Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart Tour’ dazzles Boston

There’s a long tradition in popular culture of artists who pushed the envelope and redefined the boundaries, but when it comes to pop music, few performers have so gleefully filled the role of iconoclast as Madonna. To say that she’s been a groundbreaker for female music stars would be an understatement, and a short list of current stars who were largely influenced or inspired by her would have to include Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Pink, The Spice Girls and Nicki Minaj.

But the prototype herself was onstage at TD Garden in Boston Saturday night, and her two-hour extravaganza didn’t disappoint. Madonna may have ventured afield into acting, writing, and assorted charity work, but first and foremost she’s a pop star. In fact, to be more precise, she has always taken immense pleasure in being a “pop tart,” thematically pushing up against the societal norms of sex and proper behavior for young ladies, and not least of which, teasing her conservative Catholic upbringing.

Part and parcel of Madonna’s musical identity has been a virtually unbroken string of dance-pop hits, whether they be updated disco, hip-hop-flavored r&b, or techno-driven beat-heavy epics. Her songs are frequently ridiculously infectious dance numbers, and her lyrics have that knack of getting your attention, whether she’s happily being outrageous or making a serious point about empowerment – and sometimes she’s capable of doing both simultaneously. Controversy may be her middle name, but nobody ever accused Madonna of being boring, and Saturday’s 23-song romp surely was anything but boring, and hardly predictable.

Overall impressions of this “Rebel Heart Tour” would have to center on the sheer spectacle of the night, where you could spend a thousand words describing each song, because the staging and dance routines, mini-dramas and quick and frequently humorous sidelights, were so intricate. But there were also a lot of musical styles covered, and if most of the music was dance-club friendly, Madonna proved herself to be an omniverous and laudably versatile stylist.

To perhaps extract a quick soundbite, Madonna’s evening ranged all the way from roaring techno on “Bitch I’m Madonna” to pretty mainstream rock ’n’ roll on “Body Shop” to almost Celtic folk-rock on “Devil Pray” to traditional Spanish on “La Isla Bonita” to a quite lovely acoustic cover of Edith Piaf’s signature tune, “La Vie En Rose,” where the singer’s ukulele, and a very low-key accordion was the only accompaniment. That’s a lot of musical variety, and Madonna, 57, and her four-piece backup band, two backup vocalists, and 14 dancers delivered it all with panache.

To read the full review by The Enterprise click HERE

Read more

Who’s That Girl back in Boston

After cutting ‘Everybody’ from the 80’s medley and suddenly adding ‘Ghosttown’ in Brooklyn, the dearly beloved Who’s That Girl was skipped in Philadelphia and M only sang Ghosttown.

Thankfully last night Who’s That Girl made it’s return to the setlist, but Ghosttown was skipped. It is obvious that the setlist can change any night, according to M is also due to technical issues that might occur.

Let’s hope Who’s That Girl will be performed in Europe, as it is one of her biggest hits to date. In Holland it is one of only five singles that reached the number 1 spot in the charts (the other number ones being: Into The Groove, Hung Up, 4 Minutes and Give it 2 Me).

David was the unapologetic bitch last night, M chose not to swear this time during the segment.

Read more

Still en ‘vogue’: Madonna shows some things get better with age

Madonna carries the burden of being 57 in a world where Britney is an old maid at 33. But if we ignore Madge’s age, or forget that the current crop of hot, unremarkable young things run the pop industry, we can step back and enjoy the Rebel Heart Tour for the mature spectacle that it is.

Whoa, whoa, I know crucifixes as stripper poles and nuns in short shorts isn’t grown up. But Madonna’s packed TD Garden show last night still seemed so much more adult (in every sense of the word) than the infantilism of Katy Perry’s dancing sharks and Taylor Swift’s cutesy ’80s fetish.

Madonna’s visions have a smart, thought-out feel her imitators can’t replicate. Her dancers’ execution makes her would-be peers look like amateurs — the simple, thrilling choreography of “Deeper and Deeper” reminded that talent beats tech every time. Oh, and her pop crushes all comers.

