Jump to content
MadonnaNation.com Forums
Sign in to follow this  
I Don’t Search I Find

New York City press reports/reviews (continued)

Recommended Posts

continued from here at the old forum (-link-)

New York Post

MADONNA & MILD AT MSG

enterlead06292006.jpg

June 29, 2006 -- BRACE yourself. In between the sexual writhing onstage with buff dancers, a few half- boiled political statements projected on the video screens, and her constant attempt to prove she's still a babe at 47, Madonna actually sang last night at the opener of her five-night Madison Square Garden series.

And she sang pretty well.

Sure, there were half a dozen costume changes and a razzle-dazzle, three-ring stage show that was designed to distract anyone from noticing if she did miss a beat or note, but missteps were few at this show.

The very choreographed two-hour extravaganza, which is touring under the title "Confessions on a Dance Floor," ran like a well-oiled machine.

Still, by her own admission, she goofed up a few lyrics early in the set and stumbled to her knees as she went down a slick stage ramp while strumming a guitar. Not so graceful - but she recovered quickly.

A Madonna concert, even one where she trips, is partly a tribute to herself as well as a celebration of gay culture. At this performance, both elements melded with the concert's theme of '70s-style disco music.

The night's program focused on her latest album, which is dedicated to dance music, and was fattened up with tunes from her catalog that fit the "Saturday Night Fever" theme.

Madonna made her grand concert entrance inside a mirror ball that was lowered from the rafters. You can't get more disco than that.

When she emerged, Madonna was a kinky hatchling all dressed in the pleather and lace of a dominatrix ready for a ride with the horsy set.

She delivered giddy-up versions of "Future Lovers" and "I Feel Lucky" as she gripped a riding crop and mounted a dancer who was cinched into a saddle.

She then galloped into one of the show's few nods to her early songbook with "Like a Virgin." That tune's staging also referenced her riding ability, as she perched on a motorcycle seat attached to a stripper's pole.

Saying Madonna is entertaining to watch is an understatement. Everything about last night's concert was designed to please her devoted fans - and it worked.

Stage sights also included a Bob Fosse-like production number with dancers leaping about on aluminum scaffolding, a roller-rink routine late in the concert and, of course, the notorious Madonna-as-Jesus on a mirrored cross.

Not for nothing, but poking fun at Christians is easy. Crosses and crowns of thorns? Give me a break. If she really wanted to be daring, she'd have ripped a Koran in half.

Catholic-bashing and stage show glitz aside, Madonna made her best musical points late in the show, when she revved up songs like "Ray of Light" (the night's best song) followed by "Lucky Star" and the show's closer, her current hit single, "Hung Up."

It was as good and entertaining a show as you'd expect from this veteran showperson. But in comparison to past shows at the Garden, this one was more mild than wild.

dan.aquilante@nypost.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Her current single, HU? hehe Also, "I Feel Lucky"? Oh, Dan!

Surprised he praised this- he took her to tak for DWT and not performing many oldies. (granted, it was just 2 from the 1983-93 period on that tour, compared to 5 for this tour).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bedtimestorynyc

i feel lucky? LOLOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New York Times

Arts Extra | Madonna

Madonna Returns to the Dance Floor

29Madonna.600.jpg

Madonna on her "Confessions Tour" at Madison Square Garden.

Madonna begins her show by climbing out of a disco ball. It splits apart, like one of those chocolate oranges, and out she climbs: a star is hatched.

Wednesday night was the first time she did this at Madison Square Garden, although it's not scheduled to be the last: the concert marked the beginning of a four-night engagement (not counting two nights later in July). And for the next two hours, she put on a spectacular and mainly successful show, returning again and again to a place she knows well: the dance floor. Just about everything onstage is covered in mirror tiles, even the cross on which Madonna is briefly crucified. (It's a plea for AIDS relief, naturally.)

The show is largely given over to her 2005 album, "Confessions on a Dance Floor" (Warner Bros.), which is as exuberant as its predecessor, "American Life," was severe. Most of it was produced with Stuart Price (sometimes known as Jacques Lu Cont), who specializes in sleek and buzzy beats. The album has been praised as Madonna's nostalgic return to her nightclub roots, but Wednesday's concert suggested that something has changed. She's still in the club, but she has a slightly different idea about why.

One of the most dazzling sequences came near the beginning. Madonna rode a saddle that was mounted on a pole to sing "Like a Virgin." The saddle slowly rose and fell, as if it were on a merry-go-round. And as Madonna contorted, it was easy to miss the disturbing story that was unfolding on screens behind her: there was a video montage of racehorses stumbling, throwing their riders, crashing to earth. This vague sense of terror kept coming back all night, as if to remind the dancers -- including the ones in the bleachers -- that there's no such thing as innocent fun.

Like many recent Madonna tours, this one is a trade-off. Fans get fewer old warhorses than they want. (Near the end, she made more than a few nights by singing "Lucky Star.") In return, they get more outlandish sets, weird conceits and eye-popping dance routines (referencing everything from the Los Angeles krumping scene to the French sport of parkour) than they can digest in one night.

The most indigestible moments are still the ones in which Madonna is burdened with something more inhibiting than a saddle: a guitar. Madonna with a guitar is generally the concert equivalent of cholesterol: it clogs the aisles with otherwise faithful fans who suddenly remember they have to buy a T-shirt, or use the rest room, or track down one of those beer mugs with the pretzel rod in the handle.

