Madonna returns to her roots
“If you couldn’t tell at the beginning when she descended from the ceiling in a giant glitter ball, the set list of Madonna’s first of three sold-out shows at the TD BankNorth Garden confirmed she has, in fact, come back to the hardcore dance music that gave her her start” Rick Massimo writes on The Providence Journal.
“Most people who have been around as long as she has are apologetically slipping a couple of songs from their latest album into the set list, but last night’s show included 10 songs from Madonna’s latest, “Confessions on a Dance Floor”. She applied that record’s mix of early-’80s styles such as house, Eurodisco and early techno to old favorites such as “Like a Virgin” and “La Isla Bonita” as well. The conventional wisdom says 2004’s American Life album was a disappointment, and if you feel the same way, this was a show for you: nothing from that record.
Of course, the experience of a Madonna show isn’t complete without the visuals, choreography and costumes, and here last night’s show topped the American Life tour as well – eventually.”
Click on the Full Article link below to continue reading this review from Projo.com.
“The show began with “Future Lovers,” from Confessions (with a snippet of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” tucked into the middle), and went into the lush house of the new album’s “Get Together.” But Madonna, dressed up in some semblance of riding gear, punctuated the songs with dancing that looked, and felt, more like we were watching her work out. The bumped-up “Like a Virgin” was more of the same — although there was humor at work in the video projections of people falling off horses (recalling Madonna’s recent mishap), her own aerobic writhing in a giant saddle was designed to be marveled at rather than enjoyed.
From there, the jump-cut philosophy that made the American Life show a weird mess took over for a while. Here’s Madonna on a glitter-ball crucifix, complete with crown of thorns, singing “Live to Tell” while the video screen projects statistics on African children orphaned by AIDS. Here she is singing “Isaac” while the singer of the same name who sang on the record holds the melody and a robed dancer flings herself around a cage. Here she’s singing “Jump” while film-student-level clips of urban decay flash behind her. Whatever.
The hinge of the show was “Like It or Not,” another dance thumper but with a shuffle rhythm, which Madonna sang alone, with virtually no projections and nothing on stage but a black wooden chair. The song is a fairly simple declaration of independence, but the lo-tech setting gave her a chance to show sass rather than ice, and for the audience to relate rather than adore.
From there, the dance-floor fillers kept coming, and the accoutrements settled down into being impressive yet coherent recapitulations of the themes and vibes of the songs. Madonna slathered distorto-guitar onto “I Love New York” and “Ray of Light”; her dance moves were purposely ungainly during “Let It Will Be” and her banter with the audience was truly playful before the ballad “Substitute for Love,” which was followed by the lovely, doleful ballad “Paradise (Not for Me),” from 2000’s Music album.
By the time she did a virtual live mashup, singing the words and melody of “Music” while her band played the classic “Disco Inferno,” with Madonna in a white disco suit; aped the James Brown routine of being picked up off the stage and helped into a cape (with “Dancing Queen” on it); gave even more dance thump to “Lucky Star” than the original; and finished by blazing through “Hung Up,” the first single from Confessions, the rout was on. Fun won.”