We regret to inform you that Madonna is unable to perform this evening. The Madame X concert scheduled for tonight, January 19 at the Lisbon at The Lisbon Coliseum is cancelled.Refunds should be requested at the outlet where the ticket was bought from 21st january at 1pm. The tickets bought online (bol.pt, coliseu.pt and everythingisnew.pt) will be notified by e-mail. The Hotel Packages purchasers will be contacted by Event Travel.We regret the disappointment to fans.
Everything is New
Unfortunately word has reached us that tonight’s show has been cancelled, no further info at the moment. Staff of the venue has been handing out information on the cancellation through a letter and are now putting up posters to inform tonight’s visitors.
A doctor was seen entering the venue before Madonna started the show. The show started around 22.40. Sofia Boutella (actress and former M dancer) was the night’s beer bitch and was kept kind of short because they were interrupted by ‘Extreme Occident’. This time Madonna sat on a chair during the polaroid moment as she can’t be on her knees anymore. The polaroid camera didn’t work, so a dancer came back with a second camera. She once again removed the eye patch for the photo. She wore new shoes again and she wore no scarf during ‘Come Alive’.
She had a drink with Dino after ‘Saudade’, she took a port shot too. She appeared to be in a really good mood and even called the audience the good old nickname ‘motherfuckers’. They filmed Madonna making her way out of the theater during ‘I Rise’. She looked like she was enjoying the moment but at the same time happy for it to be over.
On top of it all her vocals were very strong and fans called it the best show yet, despite her obviously being in pain and going against doctor’s orders.
Thanks to Fred and Dave
While waiting for tonight’s show our team member Fred met up with dancer Marvin Gofin.
Stay tuned for updates on tonight’s show when available
The waiti is over!!
I will live 5 years shorter because of all the stress this tour gave me, but I finally witnessed the Madame X Tour (MXT) myself. It was worth waiting for, this experience is epic!
My husband and me arrived 1 day prior to the show. After dropping our stuff, we met up with Madonnaunderground member Fred and his man. Nice to have some drinks and talk about Madonna.
The next day, was the big day. First picked up 2 friends from Scotland, 1 of them is also a huge M fan. After a welcome drink we went to the Coliseu Dos Recreios to check out the theater and to take some photos. The rest of the day was spent sightseeing.
After a power nap it was time to get ready to go to the show. Due the heavy rain, we had a leakage in the apartment, and had to switch to another. Believe me, this is not something you want 3 hours before going to the venue. My stress level was sky high (also still afraid that M would cancel the show, nothing is sure with this tour).
We took a quick shower in the new apartment and went to the theater. We arrived just before 8pm. There was already a huge queue. A tour member was checking our seat send gave us the infamous collector’s MXT card with our seats written on it.
Sharp on time the doors opened at 08:30. Scanning tickets, locking your phone and security check went super fast. In the venue were had to take the stairs and at the end there was a merchandise stand. It took a very long time to buy some stuff because it was super busy. There’s another stand near the toilets, better go there!
Time for a drink at the bar, which was also the area where you could use your phone again. There were a lot of familiar faces at the bar. Great to see my Madonna family from around the world again.
Around 09:30pm we went to our seats. The theater is beautiful! Very weird and unbelievable to have a Madonna show in here.
At a certain point some bands members started to play some songs. Don’t know what time because my phone was locked again. After the set we got an audio announcement starting with “ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to the show. Due to technical issues…..
I almost got a heart attack, afraid of another cancellation! It appeared that it had rained inside the theater, but it was fixed. Because of that the showtime was delayed.
Around 11pm the lights went out and the show started. Wow, it was an emotional 2.5 hour roller coaster. Almost like a stadium show inside a theater but very intimate. The Madame X album fits very well in these kind of venues. Madonna was obviously injured. Something she mentioned also a few times during the show. But she gave us everything she had. She was in a very good mood and looked extremely happy to perform in Lisbon. She was very human and talked a lot. Because she’s dancing less than we’re a used to, her voice was stronger and better than ever!!
