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Rays Of Light
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  1. Let’s be real, we’ll all have recommendations on the setlist and this conversation will go on forever, simply because it was by far her clunkiest approach to song selection and a “cohesive narrative” she’s ever had in a show since Blond Ambition. Even Rebel Heart, for which I’ve expressed extreme disappointment in the half baked ideas for that show in other threads, was a better concept. I’ll never understand why she didn’t make each section of the show each of the Madame X personas and tie it together as a narrative about who Madame X was. There was so much potential to bring back old singles / album tracks that are forgotten, keeping the show fresh for her yet self-referential and recognizable for fans and general public alike. Not every old song has to be a single — Fans would die for songs like Promise to Try, Swim, Words (which the intro of is just like the Future intro and would have been a great song after it as the upbeat song instead of Crave…just saying…). She seems to forget that until the mid 2000s she sold MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of albums. Enough people would recognize these songs for it to not seem completely self-indulgent. Of course, she’d still need a few big hits to keep everyone happy. Not every “new song” needs to be from the latest record. Still looking forward to the recoding and curious to see how she’s tightened up the show via the filmed presentation, as I have a feeling it will be edited a fair bit. I still think she has one massive stadium / arena tour in her based on her greatest hits, so I do want to see her do one final tour-de-force show with Moment Factory and MDNA production and a Reinvention Tour type of approach with the setlist and S&S / MDNA-lite choreography, since I’m sure she has a bit of that still left in her. With FRESH ideas and not simply a rehash of old tours (no more reused backdrops, NO MORE GAS MASKS lmao). But after that? She should give this theatre tour thing a do over. It’s a concept that has so much more potential than what she did with Madame X. With the right creative director and production support behind her, I think she could deliver a truly mind blowing show and reinvent the idea of a pop show once again. That is, if she feels like it, of course. She’s got nothing more to prove at this point. Just don’t want Madame X to be the last of her touring legacy.
  2. Totally agreed with everything here except going back to it more than Confessions. It actually sounds pretty fresh nowadays. Just wish the mixing was a wee better…this album (and MDNA and FREAKIN REBEL HEART) would really benefit from a proper remaster by an experienced producer. The songs may have their up and down moments, but a lot of the songs suffer strictly from terrible mixing. She should give a call to the guy who does Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish’s final mixing. Their albums are top notch from a mastering perspective. That said, all very interesting thoughts in here. Thanks for not taking this as a Madonna bashing thread — It’s still a great era in my opinion, just…different. The only time I’ve really ever felt that Madonna “magic” again that I described in my first post — Where I felt like her vision was creative and unique, where she seemed 100% into it, where the production was mind blowing, where she had a CONCEPT — was the MDNA Tour. If she had included a few more classics and started that tour at a decent time each night, it’d be one of her most celebrated. Her modern Blond Ambition, I fear. I do think the imagery of Hard Candy was a big reason for its divisiveness. The trailer teaser a few posts ago was a perfect example of actually having an idea marketing-wise…everything else felt like they threw whatever they could at the wall to see what would stick (no pun intended). I mean, Madonna as a boxer posing in front of photoshopped candy? It just didn’t make sense. “Hard Candy” being marketed as, like, an adult magazine with the album cover being a Playboy mock up with its oldest yet sexiest cover model, still with her in the boxing garb? Candy shop as the first single to go along with it (a much better final version of that song, since it totally has the potential to go OFF)? Trailers offering phone sex lines that would actually take you to a pre-recorded message advertising the album? Having little interview snippets in the album booklet that were, like, little articles corresponding with each song to explain how they fit into the context of her life at the time? I could totally get on board. M Dolla could have been a double entendre for an alter ego that is both a blonde pinup bimbo and an urban confessional chanteuse? It would have worked. I do hope she one day releases a tell all autobiography and has enough distance from her past at that point to properly tell the story of each era, because this one is one of the most interesting to me. Things definitely changed….wasn’t she originally in discussions to work with Stuart Price again? Where did he go and why has he been erased from all future eras? When this inevitably is re-released in the future, along with other eras still in the vault, it would be fantastic to finally get proper mixing and concept art.
  3. It still is a huge bummer she didn't include this song in the show. She knows how much fans wanted it and teased it. What she did was low key lame.
