“I’m feeling sort of nostalgic tonight. I played the Garden 30 years ago”
No Madonna show at the Garden is the same without MadonnaTribe’s Community member Dye Another Day‘s very own reportand review from the concert. Here it is, posted on the Tribe Forum minutes after the show ended, with some of his shots from last night to illustrate.
Amy Schumer had the unenviable task of opening for Madonna. “You know who would have been better?,” she asked. “ANY BAND.” Ha ha. Like ANY band in the world would have been better than a comic. With terror in her eyes and sweat that dripped her foundation off her nose and chin, Amy finally warmed up and got a nice response. After about another HOUR after she wrapped up, the lights went out around 10.
The opening video is just plain insane. It’s as if Madonna left the stage after singing Sooner or Later at the 1990 Academy Awards and was attacked in the elevator after. Suddenly there she is — entering Madison Square Garden in a cage. Iconic Madonna is dressed in a rather large Medieval robe and the entire opening number recalled the Goth of Girl Gone Wild. Stripping off the robe to reveal a cute, black paisley knee-length trench coat, she sings, naturally, Bitch I’m Madonna. Bitch is the new kilt, by the way. Now that we know where we are, Madonna further removes her coat to reveal completely sheer lingerie. She grabs a guitar and rips into an electrified rock Burning Up (not the disco version) that the crowd loved.
She looks REALLY GREAT. Really. Her face is very pale matte foundation with matte brick-colored lips. Her hair is very Virgin Tour — dark blonde, very stringy, with inches and inches of roots. She really just looks absolutely fantastic — she looks 35. And I was in the 7th row.
Very large poles line the runway, nuns emerge, and it’s time for Holy Water. She loves to press those buttons, but the segment has a burlesque feel. Madonna instructs the nuns, “Bitch get off my pole,” and proceeds to do a stunning pole dance of her own — certainly equaling the athletics of Confessions’ “Like a Virgin.”
The show, for me, touched on virtually every moment of her career, but especially the Who’s That Girl Tour and Drowned World.
After Devil Pray, she vanishes for Act II.
She re-emerges on the hood of a 50s car and looks RIDICULOUS. I mean, I literally don’t know how she looks this good. She looks like a fuckable 28-year-old — as good as the “Gimme all your Luvin” video… only in person. Her hair is teased into an early 60s bouffant and she is wearing a supercute black sequined tuxedo as she sings Body Shop. I really think it’s her best stage ever. The video screens seem to glide effortlessly into stages that vanish as quickly as they appear.
She settles down with her ukelele and sings a version of True Blue that really sounds like the album version, even though it is not. First time in 28 years. From there, a thunderous Deeper and Deeper takes over the room as the crowd up front was dancing wildly. After Deeper, Madonna takes the very center stage, where a gigantic spiral staircase goes to the Heavens. She ascends it, sings Heartbreak City and then a very passionate, committed Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, one of about six songs from her first two albums alone. (The nostalgia ends there. She leapfrogs over the 90s and 00s almost completely.)
Next up is Like a Virgin — perhaps rearranged a bit, but fairly straightforward. The jacket is gone and she is wearing a white shirt with the black pans.
She vanishes into the stage to prepare for Act III.
It’s been a fairly lighthearted show this time around, but it’s time for some drama. She reappears in a hot pink, gigantic robe/hoodie and returns to the main stage. I’m kind of hoping she gets yanked off the stage, but no, she sings Living for Love without any wardrobe malfunctions.
La Isla Bonita is like Madonna’s little black dress — it always works. The segment is very Spanish themed and Madonna, in a sort of sequined matador outfit (not quite the TV version) performs a very festive, always ready and happy, La Isla Bonita. Once again returning to the 80s, Madonna attempts a completely reworked version of Dress You Up, which she hasn’t performed here since 1987 (I hear she performed it in her Stick and Sweet Part Two Tour in Europe). It’s not the highlight of the show, but a lot of younger people are happy to see her do it at all — and it blends into Into the Groove. She skipped Everybody and Lucky Star tonight and returned the number back to Dress You Up.
Grabbing her guitar with Monte Pittman at the center stage (I’m sorry, but I think he’s hot) M takes a moment to drink water (it’s Fiji on this tour — Poland Springs must have stopped sponsoring her) Madonna chats a bit. She says, “I’m feeling sort of nostalgic tonight. I played the Garden 30 years ago.” Someone up front was there and she blew him or her a kiss. I wanted to scream that I was too, but I couldn’t do it. Maybe tomorrow. She said, “I want to thank you all for the love and support all these decades.” She actually seemed the most REAL I’ve ever seen her. I know she’s been high-fiving people a lot the last few tours, but she really seemed to connect with the fans up front in a very natural way. I’ve seen her 40 times, and I’ve never seen her happier. She then sings a VERY nice Who’s That Girl, backed up by Rebel Heart.
And we all know the show is rapidly coming to a close. Madonna reappears in a spectacular beaded 20s number, and the whole segment seems like a Busby Berkeley musical. (I read somewhere that she and Christopher studied Busby Berkely for the Girlie Show.) Her outfit actually is a bit like the Vogue number from 1993’s Girlie Show. She then performs a terrific Music that doesn’t stray too far from the original.
Madonna then mysteriously performs a very straightforward Material Girl! Probably the last thing I would expect. No irony. No guitars. No military outfits. It actually seems a lot like the video! And I HATE that song!!! (Sorry.) The production IS cute though and the crowd seems to eat it up. Madonna sits at the center stage, grabs her ukelele again and performs an interesting La Vie En Rose. It’s kind of unexplainable, but it’s beautiful, and it’s a very rare moment with this artist. I guess she could have sung “Frozen” or “Don’t Tell Me,” but it was very dramatic. And she was FUNNY. She addressed her feelings about love — that she still believes in it, even though it has hurt her in the past. After that, the evening continues into randomness with Unapologetic Bitch, truly her must puzzling last number EVER. But she does what she wants to do.
After some brief applause, Madonna returns in an American flag and does her best to rock the Garden with the definitive Holiday.
She’s standing there. Her dancers seem to hook something under her arm, and she just flies away. Literally. She goes up into the air, says goodnight, and disappears into the ceiling from whence she came.
All in all, I have to say that I LOVED THIS SHOW. She looks INCREDIBLE. She struck a real mood and seemed to commit to the show completely.
Two more shows.
Thanks to Dye Another Day.