it really MIA's job to go to her station every time she wanted a new song? Isn't that the DJ's job?

    After song 3, for some unknown reason, MIA stepped stage right and asked if someone from the crowd wanted to "come on stage". That tuned into some diatribe against security and how she wanted "people on stage". The fans on stage left took their cue and the floodgates were open. The next thing we knew there were about 40 people on stage and another 40 waiting standing to the side waiting for their chance. One more song was played with fans and stage dancing and groping. MIA's backup singer thought that maybe order could be miraculously restored by throwing horns to the audience. Of course this didn't work and only turned a dangerous situation into a dangerous, noisier situation.

    The house lights then came on so that the stage could be cleared, which, to the credit of security, they did in about 3 minutes. Of course, there is no more surefire formula for killing a vibe then turning on house lights during a show. MIA hadn't a clue what to do next. So she retreated to her station and tried to start another track. That tape loop ran for about 8 minutes with MIA insisting that the lights be turned off. Meanwhile, a once enthused audience was becoming increasingly bored (some of us really wished we had picked Kraftwerk). The bearded manager guy came on stage and started shouting at some other guy, but the lights stayed on. Finally the lights went off and MIA finished her last songs bringing the total setlist to 6 1/2 tunes.

    So what did we learn from all this? We already know MIA is a musical genius. Now we know she is a completely incompetent stage performer. Can she ever be a global superstar with a voice for the third world? Or should she just stick to writing jingles for car commercials.

  2. #2
    Member daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Thank you for this very thoughtful review of her set. Your writing and analysis is better than most stuff that will be published about Coachella.

  3. #3
    Hippie
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    "We already know MIA is a musical genius" ... do we? ... really?

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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by satisfied View Post
    (some of us really wished we had picked Kraftwerk)
    You should have done that in the first place.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    LOL I agree. I like M.I.A. but she's NO Kraftwerk.
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    Member arya.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    I saw her in November at the Wiltern and she called people up then and it was done REALLY well. This was just unorganized, which is both her and Coachella's fault.
    anything could happen

  7. #7
    Lurker Rowrrr's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    I wouldn't be so hard on her. The performance was disappointing in some ways without question, but to call it one of the "great meltdowns of rock history" or to say that never has an artist "slipped so far in one performance" is more your about your personal reaction to the show than it is factual.

    I'm not slamming your review in any way, BTW. I love that you took the time to write it out so well and managed to get what you were thinking out into the open so articulately, but ease up on the generalizations a little bit. The fact of the matter is, sometimes a performance will fall apart. Plain and simple. This would be the case with M.I.A. Saturday night. It can happen to anybody.

    Now that being said... I really feel like she hasn't made a tremendous effort to grow as a performer on her part over the past few years. The first time I saw her in 2005 she had very little lighting effects or fancy sets, but she was all raw energy and rhythm, and with that alone she simply rocked it. Fast forward to 2008, and it looks like her stage presence has actually gotten less energetic and possibly even lazy feeling, almost as though all the blinking screens and custom visuals are picking up the slack. Pulling people up on stage is her gimick these days, and sadly it looks like since she pushed so hard for it that this was an element that she was relying on to make this performance into what she felt would be a good show. Maybe next time she sees tight security at a huge festival she'll recognize that this crowd pumping ploy might not work out as well and move along with everything she already has to offer just by being who she is.

    Still, I'm glad that I saw it. That's a part of the adventure that comes with supporting artists who aren't mega successful and haven't been around for years and years. The fact that you may find yourself witnessing them working out some kinks from time to time is part of the overall magic. That means that I COMPLETELY disagree with the people making snarky Kraftwerk comments. Almost everything that is showcased on the main stage is nothing more than a safe bet in every sense of the word. When a band gets to be as huge as the main stage acts are they often times begin to feel like you're watching a puppet show (*ahem.. or robots*). Where's the fun in that?
    I'll bet Radiohead will be at the Gay Orgy. Not fucking or anything, just headlining.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Thank God I went to Animal Collective. My only substantial conflict of the day was MIA or AC and AC's performance was the highlight of an extrodinary day of music. In fact, this was the best day of Coachella ever in my opinion. I saw no bad shows (except Uffie, which I knew going in would be a trainwreck).

    One day I will see MIA and hopefully it will be in a smaller environment where the elements of the performance are in her control.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowrrr View Post
    That means that I COMPLETELY disagree with the people making snarky Kraftwerk comments. Almost everything that is showcased on the main stage is nothing more than a safe bet in every sense of the word. When a band gets to be as huge as the main stage acts are they often times begin to feel like you're watching a puppet show (*ahem.. or robots*). Where's the fun in that?

    You lose! I was with you until you said that. Wow, shows how much you know.
    I think it has more to do with the rarity of witnessing tried and true living legends, as opposed to people that will be touring quite a bit for years on end earning-- or perhaps not earning their legendary status.
    Its about paying respect to originators (especially in a time of rampant unorginality). Seriously I will have probably have plenty of chances to see MIA in years to come, but that is not as true for Kraftwerk. And sorry to remind you that without the robotic genious of Kraftwerk there really would not even be an MIA. And I think if you had actually been at that show you're mind would have been properly blown. Ooh if you only knew how shame you should be feeling right now, damn. I feel sorry for you. Because if you are a fan of MIA you would have had a DEEP appreciation for what went down on that main stage. It was the purest of true brilliance. Amazing.

