Madonna Gets Surprisingly Nostalgic at First NYC Tour Stop, Then Kicks Amy Schumer’s Ass

For an artist who rarely looks back creatively, Madonna was in a particularly wistful mood during her Madison Square Garden concert on Wednesday (Sept. 16) night, the first of three NYC dates on her Rebel Heart Tour.

“I’m feeling very nostalgic tonight,” Madonna said (twice, actually). “I played Madison Square Garden 30 years ago. That’s crazy.” When she trailed off for a moment, you almost thought she was lost in sentimental reverie. But as always, Madonna was laser-focused on the present, even while reminiscing. “You were there?” she asked a fan in the front row who had been talking to her. “Then I gotta give you a kiss.” For the record, a Madonna-on-fan kiss is a controlled affair: She kissed her fingers and touched the fan’s forehead, like a messiah gracing her faithful follower with one touch.

Nostalgia aside, Madonna’s restless creative spirit is on full display on the Rebel Heart Tour. Refusing to coast by playing faithful, familiar live renditions of her hits, Madge recast a number of her classics in different musical molds, with mostly positive results.

Strapping on a guitar, she skuzzed up “Burning Up” to hard rock heights and turned “True Blue” into a ukulele sing-along. For “Like a Virgin,” she lost the original instrumentation, her backup dancers and most of her clothes while turning her breakthrough hit into a sparse, Pharrell-esque jam.

In a lengthy nod to her Spanish-speaking audience, Madonna delivered a Latin-tinged medley of “Dress You Up,” “Into the Groove” and “Lucky Star.” The maracas might have been a little much, but the crisp Spanish guitar successfully made the songs sound newly organic. And while there weren’t as many French speakers in attendance at MSG, Madonna nodded to her Gallic fans with a surprisingly full-voiced version of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose.” (Was it as good asLady Gaga’s recent live “La Vie en Rose” cover? That’s a topic for opposing fan groups to viciously discuss in the comments section.)

Later in the show, Madonna began “Music” as a Jazz Age ballad before kicking the No. 1 hit into banger mode. The presence of “Music” was an effective reminder that while some compulsive naysayers tsk the Queen of Pop for trend chasing with Diplo, she brought techno to the pop mainstream years before EDM was a ubiquitous term.

As always, Madonna will never be everything to everyone. Some were undoubtedly let down to see her make it through the “Vogue” spoken word section during “Holy Water” without segueing into the full song — and to see the lights come up without any “Like a Prayer.”

But the classic tracks Madonna did pull out were judiciously selected, with attention paid to material rarely performed on her live tours. An acoustic “Who’s That Girl?” (not seen on a Madonna tour in nearly 30 years), a pumping “Deeper and Deeper” (absent from her setlist for 11 years) and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” (which segued out of new song “HeartBreak City”) were all resurrected to huge applause.

Speaking of resurrection, Catholic themes occupied a sizable portion of her stage show, as you would expect — but always with the Ciccone wink. There was a bacchanalian Last Supper, nuns gyrating on stripper polls and famous faces from Renaissance religious paintings projected onscreen during the aforementioned “Vogue” roll call.

Aside from the stunning Minotaur-filled “Living for Love,” the most effective new song in her Rebel Heart Tour arsenal was “Body Shop.” While the song was light to the point of forgettable on the album, its low-key, affable sound worked to the choreography’s advantage as Madonna teased and flirted her way through a stage filled with tires, muscle cars and muscle men.

“My grandma always said, ‘If it’s got tits or tires, it’s going to give you trouble,'” Madonna said in a faux Southern accent after the song. “Sorry, I know I’m not as funny as Amy Schumer, but I’m trying.”

Schumer, incidentally, killed her opening set (last night was her first of three opening slots for Madonna in NYC). Repeatedly mocking the flowering falsehood that it’s a new Golden Era for women in Hollywood while still making jokes about the First Lady taking a hot load, Schumer’s ability to pivot between the bawdy and the incisive proved the perfect fit for a Madonna opener.

“I thought I was gonna bomb so hard for months,” Schumer said when her set was over. “This is the best feeling ever.”

