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 www.austinchronicle.com/fun-fun-fun-fest. For photo galleries from the fest, see austinchronicle.com/photos.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Fun Fun Fun Fest
Fun Fun Fun Comedy: Your Lineup Is...
Fun Fun Fun Comedy: Your Lineup Is...
For the 10th fest, "FFF" can stand for "familiar funny folk"

Robert Faires, July 28, 2015

Fun Fun Fun Live Shot: Wiz Khalifa
Fun Fun Fun Live Shot: Wiz Khalifa
Trust your mofo MC

Nina Hernandez, Nov. 10, 2014

More M.I.A.
She's a Roadrunner!
She's a Roadrunner!
Shut Up wants to be just like Maya Arulpragasam when she grows up

Darcie Stevens, May 2, 2008

More by Marc Savlov
Possessor Uncut
Identity melts in this psychotropic assassination brainblender

Oct. 2, 2020

Shortcut
Mangled Italian creature feature should be even shorter

Sept. 25, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

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

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle