Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: M.I.A.

Sri Lankan MC, activist, and provocateur brings the banga

Even if you staked your claim of patchy grass an hour or more in advance – free Deerhunter, anyone? – you’d still be hard-pressed to get within 100 yards of the Orange stage Saturday night at Fun Fun Fun Fest for M.I.A.

Photo by John Anderson

Complemented by the shimmery, multi-hued night lights of Downtown Austin, Sri Lankan MC, activist, and muso-political provocateur Maya Arulpragasam announced her arrival onstage with some of the deepest and most sternum-rattling bass whomp yet devised. Earplugs? Mandatory.

Clad in a gold lamé jacket and flanked by a trio of catlike dancers, the singer spliced abbreviated snips and bits of earlier hits into a seamless, fluid groove that recalled her ongoing affection for mixtapes. M.I.A. may have A.D.D., but the slinky, pan-global trio of “Bamboo Banga,” “Sunshowers,” and a seriously feisty riff on “Bucky Done Gun” felt perfectly situated in our current state of concussively cross-cultural shock.

Banging out a raging “Galang” from her 2004 Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1 mixtape mid-set might’ve seemed a momentary backstep had it not immediately been followed by stagehands dragging giddy audience “Bad Girls” up onstage to help “Bring the Noize” via the femme-anthemics of “Boyz.”

End of night?

Not until incendiary new single “Y.A.L.A.” big-boomed like a suicide audio bomber intent on rapturing all within earshot up to M.I.A.’s version of agitpop paradise via flaming “Paper Planes.”

Bucky went banga, crowd lost it.

For more Fun Fun Fun Fest coverage, see For photo galleries from the fest, see

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Fun Fun Fun Fest, M.I.A., Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013, Maya Arulpragasam

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