No matter: by the time she sung "Hung Up," the ecstatic, Abba-sampling hit from "Confessions," the draggy middle was all but forgotten. When pop stars sing about clubs, they're often singing about leaving them: the whole reason you go is to find someone to leave with. But there's not much that's flirtatious or suggestive about "Hung Up." It sounds, on the contrary, like the work of someone who's realized that there is no after-party: the party is all there is, and what happens on the dance floor isn't a means to a end -- it's the end. You don't go there to leave, or to somehow transcend it; you go there to stay as long as you can. Maybe it takes a 47-year-old pop star to figure that out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly how I feel about the dance floor!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another NY review claimed live to tell was from Confessions on a Dancefloor......where do they find these morons to review concerts?

There goes my respect for journalism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Xanthium

"I Feel Lucky"? WTF?! What song is being referenced?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so ecstatic to see her on July 19th! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"I Feel Lucky"? WTF?! What song is being referenced?

"I Feel Love"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Madonna throws top secret NY party after concert

BY JPASC24

July 1, 2006 -- KEVIN Spacey, who plays evil Lex Luthor in "Superman Returns," showed off some truly sinister moves at a private party Madonna threw the other night at Morgans Bar after one of her sold-out Garden shows. "Kevin was dancing with his arms flailing in the air and kicking his legs around, kind of like a modified Irish jig," explains our agog eyewitness. Other guests at the Pravda vodka-sponsored sweatfest included Lenny Kravitz, Zac Posen and Diane von Furstenberg.

Local candle purveyor Harry Slatkin provided Madonna with dressing-room kabbala candles for her Confessions on a Dance Floor tour. Apparently her Madge-esty is fond of giving them out to backstage visitors, including Salma Hayek, Rosie O'Donnell and Harry Hamlin. …

(NY Post & Daily news)

-----

More details on Madonna's NY party

Madonna and pals Kevin Spacey, Lenny Kravitz and DJ AM decamped to an exclusive after-show party Thursday at Morgans Bar. How exclusive? She wore a sparkly T-shirt reading "You're Not On The Guest List." …

(NY DAILY NEWS)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Hafo

I want that t-shirt (and PICS of how it looked on her!) :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.nj.com/entertainment/ledger/ind....xml&coll=1

Madonna madness

Mixed messages abound as onetime Material Girl gets spiritual while boosting new 'Confessions' album

Friday, June 30, 2006

BY JAY LUSTIG

Star-Ledger Staff

POP/ROCK

NEW YORK -- There could be no better setting for Madonna's current tour than Madison Square Garden, where she performed Wednesday night.

Her new album "Confessions on a Dance Floor" -- which provided about half the songs for the show -- marks a re-embrace of the beat-driven dance-pop sound that made her a star in New York nightclubs in the early '80s, before the world discovered her. There is even a "Confessions" song, "I Love New York," in which she sings, sincerely but not exactly gracefully, "I don't like cities, but I like New York/Other places make me feel like a dork."

Madison Square Garden even felt like a sweaty dance club as Madonna refused, as she has on other tour stops, to let the air conditioning run full blast. (She wants to protect her vocal cords.)

Yet Madonna can't really go home again. She's 47 now, with interests in spirituality and politics, and a long tradition of controversy-sparking to live up to. There were some giddy dance numbers in the show, but also lots of half-hearted attempts to rile people up.

It wasn't a bad show. Madonna's too much of a pro for that. But it lacked the edge and the electricity of most of her past tours.

Madonna, who returns to the Garden on Sunday and Monday as well as July 18 and 19 (and also performs at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, July 16), made a disco-diva entrance. A giant mirrored ball dropped from the rafters to a mid-arena stage and opened to reveal her.

She got some sexual posturing out of the way early on "Future Lovers." Her leather-clad dancers pranced like horses and she rode one of them, brandishing a riding crop. She elaborated on the theme during "Like a Virgin," writhing on a saddle that rose and fell on a pole, as if it were part of a carousel.

She let her dancers dominate "Jump" -- their leaps and tumbles became the focus of this production number. She tried out a few moves herself, but mostly just sang.

The mood of the evening shifted abruptly from the physical to the spiritual with "Live to Tell," which was prefaced by an audio-visual presentation featuring tales of abuse, attempted suicide, and gang violence. Madonna sang while hanging on a crucifix, and ended the song with a series of video messages, including horrifying AIDS statistics, a quote from the Bible (Matthew 25:35) and plugs of the charity Web sites, www.raisingmalawi.org and www.clintonfoundation.org.

It was a brilliant example of having it both ways. Madonna pushes people's buttons with the crucifix, which has been the focus of much of the media's coverage of the tour. But, hey, don't get too worked up about it. Her intentions are good.

With its booming beat, the "Confessions" track "Sorry" became a highlight of the early portion of the show, though a reprise of the song, with a video montage mocking members of the Bush administration, was tacky. So was as an obscene line about the president added to "I Love New York."

The elegant ballad "Drowned World/Substitute for Love" was the show's most memorable breather. But the evening peaked with the buoyant dance song "Ray of Light." Dazzling cosmic explosions filled the video screens, and Madonna's rudimentary electric-guitar playing added an element of punk-rock brashness.

