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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Madonna fails to wow crowd

    Madonna fails to wow crowd

    Madonna is the iconic queen of pop music and with a title like that, she can and will do pretty much whatever she wants. With that in mind, her notorious outlandish behavior should be taken with a grain of salt, and in the case of her Saturday night performance, a grain of sweat salt.

    No one does it quite like Madonna. After a 50 minute delay (45 minutes on Thursday) Glendale Arena’s air-conditioning was shut off, reportedly at the request of the material girl herself to keep her vocal chords warm and to create a dance club feel for the audience. All I could feel was the sweat dripping down my neck once the arena reached a high of 87 degrees, but that’s beside the point.

    To a second sold-out crowd (the first was Thursday night), the self-crucifying, dominatrix whipping, sole reviver of 1970s retro did what very few artists can do today: put on a bona fide performance actually singing and dancing for two hours straight.

    Opening with a dominatrix/equestrian themed “”Future Lovers””/””I Feel Lucky”” medley, the three-screen background shot up images of black and white horses and Madonna in a black leather and lace dominatrix infused equestrian get-up carrying a whip.

    The 47-year-old, mother of two made her grand entrance from a lowered crystal ball and didn’t stop performing until her abrupt, no encore finale of “”Hung Up,”” the first single from her latest release Confessions on a Dance Floor.

    She followed with one of the few classics performed that night, “”Like a Virgin,”” which continued with equestrian theme when she rode/danced on a single merry-go-round horse stripper pole.

    The evening also included acrobatic performances on a jungle gym-type device, transition into a retro roller rink and the infamous crucifixion where Madonna comes out with her hands slung through straps on a giant mirrored cross, adorning a crown of thorns while singing “”Live to Tell.”” The message here was flashed on the screens behind her about 12 million children being orphaned a year by AIDS. Although music and performance have always been a medium for political views, her choice of presentation was all too dramatic for a concert setting.

    But if that wasn’t a big enough statement to make, much of the rest of the first half of the two-hour performance focused on making political statements. During “”Like it or Not”” the background screens flashed images of past and present political leaders: President Bush, Saddam Hussein, former President Nixon, Mao Ze Dong and Hitler along to lyrics “”the audience is listening.”” And in “”I Love New York,”” she even told the audience to go down to Texas and suck George Bush’s dick.

    I went to the show first and foremost because my family had a free ticket, due to the fact that my cousin, who recently gave birth, decided not to go, but also to have the Madonna experience in my memory bank. But I must say the show was a bit disappointing.

    Granted I was in the lower back section of the arena, but I didn’t feel members of the audience were as in to her performance as they should be. Maybe that’s because only the financially able could shell out the $100 or so for a ticket and those people aren’t necessarily her die-hard fans (guilty as charged), but I felt like she was pulling teeth to obtain the energy in the arena that she demands. Or maybe she scared a too conservatively composed crowd with her dominatrix act and was too forceful with demands to jump and sing along.

    The hardest part of the show to watch was when Madonna took to playing a black Gibson Les Paul in a black feather boa collared ensemble. It’s rare, almost impossible to see Madonna not playing her smooth, confident, cocky self, but this was the most awkward musical performance situation I’ve ever seen, and things only got worse when she demanded the audience jump up and down with her for the entire song.

    The performance kicked up a notch when she switched over to the disco-themed second half with some incredible dance routines and outrageous video technicalities. It goes without saying that her body is inhumanely fit, which she proudly displayed in her purple-striped full body unitard, and she really got the crowd up for favorites like “”Ray of Light”” and “”Lucky Star.””

    I hope next time, if there is a next time, she moves away from the theme-based tour and more toward a compilation tour, but I can only say one thing: it was quite a performance with the good, the bad and the awkward.

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