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BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (TOURING) Minneapolis 2008 - M.I.A.

There are plenty of reasons that Kala was one of the most invigorating albums of 2007—its populist internationalism, its tendency to blur genres as frequently as it did borders, its general sonic inventiveness (it's an album that made didgeridoos sound cool)—but under all that, it's just plain a great bass record. M.I.A. is best experienced in the eye of a massive audio-visual hurricane of complete sensory overload, which is what her November 20 show at First Avenue consisted of: The video backdrop was dominated by pixilated explosions and garish pulsing tapestries that looked like glitched arcade machines, the music selection ran through almost every good song from Kala and 2005 precursor Arular (which made for a pretty long show), and it all pumped through a rich, booming sound system that drove home the pulse behind her music.

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