M.I.A. Brings the Noise at HARD NYC


While Los Angeles fans missed out on catching M.I.A. in their city due to a cancelation, the HARD Festival went on as planned on the East Coast. The controversial headliner, wearing a yellow top and shorts, seized the stage at HARD NYC on New York’s Governors Island on Saturday (July 24), performing old and new material before a downpour cut her time short.

The festival also featured sets from M.I.A.’s protégée Rye Rye, Sleigh Bells, Die Antwoord, Theophilus London, and more. Katy Perry and fiancé Russell Brand were spotted in the audience.

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  1. jstrap

    that is all you have to say about one of the worst gig’s i have ever been to. Die Antwoord smashed it! But MIA (huge fan) was terrible. It sounded like only 1 track (instead of stereo, mono) was playing and her mike didn’t work for two songs.
    No one wanted to tell her so half way through the 3rd song we left. we 8 big MIA fans left, after paying 63 bucks, very dissapointed. Thank S-A for Die Antwood!


  2. JB

    I saw MIA at McCarren Pool in Brooklyn two years ago — it was an amazing performance. Last night was the polar opposite of that McCarren performance. It sucked! She seemed completely uninterested (or drunk??), her mic kept cutting out, Rye Rye kept yelling into her mic, which was annoying. And the cherry on top was the downpour rain (not her fault obviosuy.. but not coming on the stage after midnight prob would have helped).


  3. HD

    She sucked big time. I am a huge fan and I left after the 3rd song. Thank god for the other acts. Die Antwoord and 12th planet were both crazy! SKREAM and Sleigh Bells definitely nailed it too. Would have been a great festival if MIA stayed home.


  4. Morgan

    Worst concert ever. She’s LUCKY the rain cut her short! The crowd was already turning on her before the storm hit. Wish I had followed the mass exodus earlier. MIA has jumped the shark.


  5. Alaina

    Oh my god, all of you can shut it. It was her fault that her mike wasn’t working and the sound was messed up? No. Blame the technicians at HARD. I’ve been to her shows before, and yes this wasn’t up to par. But had the sound been working, the set would have been hella fun.


  6. Brad

    I am a big fan MIA as well. Worst show i’ve seen in years in any genre!!!! Was like watching a train wreck.


  7. cynthia

    Don’t you mean M.I.A brings out the noise of Booos in NYC?! Fan of M.I.A and even bigger fan of Santigold but what the hell was that? By far the worst concert experience ever! Aside from the uncontrollables of rain, awful venue location, and terrible security…your fans deserved a better show than that! Oh and incase you couldn’t hear me over the crappy mixes, BOOOOO!


  8. scott

    MIA was terrible.


  9. Farkus

    I don’t think a single person could be pleased with how she performed. The sound quality was terrible, and she went into an obnoxious 20 minute binge during Teqkilla that left the crowd stagnant. The only redeeming quality was ability to bring killer acts like Sleigh Bells and Die Antwoord beforehand.


  10. Baby Ashley

    I can’t believe people are going to complain about rain @ an outdoors festival, lol. And it seriously only rained for like 5 minutes, if that. But anyway, I don’t think MIA was that bad.. its not her fault the sound people fucked up.. unfortunately people are obviously scared of water so I guess that’s why the set was cut short? There sure was a huge crowd for there to be so many complaints.


  11. r

    show should have ended with die antwoord. she sucked and had rye rye etc out there doing all of the work for her


  12. devin

    just awful. worst show i’ve ever been to. seen M.I.A. before and she killed, this was miserable. she’s given up.


  13. sabs

    you guys are on drugs. she fucking rocked it. she rehearsed really hard, so don’t give me that shit that she’s “given up”. she’s a fucking rock star and the show was legit. you guys are on some drugs!


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  15. Mike

    Wow, you people are idiots. I missed the first 3 songs so I can understand that her mic not working must have been pretty ridiculous but when I got there I thought it was seriously awesome. A shame that her set ended so abruptly but by Teqkilla followed by Boys and World Town in the rain we were having the time of our lives. Loved it.


  16. Santo

    I was actually excited for Maya to come out, the sound quality of all the openers was, finally, top notch. What went wrong? so amateur. Stop talking trash about people and write a set list and/or hire sound engineers that aren’t affiliated with Oprah.