In the show's final segment, Madonna finally got around to a whole-hearted embrace of dance music. She donned a "Saturday Night Fever"-style white suit for a mashup of the classic disco song "Disco Inferno" and her own "Music;" cavorted with her dancers on "Erotica" and "La Isla Bonita," and ended with a medley of her early hit "Lucky Star" and lead "Confessions" single "Hung Up."

There was an odd moment during this closing number, though, when Madonna led the crowd in a singalong of the "Hung Up" line "Time goes by so slowly." Not exactly an uplifting sentiment for the show's climactic moment.

The show ended without an encore, then a message flashed on the screen: "Have you confessed?" Beyond the obvious reference to her new album, it was hard to figure out what Madonna intended by this. Then again, a lot of what she's doing these days doesn't seem thoroughly thought out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/music...=ny-music-print

Material witnesses testify for Madge

BY TANIA PADGETT

Newsday Staff Writer

June 29, 2006

At Madison Square Garden last night, Madonna fans had a few confessions of their own.

Some came to the Material Girl's first Manhattan concert in her "Confessions on a Dance Floor" tour, not with their buds, but with their moms. Others came with empty pockets, having shelled out thousands of dollars to get tickets. And still others came with Madonna lyrics tattooed on - ouch - sensitive parts of their bodies.

Adi Bar, 31, lifted up her thin, white shirt to reveal 11 tattooed words from Madonna's song "Sky Fits Heaven" on her waist.

"This was painful," said Bar, of the Upper East Side. Bar also sports a tattoo of Madonna's mug on her right bicep and paid $2,400 to attend all six of the concerts at the Garden.

Roger Amodio, 34, of Albany, agreed. He and his mother, Marie, 63, shelled out $500 for what Marie called "nosebleed seats," but both said that Madge was worth it.

"I like the fact that she pushes boundaries," said Roger.

So is her fashion sense, said Frank Savage, 28, a teacher from Peekskill. Earlier in the day, he had his near-shoulder-length tresses colored blond. "The same blonde as hers," he said. "I'm her biggest fan," he gushed.

Omar Rodriguez might quibble with that. He ponied up $1,000 to see her Madgesty in three concerts. "I have to go more than once because you can't take in everything at just one concert, said Rodriguez, 40, of the Bronx.

But unlike most Madonna fans, he did have some criticism. "I don't approve of all the sex stuff," he said. And he doesn't regret his comments.

Fans, he said, have their confessions, too.

24150864.jpg

Roger Amodio, Jr., and his mother Marie Amodio, left, outside Madison Square Garden, where they were going to see the Madonna concert.

(Robert Mecea, Newsday Staff)

June 28, 2006

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/music...y-homepage-mezz

Madonna's a disco queen

Madonna turns up the heat at her first of 6 shows at the Garden

24138782.jpg

BY RAFER GUZMAN

Newsday Staff Writer

June 29, 2006

Madonna turned Madison Square Garden last night into a combination of Studio 54, Las Vegas and Cirque du Soleil, emerging from a giant disco ball to perform two hours' worth of thumping, bass-driven dance music accompanied by eye-popping visuals, her usual coterie of handsome male dancers and, perhaps most importantly, a DJ.

Adding to the clubby atmosphere: reduced air-conditioning to help protect Madonna's voice. As the impressively lithe and sinewy singer moved around the stage, she wasn't the only one perspiring.

In case you're wondering, Madonna did get up on her crucifix to sing "Live to Tell," from her latest album, "Confessions on a Dance Floor" (Warner Bros.). Was it tasteless? Was it offensive? One thing's for sure: It was one of the show's few dull points. Being stuck to a cross doesn't allow a physical performer like Madonna to move much.

At 47, Madonna has stopped reinventing herself in any substantial way. She continues to try on different outfits -- a cowboy hat for the 2000 album "Music," a militant beret for 2003's "American Life" -- but those are fashion accessories, not personas.

For her latest album, she has returned to a familiar role: the flamboyant disco queen. "Confessions" happens to be a disappointingly vapid album, a soulless spreadsheet of dance-pop cliches -- but Madonna has always had a knack for rising above her material. It's one of the reasons she remains so fascinating, and so undeniably entertaining.

Madonna devoted about half of the concert -- the first of six in a run at the Garden -- to the new album, performing nearly every track on it. She began with "Future Lovers," surrounded by men dressed as S&M horses. Madonna rode one, of course, then launched into a stomping version of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." During "Like a Virgin," she mounted a saddle attached to a merry-go-round pole.

This was the "Equestrian" part of the show, and the other sections -- "Bedouin," "Never Mind the Bollocks" and "Disco" -- were equally nonsensical (and thoroughly enjoyable).

Madonna still has a knack for aesthetics, which helped some of her overly earnest new songs come to life. During "Isaac" (a song that raised a few hackles in the Jewish community), a muezzin-style singer in a robe trekked across the stage while images of the desert passed behind him.

The show steamrollered ahead with barely a split-second between songs, much like a DJ might string together his set. The inevitable climax was the show's "Disco" section, for which Madonna gamely donned a white suit, a la John Travolta.

Madonna may be stealing her own ideas these days, but she still knows how to please a crowd. By the time she unleashed the old-new combo of "Lucky Star" and "Hung Up," the crowd had long been up on its feet, dancing and sweating along with her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=e...2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk3

Concert review: Madonna at MSG

Thursday, June 29, 2006

By CATHERINE HOLAHAN

THE RECORD

Madonna is known for her many faces: Mother Madge. Dominatrix. Material Girl. Spiritual Leader. Sex Goddess. Virgin.