I won’t post any spoilers, that would be kind of impossible. There were so many highlights that I couldn’t choose anyway. This tour is special in many ways. Can’t wait to see Saturday’s show!
He has lived in Portugal for over two decades and is one of the musicians on Madonna’s Madame X tour. Enjoying an “open” at the eight concerts of the singer in the Colosseum (there will still be five more: from Saturday, 18, until next Thursday, 23, with new stop on Monday), Miroca Paris performs at the Capitol, in Lisbon, with a show in its own name based on its debut album, D’Alma, released in 2017. It’s this Friday, at 21h30.
Miroca Paris was born in a Mindelo family of musicians in Cape Verde on December 13, 1980 (although his official record is mistakenly in 1979). “My great-grandfather offered people music. He would open the backyard door, fiddle himself, and people would sit there listening. My grandfather [Tito Paris’s father, who is Miroca’s uncle] was already playing banjo and was the first person to bring a bass guitar to Cape Verde. ”But there’s more:“ Tito is the loudest name in our family. But there are the brothers, Toi Paris, Manuel Paris, my cousins Nir Paris, Ze Paris, my brother Cau Paris. And my cousins, Deborah, Agnes, are all singers. Now there is also Sarita, who is singing, the sons of Tito, my daughter Malu Paris. There are still many connected to music. ”
Having started on drums at age seven, only then rocking to sing and play guitar at age 13 gives it a rhythmic sense that many guitarists don’t have. “I didn’t realize that at first. But in fact my playing is very rhythmic and now that has become clearer. I need the rhythm. ”He traveled to Portugal in 1998, a few months before the Expo (which he attended), but it was not soon. “He was younger and wanted to enjoy Cape Verde.” He walked here and there during this year until he decided to settle in Portugal. “They convinced me, my mother and my uncles, that I could have a music career.”
A cocktail of rhythms
D’AAlma was released in December 2017: “Releasing a record at the end of the year is almost killing it, because it only has a month. However, in these two years, a lot has already happened, the head is always working, making new songs, and all this feeds these songs better. ”Despite having new compositions, will not use them in this concert. “Because I want to enjoy the album. My first single is called Mund amor, for one reason: it’s not love for one person but also love of neighbor, love of nature, is to waste nothing. So I want to give the record the way it deserves. ”His first performance concert took place at the Womad festival in Las Palmas in November 2017.
Miroca Paris did not intend to record a record. “I worked with Cesária [Évora] a long time. I was doing my compositions, but never trying to record. But after she passed away I thought maybe the time had come, because I thought I would travel less. But I traveled more, because I started to accompany six to ten artists. And I couldn’t record because of the tours. It took me five years to finish the album. ”This time, and this learning, were decisive in fixing a sound:“ With all that I heard and learned, it was impossible to make a purely Cape Verdean record; it would be as if it had never left. Cape Verdean music is already a cocktail of rhythms, all mixed together. Because it has open arms to receive any influence. ”
The 11 years he accompanied Cesária Évora (from 2000 to 2011) were essential for the formation of the sound he arrived at in D’AAlma: “I was very inspired by Cesária’s tour. I met a lot of people. Cesaria, until the last days of her life, had no idea how big she was. The places where we played! ‘Carnegie Hall? The room is beautiful! ’ She was even bigger than I could imagine. ”
It was in Paris, the twin city of his nickname, that Miroca eventually broadened the horizons of his music: “I began to mingle with Latinos, with Francophone Africa, with Brazilians. This whole mix, talking about music, instruments, was an overwhelming thing. Then I decided to go back to Portugal in 2005, and that’s when I recorded with Sara Tavares the Balance. ”
But besides Sara Tavares and, before her, Cesária, Miroca has played with many other voices over the last few years: Angélique Kidjo, Aline Frazão, Bana, Bonga, Boy Gê Mendes, Camané, Celina Pereira, Cuca Roseta, Nancy Vieira, Teófilo Chantre, Tito Paris. Now integrates Madonna’s world tour with Madame X: “She is very creative, every second she creates something, she thinks, always gives ideas; you see something and you are already wondering how it can grow soon! It’s amazing, her professionalism! ”
For Miroca Paris, this has been another level of learning: “I have caught this pet of wanting to be more creative. A lot of things are going through my mind right now and the new album has to start recording right after the tour. ”
At the Capitol, with Miroca Paris (voice, guitar, percussion), there will be Vaiss Dias (guitar, ukulele), Cau Paris (drums), Xico Santos (bass), Jessica Bras de Pina (trumpet), Kalu Ferreira (keyboards), Elmano Coelho (saxophones, flute), as well as three guests: Nancy Vieira, Tito Paris and Ric’key Pageot, pianist and accordionist of Madonna, who is also accompanying the singer on this world tour.