“At the end of the day the smoke and mirrors don’t matter,” she told the crowd strumming an acoustic guitar ahead of (surprisingly) killer “Who’s That Girl.” “It’s the music that matters.”

Her new songs balanced the Material Girl with a modern one.

She opened with “Iconic” and its bizarre sample of Mike Tyson ranting about his unequaled skills before dropping into a thumping groove that continued into “(expletive) I’m Madonna” and “Burning Up.” Her “Holy Water”/“Vogue” mashup mixed sex and the sacred (and those pole-dancing nuns). “Living For Love,” maybe her best song this century, delivered the hook and gospel harmonies of old-school Top 40 — and had loads more snap and pop than her Grammy performance.

Unwilling to be enveloped in nostalgia, she deconstructed her classics.

Like “Who’s That Girl,” “True Blue” got an acoustic makeover, this one with Madonna on ukulele. Stalking the catwalk alone, she pimped out “Like a Virgin” with a fresh club beat.

The band opened “Music” with some jazz age swagger. She extended the flamenco vibe of “La Isla Bonita” through a medley of “Dress You Up”/“Into The Groove”/“Lucky Star.”

Ignore the constant chatter surrounding her private life and turn your back on the idea a pop star must be irrelevant after 30. Instead dig into her exotic and familiar cocktail until she can’t mix it up anymore — she’s good for at least one more mega-event like this one. Embrace that her blonde ambition continues to make her the genre’s greatest icon.

Click HERE to read more at the Boston Herald

Read more

Tickets for Madonna concert in Taiwan sell out within minutes

Taipei, Sept. 26 (CNA) Tickets for “Queen of Pop” Madonna’s first ever concert in Taiwan went on sale on Saturday and were snatched up within 15 minutes, Live Nation Taiwan, the promoter of the concert, said that day.

The around 10,000 tickets to the concert at the Taipei Arena on Feb. 4 next year were sold in three phases. Some of them were open for purchase to Madonna fan club members on Sept. 17 and to credit card holders from Sept. 21-23.

The rest went on sale at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Ticket prices ranged from NT$800 (US$24) to NT$16,800, with VIP packages sold at NT$30,000 for seated fans and NT$27,000 for standing groups.

The concert is part of Madonna’s 10th worldwide concert tour “Rebel Heart Tour.” It is the first time that the singer will hold a concert in Taiwan.

The tour follows the March 6 release of her album “Rebel Heart.” It began on September 9 in Canada and takes her to Europe and Asia, with the tour concluding on March 27, 2016 at a concert in Brisbane, Australia.

(By Christie Chen)
ENDITEM/cs

Read more

Madonna gives Pope Francis her blessing during his first US visit

Madonna may have plenty of past experience tangling with the Vatican, but the queen of pop has given Pope Francis her endorsement during his first US visit.

At a concert in Philadelphia, where the leader of the Roman Catholic Church is scheduled to make the last stop of his tour, a tongue-in-cheek Madge dedicated a section of her show to him.

She later announced: “Rules are for fools. That’s why I like the new pope. He seems very open-minded.”

It was just one of many comments about Pope Francis at a concert that featured lots of religious imagery, including female performers wearing nuns’ habits — and little else — pole dancing on crosses.

“The pope is stalking me,” she said, noting she recently performed in New York, where Pope Francis has also made a stop. “Either he’s a copycat or he’s secretly in love with me.”

After climbing up on a table in a clingy, shimmering dress, the 57-year-old provocateur said: “I made it. Can the pope do that?”

And then: “I’ve been excommunicated from the Catholic Church three times. It shows the Vatican really cares,” she joked.

“Since Popey-wopey is on his way over here, I want to dedicate this song to him,” she said before launching into a heartfelt version of La Vie En Rose.

