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



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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)

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On stage with Madonna (Folha de S. Paulo)


The pop world is rejoicing. Shrouded in suspense, Madonna will launch this Wednesday (9), in Montreal, Canada, her latest world tour, the Rebel Heart Tour, promoting the album she released in March. Over the course of the past three decades, the singer has become an expert in this type of mega event that combines music, theater, video, dance, fashion, visual arts and, obviously, controversy.

Although her previous albums were marred by leaks from hackers and by the popularity of her younger competitors such as Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, on stage Madonna is still unbeatable.
According to Billboard magazine, the MDNA Tour, her last tour, was the most profitable of 2012, grossing US$305 million.

This multimedia special celebrates the popstar’s 30 years on stage. Looking back on the styles and performances that have become seminal, see why Madonna’s concerts represent the essence of pop culture and an important part of its legacy.

For full pages click HERE

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Madonna or Lady Gaga: Who Sang ‘La Vie en Rose’ Better? Vote for Your Favorite

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 18:  Singer Nicki Minaj attends the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

@Getty Images



When Madonna hit the road behind her MDNA album, she paid homage to (or shaded?) Lady Gaga with a mashup of “Born This Way” and her own “Express Yourself.”

On Madge’s current tour, which just rolled through Madison Square Garden and absolutely killed, the Queen of Pop busted out another song tangentially related to Gaga — Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” calling it “one of the greatest love songs ever written.”

That’s the same classic French tune Gaga busted out a few times in 2015 (before the Rebel Heart Tour kicked off), including during her knockout Atlantic City show with Tony Bennett.

Obviously, Madonna didn’t learn about the song from Gaga — it’s one of the most famous tunes from the first half of the 20th century. But it’s a strange coincidence that both pop queens are covering the 70-year-old song on tours in 2015.

Madonna’s is a little more stripped down; Gaga’s was more theatric — but who do you think sang it better? Listen to both below and vote for your favorite version.


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Rebel Heart world tour: Madonna is still The Queen of pop

Madonna has set the bar very high for herself and make no mistake expectations are very high in every arena and stadium she sets up her stage. But as the show gets underway to the unmistakable Madonna mix of tight choreography, stunning sets and sheer star presence it is clear Rebel Heart will not disappoint.

The stage lights up before a backdrop of flashing Madonna shots in varying guises as an image of the star asks “are you with me?” – a resounding ‘yes’. An army of medieval warriors carrying cruciform spears arrives before Her Madge descends from on high in a fortress-like cage to launch into the opening track ‘Iconic’.

Full article HERE

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Keith Haring The Political Line exhibition Rotterdam press day – pictures

The incredible major Keith Haring exhibition at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam is an absolute must-see for everyone! The Kunsthal in Rotterdam is proud to present this exhibition with around 190 original pieces by the incredible Keith Haring.

Today was press day and MadonnaUnderground was present on the guestlist. Dirk de Vries and Dave Crombeen represented us throughout the entire day. First there was the introduction by Julia Gruen, the director of the Keith Haring foundation. A comprehensive tour followed to view every piece displayed, all introduced by Julia Gruen and Dieter Buchart.

We have taken photographs of the incredibly impressive exhibition which you can view HERE or in slideshow mode HERE

The Keith Haring exhibition is open to public from 20 September 2015 to 7 February 2016.

Stay tuned for a full detailed report on today’s events.


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Madonna Returns to the Garden, Unapologetic and Playful

Madonna let fans see her sweat when her “Rebel Heart” tour started its two nights at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. She belted “HeartBreakCity,” a bitter, accusatory breakup song, from a staircase as she battled the embraces of an acrobatic dancer. Then she tossed off a jacket to reveal a sweat-soaked blouse, and traded heartache for triumph with the first words — “I made it through the wilderness” — of “Like a Virgin.” She pranced and strutted through it with some moves from her 1980s videos and opened the blouse to reveal lingerie and cleavage. The lesson: Madonna the indomitable sexpot would prevail.

That’s undeniable. She mentioned, twice, that she first played Madison Square Garden 30 years ago, saying she felt nostalgic. But while much of her audience has grown up with her, Madonna, now 57, hasn’t allowed herself to become an oldies act. She filled the set with songs from “Rebel Heart,” released this year, and thoroughly rearranged her early hits.