On stage with the Batucadeiras, Kimi Djabaté’s “Ciao Bella” and the influences of Dino d’Santiago: American superstar Madonna’s album and tour make Cape Verdean and Guinean sounds known to the world.
Batucadeiras de Portugal, born in the Cova da Moura neighborhood, are one of the attractions of Madonna’s live concerts during the world tour that began in the United States in 2019. 14 women from the Cape Verdean women’s group are on stage with the american star.
“We were from the beginning, from the recording of the music video to the tour. We have been doing the concert since July in the United States,” explains Darlene Barreto, one of the Drummers who accompany the American superstar on stage.
“I think for all Batucadeiras, especially for Cape Verdean women, this has great significance. We are mainly representing African, Cape Verdean women, women of the world,” he says.
Anastácia Carvalho, a singer from São Toméan origin based in Portugal, is part of the artistic cast of Madonna. She is proud to have been invited to join Cova da Moura’s Batucadeiras group, as part of a project that highlights Creole and multicultural Lisbon.
“It has been a great experience, because, in fact, both Sao Tome and Angolans, Cape Verdeans, Guineans, we are a people who are always holding hands,” explains the singer.
“Being here, in this Cape Verdean project, being of Sao Tome origin in Angola, is really the junction of all this and represents unity, brotherhood. It is this mixture of the various nationalities that currently make up the musical landscape of Lisbon”, affirms.
Due to her experience of Lisbon, Madonna conceived her album “Madame X” as a result of the intersection with Latin, Portuguese and other world influences, namely African. One of the musicians who contributed to the pop star’s creative work is the Portuguese-Cape Verdean Dino d’Santiago, who made her listen to warm songs from Cape Verde.
Kimi Djabaté, who recorded with Madonna the theme “Ciao Bella”, went this Thursday (16.01) to the Lisbon Coliseum to see the concert. The theme brings together coordinates of Afro-mandinga, blues and pop styles. It was at a dinner in Alfama (Lisbon) that Madonna discovered Kimi Djabaté singing.
“She took out her cell phone and started filming. So, there, I saw some sympathy on her part. And from there, whenever she goes somewhere, she makes a point of contacting me to bring her guitar and sing for her. So, our contact started like this “, recalls the artist.
From a griot family, the 20-year-old Guinean musician was proud to have been chosen to be part of the album: “I think all musicians and singers would be proud to be invited by Madonna to be part of this great album. project”.
For Kimi Djabaté, this was a form of recognition of his talent. He says he feels more confident as a musician after his experience with Madonna.
After touring several US cities, Madonna performs live at Lisbon’s Coliseu dos Recreios, from January 12 to 23, touring 37 concerts in London (UK) and Paris (France) from February to February March.
Auto translated from DW
Review: Madge pays homage to Portuguese traditions in her current home of Lisbon, chucking in a few classics and a dick joke for good measure.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
“This show is inspired by my second home of Lisbon,” Madonna declares during an “intimate” concert at the city’s 4000+ capacity Coliseu de Recreios venue. Across over two hours of chaotic musical indulgence, the Queen of Pop pays homage to the musical roots of her temporary residence. On stage is the Orquestra Batukadeiras group, who “represent the strength of being female”, while Madonna weaves Portuguese fado, Cape Verdean funaná and batuque into a visually arresting set, built around the titular character of her 14th album Madame X: a secret agent travelling the globe in disguise.
