Massive Attack, Martina Topley-Bird, Nite Jewel @ The Wiltern, Los Angeles (5/20/10)

Massive Attack spend a lot of time figuring out how to bring their songs and politics on tour effectively. They seemed to accomplish both via their big stage set up, full of neon-bright eye candy. According to photographer Andrew Youssef, they also used the boards to scroll quotes from Sartre, Hunter S. Thompson, Nelson Mandela, among others. As you might have guessed, the band lean left — in 2000 they threatened action against a conservative Brit politician who walked to the podium to “Man Next Door.” But they made it pretty explicit last night: Youssef says the biggest cheers came when the band flashed “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” followed by “What the f%&$ Arizona.” So opening for these two isn’t easy. L.A.’s Nite Jewel played just after Martina Topley-Bird, who started off the night with her own stuff, but returned often during Massive Attack’s set. Nite Jewel’s cover of “Tonight” gives them some room to shine. Listen below, then grab it from the widget:

Nite Jewel – “Tonight” (Prophet Cover)