And I promise: that was the last post about Madonna !
Thanks! I needed that burst of colorful floral beauty to evoke springtime. It’s nearly 0 degrees here with snow laying on the ground.
I agree Renee!
The weather has kind of gone psycho here at the moment: Valentine’s Day could easily have been snowing but instead it was apparently 24 degrees – as hot as an English day in August. Great weather for a concert, though!
It’s freezing here in the UK! I put the oven on whilst working in the kitchen today just to warm the room up – the radiators were cutting no mustard! Immersed in final proof-reading for the book I’m editing, and have been listening to some of your old CD compilations, which are absolutely excellent! Fab accompaniment to the grind. Glad you’re toasty there though! So, how was she? You may as well splurge! Did she do new stuff or the old faves? How were her routines? Is she still a goddess??
Naturally, I thought of you a lot while watching the proceedings (for me, there is a very complex and highly neurotic aspect to watching Madonna, chiefly because I can’t even quite believe that I am in the same room as her. She is at once a greedy silly cow and a semi-deity to me- I couldn’t even believe she was in the same CITY; I felt something glowing inside me just knowing that fact).
Thus, the whole thing is problematic, as I go into a kind of panic where I feel hideously detached from it all (at least at the beginning). Duncan was standing up and dancing and cheering at the beginning where I was just sat down, agog, transfixed, yet Frozen, churning and percolating in my own highly complicated reactions. Even drink can’t calm me down: I am just too TENSE (yet ridiculously excited, obviously).
Another problem was caused by my own stupidity. Duncan would never have paid for the expensive tickets on his credit card (in fact we had a blistering argument the night before the night of the concert about it, to the extent that I suggested giving the ticket to someone else who would appreciate it more. He rightfully resents the fact that someone so rich charges what she does, that she is, in essence ,exploiting us). He is right of course, but though I feel deceived and ripped off, there is nothing I can do about it.
I have no spatial awareness, though, so when I finally got paid and was able to do the ticket buying surreptitiously in cash, I was unsure which tickets to get. There were only four left, and two were on the side, and two looking down on it. At the Confessions tour we had a very cold experience as we were SO far to the side (this was at Tokyo Dome, a far inferior venue to the Saitama Super Arena – awful: I would never go there again) and we couldn’t see her at all. Although I was looking at the map, I couldn’t work out how far or close things were to the stage as I couldn’t conceive the scale of it, so I got the two tickets on the second floor looking down. Getting to the arena, I realised to my horror that we could have been MUCH closer to the stage than were were, and I think I will regret this for as long as I live (literally: you can totally feel my Madonnamania here, can’t you!).
Nevertheless, it was still great to be actually able to witness the concert and see the entire stage (and see her!) and I feel, now, that I have finally SEEN her. Seen Madonna in concert. And once I had relaxed into it (which I never managed to do at the other concert, which Duncan hated) I really started to love it. She opened with Iconic and did Bitch, all very choreographed (but visually brilliant: I loved the graphics and visual production of this concert). It wasn’t until she did a solo, acoustic ukulele version of True Blue though (YES!! I have always loved that song) that things got really galvanised, funny ,and intimate, and she had the audience in the palm of her hand.
What was great about the performance was that it felt so fresh, crisp, light. LIGHT, in the best possible sense, was what I felt from it. Like A Virgin and Material Girl were given perfect remixes to make the beats feel crunchier and more up to date but without stripping away their essence, and for Virgin she was just skipping about on stage like she did back in the day: I had a REAL moment here, as if I were tapping into the very DNA of the Madonna legend. Oh my god I said to D as we danced in the aisles, Duncan I HAVE FINALLY SEEN MADONNA. It was brilliant. As was Deeper and Deeper (YES! Duncan’s favourite song of hers, excellent), which was hardly remixed at all and quite faithful to the original. She was cleverly alternating Rebel Heart songs with old ones and it really worked; spanning the decades in seconds, effortlessly. Living For Love, all Toreador, went into the best version she has ever done of La Isla Bonita, which she usually zoops and speeds up these days (losing the intrinsic Cuban troubadour aspect of the original), but fleshing it out with Flamenco dancers and gorgeous images on the screen (red, my favourite colour, was very prominent throughout this performance, for obvious reasons); by this point it was all very exciting (though Nina, WHY didn’t I get those seats nearer the stage…….? Then it would have been truly mind-blowing, rather than delicious and tantalising, as it was from where we were sitting).
By this point everyone was seduced, and she did Take A Bow. This is the first tour that she has ever altered the setlist on (the bitch is finally relaxing a bit! Different cities have had different songs at this point in the show). Apparently Taipei had an acoustic version, but Tokyo got the full song, the stadium lit up with lighters, and I was just suddenly in floods of tears. I WAS THERE AT THE MADONNA CONCERT. You would have loved it. She was really PERFORMING to the audience, if you know what I mean, really camping it up in this pseudo Marilyn Monroe accent that for me worked perfectly, really amusing. The total diva. The TOTAL femme fatale, working it. Having a laugh. Lapping it up. Loving being surrounded by 30, 000 adoring fans. And she THEN did another solo acoustic performance on guitar, this time of La Vie En Rose (in french), getting the audience to sing along to the melody, La, la la la la la LA, la la la la la LA, and it was divine. It WAS divine, actually.
To finish off, the fourth part was the showgirl bit where she did Music with a slow jazz beginning then went right into the full, body crunching epic (with me and D going wild in the aisles as well as Candy Shop, which I personally love for some reason, delectably clubby and remixed as she shimmied on down in silver sequinned dress, hair up (how I like her best), looking GORGEOUS, finishing the concert with Holiday.
It all felt so fresh, and shiny and new, which is quite remarkable really considering how long she has been doing these songs, and how many performances she must have done (raking it in, stealing our money), but for me it was utterly worth it. I had a feeling of total razzle dazzle, of an impeccably put together show (gaga was a real sack of potatoes in comparison); glitteringly hi-tech but also intimate at times, and real.
You would have loved it. I certainly did, and spent all yesterday just basking in the memories and watching all my Madonna DVDs. She really is an icon. And something very deep inside me is very relieved that finally, finally, after seeing all those concerts on DVD, and actually going to one where I felt like I hadn’t even been there, I was finally, FINALLY! physically, and spiritually, touched by her inimitable magic.
Neil, that’s WONDERFUL! I’m so glad you finally experienced her live. She sounds amazing. Yes, she’s a greedy bitch – i didn’t go cos of the cost of the tickets – but she is on the other hand a first-rate performer and brings so much to it. She works her arse off and totally gives to each performance. So glad you got close to her – i’m getting goosebumps just reading this!!
Sounds like you had an amazing time!!
Sounds like you had an amazing time!! I will one day go, but for now will bask in your description of it. Wonderful. She is truly divine.
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