So it was fitting that she began her performance Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden by emerging from a shattered crystal disco ball. The “Confessions on a Dance Floor” tour is all about showing off Madonna’s many facets.

The Queen of Pop started the show in a black riding outfit that was Mrs. Ritchie meets Erotica’s Madonna. The costume was the first of at least half a dozen wardrobe changes Madonna would go through during the two-hour show.

The riding outfit, complete with hat and crop, was a nod to Madonna’s recent persona as an English lady as well as a celebration of the sexiness and indomitable spirit that has remained constant regardless of her style-of-the-moment.

Scenes of horses, fallen riders, and X-rays flashed across the ubiquitous video screens during the first few songs, referencing the injuries she suffered from a recent horseback riding accident, which left her with several broken bones.

Madonna showed off just how well she had recovered when, during a later dance interlude to the song “Sorry,” she put her leg seemingly behind her head.

Madonna danced throughout the show along with a large troupe of athletic male and female dancers. The dancers jumped around in cages, leaped from the stage, and even — during the “Disco Inferno” mash up with her song “Music” — performed on rollerblades.

At one point, she even donned an Elvis-style boxer’s cape with a “Dancing Queen” logo.

Madonna the dancer was another face she showed the crowd. She was also Madonna the rock star, playing guitar through songs such as “I Love New York” and “Ray of Light.”

She brazenly displayed her political side during numbers such as the “Sorry” interlude, which included video of her giving President Bush the finger among other images.

The Madonna of “Like a Prayer” was present with her controversial entrance on a mirrored cross during “Live to Tell.”

She displayed her dominatrix side, riding her male dancers during “Future Lovers” and ordering the crowd to dance, jump and sing as she saw fit.

Her theatrical side was on view in numbers such as the ’70s-inspired “Disco Inferno” mix when she wore a white suit straight out of “Saturday Night Fever.”

She even showed her New York side, telling the crowd:

“If you can’t let your hair down in New York City, where can you let it down? I’ve been [expletive] up the words and falling all over the place. I think I’m trying to hard to impress you people. But this is my home anyway. Why do I have to impress anybody?”

The crowd, for its part, didn’t seem to notice any mistakes. They jumped on command, sang at the top of their lungs, and even did the wave.

And, through it all, Madonna gyrated, shook and showed why, after more than two decades on stage, one face will always remain constant: The Queen of Pop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LTT, from her latst album? Are some of these writers coherent when they're at the keyboard? Nice reviews, though. Keep up the good work, Sly. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

D.M.

Liz Smith talks about Madonna again today.

An excerpt from today's Liz Smith column on the New York Post:

THE OTHER hot private do that eve ning happened at The Morgan on 37th and Madison. It was Madonna’s traditional party for her dancers, their friends and a few celebs. M had just come off the Madison Square Garden stage, dancing like crazy for two solid hours, so you’d think she’d want to rest - sit and schmooze. No way. In a skin-tight sequined top that read "You Are Not on the List," skin-tight jeans and 4-inch strappy heels festooned with what looked like real diamonds, the star shook everything the good Lord gave her for another two hours! And, just as she does at her concerts, Madonna kept the air conditioning off. Maybe she feels it helps give a sexier vibe? Marriage and motherhood notwithstanding, she remains a sex symbol who wants everybody to do what they want to do.

Among the moist throng were Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, Alex Rodriguez, jeweler Neil Lane, Michael Moore, Allen Grubman, Zac Posen (busy boy! - still looking like he carries an internal cooling system) and Kevin Spacey, who just couldn’t stop complimenting one of Madonna’s most charismatic dancers, Cloud.

Also on hand was Warner Records big man, Tom Whalley, who resembles a movie star more than an exec. Tom had a good time, but he’s basically shy. "I love the business side of my business, but I feel a little out of place at times like this." Maybe he felt it; he didn’t look it.

Sitting quietly, chatting with pals and keeping an eye on the little woman was Guy Ritchie. Guy is much interested in the effect of the ego on one’s actions and perceptions. That was a big part of his wildly imaginative film "Revolver," which he has re-cut and which will have a U.S. release later in the year.

Aside from his physical appeal and a good, rowdy sense of humor, Guy must provide his wife - and she he - excellent conversation on the ego. A quality she admits is a "big fat" part of her own personality.

Despite rumor, they still look awfully cozy together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
D.M.

Liz Smith talks about Madonna again today.

An excerpt from today's Liz Smith column on the New York Post:

and Kevin Spacey, who just couldn’t stop complimenting one of Madonna’s most charismatic dancers, Cloud.

Kevin wants a piece of Cloud! LOL!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ughhh :sour:

villagevoice.com

Down in Front

Crazy for You, but Not That Crazy

Madonna gives us the world, but suddenly it's not enough

havilla7cv.jpg

illustration: Paul Hoppe

by Rob Harvilla

July 5th, 2006 2:53 PM

We should worship Madonna for her perpetual willingness to look, sound, and act ridiculous. For if we do, she will never disappoint us. So here we sit, our furniture, cars, and first-born bartered on Craigslist for tickets to Wednesday's opening night of her robustly scalped Madison Square Garden six-show residency. And there she hangs. In the early stages of her two-hour extravaganza/ordeal -- after a maudlin intro wherein interpretive dancers flail about during the solemn audio testimony of, say, a child-abuse victim or a former gangbanger -- she emerges crucified on a life-size sparkly cross, with a mic helpfully attached so she can croon a draggy, canned-sounding version of "Live to Tell" while surrounded by Jumbotron images of destitute, AIDS- orphaned African children who're occasionally swallowed up by CGI fireballs.