  10. #10
    Member Hawkings's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Impressive how anticipated she is that she packed the house opposite Kraftwerk and Animal Collective, but yeah had to see the surreal Kraftwerk instead, cause how often do you get that chance.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Surreal? Kraftwerk? Do yourself a favor and buy a dictionary and a thesaurus. Learn some vocabulary. It will do you wonders.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    I got in 25 minutes of Kraftwerk. It was good to see them. But I had to leave after Computerlove to get a good spot at Animal Collective. I agree that almost every act at Coachella (including AC and MIA) owes a debt to this band and they really were fun to watch. Would have liked to see the second half but hey... we all have to make the choices that are right for us.

    Sad Kraftwerk didn't wear their Tron suits though. Or maybe they lit up later after I left.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    I'm wondering in retrospect if it wouldn't have been a better thing to put Kraftwerk in the Sahara and give MIA the Main Stage. (which isn't to imply that MIA is a bigger band than Kraftwerk, but clearly more people wanted to see her and her show might have gone better).

  14. #14
    Member Hawkings's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by StuManChu View Post
    Sad Kraftwerk didn't wear their Tron suits though. Or maybe they lit up later after I left.
    They wore green tron type suits for the last song and had Robots replace them before that
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    Member Hawkings's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Backwater View Post
    Surreal? Kraftwerk? Do yourself a favor and buy a dictionary and a thesaurus. Learn some vocabulary. It will do you wonders.
    ooohh burn. Sorry you thought Kraftwerk is a normal, everyday experience.

    definition: "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream"

    To me doing songs like meditations on inanimate objects, events or phenomenon, utilizing repetition, old stock footage and the like becomes irrational. Showing how people are number or data, like money to be controlled was interesting. Taking minerals and vitamin terms out of context to the point where the words lose there meaning or are examined starkly (same with numbers) is surreal.

    What is perfectly rational is Backwater = Asshole
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Kraftwerk vs MIA is just plain stupid. MIA is a rapper, Kraftwerk is a landmark electronic act. I like MIA a lot more, Kraftwerk was way before my time and I'd rather listen to more modern acts that were influenced by them such as Daft Punk (sorry). It comes down to a matter of opinion, no sense arguing about it.

    As for MIA's show, I was onstage, so I was obviously in the minority. It was probably my favorite show of the night, simply because of how much energy and chaos she caused. That's what her music is all about, and yeah it did technically get fucked up ("turn the fucking lights off") but I loved every second of it.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    <insert gunshot sound effect x4>

  18. #18
    old school emtgreg's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    MIA is good, even thom fucking yorke, oops, I mean the lord our god, praise be to him, (and also with you, johnny, phil, colin and ed), anyways, even thom fucking yorke admits mia is fucking fantastic, i caught a few minutes of her show, but kraftwerk, i mean, come on, its fucking kraftwerk, they never come to the us, they never tour, and they are important to the history of music...

    anyways, mia can be great, mia can also be awkward, she needs to stop fucking wes, and take hints from busy p and market the shit out of herself, and look for ways to make her acts more epic, and it means thinking outside the box...

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  19. #19
    Lurker irmayesca's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    you forgot to mention the over use of gunshots.

    "diplo add more gunshots"

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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by satisfied View Post
    Can she ever be a global superstar with a voice for the third world?.
    OH WOW!!! hmmm aprently your not familar with living in 3rd world countries. im sure shes not the voice of the 3rd world. when are your songs are about how vain you are.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by eskomo one View Post
    OH WOW!!! hmmm aprently your not familar with living in 3rd world countries. im sure shes not the voice of the 3rd world. when are your songs are about how vain you are.
    Thats why the question was posed. Get it?

  22. #22
    ASS FACE ThomThom's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    There were alot of disgusted people moving into the main stage that had just left MIA's set. All of them were complaining about how awful it was.
    Quote Originally Posted by superfan View Post
    And I have a dick for you to eat if youre hungry still.

  23. #23
    Lurker obvnotmuchelse's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    DIPLO ADD MORE GUNSHOTS

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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    i decided to see kraftwerk and then head on over to see M.I.A

    goodness i did. me and my girl then rush over to see her and im like what the fuck is going on... first off it was way too crowded, but still very disappointing once again... she is way too overrated.

    my friend Leeda was almost killed when she was hit by the horns... that night we got to the hotel and we all noticed this big ass bruise she had on her face... Leeda was dead center front and apparently she said loads of kids were crying and hurt. kid crying and hurt at an M.I.A stupid performance; thats foolish.

    and what the fuck was she wearing, was she trying to look like Storm.
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    old school mattpach's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    MIA was the reason i went this weekend. The performace was a let down and the audience pushing and everyone getting trampled on made it worse. But she seems like in a normal situation she would be fun to see

  26. #26
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkings View Post
    ooohh burn. Sorry you thought Kraftwerk is a normal, everyday experience.

    definition: "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream"

    To me doing songs like meditations on inanimate objects, events or phenomenon, utilizing repetition, old stock footage and the like becomes irrational. Showing how people are number or data, like money to be controlled was interesting. Taking minerals and vitamin terms out of context to the point where the words lose there meaning or are examined starkly (same with numbers) is surreal.

    What is perfectly rational is Backwater = Asshole
    nicely said. Kraftwerk fucking owned!!

  27. #27
    Lurker mysnakesashark's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    You can't let this one slip up define her capabilities as a 'competent' performer. I saw her in San Francisco in the fall and was extremely impressed

  28. #28
    Member ri0tp00f's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by cured View Post
    <insert gunshot sound effect x4000000>
    corrected

  29. #29
    Member ri0tp00f's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattpach View Post
    the audience pushing and everyone getting trampled on made it worse.
    lolz that was the funnest part for me... being right near the front with the masses of people so tight you couldn't move without making someone else move.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What was MIA thinking?

    I have a fever and the only cure is more gunshots

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