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There is definitely something a little off with the final segment. nothing flows. not the music, the choreography or the outfits. what in the yankee-doodle dandy hell is that horror show she wears for Holiday? Having Unapologetic Bitch as the penultimate song is questionable anyway, but to not even have it make musical sense and flow into the other songs is even weirder. its all so out of place.

I enjoy Music / Candy Shop, and i was looking forward to seeing her perform UB on this tour, but it just doesnt seem right where it is. She should have La Vie en Rose as the penultimate song, and find a way of stitching UB onto candy shop as at the moment its all a bit of a car crash!

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Crozzauk was just voicing his opinion.

Yes...and I'm saying that according to some who have been to the show, the last act does make sense, and maybe one of them could break it down for him because, as he said, it feels 'off' to him. Just from videos, the last act makes a lot of sense to me. I just thought someone who actually went to the show could explain how well it works on stage...

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Yes...and I'm saying that according to some who have been to the show, the last act does make sense, and maybe one of them could break it down for him because, as he said, it feels 'off' to him. Just from videos, the last act makes a lot of sense to me. I just thought someone who actually went to the show could explain how well it works on stage...

Dont get me wrong, there are still some great performance elements - it just loses a certain flow at that point. Id love to hear about it from people who have seen it first hand as m not going to get to see it until december, so i have a lot of studying of youtube clips to do in that time.

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New York Newsday -

Amy Schumer brings laughs to Madonna's 'Rebel Heart' tour

Updated September 17, 2015 12:02 AM

By GLENN GAMBOA glenn.gamboa@newsday.com

Yes, it was a night of controversy. But it was also unexpectedly filled with joy.

Madonna's tour features half-naked nuns on stripper poles, and her opener Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, raucous Rockville Centre-raised comedian Amy Schumer, star of the summer smash "Trainwreck," threw in some jokes about the sex lives of the Obamas and the drinking habits of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

However, Madonna's "Rebel Heart" tour, which continues Thursday night at Madison Square Garden and Saturday night at Barclays Center, may also be her happiest tour in decades.

The lovely acoustic version of "True Blue" was a rare bow to romance, the sweetest of Madonna sentiments. "I'm feeling very nostalgic," she said, adding that she first played the Garden 30 years ago.

Though the two-hour show is her attempt to give her underappreciated album the chance it deserved, it also recasts her older songs in a new light, from Latin versions of "Lucky Star" to an acoustic take on "Who's That Girl?"

"Rebel Heart" was plagued by a series of leaks that forced Madonna to push up its release several months, but many of its songs find her at her most resilient. The title track was a pretty stripped-down declaration of survival, while the speeded-up remix of "Living for Love" was dramatic and inspirational.

Schumer talked of her incredible year in her 35-minute set.

"I don't know why I've been labeled a sex comic," said Schumer, who announced that she will headline the Garden on June 23. "It's not fair."

Schumer said she had worried about opening the show for months, joking: "Who better to open for Madonna than me? The answer: literally any band."

However, Schumer won over the crowd, who gave her a standing ovation at the end. "That is the best feeling I have ever had," she said.

SETLIST: Iconic / [Expletive] I'm Madonna / Burning Up / Holy Water > Vogue / Devil Pray / Messiah / Body Shop / True Blue / Deeper and Deeper / Heartbreak City > Love Don't Live Here Anymore / Like a Virgin / S.E.X. / Living For Love / La Isla Bonita / Dress You Up > Into the Groove > Lucky Star / Who's That Girl? / Rebel Heart / Illuminati / Music / Candy Shop / Material Girl / La Vie En Rose / Unapologetic [Expletive] / Holiday

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Madonna Gets Surprisingly Nostalgic at First NYC Tour Stop, Then Kicks Amy Schumer's Ass

For an artist who rarely looks back creatively, Madonna was in a particularly wistful mood during her Madison Square Garden concert on Wednesday (Sept. 16) night, the first of three NYC dates on her Rebel Heart Tour.

"I'm feeling very nostalgic tonight," Madonna said (twice, actually). "I played Madison Square Garden 30 years ago. That's crazy." When she trailed off for a moment, you almost thought she was lost in sentimental reverie. But as always, Madonna was laser-focused on the present, even while reminiscing. "You were there?" she asked a fan in the front row who had been talking to her. "Then I gotta give you a kiss." For the record, a Madonna-on-fan kiss is a controlled affair: She kissed her fingers and touched the fan's forehead, like a messiah gracing her faithful follower with one touch.