That feeling might’ve been one-upped (or quashed?) later on in the evening when Madonna brought Amy out during “Unapologetic Bitch,” bent her over and literally kicked her ass (in addition to pretending to penetrate it). Schumer was ecstatic and surprisingly rhythmic while dancing with Madonna onstage, but the Queen couldn’t let her go without some hazing.

Before Schumer left the stage, Madonna put a sock puppet on Amy’s hand and made it tell her, “Hi Amy — I’m a sock, bitch!” Waiting a few beats for an actual joke to follow, Schumer exploded into confused laughter when it became clear that was pretty much all Madge had to offer with the skit. Madonna might be good at changing creative lanes, but her attempt at improv was like switching lanes by means of rolling out of a moving car.

When the show came to a triumphant close with “Holiday,” New York’s favorite adopted daughter paraded around in an American flag while her dancers — dressed for a Gatsby-style rager at this point — paraded about with jubilant relief. It was clear they felt the rush of owning Madison Square Garden and relished it. Madonna, on the other hand, kept her composure. Clearly, failure to dominate MSG on Wednesday night was never an option for her — just like failure to dominate New York City was never an option for Madonna more than 30 years ago.

To read more visit Billboard

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Amy Schumer brings laughs to Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ tour

Yes, it was a night of controversy. But it was also unexpectedly filled with joy.

Madonna’s tour features half-naked nuns on stripper poles, and her opener Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, raucous Rockville Centre-raised comedian Amy Schumer, star of the summer smash “Trainwreck,” threw in some jokes about the sex lives of the Obamas and the drinking habits of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

However, Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” tour, which continues Thursday night at Madison Square Garden and Saturday night at Barclays Center, may also be her happiest tour in decades.

The lovely acoustic version of “True Blue” was a rare bow to romance, the sweetest of Madonna sentiments. “I’m feeling very nostalgic,” she said, adding that she first played the Garden 30 years ago.

Though the two-hour show is her attempt to give her underappreciated album the chance it deserved, it also recasts her older songs in a new light, from Latin versions of “Lucky Star” to an acoustic take on “Who’s That Girl?”

“Rebel Heart” was plagued by a series of leaks that forced Madonna to push up its release several months, but many of its songs find her at her most resilient. The title track was a pretty stripped-down declaration of survival, while the speeded-up remix of “Living for Love” was dramatic and inspirational.

Schumer talked of her incredible year in her 35-minute set.

“I don’t know why I’ve been labeled a sex comic,” said Schumer, who announced that she will headline the Garden on June 23. “It’s not fair.”

Schumer said she had worried about opening the show for months, joking: “Who better to open for Madonna than me? The answer: literally any band.”

However, Schumer won over the crowd, who gave her a standing ovation at the end. “That is the best feeling I have ever had,” she said.

To read the full article by Newsday click HERE

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Madonna’s New Tour Reveals a Sickening Double Standard in Pop Music

Hours after Madonna opened her “Rebel Heart” tour in Montreal, a press release trumpeting the performance arrived in music writers’ inboxes the world over.

There, in canned, press release form, was pop music’s ongoing problem in a nutshell: women are held to a different standard.

Amid the granular details about her luxurious attire—“Madonna wears an exotic gypsy outfit comprising a lurex-lace-and-jacquard bodysuit with an embroidered belt, lace short sleeves, and multi-colored trimmings, plus a black crêpe de Chine skirt with embroidered patches and black georgette ruffles,” goes one such breathless passage—was a section that stood out, but not for the reasons Madonna and her publicity team intended.

Near the bottom of the release was a “by the numbers” section, detailing the exhaustive amount of manpower, time and money being poured into the intercontinental tour, which is scheduled to continue through 2016. (The tour sets up shop atMadison Square Garden for a two-night stand Wednesday, with a Barclays Center date set for Saturday.)

Instead of seeing the reams of information as illuminating—500 pairs of custom-made shoes; 20 dancers; more than 25,000 miles traveled—the litany of facts seemed oddly defensive.

“This tour is a lot of hard work,” it seemed to say, “and you should be grateful Madonna even wants to put herself through it.”