Holy shit.

This is my professional reaction. Holy shit. It's a sequence unparalleled in its combination of blasphemy, absurdity, melodrama, humanitarian grandstanding, and preposterous narcissism, all set to her second-best '80s torch ballad. ("Crazy for You," dawg.) This alone should justify the $12,000-per-seat admission. So why does it feel so unsatisfying? A Madonna concert dependably supplies (a) at least one hilariously offensive religious image, (b) a bit of Bono-bred social-cause pandering, © copious backup-dancer copulation, and (d) a few golden oldies to balance out the "Here's one from the new album!" hostage taking. The "Live to Tell" assault combined 'em all for maximum impact . . . to incoherent, disastrous effect. I've seen Cher in concert, folks, and I'm telling you: This was ludicrous. But somehow bad ludicrous. Incoherent, disoriented, garish, light-all-the-firecrackers-at-once-and-just-see-what-happens ludicrous. The world is an infinitely more fascinating place with Madonna in it, turning empty spectacle into sincere emotion, and trendy pop bandwagon-jumping into timeless, profound beauty. Ironically, we sincerely adore her sincere attempts at irony. But she's desensitized us to excess and lunacy -- merely throwing orphans, fireballs, pelvic thrusts, and crucifixion tableaux at us randomly doesn't cut it anymore. We demand a more thought-out and sophisticated brand of mindless spectacle.

Too bad. The new album in question, last year's Confessions on a Dance Floor, is a deliriously vapid disco assault, charming in its relentless doofiness. Even a dopey tune like "I Love New York" -- a less articulate ode to NYC than, say, Andrew W.K.'s, and man is that saying something -- can sound transcendent if she sells it shamelessly enough. And she sure did Wednesday, thrashing haplessly on an electric guitar and climactically flipping off the thrilled, whooping crowd for a solid 20 seconds. That one stole (back) a bit of Kelly Clarkson's arena-stomping thunder, as did triumphant jazzercise single "Hung Up," though Madonna's militaristic insistence on forcing us to shout "Time goes by! Slow slowly!" over and over and over felt less like a proud declaration and more like a desperate plea to halt the aging process. With all the retro poses she's striking these days -- of the show's innumerable visual motifs, the Wednesday Night Fever disco phase, fusing her 2000 electro hit "Music" to "Disco Inferno" as she struck her best John Travolta pose in a shimmery white suit, hit the hardest -- Madonna's eager to prove that backward is the new forward.

At 47, she remains as thin, lithe, and profoundly attractive as science (and Pilates, or whatever) will allow -- her outfits not too skimpy, but certainly skintight -- and she holds her own amid all the copious backup-dancer copulation, flailing about as they whiz by on roller skates or leap ecstatically through a maze of chain-link fences, IKEA-worthy metal office tables, and sinister-looking gymnastic equipment. She slaps one around and stands triumphant over his body as "Sorry," Dance Floor's finest hour, climaxes, but the Garden's sound system fails her, watering down its bombastic, bass-heavy melody and rendering it wan and sleepy. Occasional breakdancing interludes aside, the tunes shouldn't sound like they're bleating from a boombox.

Even the golden oldies suffered: "Like a Virgin" earned orgasmic applause upon recognition early on, but wound up saddled with the same sweeping, robo-orchestrated Stuart Price treatment as all of Dance Floor, a newfangled clumsy chord progression robbing it of its cheesy simplicity. Undaunted, Madonna cavorted on a mechanical bull saddle/stripper pole hy-brid as the Jumbotrons flashed saucy images of . . . horse-racing accidents. Like the crucifixion debacle, you could write a term paper on that moment: precocious virginal musing vs. fear of breaking a leg and getting shot, a dorky '80s pop classic ruined by 21st-century space-synth meddling, etc. But shit, man, it's Madonna. Can we have the fun along with the dumb? "Ray of Light" (with more hapless guitar thrashing) got a few fists pumping, "Erotica" benefited from more Stuart Price sleaze, the "La Isla Bonita" choreography was Tony worthy, and "Lucky Star" was, uh, "Lucky Star." Acceptable, but can you imagine a greatest-hits tour? As quietly great as Dance Floor is, will Madonna ever tour again without ramming a half-hour's worth of feeble filler tracks -- like the "controversial" "Isaac," embellished via Middle Eastern wailing into a very poor man's take on Enigma's "Return to Innocence" -- down our throats and indulge our lust for "Like a Prayer" or "Vogue" instead? How can someone so wed to outrageous decadence and shameless joy possibly not do this?