Sailing through a mix of newer tracks and watertight classics like Vogue, Frozen, Like A Virgin, Express Yourself and La Isla Bonita, Madonna dips her voice in crisp, crystalline AutoTune and takes it to glass-shattering heights. She stands on top of a piano and sings. She does a handstand on stage. She makes a joke about “small dicks” and one about “Mozart coming out of her pussy”. There are flamboyant costume changes, a trio of nuns playing strings, appearances by her children, pagan dancers wearing gas masks, gunshots and police violence, glitter, sequins, and more glitter. It’s a pleasingly wild display of Madonna being Madonna.
Despite the venue’s considerable size, Madge has a go at making the “intimate” show angle work. At one point, she enjoys a sip of beer from a fan in the audience. Later, she takes a selfie with a Polaroid so she can sell it to a fan for a €1000 charity donation.
Madonna’s emotionally-charged rendition of Sodade, a song by late Cape Verdean star Cesária Évora, is made extra special by the vocals of funaná trailblazer Dino D’Santiago and the virtuoso guitarra playing of fado royalty Gaspar Varela. The show’s cultural cocktail is a head-spinning tour of musical traditions – one that very few artists in 2020 would even attempt to pull off. Unless, of course, they’re Madonna.
More at The Face
Madonna started the show one hour later prior to previous nights at 23.00 because there was heavy rain throughout the day and it leaked through the roof onto the stage. Madonna ended the show around 1.30am today.
Instead of heels Madonna was seen wearing boots, maybe this will help her deal better with her injuries. There was no guest during ‘Sodade’ this time so she sang it on her own. The polaroid sold for 3000EUR and she made three attempts until she got it right (without the eye patch). She told the crowd she was happy to be on her knees for 20 minutes.
The beer bitch was her good friend Victoria and she tried to impersonate her accent. A very lively and enthusiastic crowd resulted in Madonna being touched on her face and arms at the start of ‘I Rise’ which obviously pissed her off. Security did their best, but there’s only so much they can do. Madonna changed the ‘small penis’ joke and directed it at Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro instead of Trump.
I have to begin by saying that I am not a fan of Madonna, in the literal sense of the word, although this is irrelevant when we speak of an artist who is on a level reserved for only a very few. That’s why I didn’t attend this Tuesday, January 14, at the Coliseum with eye flaps or metal-plated bras – even though they were all in the washing machine – but I was thrilled to see, for the first time live, the pop queen
Above all I wanted to understand to what extent Lisbon influenced the tour featuring “Madame X”, the singer’s last album. I already knew that there would be references to traditional fado houses, but what other particularities of the Portuguese universe could be part of the show? Would we have a moment dedicated to the typical pickpockets of Tram 28? Or a choreography that symbolizes the difficulties in the north connections to the 25 de Abril Bridge with line by the North-South Axis from the Águas Livres Aqueduct area, and by the A5 in the access from Pimenteira?
My thoughts were happily interrupted by the security guard who searched me at the entrance of the room, with a metal detector, and asked me to put my mobile phone in silence, in a bag that would be sealed and could only be opened in a proper place for this purpose, In case of emergency. That said sounds pretty dramatic, but the truth is that for two and a half hours we were all cut off from the world and strangely no one died. Several posters at the door announced to the most distracted that this was an event without mobile phones, “phone free show” appeared in large letters. I admit there was one or two influences with panic attacks after half an hour of not being able to consult your feed, but normal people held up well. Already in the living room, despite the heat and the seating crowd, the atmosphere was lively. A projected X took up the entire red stage cloth, in which four musicians played unplugged and set the tone for an inevitably more intimate show. Gaspar Varela on Portuguese guitar, trumpeter Jéssica Pina, guitarist Miroca Paris and percussionist Carlos Mil-homem welcomed an audience full of foreigners who accompanied them in chorus every time they listened to an interpretation of an artist’s theme , such as “Who’s that girl”.
