A Kiss from Madame X
“I will never be what society expects me to be. I have seen too much,” rasps Madonna, praying in the dark before introducing herself as Madame X in the video for recent hit “Medellín.” But society can’t possibly have expectations for the pop phenom after nearly 40 years of watching her. She is about art that shakes you, even if the statements she makes tend to be highly danceable.
That’s the vibe of her 14th studio album and eponymous tour, which makes its way to a newly renovated Colosseum at Caesars Palace Nov. 7 and 9-10. Madame X’s world is the stuff of noir and Lisbon nightclubs, personal expressions of love and blistering political postures. That is to say, it’s a theatrical whirlwind, anchored by the ever-magnetic 61-year-old. Whether unleashing her acidic wit or swaggering in heels and fishnets, she commands the room.
The setup is more Broadway musical than stadium show, and with that intimacy comes the rule that all attendees leave their phones locked in soft cases before taking their seats.
Madonna wants to see eyes, not screens. Fans want to see some old hits on the set list, and while the focus is on fresh material (including homages to the fado music she’s gotten into living in Portugal), rich treatments are given to such classics as “Like a Prayer” (1989), “Vogue” (1990) and “Frozen” (1998). The latter is stripped way down, just the singer and a giant screen projecting artful visuals of eldest daughter Lourdes.
That screen shows an American flag superimposed on ominous smoke for “God Control” and its stirring message about gun violence. It shows footage of protests around discrimination for “I Rise.” But as much as Madonna relishes lending her voice to heavy issues, she also revels and jokes and cha-chas through the moods of Madame X.
So if you expect anything, let it be rhinestones with your dose of reality. –Erin Ryan
Caesars Palace, 8:30 p.m. Nov. 7 & 9-10, starting at $55 plus tax and fee. 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster
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