‘Come on, Vogue!’

10 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Come on, Vogue!’ – Madonna Kicks Off Rebel Heart Tour with Big Energy, Wild Stunts.

A flying sequence, nuns on poles and dancers sliding down a screen — Madonna packed all that and more into the first concert of her Rebel Heart tour. When she first burst on to the music scene, she was a ballsy, breath of fresh air who broke all the rules when it comes to being a female pop superstar.The pop star kicked off her “Rebel Heart” tour in Montreal on Wednesday night, belting out a mix of her iconic hits and new music from her recently released album, also titled, “Rebel Heart.” Madonna wasted no time getting to fan favorites including “Burning Up” and a mash-up of “Holy Water” with “Vogue.” She then pulled a classic move and ripped off her skirt to reveal a barely there nun’s outfit and started to pole dance. So she was determined to put on a spectacle when she stepped out in Montreal, Canada, for the first of 64 dates around the world, with a stream of costume changes and dance routines. She also cavorted with a much younger male dancer during one segment of the show, grinding up against him as she made her way through her hits-packed back catalogue.

Showing off her impressively toned figure in a tiny 1920s inspired outfit, including a tiny sequinned dress and fishnet tights, she risked showing too much by kicking her legs into the air while performing. Madonna, 57, then moved to the nostalgic, singing “Body Shop,” ”True Blue,” ”Deeper and Deeper” and her first No. 1 hit, “Like a Virgin.” The biggest standing ovation came during her rendition of the French classic “La Vie en Rose.” The audience went wild and sang along. And in a spare-no-expense theatrical spectacle that artfully flowed from showstopper to showstopper, she proved once again that she doesn’t just crave the spotlight — she owns it. Yes, this is Madonna standing on a nun, who somehow manages to be in surfboard formation as she balances herself on a pole during a “Holy Water”/”Vogue.”

The Material Girl was uncharacteristically covered up in the red and black bullfighter traje de luces costume – one of eight different looks during the show – designed by Spanish tailors Zaragoza. The Vogue singer – who is the best-selling female recording artist of all time – seemed to be travelling the globe one stage outfit at a time as she changed into a Chinese-inspired fitted coat, carrying an open fan for her dance number. The Queen of Pop wears lavish designs from Moschino’s Jeremy Scott, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, Alexander Wang, Prada, Miu Miu and Swarovski during the high-energy show. She’s seen encased in a cage, as well as saucily performing on a stage full of beds, and performed pared down acoustic versions of some her perkier 80s classics including Who’s That Girl.

Still, the first segment’s slightly confused rebellion was built on a load-bearing mash-up of familiar themes: sex, salvation, religion, oppression. The mum-to-four is seen in a video taken at the show and posted to Instagram in impressive toned shape and back to her usual outrageous self, dressed in a tassled corset and play-spanking one of the male dancers.

It’s downhill from here.” She later followed up with: “In spite of all of that heartbreak, pain and suffering, I wouldn’t trade love for anything.” After performing for nearly two hours, and changing into countless outfits designed by Miuccia Prada, Jeremy Scott and Alexander Wang, among others, Madonna ended the concert with a crowd favorite. The introductory film positioned the star as both outsider and leader, with images of Madonna — and, why not, Mike Tyson — in captivity, and talk of “too much creativity being crushed beneath the wheel of corporate branding. … It’s time to wake up.” Ignoring the fact that Madonna long ago became a corporate brand unto herself, it was thrilling to see her descend from the rafters and break out of her cage.

The lead up to Rebel Heart was beset by difficulties; most of the album was leaked online last December resulting in an emergency release of six tracks earlier than planned, followed by her painful fall at the Brits. Then, the tour – her tenth worldwide – was originally scheduled to start in Miami on August 29th, but the first five dates were postponed after Madonna said they weren’t ready. There was a backscreen projection of Nicki Minaj motormouthing through the shuddering bass in Bitch I’m Madonna (rarely has a song title been more perfect for pricey shirts at the merch stand), although the virtual cameo was upstaged by a cyclone of geishas. In a slow, graceful take on “Vogue,” Renaissance images of religious figures replaced movie stars while Madonna and her dancers posed at “The Last Supper” table.

Madonna delved deeper into her personal story in the second act, which found her on the hood of a ’60s Chevy in an auto repair shop, a clear reference to her Detroit roots. Twenty-six years after Like a Prayer’s video scandalized the Vatican and parents who relied on MTV as a cheap babysitter, the sight of dancers twisting down steel crucifixes while Madonna snapped “bitch, get off my pole” in Holy Water was hopefully intended to be comical. After Montreal for two nights, she’s due for her first US date in Washington D.C before playing New York, Las Vegas and heading via Berlin, Barcelona and London to The Philippines and finally finishing in Australia on March 27 next year. Madonna came the closest she’s ever going to get to a “greatest hits” display in the third act, where she offered touchstones from “Lucky Star” to “Everybody.” The latter she hasn’t performed live since the early ’90s.

She will be hoping for a successful tour, which can be highly lucrative for artists – her Sticky & Sweet tour in 2008 raked in $408 million, the biggest box office ever for a solo artist, while her MDNA tour in 2012 netted $305 million. Madonna has 18-year-old daughter Lourdes – whose father is personal trainer Carlos Leon and 14-year-old son Rocco with ex-husband Guy Ritchie and well as two adopted children, Mercy, nine, and David Banda who turns ten later this month. The more modest second segment centred on a certain youthful innocence; in a display of Madonna’s gift for literalism, it opened with her lounging on a car hood, swigging from a bottle and cavorting with her grease-monkey buddies for a whimsical Body Shop. She strummed True Blue on ukulele from atop a tire stack; it was both endearingly quaint and, supersized by an unprompted singalong from more than 16,000 voices, a goosebump moment that felt more grandiose in its way than the showpieces surrounding it. A skeletal, click-clacking Like a Virgin was both bigger and smaller, the star left alone to fill the sprawling cross-shaped walkway with her charisma.

That theme allowed Madonna to run through a wide range of characters in the show — including a ’20s French cabaret star — while maintaining a solid through-line. The third block opened with the unsubtle and unfulfilled promise of an R rating, as dancers played out bedroom passions to a tape of S.E.X., before Madonna charged out to fight jewel-faced demons to the techno soundtrack of Living for Love, scalping a pair of horns in triumph at the end.

Perilously perched on rubber poles and bending with the wind in an astonishing display of acrobatics, the dancers nearly stole the show in their employer’s absence during another costume change, set to Illuminati’s woozy thump. After a jazz-club revision of Music’s universal mission statement opened a party-hearty stretch, Madonna stole it back, updating the choreography of Material Girl’s video by sending suitors tumbling down the angled centre-stage platform. (The song was also updated, dragged out of the ’80s by an apocalyptic bottom end.) The device was the linchpin in the elegant stage design, rising from and collapsing into the floor, and serving as both a screen and a playground. La Vie en rose was another big small moment, prefaced by a speech about believing in love despite being “devastated, smashed to bits” that may become rote in a few weeks but sounded fresh on Wednesday.

Delivered atop a circular riser decorated with Valentine’s curtains, the performance was stronger for being vulnerable, and received a resounding ovation that transcended thanks-for-singing-in-French affection. She risked draining that immense bank of adoration by wrapping herself in the maple leaf during the mandatory celebration of Holiday. (Judging by her star-spangled cloak, it was a temporary substitute for the American flag. The first was never in doubt; the second was a minor revelation from an artist whose discipline and perfectionism haven’t compromised a love of serious fun.

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