Nostalgia aside, Madonna's restless creative spirit is on full display on the Rebel Heart Tour. Refusing to coast by playing faithful, familiar live renditions of her hits, Madge recast a number of her classics in different musical molds, with mostly positive results.

Strapping on a guitar, she skuzzed up "Burning Up" to hard rock heights and turned "True Blue" into a ukulele sing-along. For "Like a Virgin," she lost the original instrumentation, her backup dancers and most of her clothes while turning her breakthrough hit into a sparse, Pharrell-esque jam.

In a lengthy nod to her Spanish-speaking audience, Madonna delivered a Latin-tinged medley of "Dress You Up," "Into the Groove" and "Lucky Star." The maracas might have been a little much, but the crisp Spanish guitar successfully made the songs sound newly organic. And while there weren't as many French speakers in attendance at MSG, Madonna nodded to her Gallic fans with a surprisingly full-voiced version of Edith Piaf's "La Vie En Rose." (Was it as good asLady Gaga's recent live "La Vie en Rose" cover? That's a topic for opposing fan groups to viciously discuss in the comments section.)

Later in the show, Madonna began "Music" as a Jazz Age ballad before kicking the No. 1 hit into banger mode. The presence of "Music" was an effective reminder that while some compulsive naysayers tsk the Queen of Pop for trend chasing with Diplo, she brought techno to the pop mainstream years before EDM was a ubiquitous term.

As always, Madonna will never be everything to everyone. Some were undoubtedly let down to see her make it through the "Vogue" spoken word section during "Holy Water" without segueing into the full song -- and to see the lights come up without any "Like a Prayer."

But the classic tracks Madonna did pull out were judiciously selected, with attention paid to material rarely performed on her live tours. An acoustic "Who's That Girl?" (not seen on a Madonna tour in nearly 30 years), a pumping "Deeper and Deeper" (absent from her setlist for 11 years) and "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (which segued out of new song "HeartBreak City") were all resurrected to huge applause.

Speaking of resurrection, Catholic themes occupied a sizable portion of her stage show, as you would expect -- but always with the Ciccone wink. There was a bacchanalian Last Supper, nuns gyrating on stripper polls and famous faces from Renaissance religious paintings projected onscreen during the aforementioned "Vogue" roll call.

Aside from the stunning Minotaur-filled "Living for Love," the most effective new song in her Rebel Heart Tour arsenal was "Body Shop." While the song was light to the point of forgettable on the album, its low-key, affable sound worked to the choreography's advantage as Madonna teased and flirted her way through a stage filled with tires, muscle cars and muscle men.

"My grandma always said, 'If it's got tits or tires, it's going to give you trouble,'" Madonna said in a faux Southern accent after the song. "Sorry, I know I'm not as funny as Amy Schumer, but I'm trying."

Schumer, incidentally, killed her opening set (last night was her first of three opening slots for Madonna in NYC). Repeatedly mocking the flowering falsehood that it's a new Golden Era for women in Hollywood while still making jokes about the First Lady taking a hot load, Schumer's ability to pivot between the bawdy and the incisive proved the perfect fit for a Madonna opener.

"I thought I was gonna bomb so hard for months," Schumer said when her set was over. "This is the best feeling ever."

That feeling might've been one-upped (or quashed?) later on in the evening when Madonna brought Amy out during "Unapologetic Bitch," bent her over and literally kicked her ass (in addition to pretending to penetrate it). Schumer was ecstatic and surprisingly rhythmic while dancing with Madonna onstage, but the Queen couldn't let her go without some hazing.

Before Schumer left the stage, Madonna put a sock puppet on Amy's hand and made it tell her, "Hi Amy -- I'm a sock, bitch!" Waiting a few beats for an actual joke to follow, Schumer exploded into confused laughter when it became clear that was pretty much all Madge had to offer with the skit. Madonna might be good at changing creative lanes, but her attempt at improv was like switching lanes by means of rolling out of a moving car.

When the show came to a triumphant close with "Holiday," New York's favorite adopted daughter paraded around in an American flag while her dancers -- dressed for a Gatsby-style rager at this point -- paraded about with jubilant relief. It was clear they felt the rush of owning Madison Square Garden and relished it. Madonna, on the other hand, kept her composure. Clearly, failure to dominate MSG on Wednesday night was never an option for her -- just like failure to dominate New York City was never an option for Madonna more than 30 years ago.

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another popcrush review http://popcrush.com/madonna-rebel-heart-tour-new-york-city-review-amy-schumer/

Madonna, Amy Schumer Stay On Top Of Their Game During ‘Rebel Heart Tour’ Stop in New York City

“I can’t think of anyone better to open for Madonna…other than absolutely any band,” Amy Schumer deadpanned to a sea of Rebel Heart Tour merchandise-clad fans awaiting the arrival of the Queen of Pop.