Read full article by The Observer here

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Five reasons you still need to see Madonna (Time Out NYC)

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1. Her newest album, Rebel Heart, is solid.
For someone who’s made a career of genre hopping and appropriating cultural trends, Madonna does a good job of floating above the fray on Rebel Heart. The album includes collaborations with Diplo, Avicii and Kanye West, with the best songs split between vocally driven tracks about love and heartbreak (“Joan of Arc”) and no-holds-barred party tunes (“Bitch, I’m Madonna”).

2. She’ll still play the hits.
The set will draw mainly from Rebel Heart, but you can still count on the singer to dip into classics like “Material Girl,” “Holiday” and “La Isla Bonita.”

3. Expect an unmatched stadium spectacle.
On 2012’s MDNA tour, Madonna opened the show by blowing away her backup dancers in a bloody motel tableau like something out of a Tarantino movie (her professed inspiration for the set piece). Look for moments here to be equally out there.

4. The costumes won’t disappoint.
We’re not sure she’s ever been able to top her Jean Paul Gaultier cone-bra look, but that doesn’t mean she won’t try. For this tour, she’s tapped designers including Alexander Wang, Jeremy Scott and Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele.

5. Madge will be bringing it for her adopted hometown.
Don’t hold your breath for any onstage Drake-out sessions, but considering how closely Madonna’s career has been tied to the city, you can expect some special treatment. One thing that already we know: She’ll have New York native comedian Amy Schumer opening these three Gotham dates.

Madonna plays Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, September 16th and Thursday, September 17th and Barclays Center on Saturday, September 19th at 8pm. $45–$360.

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Rolling Stone Special Madonna Edition in Holland

Finally after some correspondence we can confirm that bookstore Athenaeum in the heart of Amsterdam will receive a small stock of the special Madonna Rolling Stone edition, the magazine is completely dedicated to her.

To reserve a copy please send them an e-mail: nieuwscentrum@athenaeum.nl or give them a call 020-5141470

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Princely sum for the ‘Queen of Pop’: Madonna fans to pay up to HK$11,888 to see ‘material girl’ in Hong Kong

Fans of controversial queen of pop Madonna, who makes her Hong Kong debut in February as part of her Rebel Heart world tour, may need to start saving now as tickets will cost as much as HK$11,888 per person.

The “Queen of Pop” will play her first concert in the city on February 17 in the main hall at the AsiaWorld-Expo. Tickets go on sale at 10am on September 25.

She will also be heading to Macau for two concerts at the new Studio City on February 20 and 21, as well as visiting Taiwan.

In 2013, local entertainment mogul Peter Lam Kin-ngok said Madonna had turned down the opportunity to perform in Hong Kong, saying the city’s venues were too small,

While Hong Kong fans will be excited at the news, those planning to get close to their heroine might be left out of luck after ticket prices were announced.

Full article HERE

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Madonna Announces New performances in the US & Asia

Just days after the launch of Madonna’s highly-anticipated Rebel Heart Tour, Live Nation announced today that Madonna is adding more tour dates in Asia and North America.  The new dates added to the 64-city world tour include first ever concerts by the Material Girl in Taipei, Hong Kong; Macau; Bangkok; Louisville, KY; San Antonio, Tulsa, OK, TX; Nashville, TN; as well as her first concerts in Tokyo in a decade and additional dates in Mexico City; and Houston, TX. A full list of dates can be found below.

The Rebel Heart Tour launched to two SOLD OUT nights and rave reviews in Montreal, Quebec on September 9th and 10th and will continue throughout North America and UK/Europe through the rest of 2015 and into 2016. The Montreal Gazette proclaimed  “in a spare-no-expense theatrical spectacle that artfully flowed from showstopper to showstopper, Madonna proved once again that she doesn’t just crave the spotlight — she owns it;” and Associated Press raved “Pole dancers dressed like nuns, Mike Tyson and nonstop theatrics.  Welcome to the church of Madonna,”

Tickets for the Rebel Heart concerts in North America will go on sale on Monday, September 21. Tickets in Hong Kong go on sale September 25 and in Taipei on Sat. Sept. 26. In Bangkok, tickets on sale on Sat. Oct. 3 and in Tokyo on sale Sat. Oct. 10th. On sale dates for the concert in Mexico City and the 2 performances in Macau to be announced.

