St. Paul Review and Photos by Michael
MadonnaTribe reader Michael from Minneapolis shares his review and his images from the Rebel Heart Tour show in St.Paul on Oct. 8.
I attended the Thursday night (10-08-15) concert of Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour at St.Paul‘s sonically excellent Xcel Energy Center. Stunning, richly imaginative detail and impeccably choreographed and staged describe this two hour extravaganza. Singing in fine form, Madonna seemed less energetic than usual due to a sinus fever that morning but everything done to perfection in her movement. Tempos to all of the songs seemed a tad slow compared to the recordings and also previous tours. The videos and staging at times simultaneously at the proscenium and various parts of the catwalk proved sensory overload but still kept you glued to the proceedings and not wanting to miss a second of the fun.
I prefer the catwalk setup for her last one, the MDNA Tour, far more than this current configuration because the action for this one at the heart base is too far away for anyone close to the proscenium (My seats: Main Floor 9th Row Seats 15-16).
Like most of Madonna’s concert openings, Rebel Heart proved jaw dropping amazing. The euphoria built until she appears in that descending cage just explodes. Iconic captures her battle with adversaries and is so fitting in the Samurai warrior garb. Loved all of it. Bitch, I’m Madonna means she has triumphantly tackled and won. Burning Up segue way into Holy Water and Devil Pray threads a cool narrative that’s both provocative and telling in subject. Not a fan of HW lyrics though their clever but in staging it’s just amazing. The pole dancing from her and her dancers astonishes.
The first interlude Messiah features just one male dancer superbly working a fan blown piece of cloth with the un expectant video of Ghosttown in the background, all gorgeously played out. Body Shop remains one of my favorite numbers of the evening: catchy song so joyously executed with the girls making a play for the boys in an automotive shop. The tires stacked up and perched upon for singing and thrown about, the sheer glee of it all (her joke: “when there are tires and tits, there’s gonna be trouble”), fun, fun, fun. The sing along of True Blue and return of the cowboy infused Don’t Tell Me choreography done for Deeper and Deeper ignited dynamically along the catwalk. Heartbreak City/Love Don’t Live Here Anymore staged on a staircase at the heart base of the catwalk was dramatically effective and one powerful vocal turn for Madonna. I loved her following this with her signature Like a Virgin done by herself and just exploring the stage and living out her own private moment.
The second interlude S.E.X. featuring her dancers on beds lined up across the proscenium proved a bore and the Erotica video played for the background didn’t do much to elevate it either. Would’ve like something more sensual like Take a Bow used instead with this beds scenario. Living For Love was a glorious treat with the glamorous Matador outfits, so hot on M and her two dancers. Loved the staging, too. Not so keen on using a Latin beat for the Dress You Up medley that also included Into the Groove and Lucky Star. Straight forward original beats would’ve worked better but this whole section was a Latin theme. Funny that when she mentioned waking up that morning with a fever, Madonna then sung a cappela a bit from Fever that really excited the 13,000 member crowd but her Who’s That Girl sing a long fell flat, no one wanted to sing along but Rebel Heart welcomed a vibrant participation and the fan contributed Art work used as a video backdrop was absolutely dazzling to behold in display.
The final interlude Illuminati from the male dancers perched on 20 feet high rubber poles bouncing back and forth proved another jaw dropping moment. The 1920’s Club scene used for Music and Candy Shop delighted with its posh elegance along with Madonna’s wonderful flapper creation adorned with abundant Swarovski crystals. To think she would do Material Girl in full staging was the biggest surprise of the night. Following with La Vie En Rose dedicated to Prince was beautifully performed. Unapologetic Bitch, such a fun idea had a Russian woman, Oxsana, escorted to the stage by Madonna and rewarded with a banana. Holiday closed the show as our Queen ascended high into the rafters thanking the Twin Cities. She started at 9:45 p.m. and finished 11:55 p.m.
Thanks to Michael. Check out his pictures at the Rebel Heart Tour Galleries by clicking the images below.