Madonna, raised Roman Catholic in Michigan, has a long history of upsetting the Vatican. Her 1989 video for Like A Prayer contained imagery that outraged religious leaders, including stigmata and burning crosses.

Her seminal 1990 Blond Ambition tour included simulated masturbation and brought condemnation from the Vatican. And in her 2006 Confessions tour, she staged a mock crucifixion only a few miles from the city-state.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the Vatican has entirely banished the singer. In December, Italy’s singing nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia, met Pope Francis and presented him with a copy of her first CD, which features a remake of Madonna’s Like A Virgin.

Scuccia had won the Italian edition of The Voice earlier that year. The Italian Bishops’ Conference criticised the song’s appearance on the CD, saying it was a commercial ploy.

Read more at Breakingnews.ie

Read more

Madonna at the Wells Fargo: Entertaining, but doesn’t catch fire

One more night of sin before the Holy Father comes to town: On the eve of Pope Francis’ historic visit to Philadelphia, the woman named after the Virgin Mother, a woman who has used rebellion against the Catholic Church as fuel for her three-decade career as a pop provocateur, served as The Pontiff’s opening act in South Philadelphia.

Madonna brought her Rebel Heart tour to a not-quite-sold-out Wells Fargo Center crowd on Thursday night, with the 57-year-old dance pop superstar attracting a largely female crowd, mainly in her demographic range, that skewed younger and more multicultural among gay male fans.

The show opened with the new album’s overbearing and strained “Iconic,” with a filmed intro in which Madonna copped to “an insatiable desire to be noticed.” Prerecorded video segments featured Mike Tyson and Chance the Rapper, and ill-conceived costuming positioned our heroine as half ninja warrior, half Joan of Arc.

That set the stage for a night of self-mythologizing, which included the new album’s “Bitch I’m Madonna” and “Unapologetic Bitch” – clearly currently her favorite word, often used as a term of endearment to express love for her fans.

The show got better and somewhat less heavy-handed from there. But Madonna is never one for subtlety in her theatrical presentation. She surrounded herself with video screen flames in “Burning Up” – an oldie but goodie from her 1983 debut album, played early in the set – and acted out the double entendres of “Body Shop” while writhing on the hood of a classic hot rod onstage.

Read full review at https://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20150926_Madonna_at_the_Wells_Fargo__Entertaining__but_doesn_t_catch_fire.html#9Mb3kKky8QfU6Pw1.99

Read more

Madonna’s DanceOn Strikes Distribution Deal With Go90, Producing Over 80 Hours Of Original Content

As more music streaming services and social media apps announce their transition into original content, the battle for positioning remains unpredictable.

Power players like Apple AAPL +0.88% Music and Spotify have yet to make a very definitive shift beyond sharing and discovering music to solidify their identity as digital content providers. Snapchat has experienced notable success, as more brands and media partners experiment with different formats that tap into the existing user experience. Netflix NFLX -0.39% and Hulu have mastered their market, creating network-caliber programming designed for the second-screen generation.

While the landscape is still evolving and such uncertainty builds anticipation, it also presents an opportunity for thriving digital media and social entertainment platforms with an established niche and unique approach to remain ahead of the emerging trends. Announcing a new partnership with mobile entertainment app go90, DanceOn is expecting this move to place its preeminent entertainment focused platform ahead of the pack.

With an expansive network that boasts more than 4 billion total views, 25 million subscribers, and over 40 million fans across platforms, DanceOn stands as the largest entertainment network for dance-related content on any platform. Celebrating music and dance throughout pop culture, the digital media company is a dominant force with tremendous influence amongst a prime millennial audience. Fueling massively viral dance trends tied to chart-topping hits such as “Trap Queen”, “Watch Me Whip / Nae Nae”, and “Hit The Quan” — DanceOn is widely regarded for its user-generated challenges and docu-series that have featured globally renowned acts like David Guetta, Diplo, and Sia.