Icon is Madonna’s official fan club. Lifetime Legacy members of Icon will receive first access to tickets and VIP Packages. Fans may purchase an “Icon Live Pass” today, which gives them access not only to ticket & VIP Package pre-sales, but also a free membership to Icon, the official Madonna fan club, access to a tour devoted forum and an exclusive tour gift. Fans who are already registered simply need to upgrade their account with the Icon Live Pass on Madonna.com.

In North America, Citi® cardmembers will be eligible for a presale opportunity beginning Thursday, Sept. 17th at 10am through Friday, September 18th at 5pm.In Asia, Citi® cardmembers will have access to a pre-sale opportunity in Taipei, Bangkok & Hong Kong.

Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour is produced by Live Nation Global Touring.

DATE – CITY – VENUE – ON SALE

Jan. 06 – Mexico City, MX – Sports Palace – Details to follow
Jan. 10 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center – On Sale Sept 21
Jan. 12 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center – On Sale Sept 21
Jan. 14 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center – On Sale Sept 21
Jan. 16 – Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center – On Sale Sept 21
Jan. 18 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena – On Sale Sept 21

Feb. 04 – Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Arena – On Sale Sept 26
Feb. 09 – Bangkok, Thailand – Impact Arena – On Sale Oct. 3
Feb. 13 – Tokyo, Japan – Saitama Arena – On Sale Oct 10
Feb. 17 – Hong Kong – Asia World Arena – On Sale Sept 25
Feb. 20 – Macau – Studio City Event Center – Details to follow
Feb. 21 – Macau – Studio City Event Center – Details to follow

Madonna.com

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32-year wait is over: Madonna’s Hong Kong debut announced

Pop queen Madonna’s first concert in Hong Kong has been confirmed for AsiaWorld-Arena on February 16 next year.

Tour organiser Live Nation declined to comment earlier this month on talk   that Madonna would finally be making her debut in the city, but today announced a concert in Hong Kong would be added to the Asia-Pacific leg of her   Rebel Heart Tour.

Catching the appropriately named Material Girl in concert won’t come cheap – ticket prices range from HK$688 for the cheapest seats   all the way up to a whopping HK$11,888 for what organisers are calling the “ultimate front row VIP package”.

Read more: Madonna in Hong Kong: Will the Queen of Pop finally get into the HK groove and, if so, where will she play?

Shows in Manila, Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane were   already   on the Rebel Heart schedule. Apart from the Hong Kong show, dates     in Taipei, Macau, Bangkok and Tokyo were announced yesterday.

The Rebel Heart Tour kicked off in Montreal, Quebec, on September 9 and will take in 64 cities before it wraps up in Brisbane on March 27, 2016. The tour follows the spring release of Madonna’s Rebel Heart album, the singer’s 13th studio album.

Since her 1983 debut, Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, making her the best-selling female recording artist of all time, according to Guinness World Records.

Ticket sales start at 10am on September 18 through HK Ticketing.

To read more by South China Morning Post

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With Help of Amy Schumer, Madonna Ticket Demand High For New York City Shows

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Madonna recently embarked on the maiden leg of her “Rebel Heart” tour, which will power across the U.S. and Canada through the end of October. Fans planning to attend will be greeted with plenty of surprises over the two-month stretch, though none will likely be bigger than the one planned for her three New York City gigs this week. Across two shows at Madison Square Garden (MSG – Get Report) and one gig at the Barclays Center, Madonna will call upon star comic Amy Schumer to open each night.

Get ready to pay big if you’re still looking for tickets in the Big Apple. According to TiqIQ, the average secondary market price for Madonna tickets over her next three shows is $465.66, marking a 38.6% premium over her tour average of $335.91. In fact, ticket prices are so high that both her second MSG show on Thursday and her stop at Barclays Center Saturday are averaging over $500 on the resale market.