Artists are here to disturb the peace
The quartet left the stage, and although no one had cell phones, it felt like a vibration. At ten o’clock those nervous little palms began in repetitive cadence, as if to ask them to ‘get on with it’. There is a big expectation for the show to begin, which “started on Sunday at 9:50 am,” they say beside me impatiently. Finally, the Colosseum breaks into applause as Madonna’s voice comes off, thanking everyone for their presence and asking “let nothing stand between us,” a way of saying: prison of Linhó, please do not use them. That is, keep them in the body hole where they hid them. ” Madonna ends her announcement with one last warning: “remember: none of this is real.”
The show begins with a choreographed moment and a projection that occupies the entire stage, two aspects that will be a constant throughout the performance and that together with a removable and changing scenario set the tone for a more familiar tour, which contrasts with the usual apparatus of the great arenas or stadiums. “Artists are here to disturb the peace,” a phrase by writer James Baldwin that is projected on screen to the sound of gunshots and will be retrieved several times by Madame X throughout the show.
As an art piece, this format is much more attractive while giving fans the opportunity to be closer to the artist. And when I say closer, I mean literally being shoulder to shoulder with Madonna, as happened to a German fan where the singer sat down to talk for a while. The dialogue was not very fluid, given that the fan was about to collapse with nervousness, but the artist tried to put him at ease. She praised the lord’s outfit – this one with a metallic bra and colored shorts – spiked the rest of his beer and returned to the stage. Although I ran out of drink and could not register the moment with a selfie, I imagine that even today this gentleman is nervous. It was one of the interactive moments of the concert, in which Madonna approaches her audience and makes her a character in Madame X’s universe. This figure who assumes herself as a woman of multiple personalities is an alter ego of the artist herself who unfolds on stage and confirms again that at 61, she really is the queen of pop.
Madonna dances, plays the guitar, climbs staircases, climbs up pianos, pins in a “mouse wheel” and at the same time still sings blamelessly – with the exception of the part where she made her fado debut, but already there. I will.
An organ concert
“What do you call a man with a small penis?” She asks in another moment of conversation with the audience. Some fans answer Donald Trump and Madonna replies, “I wouldn’t know, because I’ve never been with one… fuck!” Like all people living in a foreign country, Madonna first learned the blunders, although she confesses that she is the only one. “Bad word” that you know in Portuguese. Now we know where the artist sent the mayor of Sintra when he forbade her to film a video clip with a horse entering a palace.
Still during this mild cavaqueira with the public, happens the most unusual moment of the show. Behind a screen, Madonna uses the eye metaphor as windows to get to know the world and explains that there are other windows as well, at which point she opens her legs and announces that the Mozart excerpt we are listening to in the columns is coming out of her vagina. Although it makes some sense to be classical music, since we’re in the midst of a sixty year old, it was just a weird moment. And I must assume I’ve seen some things I wouldn’t expect to get into a vagina, let alone get out – I’m a person with some free time, ready – but a Mozart piece I confess was the first time. Does it work with bluetooth?
We do not accept card payments
At the end of the classic “Vogue” theme, one of the few hits in the lineup, Madonna takes a selfie with a polaroid camera. Being the only selfie anyone could take inside that room, but especially from Madonna herself, this is a very appealing article for fans and collectors. Madonna knows this, so as she puts the photograph between her legs to see if the revelation hurries, she jokes, “This is a hot pussy” – then announces that she is going to do a charity auction right there. “Whoever gives more takes this picture home,” he says, challenging people to come to her and do business.
After some initial hesitation, we began to see a movement in the audience to make room for an interested first. “How much have you got?” The singer asks bluntly. You say you have a large credit card amount, but Madonna rejects and says you only accept cash payments. You probably thought that since you play classical music and reveal photographs, perhaps passing through the slot also made payments, but not. Then there appeared another fan who offered 300 €, which Madonna found a trifle and finally the picture was eventually bought for 1,000 € by a Spanish gentleman named Juan – and who today should be selling the picture on ebay for 2,500 € with the title “Exclusive Madonna polaroid selfie that has been in her hot mozart playing pussy”. I clicked.