Click HERE to read full article by Forbes

Read more

Madonna wows adoring fans at Centre Vidéotron in Quebec City

With over 300 million records sold worldwide and recognised as the best-selling female recording artist of all time, Madonna Louise Ciccone was back in Quebec City.

Hard to believe this woman is 57 years old. She doesn’t look it, doesn’t act it, and has more energy than some people thirty years her junior.

After performing on the Plains of Abraham to mixed reviews back in the summer of 2012, Madonna was back in Quebec City for a show at the Centre Vidéotron.

12,000+ fans came out to see the ‘Queen of Pop’ and they got everything they could have hoped for.

The show kicked on after an early faux pas – Madonna, displaying a momentary lapse in concentration by confusing Quebec City with Montreal before quickly correcting herself. ‘My brain is burning up’ she joked.

The show was magic, the sets elaborate, the costume changes outlandish, and the woman herself raunchy, energetic, and constantly on the move.

She delivered an (as expected) expletive-riddled performance. ‘Are you with me motherfuckers?’

The dancers, of which there were many, added to the experience. It has to be said they probably have the most demanding boss in the business. Some of these dancers would be 30-35 years her junior but they needed to be fit to keep up with one of the hardest working artists out there. And they did, and didn’t stop.

Toughest dancing gig out there. You bet.

O
n her Rebel Heart Tour, The Queen of Pop performed songs from her latest album including Bitch I’m Madonna, Iconic, Body Shop, Immuninati, Unapolgetic Bitch, Devil Pray, and Holy Water.

The crowd remained seated for most of those tracks, but did get to their feet when the older songs were given an airing. Like a Virgin might seem like an odd choice for a woman in her mid-50’s, with four children of her own, but this is Madonna, and it worked. There was plenty of swearing, gyrating, and interaction with the crowd.

True Blue, Who’s That Girl, La Isla Bonita, and Material Girl were performed to much appreciation.

Who’s That Girl was particularly special. We already know this woman can sing (over 300 million records sold worldwide attest to that), but the acoustic version of this track was spectacular. Just the woman herself perched on a bar stool with her ukelele.

She brought the house down with her version of the Edith Piaf classic ‘La Vie en rose.‘ Singing in French with the crowd joining in, this woman knew her audience.

The acoustic versions of her songs showed Madonna‘s true talent.

Although not to the taste of some, perhaps an acoustic tour might be on the cards down the line.

There were three ladies in front of me, roughly the same age as Madonna, and I’d hazard a guess had perhaps taken advantage of the refreshing beverages on offer, who were there for some more physical activity. Powerful, acoustic offerings not for them. ‘Awaille, on veut danser’ they exclaimed as they slumped further into their chairs in no fit state to dance at all.

I think they’d have liked a prayer. The didn’t get one and neither did we.

With the stage full of dancers and the audience on their feet, the icon, initially draped in a Canadian flag and then a Quebec one ended the evening with Holiday.

Click HERE to read full article by LifeinQuebec.com

Read more

10 Things I Learned at Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour

Over 30 years into her career, Madonna is still acting like a virgin. “I’ve never performed in Brooklyn before,” she coyly told a sold-out crowd at the Barclays Center in Prospect Heights Saturday night. The Rebel Heart Tour, which kicked off in Montreal two weeks ago and landed in the borough for one night after two performances across the river at Madison Square Garden, is the singer’s 10th stage show. While she’s finally warmed up to her ’80s hits after years of ignoring all but a handful, she still insists on challenging her fans, who, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to see, are still dressing up like her. Only now it’s the men. Here are 10 other things I learned at the show.