The fun will begin in New York this Wednesday when the 57-year-old plays her first MSG gig. The average price for September 16 Madonna tickets is now $360.73, which serves as her cheapest date in New York this week. The get-in price is listed as $106. Prices will skyrocket following Wednesday’s show, with her Friday night gig at MSG now averaging $500.27 and get-in price starting at $108.

The Madonna-Schumer combo will come to an end on Saturday when the two cross the East River and head to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Saturday’s show has garnered the biggest ticket demand among all three New York City shows, as Madonna tickets at the Barclays Center currently own a secondary market average of $504.65 and a $115 get-in price.

The exorbitant secondary market ticket prices don’t end there for Madonna. Her stop in Brooklyn only serves as her fourth most expensive show of the tour, with shows at American Airlines Arena in Miami, The Forum in Los Angeles and Las Vegas’ MGM Grand later this year owning higher ticket averages. Each show currently has a $500+ average and her October 24 gig in Sin City is averaging a whopping $913.12. The cheapest ticket for the Las Vegas show is listed for $177.

While preliminary reports claimed that the iconic singer’s tour was flopping with poor ticket sales, Madonna is seeing quite the reverse trend; she has continued to add dates while ticket demand remains considerably high on the secondary market. The tour, which will also include legs in Europe, Asia and Australia, is the second most expensive tour this year behind Taylor Swift’s “1989” World Tour, which is averaging an astounding $377.64 ticket price across her 71-show excursion in the U.S. and Canada.

Madonna’s current tour is running in promotion of Rebel Heart, her thirteenth studio album that was released in March. Some 65 shows are scheduled across the globe through the end of March 2016; 29 of those dates will be held in the U.S. and Canada.

(@Jesse Lawrence for The Street)

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Madonna brings monster tour to Philly

Can you imagine listening to Katy Perry music 30 years from now?

I mean, seriously. Take a few moments of quiet reflection to think about that prospect.

Ugh.

What a terrible, bleak futurescape.

Like, do you think “I Kissed a Girl” is even going to make it onto the oldies station of tomorrow?

Will we even still have radio stations by the time any of this is worth considering?

So many questions. So little Katy Perry, hopefully, in the next few decades.

Now spend some time thinking about Madonna, if you would. Much better, right?

Madonna is seriously one of the most important pop figures of ever. Not only that, but she’s also incredibly prolific, and meaningfully so. Her “Rebel Heart” effort earlier in the year was surprisingly quiet, for a Madonna effort, but supremely solid and a critical hit. Catch her if you can Thursday night, Sept. 24, at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets are $40 to $355. For more information, go to wellsfargocenterphilly.com.

Read more at Courierpostonline

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On ‘Rebel Heart’ tour stop, Madonna doesn’t miss a beat

A Madonna concert in 2015 raises a host of questions: Is new album “Rebel Heart” any good? Amid the Beyonces, Taylors, Mileys and Gagas, where is Madonna’s place in pop music? After three decades in the spotlight, does Madonna still have it?

The moment Madonna’s show started Saturday night at the Verizon Center, those questions and more went out the window, a defenestration the Catholicism-obsessed queen of pop would appreciate. Surrounded by a phalanx of centurions (her dancers in their first get-up) and backed by a full band and three monstrous screens, Madonna descended from above in a cage and sang the first of the night’s many self-affirming songs, “Iconic.” “I’m starting a revolution,” she told the crowd. “Are you with me?”

For the capacity crowd, the answer was a resounding yes, even if the question is a bit dubious. Although “Rebel Heart” grabs at current pop sounds with both hands — a Diplo beat here, a Nicki Minaj verse there — the album feels anything but revolutionary. That didn’t seem to matter for her fans, the ones who grew up on her ’80s and ’90s hits, the ones dressed as bulls and matadors or “Like a Virgins” and “Material Girls.” Madonna has no illusions about the age of her audience, teasing an eager fan, “I remember you, baby — you’ve been following me around for three decades.”

Read full article at Washington Post

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Review: Madonna Shows Why She’s Queen At DC ‘Rebel Heart’ Show

“Bitch, I’m Madonna!”

