Madonna in slow motion
Where to start? The good or the bad?
Let's start with the stage. It was spectacular, right? I mean, if Madonna knows anything it's the visual. That headpiece! Those changing magazine panels during Vogue were awesome. Her entry was awesome (even though it reminded me of the time Celine Dion renewed her vows in Vegas). Her Givenchy costumes were awesome. Her lighting, with particular emphasis on her face, was awesome. I loved the Open Your Heart to Express Yourself to Like A Prayer medley. Note though that the way it built, culminating in the choir, in gold and black robing, was old school. It was the way that song was performed so many years ago, it's the way the audience wants it, the way her fans want it, the way we, who have followed her for almost 3 decades, prefer it. As opposed to the nervous Madonna who slow-motioned her way through last night.
When have you known Madonna to be anything but confident? Where was the arrogant confidence that has characterised her career? Where was the woman who challenged you with her attitude - I will never let you see me crack, I work too f-cking hard to show you anything but perfection...? That Madonna was replaced last night by someone who wanted it so badly, too badly, she forgot that what pleases us most is when she pleases herself. The Madonna who is too busy trying to please Lady Gaga’s fans ended up looking like she’s always half a step behind.
There was a time that Madonna, at the head of a dance formation, always led the moves. This is a time where Madonna, at the head of a dance formation, looks like she’s trying to keep up. There was no leadership in Madonna last night. There was no leadership in the Madonna who got on the floor with her hands and lifted her leg up to LMFAO for a bicep curl.
WHAT IS THIS MOVE???
What kind of choreographer came up with this move and thought it would be a good idea?
The sh-t leading up to it was full of embarrassing too. Start at 5:38 of the video. She lifts up his red cape. Then she goes back into the middle with her tongue sticking out. Then she, incomprehensibly, again, drops into a bodybuilder pose, followed by the now infamous left lift.
It was at this moment I wanted to die.
It was at this moment I thought maybe this was Joan Rivers doing a mock impression of Madonna.
There’s nothing wrong with a Greatest Hits Tour that preserves what was without trying to define what will be. Do you get the sense though that Madonna desperately wishes she became famous now, in the Twitter/Facebook/YouTube era instead of 30 years ago?
Christopher Polk/Rob Carr/Jamie Squire/Ezra Shaw/Getty