She’s still got it. Performing some of her most beloved and well-known hit songs along with new upbeat tunes from her latest effort “Hard Candy” Madonna gave 100 percent to a full house at the TD Banknorth Garden October 15 in Boston. The provocatively named “Sticky and Sweet” tour featured elaborate stage structures, impressive lighting and enticing dancing, as per Madonna’s usual offerings during performances.
In her first stage appearance since announcing her divorce to husband Guy Ritchie, Madonna kept it light making only one fleeting reference to “emotionally retarded” people before singing “Miles Away” off of her 11th and latest album. She addressed the audience asking “Maybe you know some of those people. I know I do.”
She is the ultimate survivor and evolutionary pop icon, as proven by her complete commitment to putting on an energetic performance for her sold-out show. After such emotional and personally turmoil she still put on one hell of a show boasting colorful costumes, some of the best dancers in the business and digitally-recorded video duets with Kanye West, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake along with Miss Controversy herself, Britney Spears.
Her “duet” with Spears to “Human Nature” was a fresh take on a song that caused a stir during the 90s when the S & M themed-video first appeared. “La Isla Bonita” and “Get Into the Groove” were crowd-pleasers, for those who actually remembered her earlier songs and didn’t mouth incorrect lyrics. As for “Borderline” her very first single, the audience loved it.
Choice tracks from the new album that translated well to dance-filled stage numbers include “Heartbeat” and “Give it to Me.” A hands down personal favorite had to be “She’s Not Me,” an ode to Madonna’s undying fame and an overall pick-me-up for any woman. Because anyone can relate to the feeling of a significant other being “stolen” by another, and the imminent instinct that no one will ever provide the same things as you can in a relationship.
As for agenda-pushing, the Material Girl made it abundantly clear that she wanted everyone to vote … for Obama. Her political commentary and video imagery were liberally filled with material for the Left. And while audible sounds of “Just get back to the music” could be heard uttered by disgruntled republicans, the majority of the audience was in a united uproar to unite for her, and Obama’s campaign. Madonna relayed to the audience that she was told to “not mention Sarah Palin, speaking of ridiculous things,” and that was all she said on the matter.
50-year-old Madonna bumped and grinded all over that stage, even showcasing a soft-core number on the floor as she had her feet tied with rope as she gyrated and pulsated on all fours. If anything can be said for her, it is that her dancing is still flawless and effortless and her body is in amazing condition. More muscular than Michael Phelps, Madonna seemed to feed off of the energy of knowing that she represents decades of reinvention and that she herself will never be replaced in the public eye, no matter what Ms. Spears does.
The overall favorites had to have been “Hung Up” from the Confessions on a Dance Floor album along with “Like a Prayer.” The latter was performed to a background of Hebrew, Arabic and other foreign language texts and religious quotes from texts ranging like the Torah, the Bible, the Koran and Buddhist teachings. What would a Madonna concert be without a lesson in theology?
I’ll just have to say it again, she’s still got it. She never faltered and she never showed less than complete enthusiasm and dedication to her career and her fans. And despite her personal issues and sticky situation, she remembered the one thing that has kept her career afloat.
The show must go on.