The stadium erupted in laughter and roared back with playful cheers, but really, if any #UnapologeticBitch was meant to open for Madge, it was in fact Amy. (And it wouldn’t be the first time she’d appear on the stage that night, either.)

The Trainwreck star thoroughly nailed her hour-long opening slot for Madonna’s first night at Madison Square Garden on the Rebel Heart Tour last night (September 16).

Like the lady of the evening, Schumer kept the crowd gasping with pearl-clutching subject matter and cutting social commentary, rattling through everything from meeting (and dreaming of dating) Bradley Cooper, to her newfound friendship with Jenner Lawrence (she subscribes to Drake’s “No New Friends” policy — until meeting Lawrence, after which she decided “Okay, maybe one new friend”), to her explanation of rare sex positions and a bold declaration of appreciation for, uh, ejaculation. What a time for women in Hollywood! (That’s a running joke.)

And even though the setting was a bit unusual — most people would raise an eyebrow at the idea of a comedian kicking off a concert (as did Amy herself for months, which she admitted during her set) — the fearless, often crass and always self-mocking set by the ever-refreshing Schumer proved to be a perfect warm-up to what is undoubtedly Madonna’s most lighthearted tour outing in years.

After successfully winning over the crowd (and getting briefly emotional because of the crowd’s overwhelming enthusiasm — really, how often do you see an opening act get a standing ovation afterward?), Amy cleared the stage with her boyfriend — a bottle of wine! — to make way for the Queen, who eventually descended (from the heavens, presumably) in her cage with her appropriately regal, soldier-filled “Iconic” introduction, setting off without a hitch for the rest of the night. (If you haven’t yet, check out our review of opening night in Montreal last week.)

From “Into The Groove” to “True Blue” to “Bitch I’m Madonna,” the 30+ year industry veteran squeezed in dozens of her beloved classics in amid more recent Rebel Heart album cuts to a sold out arena (which included Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande and Andy Cohen as onlookers), fearlessly pole dancing on top of dancers on crosses, hair-flipping on her knees across catwalks, flamenco dancing and clinging off the top of a tall spiral staircase. Yet even while playing the part of the larger-than-life entertainer on stage she’s been for decades, Madonna has never looked more like a girl simply having the time of her life.

“I’m feeling nostalgic tonight,” she told the crowd several times throughout the night, reminding fans that she played the very same venue 30 years ago.

At one point, she spotted a man in the crowd with a 1985 Virgin Tour tee. “Were you there?!” she delightfully shrieked, pausing the show to kneel down and grasp his hand and thank him. And that was the theme of the night — and the whole show, really: Gratitude.

Toward the end, Madonna brought Amy out as her “Unapologetic Bitch” of the evening. And, in what was a surprise to approximately no one, it was a largely hilarious affair, with Amy happily skipping and hair-flipping around the stage with all her might. Her fandom was showing — and that’s not all she exposed. At one point, Amy bent over to reveal some lacy black underwear, which Madonna greatly enjoyed, showing her appreciation in the form of a spanking-turned-dry-humping session. Amy was later gifted with not only an arm sock (Sock Bitch — lucky!), but a banana, which…well, both Amy and Madge knew a few things she could do with that.

“You’re going to Hell,” M told Amy. “It’s okay. I’m in there too with you.”

The seasoned superstar never faltered throughout the night, effortlessly cycling through intricate hand fan choreography with “Bitch I’m Madonna” to voguing her way through “Living For Love” to delivering yet another stunning rendition of “La vie en rose” all by herself with a tiny guitar, proving for the umpteenth time why the crown lays firmly on her head.

“It’s like they say, it’s lonely at the top,” she told the crowd at one point, “But it ain’t crowded either.”

Check out our exclusive gallery of photos from Madonna’s first night at Madison Square Garden up top, courtesy of photographer Taylor Miller.

Read More: Madonna, Amy Schumer Stay On Top During 'Rebel Heart Tour' in NYC | http://popcrush.com/madonna-rebel-heart-tour-new-york-city-review-amy-schumer/?trackback=tsmclip

Read More: Madonna, Amy Schumer Stay On Top During 'Rebel Heart Tour' in NYC | http://popcrush.com/madonna-rebel-heart-tour-new-york-city-review-amy-schumer/?trackback=tsmclip

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observer article about age in music


Madonna’s New Tour Reveals a Sickening Double Standard in Pop Music

The sword is a metaphor, something, something, Kanye West.