Through the decades, Madonna’s tours have delivered spectacles that push hot buttons galore: sexuality, power, faith, rebellion and sheer willfulness. They were all part of the “Rebel Heart” show, too. But on this tour, Madonna isn’t confronting her audience as much as sharing her prerogatives with it. The dance numbers go hopscotching through history and geography, reaching up in the air and across the arena, simply because they can.

Madonna’s set opened with a recorded monologue about wanting to “start a revolution”; her voice warned about “too much creativity being crushed beneath the will of corporate branding and what’s trendy.” She made her entrance inside a medieval-looking cage that she would break out of as she sang “Iconic,” a pep talk on self-realization for everyone, and then “Bitch I’m Madonna,” a reminder — with thundering dubstep bass drops — that she stands apart. She commanded a troupe of dancers costumed like samurai warriors, defeating one in mock combat. Then, almost immediately, she was a rocker with a black Flying V guitar, playing “Burning Up” as something like a Joan Jett song.

She delivered the show’s blasphemy quota early, with “Holy Water,” calling for oral sex amid bump-and-grind pole dancers wearing nuns’ headgear, and segueing into “Vogue,” with the dancers recasting the Last Supper as a bacchanal. “Devil Pray” — about setting aside drugs for spirituality — had her both genuflecting before a priest figure and grinding her hips.

Read full review at NY Times

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Madonna reigns over New York’s Madison Square Garden—and reinvents her classics: EW review

You don’t get Madonna tickets to see a light-hearted show. You go to watch Olympic-level choreography routines that have been exhaustively road-tested by men who pole-dance on giant crucifixes. You go to see Madge dressed up in elaborately designed samurai, matador, and flapper outfits with so much theatrical flair, they look like they were hand-stitched by the ghosts of Rogers and Hammerstein’s costume designers. You go to see if the 57-year-old can still pull off high notes that are almost as athletic as her high kicks. And if you were at Madison Square Garden last night, as Madonna kicked off a three-night run of shows in her backyard, you saw all of that. But you saw something else, too, something you might not expect. There was Madonna, kicking back on stage, strumming a ukulele–and smiling. Was she actually having a good time up there?

Finally, here was a glimpse of the not-quite-so-serious Madonna. She even set the vibe by opening with a comedian. Amy Schumer staggered onto the stage with a bottle of booze in her hands and quipped, “Who better than me to open up for Madonna? Uh… Any band?” She killed it with dirty jokes involving Katie Couric, the Kardashians, and Abraham Lincoln, warming up the crowd for a set that later found Madonna talking in a Betty Boop voice, cracking jokes with the audience (“You’re too horny for me!” she told a man wearing bull horns), and finally bringing Schumer back on stage to dance to “Unapologetic Bitch” and… er, play with her Sock Bitch puppet.

The playful mood was a surprise, since the show didn’t start that way. She opened with “Iconic,” as a bleak image of Mike Tyson stared the crowd down from a massive video screen and Madonna was lowered from the ceiling in a red and black kimono, writhing around inside a cage made of swords. In voiceover mode, we could hear her sermonizing about how creativity is being crushed by corporate machine—an ironic message for a pop star who has cultivated such a powerful brand, she now sells a Material Girl fashion line at Macy’s. Dancers dressed as gladiators descended upon the stage, in hardware masks that covered their faces, and standing before them as their queen, Madonna, looked like Daenerys Targaryn from Game of Thrones, her long wavy blonde hair flowing behind her, her arms raised up as if to say, Love me! Fear me! As visually spectacular as it was narratively heavy-handed, it felt like a callback to her last tour, MDNA, which featured a dark charade that found Madonna wielding a gun on stage. But when the song ended with video footage of the gladiators knocking over a saintly-looking Madonna statue, the tone changed. Madonna has built a career by playing with what we hold sacred, whether it’s crucifixes or underground dance crazes. Now the only sacred thing she’s tearing down is Madonna herself.

During much of the show, she seemed to revel in her refusal to give the crowd the Madonna they’d always known. The setlist was crammed with material from the new album, disappointing those who came to hear the greatest hits. When she did dip into her back catalogue, she teased the audience with medleys that fused oldies with newer tracks. “Holy Water” segued into “Vogue,” as Madonna cavorted with scantily clad nuns (played by dancers in ruffled white panties) who swung around on crucifixes that towered at three stories high. Then “Vogue” segued back into “Holy Water,” as the dancers created a Last Supper tableau. She chased a male dancer up a long spiral staircase for “Heartbreak City,” then pushed him off the top and watched him free-fall to the ground as she sulked to “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.”

