Live - M.I.A. Packs Central Park Summerstage, Thousands Turned Away

Every summer, New Yorkers try their damnedest to get out of the city - 'cause it's hot, sticky, humid and the concrete jungle is nowhere near as much fun as a beach mid-August. But if you are stuck in the city for a hot NYC weekend, there are a few quintessential New York summer happenings that will cure any hot summer blues.

This past Sunday, I was reminded of one of my favorites - Central Park Summerstage. The eclectic city comes together (whether with the family, friends or alone) to spend a lazy day in the park with great music.

The main attraction - M.I.A. Did I expect it to be packed? Yes. Did I expect 4,500 people to be turned away? Not really. Did I expect it to be the second biggest Summerstage show EVER? WOW - that's incredible, but I didn't see that coming.

Then again, it makes sense. It was a free show and the organic buzz around this girl is really unmatched right now. I ventured alone to the park and spent some time walking around talking to people about how they heard about the show. Most people were there because of their friends who had heard about MIA or got her cd and then dragged a bunch of their friends out. Word of mouth alone seems to be the biggest factor in attracting people to this truly talented artist.

DJ Rekha, Mr. Vegas and Diplo all did a bang up job of getting the crowd pumped and dancing before MIA hit the stage. The anticipation alone was exciting - mixed with frustration for my 15 friends all calling my cell begging me to get them in. But if you were lucky enough to be anywhere in the vicinity of the stage, you could still enjoy the show. Even my friends outside the gates, while sad they didn't actually make it in, were happy they could still hear.

Even with all the anticipation, M.I.A. did not disappoint. She spit it out, tore it up and had a great time doing it. The girl has heart and whether you're into her or not, you can't deny that she has an obvious love for what she does. Her art background is evident as well in everything from the stage set up to her outfits. The stage was decorated with a big full length banner, a cardboard tiger, flags, palm trees, a helicopter and of course the two hot dancers/back up singers. The crowd ate it all up.

If anyone had any doubts about M.I.A. as a performer, she certainly set you straight last weekend. Great energy and great rapport with the dancers and crowd made for one of those perfect New York days in the city.

Source: Nina Isabella

Live - M.I.A. Packs Central Park Summerstage, Thousands Turned Away