She’s a Disco Queen
“Madonna turned Madison Square Garden last night into a combination of Studio 54, Las Vegas and Cirque du Soleil, emerging from a giant disco ball to perform two hours’ worth of thumping, bass-driven dance music accompanied by eye-popping visuals, her usual coterie of handsome male dancers and, perhaps most importantly, a DJ” – Rafer Guzman writes today on Newsday.
“Adding to the clubby atmosphere: reduced air-conditioning to help protect Madonna’s voice. As the impressively lithe and sinewy singer moved around the stage, she wasn’t the only one perspiring.”
Click on the Full Article link below to continue reading this review from Newsday.
In case you’re wondering, Madonna did get up on her crucifix to sing “Live to Tell,” from her latest album, “Confessions on a Dance Floor” (Warner Bros.). Was it tasteless? Was it offensive? One thing’s for sure: It was one of the show’s few dull points. Being stuck to a cross doesn’t allow a physical performer like Madonna to move much.
At 47, Madonna has stopped reinventing herself in any substantial way. She continues to try on different outfits — a cowboy hat for the 2000 album “Music,” a militant beret for 2003’s “American Life” — but those are fashion accessories, not personas.
For her latest album, she has returned to a familiar role: the flamboyant disco queen. “Confessions” happens to be a disappointingly vapid album, a soulless spreadsheet of dance-pop cliches — but Madonna has always had a knack for rising above her material. It’s one of the reasons she remains so fascinating, and so undeniably entertaining.
Madonna devoted about half of the concert — the first of six in a run at the Garden — to the new album, performing nearly every track on it. She began with “Future Lovers,” surrounded by men dressed as S&M horses. Madonna rode one, of course, then launched into a stomping version of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.” During “Like a Virgin,” she mounted a saddle attached to a merry-go-round pole.
This was the “Equestrian” part of the show, and the other sections — “Bedouin,” “Never Mind the Bollocks” and “Disco” — were equally nonsensical (and thoroughly enjoyable).
Madonna still has a knack for aesthetics, which helped some of her overly earnest new songs come to life. During “Isaac” (a song that raised a few hackles in the Jewish community), a muezzin-style singer in a robe trekked across the stage while images of the desert passed behind him.
The show steamrollered ahead with barely a split-second between songs, much like a DJ might string together his set. The inevitable climax was the show’s “Disco” section, for which Madonna gamely donned a white suit, a la John Travolta.
Madonna may be stealing her own ideas these days, but she still knows how to please a crowd. By the time she unleashed the old-new combo of “Lucky Star” and “Hung Up,” the crowd had long been up on its feet, dancing and sweating along with her.