Last night I was offered 2 floor tickets in row D center, right at the edge of the left corridor.
So I managed to get a very up close view of the show, that I’d like to share with you.
Please understand that some of these are my personal opinions and experience and please respect that.
There were some truly amazing moments in the show but also some really bad ones.
The audience interaction was much better than TOAC but still a bit forced and unnecessary. Could have been cut down quite a bit.
I wish she used a live band rather than pre recorded tracks. Also most of the projections were extremely lazy and tacky. I would have liked it better if she kept them to a minimum or actually come up with more original ideas (like the Frozen video).
The show started close to 11 and everyone was a bit tired and annoyed by that time. If it wasn’t for this extreme delay probably everyone, including me, would have enjoyed this experience so much more.
The no phone policy makes complete sense. The venue is very small and intimate and phones would be so much more distracting than at her previous tours.
The merch wasn’t that great in my opinion. The only thing I liked was this shiny bomber jacket with the logo and the Madame X manifesto embroidered on the back. Also it looks fashionable and expensive. I was very disappointed because the tour book was still not available.
First act was the weakest in my opinion.
The opening is a bit too long and repetitive and unmemorable.
Madonna finally comes out in a horrendous George Washington inspired costume.
She performs God Control similar as Pride, with visuals from the video projected behind her.
Next is Dark Ballet, similar to Eurovision with projections from the music video.
At this point she strips part of the GW costume and wears a loose piece of white cloth strapped at the waist by a corset, military boots and the eyepatch.
At the end of DB she’s awkwardly captured by 2 policemen and thrown into jail, which is a circular opening in one of the set pieces.
She performs Human Nature while doing a coreo that could be really cool but she seems to struggle with it. Also I felt the costume made no sense and was in the way.
Towards the end of the song this guy comes on stage with conga drums and Madonna joins him to play them together, which is a very cool moment.
Then she starts talking to the audience, plays the EY snippet acapella and the twins and Mercy join her on stage for a bit.
Then she goes behind a little screen and continues talking while we see she’s changing for the next number.
The Madame X manifesto is projected on the little screen and Vogue starts.
It’s the same version from Pride but I think it’s not as effective because Madonna is not hidden between the other dancers in the beginning. Also she doesn’t Vogue at all and barely dances. She mostly moves around the stage and that’s all.
The projections are of the Steven Klein trench coat images and typewriters.
Then she goes into I Don’t Search I Find. To me this was one of the highlights of the show. It has a French film noir tone with 2 spies capturing Madame X. As all these cool black and white projections are everywhere.
After this it’s all a bit messy. She sings a snippet of a reworked version of Papa Don’t Preach and talks about women’s rights and tries to sell the Polaroid selfie.
This poor guy offered something like $160 for it. You can tell he’s a hardcore fan cause he had this whole American life inspired outfit on and front row tickets. But she’s very rude to him and dismissed his offer. Eventually she sells the photo to a girl who offered $1000. The whole moment was kind of bad and off putting.
Then she goes into American Life. Great performance on her end and the rap part was very intense and well done. Similar to the album version. It was hard to pay attention though because during this song there was a lot of commotion around me. A lot of people got up and left the concert at this point lol.
I hated the staging. There was an American flag and 2 guys dancing in uniforms also a mattress on which military uniforms were being dropped from the ceiling. Maybe I missed something but it didn’t make a lot of sense. The projections were from the uncensored music video.
At the end of the song these guys in marine outfits carry a coffin covered with the American flag across the stage. And the 2 of them perform a dance similar to the Beast Within in the Girlie Show.
The projections are of old ships and maps, from the 1700s.
Visually this was not great or original but the song was beautiful.
The interlude ends with the thunders from Batuka and the Batukadeiras invade the stage coming from behind the audience on the corridors.
They go and sit in a circle on the stage, and there’s a carpet on the floor, just like in the second half of the music video.
The projections are again from the music video.
Madonna comes out looking absolutely stunning. With the brown wig and the gorgeous purple sparkling dress. Also she wears these amazing silver high heel sandals.