When she did play an old favorite at its full run time, she revamped the songs so that they were unrecognizable until the lyrics came in, which might’ve confounded those who wanted to sing along. But many of those new arrangements felt fresh and exciting. She turned “Burning Up” into a rock song, playing a guitar solo on a Flying V. She infused “Deeper and Deeper” with a pulsing house undercurrent that felt contemporary again in a dance-music era where groups like Disclosure reign. Not long after lying on the hood of a car, with mechanics swirling on wheel boards around her, and performing “Body Shop”—a song so literal about its sexual intentions, it doesn’t even qualify as a double entendre—she took on “Like a Virgin,” stripping the song down to little more than her voice and a galloping bass. Her performance of that classic was refreshingly minimal, too: no elaborate set pieces, just Madonna joyfully bouncing around stage. She stuffed the microphone in her pants, ripped open her shirt to reveal a black bra (“Getting hot in here, right?”), and dutifully humped the stage, but the whole thing was meant to be more campy than sexy, poking fun at the provocateur she was back when that song could’ve gotten her banned from the VMAs.

Madonna was winking at us—and maybe at a few others, too. She sang “La Vie En Rose” in French, possibly to celebrate the 100thanniversary of Edith Piaf’s death, or maybe to rile up her rumored rival Lady Gaga, who has claimed the song as her own signature set piece. When Madonna whipped out the ukulele for “La Vie,” then gushed in a faux-naïve Betty Boop voice, “Gosh! A girl can get awful nervous under these lights!” it sounded like she was playfully taking a shot at Taylor Swift, whose golly-gosh enthusiasm and ukulele strumming defined her Speak Now tour. Madonna recently told EW that she and Swift had planned to work on something together after teaming up for the iHeart Radio Music Awards in March, but the collaboration fell apart. Maybe there’s some bad blood?

Then again, maybe Madonna was just being Madonna, not trying to lash out at anyone in particular so much as trying to tease anyone she can. It was fitting that the final third of her show was devoted to matador themes, since Madonna has never stopped baiting her fans. She took a painstakingly long, slow walk up a few steps in her regal matador robe during “Living for Love,” intentionally antagonizing anyone in the crowd who might still be nervous that she’d repeat the famous spill she took at the Brit Awards.

But she also took pleasure in just being a goofball, whether she was pretending to throw back tequila shots during a Spanish-tinged-guitar rendition of “Get Into the Groove,” joining a conga line for “Dress You Up,” or dressing like a sexy Uncle Sam for the closer, “Holiday,” which arrived complete with a big confetti explosion. She even tried to riff with the crowd about her own unluckiness in love, asking the whole room, “Anyone want to get hitched?” Judging by accounts of her previous show in Montreal, the stage banter was scripted. And yet, that was just more proof that, decades after she broke onto the scene in New York, she’s still the ultimate professional, working 16-hour days just to perfect every move, every note, every line of breezy dialogue.

“I’m feeling very nostalgic,” she said toward the end of the show. “Do you people understand that I played Madison Square Garden thirty years ago?” The whole crowd erupted in cheers. “I survived!” she said, breathing hard, but also beaming. She was having fun. And, clearly, having fun was a whole lot of work.

Read more at Entertainment Weekly

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Madonna Concert Review: Pop Icon Takes Manhattan With “Astonishingly Impressive” NYC Tour Stop

Bitch, there’s only one Madonna. The 57-year-old Queen of Pop made that abundantly clear during a more than two hour stage spectacular last night at Madison Square Garden, the first of three NYC-area dates of her hater-silencing Rebel Heart World Tour.

Wheeling out a die-hard fan-feeding 23 tracks — naturally, some recent thumpers off Rebel Heart, her thirteenth studio disc, and  surprisingly straight-forward, heartfelt renderings of classics she hasn’t performed live in decades — the Material Girl turned out her most astonishingly impressive live experience since 2006’s Confessions Tour. Although she was backed by a new, multi-cultural cadre of resistance band-flexible backup dancers, dressed in the finest stage gear from Gucci, Alexander Wang, and Miu Miu and accompanied by a small city’s worth of LED lights, M relied on her singular catalog of hits, unblemished dancing chops and 30 years experience as an unequaled provocateur to do the heavy lifting.