Silence that will “sing” the fado
In the third act of “Madame X”, soldiers carry a US flag-covered casket on their shoulders, while a video with images of the world map, caravels, and sea allude to the Discoveries. It is the motto for the performance of the Cape Verdean Orchestra that enters the audience, dressed in rigor and with an energy that puts everyone dancing to their feet. The sounds, colors and rhythms of Lusofonia fill the stage of one of the greatest international artists and with it Portugal begins to draw as a source of inspiration for this show, which also counts with the participation of Dino de Santiago with whom ahead would go sing “Sodade”, in honor of Cesária Évora.
Madonna is back alone on stage, just with us, and explains what it was like to live the last three years in Portugal. She assumes she’s a soccer mum, and it was her son David who convinced her to come to Lisbon to practice at the best club in the world – this last description I added, but it was clear from the way she told her. Benfica word that Madonna agrees with me. That is, as we all know, it’s Benfica’s fault! The singer described that she enjoyed riding a horse in Comporta, drinking her cold white Amarguinha and Porto, but lacked a sense of community, group, friends with whom she could share the experience. It was a Colombian friend who took her one day out and made her aware of Lisbon’s fado houses, where the pop queen met Celeste Rodrigues, the sister of the fado queen. The rest is history we already know, Madonna fell in love with Lisbon, fado, mornas and funaná. He mourned the death of Celeste Rodrigues, who he said was an “extraordinary person” and took the opportunity to stage the grandson of fado singer Gaspar Varela, a musician who plays Portuguese guitar and accompanies the singer on this tour.
Madonna explains that Celeste taught her a fado and, to the surprise of fans, announces that she will risk singing it. “Want it?” She asks an enthusiastic audience. “Do you really want to?” The audience shouts yes and Madonna debuts in Lisbon as a fado singer, with a block of “Fado Pechincha”, a classic immortalized by Celeste Rodrigues. In the end, the audience applauded, but deep down we all thought the same: Celeste Rodrigues’ death was a great loss, yes sir, but on the other hand we always spared you from having to hear that. Let’s say Madonna has the same way of singing fado, and me, of throwing darts with my eyes closed. Still, she can sing fado better than at least three members of the Pereira family.
After this fun moment, the scene turns into a very stylized fado house – almost like a living copy of painter José Malhoa’s “O Fado” – which provides the space to hear some more songs from the new album, mostly with Latin sounds.
And it feels like Home
“Like a Prayer” is the theme chosen to end the concert, at least until it returns to the encore and to bid farewell to the Colosseum audience. Accompanied by the amazing singers who support her throughout the show, Madonna ends the song by highlighting the verse “and it feels like home”, as if to imply that although she no longer lives here, she still feels at home in Lisbon.
It was beautiful, the Colosseum clapped standing and in the audience Fernando Medina wept with excitement that he no longer had the pop star as his citizen. Already I was glad to be able to watch a show that is really unique, but above all surprised to be able to read all the notes I wrote in the dark, in the notebook I took. Ok, it’s not as impressive as playing Mozart for the syrup, but that’s what we have and as Madame X would say “artists are here to disturb the peace”, which is like saying, who gives the most has no obligation.
Auto translated from NiT
At shows on her Portugal tour, Madonna sings fados and shows inspiration from the country for performances.
Madonna fans are hopeful and it seems that Pop Diva is preparing an audiovisual record of her tour, “Madame X”, which debuted in Europe this week. The singer will perform a total of eight shows in Lisbon, where she chose to live a few years ago. From there, she goes to London and Paris, where he ends her performances.
The premiere of “Madame X” in the Portuguese capital took place on Sunday (12). Fans who watched the show realized that everything was being recorded by a video team, which did not happen in the United States. Responsible for the images would be Krypton International, the same company that made the documentary “The World of Madame X,” available on Amazon Prime Video.
Social media began to circulate credential images that would be used by members of the artist’s team, with free access to all areas, in order to facilitate mobility during the event.
The direction of the project would be Ricardo Gomes and Nuno Xico, longtime collaborators of the singer. In his latest Instagram posts, Gomes shared two photos of Madonna in Lisbon and then the image of a monitor that appears to be from a recording made in the city with the caption: “Be grateful. I love what I do ”and the hashstag #Work, I work in Portuguese.