The performance is absolutely stunning. These women are such an inspiration and they radiate pure joy.
At the end, this Asian lady comes out with a cello and closes out the song as Madonna and the Batukadeiras hold hands in a circle.
A truly amazing moment.
Then she has the “soccer mom/moving to Lisbon” speech. It would have been great if we didn’t hear it 100 times by now haha.
Then she introduces this young talented musician and they perform a snippet of a fado song. I thought she sounded a bit off and her voice was a bit too aggressive for that specific.
Then the whole stage turns into a whimsical Lisbon street, similar to the billboard performance but more extravagant.
She performs Killers and Crazy. Both were good but she should have shortened it somehow. I can’t say why but by the time Crazy was over I was a bit bored.
Welcome To My Fado and the snippet of La Isla Bonita were very cute and after she went into this amazing rendition of Sodade. She should release this cover since it’s incredible.
Then a typewriter is brought on stage for no reason and she sits down and writes the video intro to Medellín, as the words are projected over the entire stage. Made absolutely no sense and was very boring.
Then the song starts and towards the end her and the dancers descend into the crowd. It’s a magical moment since I’m right by the corridor where they come. I dance a bit with one of the dancers and Madonna walks right by me. It was incredible to see her so close! She was very tiny, beautiful and happy.
Some people tried to touch her but I thought that would be very disrespectful. Since she didn’t engage I didn’t want to be intrusive.
Then she went on the other corridor and randomly started to chat with someone from the audience as she sat in his chair.
Next she did this incredible performance of Extreme Occident. No projections. Just her moving around on these set pieces and a guy playing the accordion. Very intimate and theatrical.
The next interlude was my favorite. There were 6-8 dancers all wearing white shirts and black pants dancing on rhythmic breathing sounds. At one point the spoken lyrics from Rescue Me are played over the breathing. It’s very eerie and conceptual. It would have been great if this went into an actual Rescue Me performance. But it awkwardly transitions into Frozen and it seems like a second interlude. But it’s not.
Madonna appears with the nude scarf from the album cover and a similar black dress. But she’s behind the projection screen and looks like she’s floating.
The video of Lourdes is simply amazing and the way it’s superimposed with Madonna singing creates a truly artistic moment. Also it’s very moving. Probably my favorite part of the show.
After that the whole stage lights up and there’s all these colorful projections of Moroccan art and everyone is wearing North African inspired costumes.
Come Alive starts and Madonna shows up wearing the same head scarf and a Versace robe. The whole thing seemed messy and I wasn’t into it.
Then a piano is brought on stage and she starts Future. Another terrible moment. This slower version makes no sense at all. Wish she either did the album version or an actual piano ballad. There were projections of the Amazon burning and a post apocalyptic world. Also there were 2 awkward dancers wearing these cheap looking gas masks with flowers (similar to Dark Ballet but much worse).
Next is the dance remix of Crave. This doesn’t really work at all but somehow she makes it work and fun.
She comes out wearing the same Versace robe but with a matching military hat. The ensemble looks great. The projections are a mix of the music video and NYC streets.
The dancers wear flashy 70s inspired outfits similar to the God Control video. And the twins come out on stage and dance with everyone. The whole moment is very cute and a great show closer.
The first encore is Like A Prayer. For me was extremely boring since it was the same performance she did since Super Bowl and she was wearing a boring black robe with crystals on it. The stairs were in an X position and the choir was on the steps in an X formation, while wearing black robes with red fabric draped as an X on the chest. Madonna was standing in the center on the X and the projections were of multiple red X letters.
After this the curtain came down and lights turned on and some people started to leave.
But then she came on again with the Pride version of I Rise. She wears a military jacket decorated with a lot of gold jewelry and the I Rise video is projected.
The performance was good but not great.
At the end the choir comes out and everyone leaves the stage through the corridors in the audience. Unfortunately Madonna and the dancers exited through the left corridor so I didn’t get to see her walk past me again.