Before showtime, a half-hour round of comedy from opener Amy Schumer lightened the mood in the arena. Here was another button-pushing woman who needed nothing more than a mic to hold the crowd in her clutches with a routine that included several jabs at herself (choice moment: comparing her looks to a hybrid of “a Cabbage Patch Kid and Tonya Harding”) — and one noticeable one at former Madge bestie Gwyneth Paltrow, with Schumer mocking the Goop founder’s Women’s Health cover.

Once Madonna took the crucifix-shaped stage at about 9:50 p.m. (cut her some slack, only 20 minutes late this time!) though, it was clear the singer wasn’t kidding around. Descending from a cage of swords in the opening Game of Thrones-themed suite, she launched the show with Rebel Heart’s “Iconic” and “Bitch I’m Madonna,” showing off her way with a fan during an Asian-infused dance routine. Still, she stopped short of attempting the “fan flip” she pulled off during the Maria Antoinette-styled performance of “Vogue” at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards.

PHOTOS: Madonna wannabes

The concert kicked into high-gear as she strapped on her heavy metal guitar and brought her loyal subjects — including onlookers Jennifer Lopez, Casper Smart, Jerry Seinfeld, Ariana Grande, and Andy Cohen — to their feet with 1983’s “Burning Up.” The setting then quickly turned back to her stock trade of mixing the spiritual and the sexual, with Madonna and her dancers slithering on polls in racy nun habits and reenacting the Last Supper (with an S&M twist) during “Holy Water,” “Devil Pray” and “Messiah.”

The rarities of Encyclopedia Madonnica kept coming after she reemerged in a Pep Boys-esque set dressed as a goth version of Sandy from Grease, singing “Body Shop” before pulling out a ukelele and letting her oft-underestimated vocals shine with an acoustic, tears-inducing take of 1986’s “True Blue.” The disco Erotica-era cut “Deeper and Deeper” followed before Madonna turned back to her vulnerable side, climbing up and down (and up and down) a spiral staircase to belt Rebel Heart’s “Heartbreak City” and an affecting “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” a nearly-forgotten torch song from Like a Virgin.

On and on, M kept proving she’s still got the moves and the motion. The mother of four reenacted her matador act from springs’ awards show circuit for “Living for Love” (phew! The cape came off without a hitch. No scary falls this time!); “La Isla Bonita,” “Into The Groove,” and “Dress You Up” were strutted out in her usual Latin-themed set; she stuck to traditional arrangements of Madonna tour regulars  “Material Girl” and “Music”  while switching up the setting to Harlem’s Cotton Club circa 1925, donning a Swarvoski crystal-bedazzled flapper getup.

“I’m feeling pretty nostalgic tonight,” she copped at one point. Madonna backed that up beyond her own catalog, employing her trusty ukelele for more reflective moments, including an unplugged “Who’s That Girl” (!) and a rendition of the French standard “La Vie En Rose” (Reminder: She told Us in March that seeing her daughter sing the song on the instrument has been “the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”). But she swung the pendulum back to the here and now by the end, inviting Amy Schumer to escort her offstage (and giving her a sock and a banana? Madonna, please explain!) during “Unapologetic Bitch.”

For the encore, Madonna reemerged draped in an American flag (a nod to her 1990 MTV Rock The Vote ad), belting the spirited “Holiday” without being able to wipe the smile from her face. There’s a double meaning there: An acknowledgment that she’s still unbeatable in every regard as a pop star, with the show acting as a supreme victory lap through a venue she noted she had first performed in 30 years prior. But it also signified what was perhaps most evident the entire time: She had the most fun she’s had onstage in recent memory, lifting her often self-seriousness from recent treks and reveling in the art of being Madonna.

Read more: https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/madonna-concert-review-pop-icon-takes-manhattan-with-nyc-tour-stop-2015179#ixzz3m1dR9b6B
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Bitch, She’s Madonna: NYC Stop Showcases Genius of Rebel Heart Tour

“You know what they say — it’s lonely at the top,” Madonna told the crowd near the end of her New York show last night. “But it ain’t crowded!” And on the second U.S. show of her hotly awaited new Rebel Heart tour, Our Lady spent three hours proving what a goddess she is, not to mention what an Unapologetic Bitch. Damn right it’s not crowded, because there’s nobody else near her throne. The whole night was a tour of everything only Madonna can do. She’s not the same. She has no shame. She’s on fire.

