Madonna takes fans on journey through her many styles
How fitting that Madonna would end the U.S. leg of her latest concert tour in Miami, which famously was once her nightlife playground.
The Material Girl-turned-Spiritual Mom wrapped up her Sticky & Sweet Tour Wednesday night at a sold-out Dolphin Stadium with a two-hour journey through her many styles, starting with her new hip-hop vibe. She opened with the one-two punch of the Prince-inspired Candy Shop, backed by dancers in top hats and tails, and Beat Goes On, during which she rode a white antique Rolls Royce out onto the catwalk.
Madonna didn’t neglect her past. The fresh, innocent pop of her Borderline days (strange to think of Madonna as ever seeming ”innocent”) was given new muscle by the singer strapping on an electric guitar for a garage-rock version. Madonna also banged out power chords on Human Nature — and while troubled pop princess Britney Spears didn’t join her onstage as she did at Madge’s L.A. show, a video of Brit trapped in an elevator added humor. And a tranced-up Like a Prayer, featuring Ninja dancers of all things, sent the crowd into a gospel frenzy.
Yes, Madonna started an hour later than her 9 p.m. goal, but hey — this is Miami. The splashy, high-energy concert showed why the icon has managed to stay more or less at the top of the pop world for 25 years. At age 50, the musical chameleon hasn’t lost her edge and still strives to break new ground.
The lively Into the Groove paid tribute — and gave fresh life to — old-school freestyle, with turntable wizard DJ Enferno weaving bits of Apache and Double Dutch Bus into the mix while Madonna worked a stripper pole next to him.
A touching video tribute to the late, great New York graffiti artist Keith Haring lent the song more urban street cred.
Enferno also mashed-up the dance anthem Music with the club classic Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, while street dancers in colorful ’80s garb were backed by flashing graffiti on the video screen.
Madonna even took a request from an audience member, Juan. (”This is the part of the show where I ask someone if they want me to do an oldie-but-goodie.”) Juan chose Material Girl, and Madonna sang the first two verses a capella, with a little help from the crowd.
Not everything worked well. The straight-up dance workout of Vogue was marred by distorted bass that made booming car stereo systems sound tame. The island rhythms of La Isla Bonita were turned into a sped-up gypsy hoedown that had Madonna straining to keep up vocally. And the glittery, disco ear candy of Hung Up was ragged, drowned by Madonna’s guitar-work and a thunderous rhythm section that overpowered the rest of the music.
More successful were the new Miles Away, about the difficulty of keeping love alive (“You always love me more/Miles away/ I hear it in your voice/Miles away”), during which Madonna didn’t mention her recent divorce from Guy Ritchie; the stomping, inspirational Ray of Light, which caused mass euphoria; and her new hits 4 Minutes (Madonna did a virtual duet with Justin Timberlake) and the finale Give It 2 Me, which featured video grabs from ’80s games including Space Invaders and Asteroids.
Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes joined Madonna onstage for a joyous extended jam, before GAME OVER appeared on the screen to end the show. Who needs an encore?
From an article by Micheal Hamersly, Miami Herald.