Instead, we settle for these brief flashes of old-time bravado and, even rarer, vulnerability. At one point our heroine sat down on the catwalk steps, visibly exhausted, content to merely look like an out-of-breath hot mom for a few seconds, apologizing for "fucking up words" and "falling all over the place": a quick peek at the perfectionist insecurity that drives all this grandeur. She then sang a limp "Drowned World/Substitute for Love," profoundly inferior to "Crazy for You" or even "The Power of Goodbye." She gave us everything she had, but not what we wanted.

rharvilla@villagevoice.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you can't please them all. The main criticism of that article was the song choices and I think that was one of the shows strong points, so go figure. Who wants a greatest hits show, yuck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perez Hilton review

perezhilton reviews Madonna's New York show...............

http://www.perezhilton.com/topics/upload/2...nnadnlollla.jpg

Madonna always puts on a great show. And, she did not disappoint Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

But, the thing about the Queen of Pop is that she's almost too good. It's as if she's a machine. There seemed to be a lack of intimacy or a "connection" with the audience last night.

She loves NY and all that jazz, but the concert could have been in Topeka for all we know. She barely spoke more than two cumulative minutes to the audience all night long.

It seemed as if Madge was just "going through the motions."

Having said that, many artists wish they were even half as good as Madonna when she's just going through the motions and being Robo Madge.

However, we did walk away from her Confessions tour wanting MORE.

Madonna has always been a bit of a selfish performer. It's all ME, ME, ME. Whereas we think a concert should be all about the fans and giving back to them.

Not only was this show seemingly much shorter than previous tours - clocking in at an hour and forty five minutes - but we were truly baffled by some of the song selections. Did she really need to perform Drowned World/Substitute For Love or Paradise (Not For Me)??? We would have rather heard Oh, Father or Promise To Try. Some more interesting choices.

Yes, she did do some hits, but she did obvious ones. She did Music, Ray Of Light and Isla Bonita, all songs she's performed on recent tours.

Where was Dress You Up? Or Everybody, Keep It Together, Causing A Commotion, Borderline, Cherish, Into The Groove or any number of other songs she hasn't performed in FOREVER.

Plus, we still are slightly miffed that she hasn't done any "encores" the last two tours.

Perhaps we're expecting too much from Madonna, but she is the ultimate entertainer and the definition of an icon. She would want us to expect only super excellence from her.

And, there truly were some AMAZING moments during the show, most notably during the song Jump, which brought to life that Nike commercial where people were leaping off the buildings. Jaw dropping brilliance!

The crucified Live To Tell was genuinely moving. Sorry was jam-packed full of energy. The intricate choreography in Forbidden Love was hauntingly beautiful. Erotica/You Thrill Me was a breath of fresh air. And the Music / Disco Inferno mash-up was mucho fun.

Madonna always satisfies, but she just left us hungry for more.

Maybe that's her intention?????

[Many MANY thanks Robin Bechtel and everyone at Warner Brothers for taking good care of Pepperez last night!]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perez seems to have forgotten "Into the Groove" from the last tour, and her promo performances of "Everybody." But, I certainly can sympathize with the "Borderline" desire. :)

RE Village Voice- LTT "canned-sounding"? Open your ears, MAN!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.fcnp.com/618/benton.htm

Falls Church News Press, VA

Nicholas F. Benton

Threat of a Smart, Political Woman

Madonna is amazing, but you can’t really appreciate that without being an eyewitness to her current tour.

I was drawn to one of her numerous sold out performances at Madison Square Garden in New York last weekend not because I am a fan of her music, although I am not ashamed to count myself among the apparent few who really liked her performance in the film version of “Evita.”

I went because she’s a major cultural force, and worth experiencing, in my view, for that reason alone. Her current tour has sparked controversy and denunciations from the religious right, and everyone I know who’s seen a show, from the Madonna aficionados to more purist critics, has raved about it.

But it was far more than I expected, speaking from my perspective as a politically-minded person. Sure, it outdid itself for pyrotechnics and razza-ma-taz, one hell of a saturating, multi-sensual light, sound and vibration show. Madonna, at age 47, is veritably pulsating with energy and sex appeal as she chases and is chased by a troupe of amazingly athletic, agile and well-built dancers around a stage that extends far out to both the left and the right over the audience, and down the center to the mid-court line. All the time, of course, Madonna is pounding out the lyrics to one or another of her club-beat songs.

No one sat in that arena for the entire two hour show. Nor did they merely stand. They rocked, the whole time. My knees could barely take it.

Arriving early at the concert, my companion and I saw the thousands of young Madonna faithful pouring in, and my friend commented with disappointment about how apolitical today’s “club kid” generation is. I said it was not that different during even the highest points of anti-war ferment in the Vietnam era, when young people would party at rock concerts all night and then show up at anti-war rallies, as if as a continuation of the party, the next day. Few people are, I pointed out, 100% or even a fraction of that, political. Not now, not then. The political organizing principle is to get everybody at least aware enough to vote the right way or protest the right things.

But then as if to illustrate everything I’d just said, Madonna came on stage to lead the most explicit political demonstration in the form of a musical concert I’ve ever seen.

Making the best use of her dancers to play out her lyrics, she sang songs decrying child abuse, spousal abuse, gay oppression and war. Distorted images of George Bush and other historic political criminals flashed on screens above the stage.

Then, in a tour de force, a curtain opened showing Madonna lying flat on a giant lit metal cross. As she began singing, the cross rose up and displayed her on it as a big crucifix, complete with crown of thorns. Needless to say, this is what has drawn the vile of the religious right.

