M.I.A. Wears the Red, White, and Blue at the Creators Project


On Saturday, Vice — funded by Intel and what must have been Scrooge McDuck–size piles of coin — threw an extravagant party called the Creators Project at Milk Studio in the meatpacking district. It was an all-day shindig boasting music, movies, art, panels, open bar, free gelato, an impromptu outdoor screening of the World Cup, and performances from a whole mess of bands, including M.I.A. and Sleigh Bells. The affair started at two in the afternoon, with a sober crowd wandering through three floors of large-scale video-art installations — trippy screen savers to a one — and ended at one-thirty in the morning, with a much larger, much drunker crowd watching Mark Ronson spin "It TakesTwo." In the twelve hours in between, guests meandered from floor to floor, drinking and watching, among other things, a Spike Jonze movie, a raucous panel in which Ronson and other producers built a pop hook with help from the audience, outdoor performances from the Rapture, Gang Gang Dance, Interpol, and indoor ones from Neon Indian, the aforementioned M.I.A. and Sleigh Bells, and Die Antwoord, who used their set as an opportunity to show everyone their gold underpants.

Billed as the party's special guest, M.I.A. took to the stage in a narrow, packed, second-floor gallery at 11:30 (like all the night's performances, on time to the minute). She didn't outrock Sleigh Bells or Die Antwoord, or dispel the emerging consensus that there are no singles on her upcoming album, /\/\/\Y/\, but at least she wore a red, white, and blue wig and a sweet pair of marijuana-leaf sunglasses. With dozens of people running around onstage, including backup singers wearing bedazzled hijabs, M.I.A. considered crowd-surfing before closing out her set with "Galang" and "Paper Planes." The guy with the vuvuzela, and everyone else who hadn't sneaked out to see Ronson or watch her performance from outside, where apparently the sound was way, way better, sang along. See photos from her performance, as well as snaps of the day's other acts and general tomfoolery, in our slideshow.