She sang the Edith Piaf ballad “La Vie En Rose” in French, alone on the stage, strumming her ukelele. (“It’s en français, though, okay? So try and sing along if you can.”) After “Material Girl,” she tossed a wedding bouquet to a gay couple up front, then snickered, “Suckers!” She used crucifixes as stripper poles, doing the “Vogue” rap while writhing against a dancer clad in a nun’s wimple and feathery hot pants. Her cassocked dancers simulated a group-grope orgy at the Last Supper while the guest of honor chanted “Yeezus loves my pussy best!” And all night long, her banter was the toppest of notch, like when she introduced her gorgeous new acoustic country-hoedown version of “True Blue.” “No swear words in this song,” she announced. “This is a song about true love. I didn’t know what I was talking about when I wrote it.” Glad you’re the one who brought that up, Madonna.

She hasn’t reached so far onstage, musically or emotionally, since her 2001 Drowned World extravaganza. Her last couple of tours had spectacular performances, but dodgy set lists. This time Madonna has much stronger new songs to play with, from Rebel Heart — and she brilliantly revamps the hits. She played a Flying V for a punked-out “Burning Up,” dropping to her knees for her guitar solo — the first time she played Madison Square Garden, 30 years ago, she got on her knees in front of the male guitarist while he played a solo, and don’t think she doesn’t remember these things.

Opening act Amy Schumer helped set the tone — when was the last time you saw a stand-up comedian slay in an arena? Schumer was clearly right at home in a room full of Madonna fans: “I know who’s here. It’s like taking a warm bath in a tub full of dick that doesn’t want you.” She talked abut how hot Bradley Cooper’s girlfriend is (“She’s like a panther fucked a gazelle and they fucked Gisele”) and how hot Bradley Cooper is (“you would just grab your ankles and say ‘any hole’s fine'”). For the encore, she came back out to let Madonna kick her in the ass, right before “Holiday.”

But it was Madonna’s night. “Body Shop” was a Fifties-style dance routine where she rolled in on the hood of a vintage Chevy, just like Christie Brinkley in Billy Joel’s “Keeping the Faith” video,” then frolicked in glitter ankle boots with a harem of hot greaser mechanics, all looking like the boy who knocked her up in the “Papa Don’t Preach” video. (So true: Italians do it better!) Then she sat her dancers down on a pile of tires and adopted a Dolly Parton twang to tell them, “Like my grandma always said, if it’s got tits or tires, it’s gonna give you trouble.”

“Like a Virgin” was one of the night’s peak moments — the song got pimped up with the Egyptian-lover electro-beats from “Music,” while she took the stage alone to revamp her cowgirl line-dance moves from the “Don’t Tell Me” video. She wore fingerless black gloves, reading her 1984 Boy Toy self, yet she humps the stage with enough verve and wit to make the girl she used to be look like the shy type. She also said, “It’s so hot in here,” which is Madonna-speak for, “You don’t mind if I strip this shirt off, do you?”

She kept getting surprisingly sentimental about playing the Garden, 30 years after her 1985 Virgin Tour. Back then, she always used to ask the crowd, “Will you marry me?” Tonight the girl was in a slightly shadier mood. “I don’t know about marriage,” she mused, after her bouquet toss. “Do you want to marry me?” When fans screamed, she replied, “No, you probably don’t. But maybe it’ll be third time lucky.” She resurrected long-unheard gems like “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “Deeper and Deeper,” along with a snippet of “Justify My Love.” (“You put this in me, so now what?” — such an underrated but on point Madonna line.)

“Music” began as a jazz-flapper café ballet, with Madonna in Twenties Gatsby drag, before it blew up to hit the electro-sleaze heights. (As it happens, it was 15 years ago this week that Madonna released Music, still her hardest-rocking and most seductive album.) After the devils-and-bullfighters-and-Minotaurs pageant of “Living My Life,” she began the gratifyingly long Latin segment with “La Isla Bonita,” stretching into a generous and unhurried medley of “Dress You Up,” “Into the Groove” and “Lucky Star.”

“I’m feeling very nostalgic tonight,” she told the crowd. “Do you people understand I played Madison Square Garden 30 years ago?” She kissed a fan in a 1985 Virgin Tour shirt who claimed he was there — for all we know, he might have been the goth club kid doing the cobweb dance in the “Into The Groove” video. It led to the emotional highlight of the night, when she picked up her acoustic guitar for one of her saltiest and best Number One hits, a song she hasn’t performed since the Eighties: “Who’s that Girl,” leading the audience in the question “¿Quien es esa niña?” The question hung in the air. “I still don’t know,” Madonna said after the song. “I still don’t know. I think I’m not supposed to know — maybe that’s what life’s about, figuring out who the fuck you are.”

