Madonna Gives Melbourne A Dose Of Precision Pop Perfection
When you are the person setting the benchmark then everyone has to rise to your standards. At 57 years old, Madonna is the greatest pop star on the planet. The Rebel Heart show in Melbourne was precision pop perfection.
I’m amazed that reviews out of New Zealand last week painted this show as confused. I think the New Zealand reviewers may have been sucking down a few too many Steinlagers before seeing the show.
I admit I had reservations about this tour based on A: Seeing the new music heavy setlist (and Rebel Heart is at best an average album) and B: Reading the early reviews. You can cast your fears aside. This show is one of the greatest pop music events of all-time. Madonna is truly the Queen of Pop.
Every song comes alive in this show, including the messy ‘Rebel Heart’ album songs. Live Madonna rules the stage. On record she has failed to challenge herself since the 2000 album ‘Music’, instead relying on the latest ‘go-to’ producer of the day to deliver her newest sounds. Live, that all goes away.
Madonna was 20 years overdue revisiting Australia. This in only her second ever tour and she knows it. “You’ve waited for over 20 years. What the fuck is wrong with me”, she told the crowd.
Using the F word frequently became all part of the performance. The show had enough “fuck yeahs”, “fuck fuck yeahs” and “fuck fuck fuck yeahs” to fill a footy show. Madonna was in party mode and that put the audience at ease. She even tried out a few jokes like “What’s a deer with no eyes?”…“No eye deer” and “How do you get a pop star pregnant?” … “You fuck her”. Well, I laughed.
The most intimate moment of the show was her call-out to Molly Meldrum who was sitting in the audience. Madonna dedicated ‘Take A Bow’ to Molly. The song live is a rarity for Madonna. She has only ever performed it 13 times in total including tonight. “I fucking love you,” Molly yelled into the microphone, continuing the spray of F bombs for the evening.
The show visually itself is theatrical excellence. The sets, the effects, the dancing, the acrobatics are as good as the best Broadway musical. Madonna is not great by accident. This is a highly rehearsed, well structured, brilliantly thought through show that only months of planning and practice can produce.
Throughout the comedy and novelty there were also thought-provoking moments. Madonna takes the lunacy of the Catholic Church to task brilliantly in with her pole dancing nuns and overly fertile reverends. Its hideous practices deserve to be questioned. The music world once used to be the pulse of provoking thought. Madonna delivers her sermon about society in a way that might make you chuckle, it may make you cringe, but it certainly makes you question what we are told is the truth.
Continue reading this review by Paul Cashmere on noise11.com.