Shows in Portugal
Madonna really seems to be feeling at home in Lisbon. In the second show held in the Portuguese capital, this Tuesday (14), the singer said happy to sing in the city. “You can’t imagine how long I waited for this moment to show what inspired me here,” celebrated Diva Pop.
Very comfortable on stage, Madonna told jokes, spoke a bad word in Portuguese – Car **** – and sang fado, a local rhythm, accompanied by guitarist Gaspar Varela, great-grandson of Celeste Rodrigues, a fadista whose American artist is an admirer. .
Madonna also joked about the “25 injuries” that affect her. “Don’t pay attention to what’s going on from the waist down,” she said. The Queen of Pop’s ill health caused her to cancel a series of shows in the United States last year: two in New York, one in Los Angeles, three in Boston and the last, which was scheduled for December 22 in Miami
Singing 1994’s “Human Nature,” the singer ended the number of women surrounded, including her daughters Stella and Estere. Already after performing “Medellin”, she dropped the crown and came down from the stage to talk to a fan in the audience. The chosen one was a German named Ben.
Local press complimented the artist’s performance and highlighted the participation of the Batukadeiras Orchestra as one of the highlights of the show. Madonna performs in Lisbon until January 23rd. She then performs 29 other shows in London and Paris.
Auto translated from Popline
The Art Issue 2019 –
Mode Lifestyle Magazine
The living icon continues to highlight social injustice through music
Story: Terry Check
Editor: Sarah Curtis
Design: MODE Studio
Cover Photo: Terry Check
Mode Art Issue Cover Image Artist: Eduardo Kobra
Madonna, the Queen of Pop, has continued to top the Billboard charts for the past 35 years. She refuses to be hampered by critics and stereotypes, breaking from traditional expectations with creativity beyond measure. Selling more than 400 million records worldwide, she is celebrated as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. As one of the “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” Time Magazine recognized her as the most influential figure in contemporary music, constantly reinventing both her music and image with disregard to critics.
The rebellious teenager moved from Michigan to New York City with $35 in her pocket, and pursued modern dance at the famed Martha Graham School noted for the superb instruction and strict dress protocol. Attending school classes, the non-compliant Madonna said in a recent interview, “At one point I took my leotard and ripped it from the top all the way down to my pubic bone and then I took tiny little gold safety pins and safety pinned it all the way from my vagina to… my fanny.” Every day Madonna would attend class with a new fashion look applied to the standard dancer uniform, and would be asked to leave and change her clothes. After numerous warnings, her strategy worked to meet “in-person” the famed dancer-choreographer, Martha Graham.
Madonna recalled that Martha said, “I’m going to start calling you Madame X from now on,” and I said “Why?” and she said, “Because you’re like a secret agent. You’re like a spy. Every time I see you, you look different. I pass you in the hallway, I’m not sure it’s you. You keep changing the way you look, your identity.” And I said “Yeah, that sounds good, I like that. I’ll take that.”
After dance classes, she worked as a waitress at Dunkin Donuts, and as a backup singer, eventually writing songs and promoting herself as a solo act. From one radio station and night club to another, male managers requested sexual favors in exchange for playing her music. “No” was always the answer, and then, she met disc jockey, Mark Kamins, who introduced her to Seymour Stein of Sire Records. The single, “Everybody” was recorded as part of her debut album, Madonna in 1983.
In 1985 The Virgin Tour, the debut concert tour by the American singer-songwriter-performer extraordinaire, featured her first two albums, Madonna and Like a Virgin in the United States and Canada. Shunning the typical tour of a singer singing and a “lame-ass” band in the background, the self-possessed performer wanted male backup dancers to accentuate her provocative moves on stage, and a multitude of avant-garde costumes designed by her friend, Maripol from Greenwich Village.
The sell-out tour was a reflection of herself, energizing the audience with every song, and ending the show performing “Like a Virgin and “Material Girl”. Wherever she performed, the fans, called Madonna Wannabes, would flock to retail stores like Macy’s to purchase Madonna-inspired clothing, crucifix earrings, and fingerless gloves. The tour was recorded and then released as Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour.