Read more: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bitch-shes-madonna-nyc-stop-showcases-genius-of-rebel-heart-tour-20150917#ixzz3m1cRGDjg
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Madonna’s new tour: Never too old for a stripper pole

NEW YORK — A floor-length, traditional Latin dress blanketed Madonna’s slender frame.

With her hair woven into a french braid, the singer strummed an acoustic guitar and sang to the crowd as a collage of her fans’ artwork played behind her on a video screen.

In this moment, at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night, it was hard to believe the 57-year-old mother of four had ever thrusted her way through her “Erotica” phase.

But, it would have been more difficult to imagine if a half-hour earlier, the sultry icon had not flung herself onto crucifix-adorned stripper poles, among a team of scantily clad dancers in nun costumes.

Pop’s most culturally influential female has always seem to follow a pattern of unpredictability like this — a romantic gesture in her music may just as easily be followed by shock or obscenity on stage.

And in that vein, the chameleonic performer showed formidable range and allure on her new Rebel Heart world tour, as she morphed from 21st Century dance-vixen, to nostalgic ’80s pop conjurer, to an ostensibly earnest singer-songwriter.

The two-hour set blasted the sold-out crowd mostly with the thump of her upbeat tracks — particularly the new songs off March’s “Rebel Heart” — and revamped many of her greatest hits amid a bevy of dazzling stage sets. Though the fresh takes on her classics varied in their successes.

Throughout the night Madonna was gracious, good-humored and sharp enough on her vocals and intense choreography to arrest the “does she still have it?” skeptics. She most certainly does.

The epic hit-maker’s 76-date roadshow, which kicked off last week in Montreal (Wednesday’s show was No. 4), hits Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City Oct. 3, and runs through March 2016.

– Eight songs off “Rebel Heart” peppered the set and reminded that after three decades in the game, the singer can still act as a contemporary force. The set’s second number “Bitch, I’m Madonna” — performed in full-on Japanese samurai garb — felt like a jab to any fans who questioned the pairing of Madonna’s sensual performance style with her age.

But the most memorable of her latest crop was inarguably the sacrilegious live version of “Holy Water,” which not only featured the stripper poles and nuns, but recreated a Last Supper table and quickly covered it with dancers pantomiming sexual acts over its surface.

While church-goers might find the choreography and setting somewhat disturbing, Madonna has said before that in her eyes, religion and music are intertwined. In the sea of vapid stage scenes, it was refreshing to see an artist so vehemently represent their work and push the envelope in a grand, shocking format.

– Amid all the tack-sharp choreography and production value were a few more organic, acoustic numbers. Perhaps the strongest was the night’s lone cover, of Edith Piaf’s classic “La Vie En Rose.” Madonna sat center stage and strummed a ukulele as she worked a slow, smooth vibrato over background accordion.

“I still am a romantic at heart,” she said before the song — her level of earnestness is always up for grabs — and during the French tune’s “la la la” section, she called “everyone sing along!” But she seemed to say it mockingly. A cynic at heart, or just a rebel heart, felt closer to her true psyche.

– Madonna’s second costume change, into a matador costume to battle her bull-horn-headed dancers during “Living For Love” launched the night’s most questionable section. The singer continued to wear the getup for “La Isla Bonita,” and then left to again switch clothes. She emerged wearing the aforementioned Latin gown, and launched into a sluggish, Latin-infused medley of old pop hits. The addition of congas to “Dress You Up” was tolerable, but the medley version of “Into The Groove” completely deflated the song.

To read the full review and view pictures by NJ.com click HERE

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Amy Schumer gets into the groove with Madonna at MSG

Compared to the eye-watering sexual detail that Amy Schumer puts into her comedy skits and routines, watching her flash her underwear to a packed Madison Square Garden and let Madonna feign taking her from behind was practically PG-13 material.

This surreal moment turned out to be a hysterical highlight of the singer’s two-hour gig on Wednesday night. As the dancehall rhythms of “Unapologetic Bitch” bounced around the arena, Madge pulled up Schumer, the two twerked their magic, and the singer then anointed the comic with the title of “Unapologetic Bitch of the Evening.” For this, she was awarded a sock puppet and a banana, which Schumer then pretended to enter into the one part of her body normally reserved for exiting.

