And here is MadonnaTribe’s Community member Dye Another Day‘s report from the second Rebel Heart Tour show at the Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
The entire show was noticeably more polished tonight. We were let in earlier.
Amy Schumer came on around 8:30 and was much more composed tonight — delivering basically the same routine, tonight in white. She really is quite funny.
Sean Penn walked RIGHT BY me. I just gasped. He is very tan, very grey ( :-) ). I also saw Andy Cohen and Kelly Ripa (as usual).
At 9:25, I decided to hit the john and grab a champagne — when I heard Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ and I DASHED into the arena! The lights went out and the show went on a full half hour earlier tonight. I was surrounded by a VERY STRANGE group of people, which I won’t go into, but I did make best friends with a great couple of guys from Argentina. I also met someone from South Africa. I’ll just say it right now… I had a GREAT TIME.
I am OBSESSED with the video. The room just rumbles as we look upward and see the Ruler of the Free World descend into our midst in a cage. Dancers are everywhere — the stage, the runway, both center stages. She is set free to Iconic and delivers Bitch I’m Madonna in a slightly Goth Asian couture. Again, she just looks SO AMAZING. Her skin shows NO SIGN of the aging process. And her BODY is just a thing of wonder. You can fix wrinkles, but her torso is just the product of pure work and genetics. She loses the coat and is now in sheer lace and panties and delivers a rocking Burning Up, and Madonna is ON FIRE. The poles emerge, the nuns twirl and twerk, and Madonna does the best pole dance of all to Holy Water. “Jesus loves my pussy best,” she reports. In the post-Miley year of the ass, Madonna wins. She returns to the main stage, where a genius recreation of the Last Supper awaits her. “We can get high, we can get stoned,” she sings in Devil Pray.
The show is much sleeker tonight — it’s polished. And with that perfection, inevitably, a lot of the spontaneity and intimacy starts to inch away.
One of the dancers assumes a position at the center and does a beautiful dance with a giant white scarf for the Messiah interlude.
She returns on the hood of a vintage car for the Grease inspired Body Shop. Again, she just looks ridiculous. Her hair is MUCH more poised and controlled tonight — overall, she looks like a young Michelle Pfeiffer. True Blue is next, and I can’t help thinking how much of the show is part of Sean Penn’s life with her. It must be so bizarre. She breaks into Deeper and Deeper and I begin jumping up and down once again. (I hope I can MOVE tomorrow and Saturday — tonight knocked me out in terms of screaming.) It’s so nice to just see her SING it without so much rearrangement.
A staircase has appeared at the center stage, where we’ve previously seen disco balls and Rolls Royces. Tonight, Madonna climbs atop it and performs a beautiful pas de deux to Heartbreak City with one of the dancers — I wish I could remember his name, but he’s been on other tours. And Love Don’t Live Here Anymore is THE REAL THING. It’s not like she spits out a few lines in a mash-up. She BELTS IT OUT and the girl can SING.
The jacket comes off for Like a Virgin and I can see that Madonna is SOAKING WET. Her face is dry-ish, but I can see that sweat has entirely soaked her outfit. I am sitting right at the very end of one of the center catwalks and Madonna and Co. make regular stops right before me. As many times as I’ve seen her, I can’t stop reaching out, reaching as if I could touch her, crying out “Madonna! I love you!” She came RIGHT to the end of it, like IN FRONT OF ME, tore her top open to reveal her bra and take advantage of the fan, and I almost FAINTED. Great great great. Thank God she took a break — I was starting to just lose it tonight!!!
I think this is her best stage ever — of course, a lot of technology has allowed for that. The screens turn INTO stages that the dancers can crawl ALL OVER. S.E.X. drowns us while couples — male/female, male/male, female/female grind away.
Madonna returns in a gigantic cape that takes OVER Madison Square Garden — you could see it from a satellite. She does NOT get yanked off the stage, dammit, but she does work a remix of Living for Love in a black sequined matador outfit. I really haven’t listened to her EP of it, so I don’t know which mix it is, but I don’t like the single version and don’t really like the whole bit, but, of course, it’s vastly improved live. I SERIOUSLY want to know how she does it, because she is all over the stage. Last night, I could see that Her Highness is getting a bit stiff, but she could conduct a boot camp class tonight. Her waistline is NOTHING. She disappears to remove her outfit and return in a HUGE senorita outfit that’s GOT TO GO. The troupe brings out a marvelous La Isla that dissolves into, once again, that key moment in Madonna’s life — I think Dress You Up was the Number One song in the U.S. the week she and Penn married. It blends into Into the Groove AND Lucky Star, but no Everybody.
She takes a seat, GULPS Fiji water, and gives an abbreviated speech — she rambles a lot more last night. She remarked that she just can’t BELIEVE she played here 30 years ago. Really, she sounds like your aunt who can’t believe how much you’ve grown. She was like, “Isn’t that amazing? I think that’s amazing. Anyway…. this song is a question, and let’s see if you have the answer.” Her rearranged numbers can range from genius (“Like a Virgin” 1990) to annoying (“Hung Up” 2008), but I have to say that her reinterpretation of Who’s That Girl is REALLY a highlight. So beautiful. She really finds just this, like, moment in her life and communicates it so beautifully in this concert. I’ve seen every tour, and this is her best since Confessions, without a doubt in my mind. It’s not about the setlist this time. She’s once again telling us who she is, this girl who has lived her life for us. “Senorita, mas fina.”
It leads nicely to Rebel Heart. “I want to dedicate this song to my son Rocco, who is here tonight. He’s constantly rebelling against me, and we’re always fighting. And my friends are like, You’re his MOTHER! And, like, I totally get it. So Rocco, this is for you. My definition of a rebel heart.” The song is kind of forgettable but the video is fantastic — it’s fan artwork of Madonna, and it is FABULOUS. I wish I could do it justice, but you really have to see it. She should post it. It’s really awesome.
The Illuminati interlude is the best interlude she has EVER DONE. The stripper poles re-emerge, four of the dancers reappear, and they start zooming over the audience, kind of similar to the swings in Reinvention. But seriously, they DIVE into the audiece, high five fans, grab hats — it is so FABULOUS.
A 1920s Vaudevill production number has taken the main stage for the entire last act. Music is a crowd pleaser — I hope my body forgives me. It just thumps and burns and really gets the crowd hot — this leads into Candy Shop. Her dancers are always hot, but she’s really serving them this time — they are SO sexy and have a great time with the crowd up front. Material Girl remains a nightmare for me in any form, but it does sort of seem like an art project, so I go with it.
She settles down about ten feet from me for La Vie en Rose. She looks so exquisite — timeless, ageless. I love seeing her do what she wants to do, so I loved this. She then goes into this BIZARRE episode… tonight a clearly intoxicated, but cute, guy is hauled onstage where he understandably begans to behave extremely strangely. Madonna is having a BLAST, but “David” will clearly be scarred by the experience — I hope he gets to keep the banana. Of course NO ONE is crazier than Madonna — I would love to know exactly what she is thinking as she says goodnight.
She of course knows she will appear in an American flag and deliver a Holiday that would get any living human off his ass and it is a wonder. She again finds her place underneath this, like, sling and flies away.
The ecstasy begins to drain from my body as I exit the arena to Lucky Star…..
… and one more show Saturday.
Thanks to Dye Another Day.