She was here and then she was gone. But before she left, she sang, danced, made political statements and showed us her arse. She of course is Madonna, and her MDNA tour was in Phoenix on Tuesday night. This was my 6th Madonna concert experience and 5th tour experience. I have seen each show in a different city, three of which I have lived in and the other three of which I travelled to specifically for Madonna. As my neighbor said, “You’re hard core. You REALLY like Madonna.”
MDNA was not my favorite tour, I save that honor for the Drowned World Tour, probably because that was the first one I saw. The first time I saw Madonna, I lived in New York and went to see her in Madison Square Garden. By myself. The show sold out so quickly and I was only able to get one ticket. I arrived at 8:15 p.m. that night, and she had already started the show. I missed two songs. No worries. I was seeing her a week later in New Jersey with my sister.
For every show thereafter, I have made sure that at the time stated on my ticket, I am in my seat and was ready for Madge. I don’t remember what the other start times were at the other shows, but nothing too ridiculous. Until the Sticky and Sweet Tour, which I saw in Denver, where we waited an hour and a half for Madonna. Ridiculous.
Oh, but that was nothing. On Tuesday, Phoenix fans waited two and a half hours for the concert to start. Yes, you read that right, two and a half hours. The show STARTED at 10:30 p.m. I’m sorry, but I’m 40 years-old and I don’t lead a rock star life, so 10:30 p.m. is my bedtime. Then again, anything for Madonna. Live Nation claims 10:30 p.m. was the time the concert was slated to start. Upon further review of my ticket, it is confirmed that I am not blind, it says 8 p.m.
When the concert finally started, Madonna opened with Girl Gone Wild which is my favorite song on the MDNA album. Do they still call them albums? I do. Anyway, she looked amazing. She didn’t sound too amazing; her voice was very strained. She’s been singing for five months already and she still has a month left. I can’t imagine the toll that takes on your vocal cords.
The beginning of the show is dark and violent. The show is supposed to be a journey and progression from dark to light. The Jean-Paul Gaultier designed costumes for Madonna were brilliant. My favorite was the re-designed cone bra outfit.
She re-tooled some classic songs like “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Hung Up” which I didn’t love, but I really liked her rendition of “Open Your Heart” with the Kalakan Trio. It’s pretty awesome and it looked like she threw in a little Highland Fling during this part of the show.
I didn’t care too much for her version of “Like a Virgin,” but she sings with a piano and I thought it felt very intimate and very hip. At that point, I did not feel like I was watching with thousands of other people, I felt like I was watching with hundreds. This is also where she stripped down and showed us her goods. I felt like taking my hand and covering the eyes of the 9 year-old boy in front of me, but I didn’t.
It is this part in each show that Madonna reveals a different “tattoo” on her back. This night was “Amanda.” For Amanda Todd, the 15-year-old Canadian girl who recently committed suicide after posting a journal of online videos on YouTube regarding her being bullied. Madonna wrongfully stated she was bullied for being gay, but she was actually bullied by classmates and online after an online predator coerced her into flashing him, he took a photo and then posted the photos on the Internet.
The show ended with the very powerful rendition of “Like a Prayer” and an encore of “Celebration.” My favorite parts? “Girl Gone Wild” and “Vogue.” I actually spent a crap load of money on my tickets and it was worth it. Madonna still has it and I still love her – even if the concert got over at 12:30 a.m. which means it was now Wednesday. I didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m., with my ringing ears as a reminder of the night.
The reality is Madonna is Madonna. She is the Queen and because of her we now have Lady Gaga and a slew of pop princesses reinventing themselves, marketing themselves as never before and entertaining us in spectacular ways. Of course, when I got home and checked on my daughter that night I accidentally woke her up. Little sleep was had by all. That’s my reality.
PS – Sorry for the iPhone photography. It’s the best I could do.