It was enough to make even the Queen of Shock look a little uncomfortable, and she duly exclaimed “you’re going straight to hell!” In the context of the rest of the show, it was easily one of the most risqué moments. Sure, there were pole-dancing nuns, half-exposed buttocks, and the insinuation of oral sex at the Last Supper, but these aren’t sights that make Madonna fans gasp anymore. The bigger surprise was the sight of the usually inscrutable megastar exposing herself emotionally.

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Photo: Getty Images

This year’s “Rebel Heart” album didn’t set the charts alight but those who listened close heard the 57-year-old sounding wounded and reflective, and it’s where the “Rebel Heart Tour” is often most arresting. The Catholic guilt (complete with a melancholic priest) came to the surface again on “Devil Pray” and during the delicate ballad “HeartBreakCity,” Madonna let the pain of her failed relationship with dancer Brahim Zaibat flow into night. “I sound cynical about love because I have good reason to,” she explained at one point, and the way these songs were delivered made it hard to doubt.

But even Madonna’s biggest fans don’t pay to watch a pity party, and Madonna (as she always has done since she first played the Garden 30 years ago) put on a show that was entertaining to the last. A giant cross-shaped walkway connected the main stage at one end of the arena, to a smaller, B-stage at the other end, and every inch was well used. The blood and guts approach to her controversial “MDNA” tour in 2012 was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Madonna relied heavily on impressive set-pieces, elaborate costumes, and tightly choreographed dance numbers, the best of which turned out to be a fabulously vibrant, flamenco-themed medley of hits such as “La Isla Bonita,” “Into the Groove,” and “Everybody.” It’s moments like these that prove Madonna’s version of nostalgia is more inventive than most artists’ version of contemporary. That’s why we still need her, now more than ever.

To read the full article by the New York Post click HERE

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Madonna at Madison Square Garden review – ‘There is no other performer like her’

Madonna’s album Rebel Heart was bedevilled by leaks; she fell flat on her backside at the Brit awards; and her Instagram gaffes have made Jeremy Corbyn look like a Rupert Murdoch-style media mastermind. As she arrives in Madison Square Garden on the fourth date of her 10th tour – the last under her 10-year, $120m contract with Live Nation – she should be up against it. Yet Madonna is always at her best with her back to the wall, when the killer instinct that has sustained her through over 30 years in pop rears to the surface, a visceral refusal to be beaten.

Her choice of support act on this homecoming gig – since New York is the place she remade herself – is very Madonna, all wrong on paper but in practice, right on the money. Amy Schumer takes the stage in front of a massive backdrop of Madonna’s face staring at the heavens and clutching a sword to her breast, the massive machinery of pop music concealed behind it. Swigging from a bottle of champagne, and with nothing but a microphone and a stool, the comic of the moment says that she was asked: “‘Who better than you to open up for Madonna?’” “Uh,” she rhetorically answers. “Any band?”

Yet Schumer’s perfect reading of the audience, in which straight men are such a minority as to be non-existent, (“It’s like taking a warm bath in a ton of dick that doesn’t want you”) weapons-grade filth (“We’re here to rethink cum”) and description of the Kardashians as a family who “take the faces they were born with as a light suggestion” reduce the crowd to marshmallow before Madonnahas even made an appearance.

Click HERE to read the full article by The Guardian

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Exclusive = first info regarding the Rebel Heart shows in Amsterdam

-As most of you know, Madonna’s first Rebel Heart show in Amsterdam is on Sinterklaas avond which is a Dutch tradition, very similar to Christmas (kids stay at home with family and get presents from Sinterklaas, an old man who has been watching if you were good or bad this past year). So keep in mind when you come with public transport or by car, that it may get a bit crowded on the road.

-There will not be a golden circle in the Ziggo Dome, the stage is so big that it will cover the entire floor. A good spot to see the show, wherever you will be standing

-No support act announced yet

-You are not allowed to bring in any food or drinks with you; people with an Early Entry ticket will receive coupons worth EUR 10 for consumptions inside the venue

-The special merchandise item given to people who bought the ticket packages will remain a surprise until the evening of the show

-It could only be as little as two weeks prior to the first show in Amsterdam that time tables will be determined. It is only then that we can inform you what time Early Entry ticket holders are allowed to enter the venue

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