Madonna all business, some pleasure
Even for steadfast fans, taking pictures of one’s concert tickets seemed a bit much. But if you’d shelled out $2,000 apiece for Madonna’s Air Canada Centre concert last night like the Winnipeg honeymooners next to me, you, too, may have wanted more than a receipt to document it.
And all for what? A vapid dance pop singer who should be on her greatest hits lap? Hardly.
Her Madgesty, who opened the show sitting on a throne spread-legged remains a captivating performer riding a wave of resonating new tunes.
To an enthusiastic reception, she performed all but three of the dozen songs on her current album, Candy Shop, alternating with hits from her six other No. 1 albums.
The two-hour show’s 23-song, mostly up-tempo set list was remarkable for the songs she didn’t sing, for the realization that the Michigan native has accrued an impressive catalogue.
Show highlights included an acoustic rendition of “La Isla Bonita” replete with Gypsy musicians, and a rocking, guitar-heavy version of “Borderline.” Madonna sang live a fair bit, but didn’t hit a single shiver-generating note.
Neither the music, nor the bells and whistles – 18 dancers, treadmill catwalk, immaculate 1935 Auburn Speedster, virtual appearances by Britney Spears and Kanye West – were as compelling as the Material Girl (no, she didn’t sing that one, either) herself.
Sinewy is the word often applied to the physique of the 50-year-old mother of three who is one week into the North American edition of her sell-out Sticky & Sweet Tour.
That’s an apt description of her chiselled arms with their prominent veins, but her abs and thighs recall summer Olympians.
At times, she executed the crotch-centric choreography with nary a sheen of perspiration, while the decades-younger dancers surrounding her dripped sweat.
That’s the kind of thing that makes Madonna seem impenetrable. Like her going on with the tour as word emerges of the collapse of her marriage to Guy Ritchie (though she probably came to terms with that emotionally months ago). And how she hits all her cues on stage – skip double dutch without a hitch; high five DJ; grind pole – but the smile never reaches her eyes.
Not to say she lacks warmth, spontaneity or vulnerability, but that she long ago donned a mask to separate her private self from the public without us being any wiser. In the end, it feels like a business transaction, all $2,000 of it.
From an article by Ashante Infantry, Toronto Star.