That is a prominent phrase in the latest spectacle produced by non-other than the queen of pop, Madonna. The 57 year-old veteran proved her status on top of the throne as she performed an oldie-heavy set as part of her Rebel Heart Tour in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night.

Impressive costumes, controversial themes, and intense choreography orchestrated the 13th world tour by the Michigan-native. While her new material delivered impeccable performances such as the Matador-inspired, Grammy show version performance of “Living For Love” and the Last Supper portrayal of “Devil Pray,” it was great reinventions (something she really knows how to do best) of some old hits that truly displayed her stage presence as the best female entertainer the world has ever seen.

A medley of songs in a way of Spanish acoustics consisting of “Dress You Up,” “Into The Groove,” “Everybody,” and “Lucky Star,” had followed up a nice rendition of “La Isla Bonita.” This became a highlight of the show, which had everyone on their feet. “Like A Virgin” had Madonna on center stage, all alone, just dancing like nobody’s watching – giving that ‘good feeling’ vibe to the concert.

Another intense moment occurred when Madonna got on a pole, which was essentially a cross, and stood on a half-naked nun while slowing down perhaps her biggest hit, “Vogue.” But that wasn’t the only jaw-dropping moment, as during one of her songs a male dancer dressed like a preacher opens the singer’s legs simulating oral sex and she says “Yeezus loves my pussy best.”

Provocative? No doubt. In fact, that’s what Madonna said was the reason why President Barack Obama may have not attended her show in the nation’s capital. “I invited him,” she said. Soon after that, she dedicated a beautiful version of “La Vie En Rose” to him – which showcased one of the talents she doesn’t get enough credit for, her good vocals.

Having little to prove, Madonna keeps surpassing the only thing she worries about now … herself. As long as she keeps outdoing her past works, she will keep doing it. And as long as she keeps selling out arenas all over the world, she will keep touring.

“Thank-you for following me for three decades,” she mentioned before singing her fan-dedicated song ‘Rebel Heart.’ “Thanks to you my kids go to good schools.”

Read full article at The Daily Twist

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Madonna in DC: Maybe Obama thinks I’m too ‘provocative’

Madonna came pulsing into DC for her Rebel Heart tour on Saturday night, where she played to a packed house at the Verizon Center.

But there was one notable absence: no sign of our Commander in Chief.

Madge told the crowd she was thrilled to be in the Nation’s Capital, “even if Barack Obama didn’t come to my show. I did invite him, you know,” she said. “Maybe he thinks I’m too ‘provocative.’”

Hmm…where would he get that idea??

The show, which opened with Gothic-style theatrics with her Madgesty making her grand entrance in a suspended cage, featured half-naked nuns, a priest, and plenty of ripped, glistening dancers.

But the best part?

A Spanish-style segment that deftly wove in a string of her classic hits.

Also: how is this woman 57??!? She’s still got it.

Read more at USA Today

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Rebel Heart Tour: Madonna Takes the Verizon Center by Storm (review)

“I still believe in love — even if Barack Obama didn’t come to my show,” Madonna teased near the end of Saturday night’s concert at the Verizon Center. “Maybe I’m too provocative.” Like all her tours, Rebel Heart had its fair share of provocation, chiefly through repeated sacrilegious references to God and Catholic iconography.

But that’s always been Madonna’s cross to bear (and her bread and butter). This time out it was confined to the opening numbers. If you could look past it, as well as her overuse of war and violent imagery (Madonna is seemingly forever fighting someone, from God and Gaga to Guy and the media), you probably left charmed by the evening.

The Rebel Heart Tour finds Madonna at her happiest and most personable, and also in her best voice. In past tours she seemed to be performing on auto-pilot, but not on Saturday.

Edgy and sassy and unapologetic, Madonna once again proved her predominance in pop performance. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like her new album, even though it accounted for nearly half of the two-hour set. The truth is, few others working in pop today put on such a compelling and sensory-rich, top-notch theatrical production from beginning to end. Madonna makes her concerts feel like celebrations.

Read full article at Metroweekly.com

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