  4. Listening to Revolver right now (HORRIBLE vocal mixing by the way I mean, amateur level) and just reminiscing on past Madonna eras while listening to Celebration and, well.... Was anyone completely caught off guard by Hard Candy? After Confessions, there were so many routes of music that still seemed unexplored for Madonna and yet ones that could be cool....but then...she suddenly did something that she had never really done before. She released an album that sounded a little dated already. Everything about Hard Candy to this day still just feels so un-Madonna. I know this era is hotly debated by other Madonna fans, but I really do see Madonna as having had two eras -- 1983 - 2007 and 2008 - today and wonder if other Madonna fans feel this way. It's been so weird being in the fanbase as someone who discovered her around the time of Live 8, right before Confessions, and knowing what she was celebrated for and did at the time vs. how a lot of people perceive her today, as well as how she presents her art. For the ones who agree, what do you think changed? Was Guy freakin Ritchie really the trigger to all of it, or were there other factors? To clarify, I love everything she releases to this day. But I certainly feel like some of the magic Madonna always had started to disappear around Hard Candy, and I've always wondered if I'm the only fan who feels this way. Anyways, please discuss
  5. It's not overrated. The more we get away from that tour, the more it really does feel so iconic and like the last time Madonna made a huge imprint on pop culture and music. I don't think people remember just how hard getting tickets to that concert was and how it wasn't just a concert but an event in most cities. I've still never heard a crowd scream like that when an artist came on stage and felt those kind of chills when I've seen an artist on the big screen. Plus, that album is timeless. It still doesn't sound dated at all 15 years later and sounds so....chic. It's just such a cool album that it will never go out of style. Though they need to add the continuous mix back on streaming platforms, because the album really loses something without the fades. Always hated the versions of Jump that didn't have the synth at the beginning. They also need to change the cover, because she literally looks computer generated and should have used one of the pics with her flat ironed hair, don't crucify me please I felt Madonna was probably at her most inaccessible as a relatable person during this era, but there was something about that that made the era even better. She had this mystique and aura that she's never been able to replicate again. I'm surprised she didn't bring the tour to other countries, but frankly, it wouldn't have been as enjoyable in other places unless she did arenas. She was playing stadiums on that tour in Europe, and I don't see how the show would have worked in stadiums. It was SO LOUD in arenas and took up half the room. And yeah, it's abysmal this hasn't been released on 4K. It's obvious the footage quality would allow it. She needs to get over her ego and stop worrying about a few wrinkles in the concert footage. Release the premier quality and preserve this tour the way it deserves. And on that note....MDNA is the dark yang to the ying that was Confessions and deserves comparable treatment with a Jonas Akerlund edit in 4K.
  6. Wait, I found it! 1:42. Though I believe there was one other clip I saw somewhere. I may be making that up. As an aside, lol at her saying it's all about the music...that's always what comes first....Kevin Atunes didn't get that message, I guess
  7. Untrue, there's a very brief rehearsal clip somewhere that leaked in the last few years. She's climbing up through the portal if I recall. Like, she hoisted herself up into it. Someone else is gonna need to find it. I've spent 15 mins looking to no avail. Oh come on, now you gotta spill
  8. Totally agreed that the opening was perfect -- Didn't mean to start a debate about that here! That said....it's not her best entrance ever....sorry, but that's MDNA. Come @ me.
  9. That's why it would have been great! Would have added to the magic if she went back up to the ceiling and then they started taking apart the stage once the lights went up haha.
  10. I've noticed this -- She sounds very different when she speaks nowadays. Tired.
  11. For the Confessions Tour, always thought that would have been the perfect way to end the tour.....with the disco ball coming back down at the end as she finished up the audience sing a long and got in it during the Time Goes By So Slowly outro....and then it would have gone back up as the Have You Confessed? script came across the screen. Surprised she didn't think of something like that. Would that have been an epic ending to this flawless show?
  12. Okay, I see what you’re saying with Future. Can get on board with that. But THIS. The rest of this. The band instrumentals would have been perfect arrangements for a few classics in the middle of the show. Actually, it would have been really cool if the whole Frozen performance had the orchestra dimly lit with Madonna in the foreground like the normal performance and then led into a section of orchestral and / or horn arrangements of a few songs.
  13. Wait, stop. There are stage designs in there for each song? That's fascinating. Clearly there was a different concept at one point for this song.
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