But what no one I have read has talked about what was her point. Reports made it seem sacrilegious for its own sake, just a slap in the face at the religious right. But it was about much more. As she sang from the cross, above her on a screen, numbers scrolled rapidly, from 100,000 to 1 million up to 12 million before stopping, drawing everyone to wonder what they meant. Then it revealed the point: 12 million is the number of orphans created by the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Other statistics about the ravages of the AIDS epidemic in Africa followed. Then came the clincher: the screen revealed in stages the Biblical scripture from Matthew 25: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me…As you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

It was this Biblical verse that Madonna used to indict the hypocrisy of the religious right, and her own choreography and lyrics only underscored it.

The segment ended with the appearance on screens of web site addresses of two African AIDS relief organizations.

This smart and breathtaking political and religious message packaged, as it was, for that evening’s 22,000 “club kids” brought my appreciation of Madonna to a whole new level.

She’s what the Western world’s white male establishment fears the most: an intelligent, political woman that stands up to its crap and has a way to get her message across.

It makes you believe that even without the lights, sounds and choreography, a Hillary could do as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/sto...6p-364964c.html

Madonna showed Mayor Bloomberg who was in charge at her Garden concert last Sunday. Performing "Sorry," Her Madgesty spotted Hizzoner next to the stage, pointed to him and commanded, "Everyone over there sitting down: Get your a- up!" Bloomberg obeyed and kept dancing for the rest of the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Hafo

HANDS OFF CLOUD YOU LEX LUTHOR :americanlife:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slant

http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/feature...essionstour.asp

At the height of her public controversy, Madonna appeared to have only the gay fringe's support. Her daring made the rest of the culture turn its back—a tragedy because she was never more exciting and vital than in the years between her "Like A Prayer" video and Erotica album, her only full-length masterpiece (two if you count Abel Ferrara's Dangerous Game), refusing to flatter a racist, sexist, and homophobic hegemony by challenging and rewriting its modes of coercion and domination. Which is to say, this was the only time Madonna was radically ahead of the curve, devoted to flattering more than just her own ego by defending and mainstreaming the vibrant ethos of the gay subculture, all the while getting funky for those too scared to do so. Madonna is not so deep anymore, but her Confessions Tour at least inspires audiences to bump n' grind.

Only one other time, after the release of American Life, would Madonna be as unpopular, but the people's contempt for the singer was more understandable this time. Some might say Madonna had to suffer so Green Day could prevail, but hindsight is 20/20 and the pedantic American Life still isn't very good even now that the majority shares her anti-war stance. Once you got past the shock of her "American Life" music video (the director's cut, that is), you were left with a clutter of rants that were superficially and forcibly ironic, self-absorbed, and musically abrasive. A savvy, brilliant businesswoman, Madonna understood this, which is perhaps why she distances herself—and us—from that album, performing none of its songs during her new tour.

Madonna's latest album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, is very good, but it's also deceptive; instantly gratifying, its slick, infectious beats make it very easy to ignore that Madonna is still harping on the same fame-money-ego notes she started beating during Ray Of Light. (This is not an album you want to think about exactly, but working out to it is a blast.) Drenched in impossible-princess imagery and pumped with protean, tendril-like musical textures, the album invites submission, and this feeling of being sucked into a cosmic abyss is mirrored throughout the first part of the show, which begins with the singer fabulously emerging from a disco ball to sing a medley of "Future Lovers" and that song's impetus, the greatest dance song of all time, Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." Madonna is taking us inside her disco ball ("Would you like to try?"), making us complicit in another one of her cocooning spectacles before thrilling us and letting us out in a blaze of disco-burning ecstasy.

Thank God Madonna fell off a horse or she might not have had enough visual material for this concert. She makes her pain seem fashionable, opening the show with footage from her equine-nightmare photo shoot with Steven Klein and using X-ray scans of her broken bones as background for "Like A Virgin." She's no longer a virgin, of course, but she can still do a mean slide down a stripper pole onto a motorcycle-seat-as-saddle, flaunting throughout her performance her super-human powers of perseverance (take that, Christopher Reeve!). Madonna's ability to turn everything into a fashion statement—and stretch it out impossibly thin—has become almost pathological: A great song like "Get Together" is splendidly sung (whoever tweaks the levels on her mic is a genius), but its celebratory, keep-it-together message is compromised by the contradictory feelings of bondage (oppression) conveyed by having two backup dancers equipped with reins around their heads.

Madonna's Erotica period was exciting because she was pushing stripped modes of expression—not just physical nudity but retro cinematic and musical styles, from funk to Warhol—over video-era trends and high-fashion gloss. This was to fiercely address that pop culture was insufficiently accounting for the sexual agency of all its citizens. "The Beast Within" musical interlude during The Girlie Show was that concert's tour-de-force: a striking, fascinatingly politicized work of performance art that foregrounded gay sexual desire, challenging Bill Clinton's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy by illuminating the psychological havoc it was aggravating. That triumph of complex socio-political awareness is deeper than Madonna's performance of "Forbidden Love," during which two men of color act out a disco-zombie dance of romantic disaffection. Behind them on the screen: a spectacle of blood corpuscles connecting to form symbols of hope and unity. Madonna is trying to convey how oppression is internalized, but her codification of emotional crisis is somewhat bloodless. The performance, though hypnotically choreographed, reveals Madonna to be as overwrought a semiotician as Godfrey Regio, whose Naqoyqatsi also benefits from a great soundtrack.