@Sal Cinquemani / Slant Magazine complete article HERE

Read more

Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” is Still Beating — Triumphantly!

msg_01
MADONNA’S shows have always had extraordinary set pieces, thrilling sections, but too often she indulged her penchant for, well — doing exactly as she pleased, and alienating many in the audience. (Although this hasn’t stopped her tours from being mega-hits.) “Rebel Heart,” beautifully mixes songs from her current album with classics such as “True Blue” (people were crying to finally hear her sing this early hit) … “Burning Up” … “Deeper and Deeper” … “Who’s That Girl” … “Like a Virgin” … “Dress You Up, “Into The Groove, “Lucky Star” … “La Isla Bonita” … and ta-da! “Material Girl,” which she offers in high glamour — not the video version, a la Marilyn, but as a 1930s vamp, kicking those panting men down steep slides, as she belts out the famous lyrics. (“Cause the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mr. Right.”) She gives these oldies respect, too. Not performing them exactly as she once did, but not rendering them unrecognizable.

Complete article by Liz Smith HERE

Read more

Full report press day Keith Haring The Political Line Kunsthal Rotterdam 18-9-2015

It was so cool!!

I cannot deny that I was a little nervous. I thought it was so great to being able to attend this event, didn’t know what to expect.

I have been a Keith Haring fan for years, read his biography twice and viewed his documentary multiple times. Actually I saw the documentary again last week to prepare for the press day.

We arrived at approximately 10.50am, my man Henk-Jan had joined me on this trip. We had planned to meet up with Dirk near the entrance, but it turned out he was already driving behind us.

After going to the reception where our names were checked on the guestlist we received our press badge, presskit and a coupon for lunch and drinks.

I have to honestly say that I thought it was so cool walking around in my MadonnaUnderground shirt with a press name tag on it.

We continued our little journey to the exposition, after a short sneak peek we were asked to gather in the central area. Here the director of the Kunsthal was to give an introduction, then it was time for Julia Gruen to speak.

I thought it very fascinating to listen to what she said. After a short explanation of what the Keith Haring Foundation is, she was going to give us a tour through the exhibition.

This exhibition is a collaboration with an art hall in Munchen, a German representative was there too. The tour was incredible, it was very special to get an explanation of Keith’s work, by someone who was very close to him, someone who he confided in.

I don’t want to sound too spiritual, but I really did feel his spirit.

The exhibition was different than the one I visited in Paris two years ago, unfortunately the famous New York Post piece by Keith and Andy Warhol was not included. We did see it in Paris, Madonna however was mentioned by Julie.

After the tour the press part of the day was over. I then took a photo with Julie, she mentioned my MadonnaUnderground shirt and said ‘Bitch I’m NOT Madonna’ with a big smile.

She asked if Madonna was going to make a stop in Holland during her Rebel Heart Tour and said that her friends attended the show in NYC the night before in MSG.

I quickly bought some merchandise; the catalogue and some small official merchandise gadgets. During our lunch I asked Julie to sign the exhibition catalogue, an idea by Henk-Jan. Love what she wrote “Lovely to know, your a part of our crazy world. From Keith Haring to Madonna + back again!

The lunch was very tasty and then it was time to return to Amsterdam. An unforgettable experience.

I will go back to the exhibition very soon to experience the whole audio tour.

Dave Crombeen for MadonnaUnderground


Dutch version:

Wow wat was het gaaf!! Ik kan niet ontkennen dat ik een beetje zenuwachtig was. Vond het zo ontzettend leuk dat we hierbij konden zijn. Wist niet wat me te wachten stond.

Ik ben al jaren toch wel een groot liefhebber van Keith Haring. Heb zijn biografie 2x gelezen en en zijn documentaire meerdere malen gezien. Vorige week heb ik hem nog bekeken, ter voorbereiding van de persdag.

We kwamen ongeveer om 10:50 aan. Ik had mijn vent Henk-Jan mee genomen. Dirk zouden we bij de ingang treffen, maar het bleek dat hij al achter ons reed.

Nadat we ons gemeld hadden bij de receptie kregen we onze pers badge, persmap een een lunch/ drank bonnetje. Ik kan niet ontkennen dat ik het wel stoer vond om daar rond te lopen in mijn MU shirtje met een pers naambordje erop gespeld LOL.

