Show #Three: The Press Reviews
As we reported yesterday, the press was invited to see the Madame X show on its third night at the BAM. Today the press reviews – including Billboard, Rolling Stone and Variety – are in, finally with some amazing official images from the show.
Let’s start from Variety.com, which comes with the largest selection of pictures from the show – five images shot by Ricardo Gomes and shared by Stufish – the set designers for the tour.
Madonna’s ‘Madame X’ Is a Political Spectacle and a Test of Fans’ Indulgence
As she never really lets you forget, Madonna is calling the shots with “Madame X,” this show and plenty else besides. And for her, that means attempting to use her privilege and power to enact change while still owning her artistry, even if it is inexplicable at times.
As Madame X, Madonna Is Her Most Authentic Onstage Self In Years
The Madame X persona might be a spy, a teacher, a saint, a whore, a cha cha instructor and a mother, but she’s also something not listed in the album lines notes — she’s a more authentic version of Madonna Veronica Louise Ciccone than we’ve seen on stage in some time.
Why Madonna’s Madame X Tour Is the Gloriously Insane Mess of Your Dreams
Madonna has never shied away from taking chances. Thirty years after she set fire to the Eighties with the disco basilica Like a Prayer, she’s as gloriously weird as ever. Hence her excellent new Madame X tour, a testament to the genius in her madness. Instead of a full-blown tour, she’s doing these shows as residencies in intimate venues, starting with 17 nights at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. The tiny rooms are the perfect place for Our Lady to strut her stuff. Like her Madame X album, the show is messy, but anyone who’s scared of a mess should avoid Ms. Ciccone entirely, because as any fan knows, her weirdness is where she finds her greatness.
From The Times:
Madonna review – intimate risk-taking, rapturously performed
Well, she’s still got it. Not just the musical chops, but the ability to surprise. Madonna’s show at the 3,000-capacity Brooklyn Academy of Music, which comes to London for 15 nights in January, is two hours of intimate risk-taking, rapturously performed. (5 Stars)
From The Atlantic.com:
Madonna at War
The Madame X character, it became clear, embodies a pop star’s messiah complex in a time of global crisis. No subtlety complicated the on-stage military funeral interlude, or the footage of Madonna releasing doves from a New York City rooftop, or lyrics equating all oppressed people—poor, gay, Palestinian, you name it—as beneficiaries of her saintliness. Late in the evening, she gave remarks about preferring love to popularity and freedom to either, and said her purpose was to be a voice for the voiceless: a typical self-justification from any leader in a cult of hero worship. But the power of a show as successful as this is that it beams you directly into a warm, sassy, transfixing human’s brainspace and makes you believe in its rightness. What better entertainment could there be than leaving the theater feeling like a pop star might just save the world?
Madonna X-periments With ‘The Madame X Tour’
Madonna is not one for an easy ride. She’s told us as much. And “easy,” in Madonna’s case, would be putting on her usual stadium spectacle of choreography, costumes, stunts and smashes galore from an immaculate back catalog. No one does it better. But she’s got that incessant itch to scratch as an artist, and an endless craving to satisfy — to move forward, go more eccentric, and challenge herself to do things differently this time around. And yes, she’s probably doing it to annoy her fans on purpose at times.
Madonna brings freewheeling intimacy to Madame X tour
The show is hardly without flaws: her political messaging, though heartfelt, is often clumsily on the nose, and several set projections leaned toward the community-theater end of things. But in moments like these, when the construct of Madame X disappeared, what remained was something simpler and somehow much more satisfying than the equestrian or the cha-cha instructor or the saint (or even the mother, the magpie, the erstwhile standup comedian): Not just a pop star and perennial provocateur, but an artist in full.
Madonna amazing at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York
Overall, Madonna put on an amazing live show at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in the heart of Brooklyn. She is still the “Queen of Pop” and shows no signs of relinquishing that throne anytime soon. She is a true visionary, whose music and artistry gets bigger and better each year.
The BAM Howard Gilman Opera House was a warm, intimate and beautiful venue for a concert of this caliber. Her live show garnered an A rating.
And you’ve already read the review from the NYTimes that came out the morning after the opening night:
Madonna Is Still Taking Chances
Her Madame X show reimagines pop spectacle for a theater stage, merging her newest music and calls for political awareness with striking intimacy.