More than a decade ago, Madonna and Mary Lambert gave the image of a burning cross the thrill of ecstatic importance—rewriting intimidation as liberation. Now Madonna is propping herself before a disco-cubed cross, singing "Live To Tell" for dubious reasons. In interviews, the singer invites our interpretations, and, in response, Slant's music editor scanned a critique of the Catholic Church's failure to adequately address the AIDS crisis in Africa, but this message doesn't resonate because Madonna's messianic stunt actually works to call attention away from the multimedia blitz that surrounds her (on the screens above: a countdown that tolls Africa's AIDS orphans, and the faces of some of these children intercut with Bible verses). Madonna seems to believe AIDS is her cross to bear, but she doesn't attempt the heart-to-heart with her audience that gave feeling to her rendition of "In This Life" during The Girlie Show, when she was passionately devoted to raising our consciousness. She doesn't fully convince us of her sincerity and "Live To Tell" becomes the concert's one serious moral lapse.

To enjoy the first half of Madonna's show, without reservation, is to condone the singer's propensity for self-congratulation. During an eight-song stretch, we are reminded, among other things, that you can break your bones if you fall off a horse ("Like A Virgin"), that Madonna still cares about AIDS ("Live To Tell") and gays ("Forbidden Love"), and that parkour is really awesome ("Jump"). I'm not sure what all of this has to do with the audience, or what her performance of "Isaac" is meant to indicate other than a passing interest in the shape of desert dunes, but it's a welcome segue into the much-stronger second portion of the show: She totally rocks "Ray Of Light" and "I Love New York," and she thrashes on stage to "Let It Will Be" so vigorously it's as if she might perish by song's end. Since she's now in New York, Madonna didn't have to preface her performance of "I Love New York" with the noblese oblige Los Angelinos had to suffer during the initial leg of the tour. It was in L.A. that she indicated that she was singing about The Big Apple as a "state of mind," and this idea is mirrored in the white-line backdrop of the New York skyline, whose towers fiercely slide off the screen with every "get off my street" outburst. I'm not sure that Madonna's switching out of the song's "Isn't that where they golf?" lyric with a line about sucking Dubya's dick entirely quells the song's red-state condescension, but the rhyme is so striking only one of the president's lunatic apologists would take insult.

Madonna's concerts would scarcely warrant scrutiny if each one wasn't a multimedia spectacle, a synthesis of live theater and interactive video installation to be looked at and judged for the connections, dimensions, and consequences of its many parts. Her Confessions Tour, though spotty and compromised but often breathtaking, is something of a coup after the fierce but icy theatrics of her Drowned World Tour and the shrill aggression of her Re-Invention Tour. Maybe there was something in the air at Madison Square Garden on the eve of our country's birthday, but Madonna, at times, risked a personal connection with her fans unseen since The Girlie Show, affectionately enticing people to come together and, as a result, turning New York City into a thumping block party.

Madonna is still dealing with politics, only now she's expanding the range of her target practice, tempering her rage with humor. Her performance of "Sorry" isn't one of the concert's highlights, but an interlude set to a remix of the song gives lyrics like "Save your words because you've gone too far" an interesting political edge. Images of fascists past and present—from Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin Dada to George W. Bush and Tony Blair—flash across the screen, with sputtering text and footage of war atrocities sifted into the mix. The image of Madonna singing in her "Sorry"-video leotard is questionably spliced into this otherwise excitingly edited patchwork (the music stutters, and so do Bush's lips), but this is still preferable to the bratty poses the singer evinced throughout her "American Life" music video, which unimaginatively and ironically mixed fashion with real-world politics. Compared to that mess, this interlude's brio feels ecstatic—a collage of Godardian weight you can dance too.

But it is the concert's final stretch that's Madonna's triumph, stirring a tingly, almost poignant feeling of dance-party vertigo—that celebratory come-together vibe of her Blond Ambition and Girlie Show tours that really seeks to involve the audience. The roller-boogie "Disco Inferno" interlude that kicks off this part of the show is unbelievable, and her performance of Stuart Price's "You Thrill Me" remix of "Erotica" is a smash: She discofies the song but keeps its sex appeal, choreographing it to simple, Latin-infused dance maneuvers that are ecstatic. The video backdrop to "La Isla Bonita" mirrors the voluptuousness of Madonna's dancing, and she emerges as a soul butterfly fluttering to the disco heavens during a remix of "Lucky Star" that actually makes the song sound good. Finally, she brings the house down, inviting our sweaty-rapturous participation with "Hung Up," a song that might have been the biggest hit of her career if Americans weren't so averse to dancing—for inspiration. By getting the audience to sing along with her, Madonna convinces us that she's not just hung up on herself, but on her fans as well. This fabulous finale is a reminder that Madonna's music need not be motivated by sex or politics to be good as long as it displays a smidgen of heart and soul. Perhaps this is an indicator that this ballsy shape-shifting Robot Maria's great stone face is one step closer to melting away.

Ed Gonzalez

© slant magazine, 2006.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic review... and I agree with everything he said about the Sorry interlude in comparison with the American Life video.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a well-written and thorough review, but I gotta disagree on the "Live to Tell" performance. However, I can see why some would say (in a few reviews) her attempts at conveying those serious messages often are at odds (or klunky) with some of the images involving herself- but she's gotta put the "Madonna spin" on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...