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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 16, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

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Hot or Not: M.I.A. concert at Cornell University’s Barton Hall

Assistant Accent Editor Alexandra Evans rates the elements of M.I.A.’s concert Sunday at Barton Hall.

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M.I.A. shows off her dance moves during her concert at Barton Hall. Kelsey O’Connor/ The Ithacan

Hot
Technical aspects
M.I.A.’s performance gave fans a true taste of her crazy, sparkling personality, but it was the rave-like technical aspects that pushed the show over the edge into pure indulgence. For a few minutes before M.I.A. first came on stage, drum-banging sound effects played in sync with a red and gold blood splatter design on the backdrop. Throughout the concert, the “MAYA” sign above the stage lit up like carnival lights. The stage looked like an underground warehouse party in some big city, which made M.I.A.’s stage presence stand out even more — as if she needed it.

Lukewarm
Rye Rye’s last song
Opening act Rye Rye ended her set with a rockin’ mash-up mix. She spit a few lines into the mic. Then a sped-up version of “Party in the USA” played as she broke into synchronized hip-hop moves with her background dancers. She would dance for about 30 seconds, then smoothly transition to rapping and back to dancing again. The audience was able to sing along to the well-known song as Rye Rye showcased her dance talent. However, it would have been nice to see a Rye Rye original so the last impression of her set was her own song, not a Disney superstar’s.

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M.I.A. performs at Cornell University. Kelsey O’Conor/ The Ithacan

Not
Time and transitions
First of all, the concert was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. but didn’t actually start until about an hour later. After Rye Rye finished her set, an intermission of songs by some unknown DJ went on for far too long. Though the mixes would be a hit at any house party, the set became boring after awhile as the anticipation for the main performer was unbearable. When M.I.A. finally did come on stage, her set included no encore. The reason for the late start to the concert is unknown, but she should have made it up to the audience by performing a few extra songs.

Read the full review of the M.I.A. concert.