Omigod! I heard Madonna last night!

May 25, 2006

madonnadiscoX.jpgLast night I happened into a ticket to Madonna’s Confession Tour. I must confess that I like a lot of what she does. This show features a neo-disco Madonna. Now 47, she works out 3 hours a day and she looks it. Her moves are not as acrobatic as the old days (whose are), but any lack of energy is made up by her power acrobat crew of hunky men and strong pouty women who climb up metal structures that decend from the Forum rafters, spin like meta-break-dancers, or roller skate, or act like sexy quarks that spiral around our lady. I lost count of the costume changes, but they were all beautifully designed.

I recognized a lot of the songs, although I have not heard her most recent release and didn’t know those songs. I’ll leave an in-depth discussion of the songs to someone else.

The sound of the group was tubby in the gigantic acoustically-non-friendly Great Western Forum. Like most bands, the bass is cranked up to an unbelievable level. I wore earplugs so I was protected, although my body resonated with the thumping like it did in discos in the 70s. It was a 4-man group with 2 female backup singers. One guy plays synthesizers (a slick whitish setup with a small Roland keyboard), one plays mostly guitar and bass, one plays the computer, handles special effects and also plays guitar, and there is a drummer. Madonna plays guitar on several songs towards the end, looking tough and very cool. Each set up could be move around the stage by some magical hydraulic lift. Under both sides of the platform was a bank of glowing computer screens with dozens of backup guitars.

Madonna ripped off Rufus Wainwright’s stage prop of a cross for several numbers. Madonna’s was bigger, more hi-tech, and more expensive. The music was so loud I couldn’t tell whether anyone booed or not, but my radar sensed that not everyone was thrilled with this image. She has a crown of thorns, has her arms outstretched, and stands emulating the crucifixion. After the number, the little platform she was standing on descended like a lift. Wow: hi tech crosses.

The opening of the concert featured horse imagery on all of the surrounding megascreens, in costume, and in the S&M-cum-horse whip percussive accents that was superimposed on the song. All donned horse tails either on the backs of their heads or butts.

The LA Times review commented on the return of the leotard. I guess that explains why this dude at the end of our row was wearing one. I thought it was a one piece woman’s swimming suit, and that this was his fetish: wearing a woman’s swimming suit at a Madonna concert. Silly me. It’s in fashion.

We stood through the whole damn concert. Well, except for one slow song where we all sat down. That is except the dude in the leotards who continued dancing in place, arms in the air, in complete ecstacy.

I love the fact that Madonna continually has reinvented herself. She is not afraid to upset people, take risks, not settle for same-old same-old. Having mothered 2 children so far, exploring the Kabbala, authoring books, and staying in excellent shape, she serves as an excellent model to her fans about aging gracefully. She shocked even the young-uns who suspected she may have devolved to dinosaur rock. She didn’t smile as much as I might have expected. Her face, and we could see it up close on the megascreens, showed a great sense of concentration. Her face reminds me of Greta Garbo.

For those fans who were so inspired by her concert that they feel the need to confess, Madonna has provided a hotline: (888)-2-CONFESS and your confession will appear on her madonna.com website. I opted out on that one.

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Clive Davis
May 27, 2006 at 8:13 am

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