  17. thenewlofi.com

    agreed. horrible and disappointing. she’s lucky that the rain gave her a good reason to “cut her time short”. it helped her avoid further embarrassment. die antwoord was definately the next level shit. imo they were the headliner.


  18. Jessica

    Lucky I left before I even had to stand in the crowd with that rain. After I saw the first two songs, not one person dancing in the crowd, and everyone looking confused & embarassed for her – we were out. All the dub step including Skream & Benga were dope! I was hoping someone else jumped on the other stage and played over her – huge let down! She is not someone I would have picked for a headliner – esp sounding that crappy!


  19. HombreMono

    “All she wanna do is..(bang!)take your money..”
    Paid $60 for a lousy show, she didn’t even play 45minutes,, it rained for 8 minutes and they stopped the show. Sound was horrible, one thinks with all that money they could have the sound down…oh and to sell water for $4 should be ilegal specially in 90+ degree weather. The security dudes were on a power-high, treating people like crap and then hurdling everyone out like cattle to the slaughter house once the show was cancelled. God! I never had to take my shoes off before to go through security for a show. How lame was that. Oh well, will just conent myself listening to MIA’s recordings, but going to see her live again? no..she has no respect for her fans.


  20. Anon

    I’ve never seen that many people leave a show 2 songs into the headliner. And not because it was raining. Because it was sucking. That was a huge fail on her part. Not a good place for a meltdown.


  21. Mike

    I went to see MIA. That concert cannot have been worse! Thanks for a waste of time and money.


  22. Eugene

    I would have rather listened to racoons have sex. MIA looked drunk, her back-up singers screached into the microphones, and the DJ made punk rock sound melodius and rhythmic. I agree with the headline writer: MIA brought noise to NYC.


  23. Andrea

    Hum..where to start. Let’s start with saying that everything (food and drinks) was overly expensive and unsanitary. The lemonade for everyone was getting mixed with the same metal cup, so since they gave you a cup to get free refills (an outrageous $18) you can definitely imagine that a lot of people’s saliva was in your lemonade.

    Now, not only did we pay 50+ to see M.I.A. (I personally didn’t know any of the other acts, though they were tops) but we had to wait for her 7 hours to come out. She finally comes out after much beating around the bush (I guess she likes to create anticipation which was turning into irritation) and the songs she did were good. But when she did Tekilla, she spent about 20 minutes jumping and playing with the lights instead of doing what she got paid for. Her mic wasn’t working for two of the songs and then she said she didn’t have a playlist so she wasted another 10 minutes asking people what to play. What a waste of time! I was yelling “play anything, just play something!”. When she couldn’t make out what song 15,000 were asking for she finally played Boyz. I have to admit that’s the song I was hoping for, so I went crazy and danced like there was no tomorrow.

    Then…the rain came to shit on our happiness. I actually liked the rain cos I was dying in that heat but then M.I.A. did an a-cappella version of Born Free and after that she just walked off stage with no word for her fans. The asshole security guys kicked us out like someone said earlier, as if we were cattle walking to the slaughterhouse. I was yelling “bullshit”, some people were yelling “rain or shine”….anyway, waste of time, energy and money. I really hope she gives a word on it and and apology to her fans. It would be too much to expect a refund though I paid that money just to see her. When I got the ticket no one said there would be 20 bands playing before her. Annoying shit and very arrogant of M.I.A. to come out so late and then, effectively, going M.I.A. after a couple songs.


  24. MK

    That was probably the biggest buzz kill I have had at a show – ever – the biggest disappointment ever. Die Artwoord were animals. Fell in love with the blonde girl with the mullet. The DJ even had the crowd bumping in between sets. Then M.I.A. comes on and my fear became a reality when her sound and production were trying too HARD. Pun intended. Couldn’t hear her rhymes on her dope tracks. The whole production was off base. The wack ass hype girl. The wack ass dancers. The dudes in weird Ku Klux Clan neon outfits pointing a weird screw driver at me that looks like a gun so your not exactly feeling ‘celebratory’. I mean – did they test this show out in other markets? Sometimes I think certain artist shine as they are coming up (as JB mentioned – bad ass show TWO YEARS ago) and when its time to be the HEADLINE act – they fail. They don’t know how to use the bigger budget and quite frankly shrink at the pressure. I think that might be what M.I.A. is at right – it would explain her nonchalant attitude at a complete and total failure as a performer last night (denial). People were leaving within three songs. By song six at least a third of the audience was going home. This mixed with her recent (awful) album is Not. Good. For. Business.