Hours after Madonna opened her “Rebel Heart” tour in Montreal, a press release trumpeting the performance arrived in music writers’ inboxes the world over.

There, in canned, press release form, was pop music’s ongoing problem in a nutshell: women are held to a different standard.

Amid the granular details about her luxurious attire—“Madonna wears an exotic gypsy outfit comprising a lurex-lace-and-jacquard bodysuit with an embroidered belt, lace short sleeves, and multi-colored trimmings, plus a black crêpe de Chine skirt with embroidered patches and black georgette ruffles,” goes one such breathless passage—was a section that stood out, but not for the reasons Madonna and her publicity team intended.

Near the bottom of the release was a “by the numbers” section, detailing the exhaustive amount of manpower, time and money being poured into the intercontinental tour, which is scheduled to continue through 2016. (The tour sets up shop atMadison Square Garden for a two-night stand Wednesday, with a Barclays Center date set for Saturday.)

Instead of seeing the reams of information as illuminating—500 pairs of custom-made shoes; 20 dancers; more than 25,000 miles traveled—the litany of facts seemed oddly defensive.

“This tour is a lot of hard work,” it seemed to say, “and you should be grateful Madonna even wants to put herself through it.”

Out of curiosity, I searched through my email for opening night releases for the Rolling Stones and the Who, two acts on identical superstar footing, just to see if they’d offered up any kind of similar footnotes. The Stones simply proffered a set list, name checked the celebs in attendance and provided some video. The Who reeled off the band’s past glories—100 million albums sold; iconic appearances at Woodstock and Monterey Pop—as it also just offered glowing assessments of its 50th anniversary tour, along with a set list.


Madonna: caged by your misogyny.

There, in canned, press release form, was pop music’s ongoing problem in a nutshell: women are held to a different standard.

Men can tour until they can no longer remember their own songs—I still feel a mixture of anger and sadness remembering Chuck Berry fumbling through his catalog during a Fort Worth concert three years ago—but female artists like Cher or Tina Turner undertake farewell tours and hang it up, spending their twilight years reflecting.

For all the talk about female pop artists being dominant—the Beyoncés, the Rihannas, the Lady Gagas, the Taylor Swifts—the brutal truth is that once female musicians hit a certain age, there is an ugly, unspoken expectation that they will step aside for the next generation (it’s when you start seeingthings like VH1’s execrable “tribute” series Divas).

It’s an interesting moment, particularly as Janet Jackson prepares to mount a comeback of her own with a new album, Unbreakable, and a tour, and Mariah Carey settles into a Vegas residency.

Female artists over the age of 40 having to justify a continuing career is nothing new, but it’s still infuriating.

Will pop music finally reckon with this baffling contradiction, or continue pretending it isn’t happening? Madonna isn’t about to retire and cede her place in the cultural conversation, but is she happy about being held to such a glaringly different standard? Female artists over the age of 40 having to justify a continuing career is nothing new, but it’s still infuriating. Pop music, it would seem, would prefer women to skip over a 20-year period, and re-emerge in their 60s, as influential grande dames, sweeping onto the Grammy stage or teaming up in the studio with some young up-and-comer.

The 57-year-old Madonna, in particular, is confronting such hypocrisy head-on by simply engaging the youth.

Her latest album, Rebel Heart, is her best in a decade, not least because she enlisted Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Avicii and Diplo, among other relative whippersnappers, to give her record a tingling immediacy.

Will pop music finally reckon with this baffling contradiction, or continue pretending it isn’t happening?

Nevertheless, it must be infuriating to have to collaborate with the same acts that more or less openly update your own work from 25 years ago. (The cruelty of this fact in Google form: the results for “Madonna old” number 70 million, while“Madonna influential” returns just 667,000 hits.)

Yet, she perseveres—and perhaps it is this injustice helping to spur Madonna onward. Certainly, she’s accomplished more than many of her acolytes, and even if this Rebel Heart jaunt were her farewell, she would be exiting near the top of her game.

Bound up in all this is the unavoidable truth that, no matter how talented or what gender a performer may be, there comes a point where the spirit is willing, but the flesh is simply too weak.

Using that metric—can you still perform?—might be a better way for pop music to stop sidelining its female artists. Don’t justify your tour with reams of data about the clothes and trucks and light rigging. No one wonders what Mick Jagger wore, or the size of the Who’s stage.

Imagine a pop landscape where talent trumps any other considerations. Now that would be rebellious.

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