MADONNA COMES FULL CIRCLE
After more than 30 years in the music business and establishing herself as the indisputable Queen of Pop, Madonna does not have anything left to prove to anyone. Perhaps that is why with the release of her current album "Rebel Heart" and the subsequent "Rebel Heart Tour," Madonna is taking a moment to smell the roses so to speak and have some fun. Sure, coming off two eras that were not exactly her best - particularly MDNA - "Rebel Heart" seems to be about a little bit of redemption and most of all, a celebration of her three decade journey.
Madonna brought her "Rebel Heart Tour" to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in September and the most striking takeaway from the show is that Madonna is having a lot of fun. But not only is she having fun, she is putting on one hell of a show. From the opening of Mike Tyson and "Iconic," Madonna demonstrated she is still the hardest working woman in show business. As always with a Madonna show, she has become the queen of retooling her hits. Madonna also digs deeper into her catalogue for this tour ditching the predictable hits ("Like A Prayer," "Express Yourself, "Ray Of Light)" for less likely candidates beginning with a rock version of "Burning Up" complete with Madonna playing a flying V guitar. "Dress You Up,' "Into The Groove," "Material Girl," and "Everybody" also make an appearance.
But it might just be the stripped down acoustic version of "Who's That Girl" that steals the show. The song is performed with Madonna and Monte playing acoustic guitars and the song is given a sincere vulnerability. Madonna also surprised the audience by playing "Rebel Heart" fave "Ghosttown" for the first time on the tour. Madonna admitted she had not practiced and the crowd could have cared less as everyone sang along even bringing Madonna to a quick teary eye as she finished.
Madonna's dancers also earned their keep as she pushed them off ledges ramps and during one interlude, they are strapped to bendable poles as "Illuminati" plays. CNN favorite Anderson Cooper ended up being chosen as Madonna's "Unapologetic Bitch" and there was a tender moment of Madonna dedicating "True Blue" to Debbie Mazar who was in the audience as well.
A couple pf other enduring moments came with "Like A Virgin" which Madonna performed solo dancing freely about the stage. And another moment of redemption with "Living For Love" as she donned the infamous cape as she marched toward the main stage, this time triumphantly making it to the top. Madonna ended the show with concert staple and signature classic "Holiday."
Madonna stated early with the release of "Rebel Heart" that she wanted to have a more intimate show with the next tour. The "Rebel Heart Tour" has proven to be a love affair between Madonna with herself (in a good way) and her fans. With "Rebel Heart," Madonna has in a way come full circle celebrating where she came from, what she has created, and moving the dial forward into the next chapter of her illustrious career. The Rebel Heart Tour accomplished Madonna's desire to have an intimate show and not only is she doing that, but she is having a grand old time every step of the way.