  25. Jizzle

    As a (formerly) HUGE Mia fan, I took off work, bought a new outfit, boarded my dog, took my girl to see this show for her bday. All of the negative comments in this thread are true, and typing in all caps or calling the critics names doesn’t change the fact that Mia gave one of the historically worst performances that NYC has ever seen. The security was dickish and overbearing, the beer choices sucked (Dos Equis Lager or Amber), the water was criminally overpriced. What a clusterfuck of epic proportions. She needs to check herself the next time she dissed gaga, at least she knows how to put on an entertaining show.


  26. Wallabee Champ

    Wow – what an awful show. I was at a Ghostface Killa show a few years ago in Chicago where an opening act, a rapper known as Tru Life, started a riot and I think that was a better show.

    I’ve seen MIA before. I saw her once in a small club in Chicago maybe 5 years ago and she was amazing. I also saw her a long time ago at a little free concert where she performed in front of 20 people and she killed it then, too. So, what happened?

    The sound was awful. All I can imagine is she really upset the sound guy because the sound for all the other acts was great. MIA, though, sounded like a bunch of white noise. Blaqstarr wasn’t helping by playing the same rivet gun sound over and over. Rye Rye was a terrible hypeman just yelling into her microphone saying absolutely nothing.

    MIA wasted 10 minutes before Tekquilla asking if anyone had a bottle of tequilla so she could have a shot. That was not entertaining…neither was the 20 minute version of Tekquilla that just went on and on with nothing but industrial noise without music or a beat. Then MIA informed us she didn’t have a set list and wasted another 10 minutes asking the crowd what song they wanted to hear. It was kinda funny when she started naming new songs to gauge crowd reaction and was met with silence.

    Anyway, from about the second song onward people started leaving in droves. There was a few mass exoduses during the Tekquilla disaster. By the time the rain hit, about a quarter of the crowd was left and no one seemed happy with the performance.

    I personally hated Die Antwoord, but the crowd seemed to love them. Sleigh Bells were good. They had some beginners’ nerves at the beginning, but seemed to settle into a groove after a few songs. Skream & Benga and 12th Planet were the best of the night.


  27. PE

    at least there was madd molly


  28. mnda

    One of the worst shows I’ve ever seen. Glad I got to see Skream & Benga, Sleigh Bells & Die Antwoord though.

    A total mess, and then she added insult to injury by saying over and over again that she had no set list and then blaming the sound guys (why was the sound okay for everyone else?… and Die Antwoord had sound issues, stopped the track, fixed it and rewound). This is the 4th time I’ve paid money to see m.i.a. and most definitely the last.

    We get it – you’re not into it anymore! Mission accomplished I guess.


  29. alex

    ^^ haha true….

    I spent 8 hours there yesterday and everybody was great. Everybody except M.I.A. who was pure shit. Blame the sound technicians all you want, it’s not them, it’s her.

    She’s too into herself. The thinks she’s on some next level shit, but isn’t.


  30. legshow74

    jumped the shark at Coachella 2008


  31. Sandra

    I don’t know about anyone else but wasn’t that show kinda scary? it was so hot and crowded and everything was so dirty- the porta potties ewwww. i didn’t stay for die antwoord but rye rye in the beginning was all i needed. she should be huge. Also, what kinda drugs were people taking that looked like zombies?


  32. Jim

    I thought it was awesome, skream and benga killed it and 12th planet was dope too. MIA blew i dipped out after a minute. got caught in the rain on the ferry that was crazy. other than security taking my bubbler away it was sick


  33. Sean

    Sucked big gigantic rhinocerus dick. First you had to take a ferry that stopped coming into Governors Island from Manhattan at 5 pm. MIA doesn’t take the stage til midnight, and you gotta sit through a buncha shit to get to her. Turns out the shitty acts are much better than MIA.