In one of Madonna’s most famous singles, “Like a Virgin” smiling she sang a few lyrics,
“Like a virgin, hey
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
With your heartbeat
Next to mine”
She liked the innuendos of living or reliving one’s sexual ecstasies over and over again.
Time moves on and in the year 2000, Madonna with Mirwais Ahmadzai wrote and produced the 8th studio album, Music, a collaboration of dance-pop and electronica vibe together with folk, country, and rock. Dedicated to her husband, Guy Ritchie, “the coolest guy in the universe”, Madonna wrote, “I Deserve It”, a testimony to her life’s journey as Guy entered her life. Performed as an acoustic track with a hip-hop groove, the unpredictable music icon sang acapella the lyrics in part:
“This guy has danced for me
And I have danced for him
This guy has cried for me
And I have cried for him
Many miles, many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts, many years have unraveled
Leading up to today
I have no regrets
There’s nothing to forget
All the pain was worth it
Not running from the past
I tried to do what’s best
I know that I deserve it”
The subsequent tour, Drowned World Tour, featuring songs from the Ray of Light and Music albums, was a huge success that played to more than 700,000 fans in the United States and Europe. Receiving mostly positive reviews, Michael Hubbard from Music OMH commented that “you’d struggle to find a better show than Drowned World and you’d find it difficult to find a mainstream artist who can command near-universal respect for anything like as long as this fine lady. She displayed that temptress quality which has beguiled us for nearly two decades and that, combined with her exquisite music, is why Madonna is so special.”
Life’s journey is ever-changing, and for Madonna moving to Lisbon for her son’s education brought her a new perspective to music. In a recent interview, she reminisced, “I started getting invited to people’s homes and they have things called living room sessions. So everyone would congregate. People would bring wine, they would bring food, sit around the table. And then suddenly musicians would get up and start playing instruments and singing fado music and morna music and samba music. I was like, ‘Wait. What’s going on here? Like artists just get up and perform and you don’t get paid and they’re just doing it for fun and love and passion?” Meeting, conversing and partying with artists, painters, and musicians, she felt connected to an unknown universe of creativity challenging her to record an album.
Fast forward to 2019 with the release of Madame X, the nickname given to her by her former dance instructor, Martha Graham, Madonna was forever experimenting with her vision of life, constantly pushing boundaries with her music and performances. In the promo video, Madonna declared that “Madame X is a dancer, a professor, a head of state, a housekeeper, an equestrian, a prisoner, a student, a mother, a child, a teacher, a nun, a singer, a saint, a whore in the house of love. I am Madame X.” Together with the French producer Mirwais, she tackled social issues in the album including gay rights, racism, freedom of speech, sexism and gun control. Like Bob Dylan, Madonna the songwriter/performer with a fan megaphone of tens of millions, has shined a spotlight on today’s social injustice. Madonna may be the next recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
After the release of her 12th studio album, the worldwide fans have loved the music, making the album No. 1 on 60 countries including the United States. Commencing on July 2019, the Madame X Tour would not perform in the traditional large stadiums of previous tours; but instead in small venues where she can become more intimate, more personal with the audience. The tour sold out within hours of the ticket release with 81 dates scheduled so far. It will kick off in New York City with 17, that’s right, 17 performances at the Howard Gilman Opera House, a historic theater with less than 2,200 seats. Not surprisingly, Madonna continues to break the rules.
Madonna Cover Image Artist Eduardo Kobra
The self-taught artist, Eduardo Kobra painted graffiti as a teenager in his hometown, San Paulo, where authorities arrested him for vandalism, gave him a sentence of painting a mural on the police station and said, “His artwork is amazing.” Studying the work of muralists like Banksy, Eric Grohe and Keith Haring, Kobra developed his own signature of a kaleidoscope of bold lines and bright colors superimposed on the portraits of historic persons contributing to mankind. His portraiture work includes Michael Jackson, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Salvador Daly, David Bowie, John Lennon, and countless others. Today, the world renown artist has created murals, some small like Madonna (40” x 50”) to large like a football field size, mural for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Thanks to Sandro