Chicago review by our member Astralbody
Here’s a review from Chicago by our community member Astralbody.
Here’s some observations from the Sunday July 12
show in Chicago:
The show was phenomenal. In my opinion, this tour is definitely her best. I had very high expectations and she surpassed them all. M was warm, friendly and sincere and interactive with the audience, especially when compared to the chilly distance of the Drowned World tour. Her voice sounded great, better than ever. This was especially evident in the ballads. The crowd was hanging on her every move. People barely sat down at all and were wildly clapping and screaming and singing throughout the show (exceptions: Hanky Panky and Mother & Father didn’t get the thunderous applause the other numbers did). The montage that opened the show mad “The beast within” even creepier and more disturbing than it usually is. I admire the creativity and the technical merits of it, but, ultimately didn’t like it. “Vogue” was flawless. Her entrance and subsequent pose striking were flawless. The projections, especially the museum looking ones were amazing. To my surprise, “Nobody knows me” was good. I hate the song on CD, but, it was pumped up a bit, and it fit within the context of the show. “Frozen” was wonderful. The simple staging let you focus on the meaning of the song. I had goosebumps. The staging for “American life” was great. I liked the segue into the hard rock version. The catwalk coming down was cool. As it was coming down, it blocked the view, but, the excitement of the moment more than made up for it. The anti-war and anti-violence imagery was very effective, and other than the Bush/Sadam shot at the end, it was not specific to Iraq. “Express yourself” was great. The tweaks to the arrangement were nice. It was the first intense sing-along of the night.
“Burning up” has a great crunchy guitar feel to it and M really rocked out on this one. “Material girl” was done straight up and was another sing-along. The “Hollywood” interlude was pretty cool. Kinda busy and tacky, but, an effective segue never the less. “Hanky panky” was good. There really wasn’t anything different in the arrangement. “Deeper and deeper” became a torchy ballad. It was done in the style of “sooner or later” from Blonde Ambition/The Oscars, but, her voice has matured and improved so much since then that it was a superior performance.
“Die another day” was OK. I never really liked this song, so it didn’t do anything for me. I was surprised by how well “The lament” was recieved and aknowledge it fit in the show very nicely. The new “Bedtime story” video was wonderful. The original is my all time favorite music video, so I was skepitcal. The cinematagrophy was great and M looked beautiful. The tweaking to the song was very nice and the whole thing was effective.
“Nothing fails” was breathtaking. It was beautiful and the images (some from the “Secret” video, I believe) fit perfectly. It’s a bit embarassing, but, I cried a little bit. I was very happy that the audience loved it and responded so favorably to it. “Don’t tell me” was stunning. “Bittersweet symphony” was woven into it as if it had always been there. Most of the video choreagraphy was still there. This was another huge sing along. “Like a prayer” was the highlight of the show. It truly was a moving moment. I had the realization that I was part of one community and all of our spirits were joined, which was the point of the whole damn show! It sounds corny but “Like a prayer” was bigger then attending a concert, it was a fully realized spiritual moment. I’m not articulate enough to express this moment. Yes, I cried a bit again. “Mother & Father” sucked. I think that a song is truly bad if in the afterglow of LAP that I couldn’t find a single redeeming value in it. It was just as heinous as it is on the CD. This was the only clunker of the night. I loved “Imagine“. I had read alot of negative things about this one, but, my friend Traci and I loved it and cried again. I thought it was sincere, and believed every word she sang and it was very appropriate within the context of this show. (PS: My husband thought it was awful).
“Into the groove” was great. I thought the bagpiper would be stupid, but, damn it, it rocked! I’m not a fan of the GAP version of this song and would have preferred a more classic arrangement. Missy‘s video appearance was cool. “Papa don’t preach” was great. Intricate choreagraphy and great twist on the arrangement. “Crazy for you” was sincere and by now, the whole concert was a huge singalong. “Music” was cool. The colored staircase and disco ball enhanced it. Finally, “Holiday” brought it all to a close and the catwalk came down again. The video screens closed and it was all over. Absolutely f*cking amazing!