We gingen naar de expositieruimte. Na al even een korte sneak peek te hebben gedaan, werden we verzocht om naar de centrale ruimte te komen. Daar zou de directrice van de Kunsthal een praatje houden en werd het woord gegeven aan Julia Gruen. Ik vond het echt super fascinerend. Nadat ze in het kort had uitgelegd wat de Keith Haring foundation in hield zou ze een rondleiding geven door de expositie.

Deze tentoonstelling is in samenwerking met een kunsthal in Munchen, er liep ook een Duitse vertegenwoordiger mee. De rondleiding was echt zo ontzettend gaaf. Ik vond het super speciaal om uitleg te krijgen bij Keith’s werk door iemand die dicht bij hem heeft gestaan, iemand die hij als vertrouweling beschouwde. Ik wil het niet al te zweverig maken, maar ik voelde echt zijn spirit.

De tentoonstelling was anders dan die ik 2 jaar geleden in Parijs heb gezien, helaas hing de beroemde New York Post van Keith en Andy warhol er niet tussen. In Parijs was dat wel het geval. Madonna werd nog wel even genoemd door Julie.

Na de rondleiding was het pers gedeelte voorbij. Ik heb van de gelegenheid gebruik gemaakt om even snel met Julie op de foto te gaan. Ze begon meteen over mijn MadonnaUnderground shirt.. en zei ook Bitch I’m NOT Madonna, met een big smile.

Ze vroeg of Madonna ook met de Rebel Heart tour naar Nederland kwam en vertelde ook dat al haar vrienden in NYC die avond ervoor naar M waren geweest in de MSG.

Nog even snel wat merchandise gekocht: de catalogus, een KH jojo en twee 80’s iron-on embleems.

Tijdens de lunch heb ik de expositie catalogus nog laten signeren, op aandringen van Henk-Jan. Zo leuk wat ze erin heeft gezet:”Lovely to know you’re a part of our crazy world.
From Keith Haring to Madonna + back again!

De lunch was lekker, en we gingen weer richting Amsterdam. Wat een onvergetelijke ervaring. Ik ga snel weer naar de expositie om de gehele audio tour te doen.

Dave Crombeen voor MadonnaUnderground


You can visit the exhibition in the Kunsthal from 20 September 2015 to 7 February 2016

View the pictures of our press day HERE

 

 

Read more

Madonna’s Concert Changed My Opinion About Her Rebel Heart Era

If you’re a true blue (pun intended) Madonna fan, then there is at least one era from her illustrious 30-year career you’d rather forget. For many, it’s 2003’s American Life, but I actually loved Madge’s sociopolitical commentary set to frantic techno slosh. Or maybe it’s 2008’s late-to-the-party Hard Candy, with its stale Timbaland beats and aggressive lollipop album cover. (Again, I didn’t hate it. In fact, “Miles Away” is one of M’s best tracks to date.)

No. For me, it was Rebel Heart. From the borderline offensive Instagram promo to the preliminary leaks, and then the album itself—inconsistent, light on effervescent dance-pop, and heavy on cringe-worthy lyrics—I loathed this era like Madonna detests hydrangeas. Coming off 2012’s MDNA, an immaculate collection of dark, bubbly EDM, Rebel Heart felt like a rush job—well, at least to me. Where was the cool, calculated Madonna with dry wit I fell in love with? Rebel Heart M definitely wasn’t her.

Notice how I’m speaking in past tense, because all of this changed Wednesday night when I attended Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour at Madison Square Garden. Madonna is a consistently athletic showgirl, with each tour more cardio-intensive, provocative, and splashy than the last. RHT was no exception. The nearly two-hour show was a larger-than-life display of cutting-edge pop showmanship, filled to the brim with zesty costumes, intricate choreography, and a militant, rigid precision that felt other-worldly. The 17,000+ fans packed in MSG were mesmerized—hypnotized—from start to finish.

Complete article HERE

(@Christopher Rosa for VH1.com)

Read more