A surprisingly intimate artistic experience for being the pop constellation. The queen’s restless, provocative, creative, and generous imagery was at large in the Recreational Coliseum. Queen of pop? From the world at large. Today it felt that way.
Madonna brought Madame X to Lisbon – the “place where she belongs”. The words are from the galactic singer who was inspired by the rich sounds of Lisbon to create the new album and the musical and visual spectacle that the alter ego Madame X personifies. Madame X unfolds into a series of identities and sips the world’s cultural diversity and then shares it. It is “a dancer, a teacher, a head of state, a housewife, an amazon, a prisoner, a student, a mother, a daughter, a nun, a singer, a saint, a prostitute and a secret agent.” They are women of strength of arms and thought who live in the “house of love” as Madonna calls it. Today they were all on stage.
The sum of the imaginations of the multiple identities, the excellence of the invited Lusophone musicians, a body of top dancers and the laid-back interaction between Madonna and the audience has resulted in a grand, magnetizing and sometimes almost immersive performance that may well lead the way. podium of the concerts of the year. The show of the new persona of the queen will snatch, warm, approach and drive Lisbon until the 23rd.
Madonna has been on stage with the two families who have been accompanying her in recent times. The usual one (the children Esther, Stella, Mercy James and David Banda) and the newest family she has met in Lisbon where she has lived since 2017. A handful of musicians – dear and close – shone with the North Star. American. Madonna’s gratitude for having the Portuguese Gaspar Varela (on the Portuguese guitar), Jessica Pina (on the trumpet) Carlos Mil-Homem (on percussion), Cape Verdean Miroca Paris (on the congas), the Orquestra das Batukadeiras de Lisboa and Dino D’Santiago next to the stage. “I waited so long to come to Lisbon to show what has inspired me,” he confided to us. Thanks to his muse Lisbon was recurring and reciprocated with the same honesty. Dino D’Santiago, the man who introduced the city’s musicians and sounds to Madonna, also thanked the queen for bringing Portuguese and Cape Verdean cultures to the hearts of the world.
Before we continue with tonight’s experience report, a more practical note. Once again, Madonna stepped ahead of the others. At the entrance of the Colosseum, the mobile phones had to be housed in a few woven bags (Yondr bags) that were only opened at the exit. Everything went well and surely there will be those who follow suit. No one cared about the requirement. In the middle of the show, Madonna, who spared no sense of intelligent and keen humor, still wondered if anyone was feeling bad about being without a mobile phone. A resounding “no” gave him the answer. Only a future memory will have a photographic record of the night. Madonna took a selfie and auctioned it off. Simple, effective and cost effective. Juan, who came from Spain, helped the people of Malawi by paying the singer a large sum for the relic. No one got hung up for not having a mobile phone. It was, indeed, a pleasure to rediscover what it is like to see a concert with only the senses absorbing every angle of what was going on on the stage. Madonna – 1. Technologies that only disturb the experience – 0.
So much has happened on the stage that it has taken practically all the senses to absorb this closer encounter with Lady Madonna. The Michigan constellation has swapped big stadiums for halls and theaters to be closer to the public and … it was Madonna was among us. She walked down the aisle, always airy, seductive, and happy, sat in a chair in the audience, and flirted with a privileged being who took one of the golden seats in the front row.
The show was human, warm and intimate, but also theatrically and rigorously staged. Nothing could escape the transposition of Madonna’s imagined settlement onto the stage. Without stopping between the songs and the respective “scene changes”, the mind-blowing narrative Madonna wanted to tell was divided into four acts and a festive and colorful encore. We saw the artist of micro detail, but also a more humanized, grateful and confessional Madonna. An open-breasted Madonna who still dazzles with the heartbeat of music when played casually in bars or fado houses. The artist, who set the course for pop in the 1980s, was happy to share with us what she rediscovered at this stage of the journey.
Around ten o’clock in the evening, the colossal curtains opened to see the first drives of Madonna’s “crazy” and wonderful world. The X has given way to a seductive, blond figure wearing period clothes reminiscent of the Revolutionary War for Independence in the United States. Moving with her respectable authority, never enforced, the 61-year-old singer came on the scene singing ‘God Control’ from her latest album. “Art is here to prove that security is an illusion. Artists are here to disturb peace” were the first words to jump out of the show.
they were the first words to jump from spectacle to consciousness. The words of activist and poet James Baldwin were being “typed”, on the screen, compassionately. The artistic manifesto inaugurated the list of urgent subjects that startle the artist.
Madame X has the mission of stirring consciousness and getting them to dance right away. The sounds of gunfire and “security forces” invading the stage helped us realize that the focus was primarily on US domestic issues such as easy access to weapons and police violence. The struggle for women’s individuality, the battle for the rights of the LGBT community and the defense of freedom of individual expression were the other messages that the performer’s cultured and vindictive heart put on stage. ‘Express Yourself’, sung a capella with the help of the singer’s two daughters, Stella and Esther, and ‘Human Nature’, shared with Jessica Pina’s trumpet prowess and Miroca Paris’s organic rhythm on percussion, finished off the first act . ‘Vogue’, ‘I Don’t Search I Find’ and ‘American Life’ followed in alignment to compose the second.
In addition to this larger place of freedom, Madame X’s stunning and multicultural artistic experience has traveled elsewhere – from our warm Lisbon to Colombia – with a simple stop in Cape Verde’s rhythmic, solar purity. ‘Batuka’ had the joy of the Batukadeiras Orchestra, a group of Cape Verdean women who bring to life the traditional batuques of the African islands on the outskirts of Lisbon. Madonna accompanied them in singing and dancing with almost childlike happiness.
Madonna’s inspiration is obvious and concerns us. It is then in this “new Lisbon”, as sings the musician Dino D’Santiago invited by Madonna to take the stage. Together they shared a recreation of the lukewarm ‘Sodade’ celebrated by another queen, barefoot diva Cesária Évora and also an inspiration from Madonna. In addition to the hottest sounds in Africa, and other sounds in the world, what inspires Madonna is also the fado we have nailed to our chest. Madame X sang us one. ‘Fado Bargain’ was honored in the royal voice of the queen who wanted to pay tribute to this form of exclusive expression of the Portuguese people.
After being in a fado club, imagined by Madonna, or the leap we took to Colombian Medellin, we were still surprised by the introspective and moving interpretation of the ballad ‘Frozen’. At the piano, behind a giant screen, Madonna gave way to a hologram where a dancer was dancing. Graciously occupying the screen was the singer’s eldest daughter, Lourdes Maria, who, even at a distance, starred in one of the most emotional moments of Madame X’s show. Sharing the experience with her children showed us a frilly mother. Beautiful to behold.
‘Come Alive’, ‘Future’ and ‘Crave’ closed the sequence of themes for debuting on national soil. The ‘Like a Prayer’ prayer made the Colosseum a place of worship with everyone in the room with arms in the air and replicating the tics we recognize from the most synchronized gospel choirs.
The ending was with ‘I Rise’ and Madonna and the dancers leaving the room down the main corridor. The queen was close to us, giving us her vision of freedom. As Nina Simone would say, “Freedom is not being afraid.” Well, Madonna, once again, dared to be free. And being free returns the true peace we need.
Auto translated from Radio Comercial