    If it wasn’t for the weed I smoked, I woulda been seriously bummed.


  34. Leela

    I was utterly disappointed by M.I.A.’s performance – I have been a fan for a long time, but had it not been for Die Antwoord, the night would have been ruined.


  35. McB


    That was the WORST show I’ve ever seen! She was phoning it in, completely. And yes, I wonder if she was drunk.

    The two acts prior to MIA were good (Sleigh Bells and Die Antwoord) and had excellent sound quality — but when MIA came on they cranked the reverb and echo and just pushed the sound to the max.


    MIA sucks, and she should stay the hell out of New York.

    Total crap performance.


  36. nick

    hands down the worst show ever, I am never gonna waste time seeing a show at gov island and MIA sucked ass. Everyone was streaming out of the place once she started. Im surprised it did not start riot she sucked so much, what a waste of time and money.


  37. Rachael

    Security were total jerks. I don’t remember the last time I was treated so badly. The Hard NYC website specifically said backpacks were allowed, but when we got to the ferry, security forced my husband to throw $120 backpack in the trash. Once we got to the island, there were people with backpacks everywhere. There was no rhyme or reason for the bullshit rules. Security yelled at us and herded us like cattle. Die Antwoord was mind blowing. M.I.A. Sounded so bad that we left during her 2nd song as did hundreds of other people. I’ve never seen such a big event that was so poorly organized.


  38. NickGfromDC

    MIA’s backup vocalist WAS NOT Rye Rye! Rye Rye did her own thing and danced onstage for MIA but was not the one on the mic


    Rap-Up Reply:

    To clear up any confusion, the hype girl during M.I.A.’s set was NOT Rye Rye.

    Watch her perform “Bang” here: http://www.rap-up.com/2010/07/25/video-rye-rye-goes-bang-at-hard-nyc/


  39. Tammy Jean

    MIA was the worst live performance Ive ever seen. So incredibly frustrating. Thank good ness for Skream, benga and 12th planet – otherwise I would say it was a waste of time and money.


  40. Bosched

    Wow, left the M.I.A. gig after the first 2 songs. What a joke. Thank god for die Antwoord who saved the evening. Amazing show from those fxckers.


  41. blah

    She clearly was drunk, she was fucking drinking on stage and throwing tequilla bottles to the crowd. But who the fuck cares its MIA syle, I had fun, the sound did suck but again not her fault if you follow her on twiiter. She tried, but I felt like she was trying to party with us instead of sing to us.


  42. sherm

    I thought she was fantastic but it’s a pity she let the lightweight crybaby crowd get to her. There were a lot of non-fans there and I’m glad to read they left. The kind that are now commenting, ‘Waaah, her mic didn’t work for a song, I was so offended I had to leave.’ They shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

    You could tell a lot of the crowd wasn’t familiar with the songs from her latest album. I stood next to someone who spent the whole time looking at the stage with her arms folded with a sour look on her face as though she was wondering why she was being forced to be there. Clearly she’s not a fan. I don’t know why these gawker donkeys bother going. They’re such mood killers.

    Annoying crowd aside: the forecast called for rain. The producers ought to have planned for it. As it were, it only rained for less than 30 minutes. They show could have gone on.


  43. Ivy

    Thank god for Die Antwoord – they made the admission price worth it. MIA sucked so bad it was laughable.


  44. meow


    The show was cancelled because of the lightning.

    Her latest album came out 4 DAYS before the show. I think it’s forgivable that a large crowd would not know it front to back.

    It IS definitely a joy kill to go to a show like this and have people stand with folded arms. Then again, maybe they were frustrated with the situation. The 20 minute version of “Teqkilla” played out like an art installation, which had no “dancable” beats.

    With that being said, at least MIA made her tantrum entertaining, and artistic, and did not give up until her manager came out and told her to leave because of the lightning.


  45. natasha

    After waiting 6 hours, and being pushed and punched by security trying to get rid of drunken and high 19 year olds, I was over it. Got raped, $4 for water! MIA was good in the beginning but during the Tequila song I was confused. Left then headed for the ferry, got caught in the rain. I’m not sure if it was worth it, but too late to complain now, they already got my $60 LOL!


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