my essay on the debut leg of madonna's new world tour

  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    May 31, 2012 10:50 PM GMT
    let me disclose my conflict of interest: i’m not a madonna fan. sure, i took honors chemistry over the summer in order to enroll in ap environmental science my junior year of high school, and when time came to study for the final, i went over to my blonde, slightly overweight fag hag’s house— where at a certain point we were so fed up with stoichiometry that we decided it was time to vogue. what teenage male, gay or straight, hasn’t? but i’ve never owned a madonna cd because i’d never pay for her music. even if you gave me one, i’d re-gift it or let my sister have it. at some point in my collegiate studies, i read this scholarly article that somehow deviated onto madonna. in it, it basically credited her with being the world’s most successful charity: giving money to a woman with no discernible talent. talent is a strong word….

    i say these things because i’ll tell you right now i didn’t like the concert. but maybe people who do like madonna would enjoy the concert. i am, unashamedly, the type of guy who doesn’t need to read stephanie meyers to know she’s a talentless waste of trees. i make a career out of knowing things are bad without actually having to experience them. there’s some adage about not judging a book by its cover, but i tell you, only stupid people believe that. it’s quite easy to tell things are awful just from a glance or description. so yeah, madonna… she’s in her fifties and singing contrived pop music with heavy auto-tune all the while thinking she’s twenty.

    the concert promptly started two days and four hours late. two days late because i had originally purchased tickets to see the show on the twenty-ninth, but apparently she couldn’t sell enough tickets for two shows, and they canceled the first show. four hours late because she’s madonna. apparently this is acceptable etiquette for most people, but i’m not one of those people. i mean, in what world does anything else like that work? when a bank’s door says it opens at nine, do we expect to get in a queue for several hours until the tellers show up? do we show up to a movie and wait hours for the projection to start in order to build up excitement? imagine what it must have been like for the world premiere of schindler’s list.

    and then she had the nerve to sing. maybe singing is too harsh of a word— the same could be said for dancing. there were times when it was clearly voiceover, and that was the best. there were times when she was auto-tuned, live— easily the worst. and then there were moments when she sang live and you wondered what was so special about this woman that she’s received all that she has. charity? if she were on a reality tv competition, she’d be the part where they cruelly show people who can’t sing well in hopes that they go ape shit when the get the thumbs down from the judges.

    well, it’s not charity. i'd never call the woman a singer— not a good one at least— but a performer. she and britney spears sing the way megan fox acts. and if you’re going to experience madonna, a concert seems like the place to do it. big ass stage. ridiculous number of crew members she drags around the world. dancing and lighting and lots of trap doors in the stage. i enjoy spectacle when done well so i did have hope.

    so how did the kickoff of the new world tour start? in many ways, the show was doomed from the start because the tour is riding off her new album, which unfortunately means she has to sing songs from it. i heard the lead single and knew it was garbage without ever having heard any other song off of it. now i have proof of it because i spent half the concert being bored and turning to my friends (they like madonna, and though i wouldn’t pay to see madonna on my own, i would pay to see a madonna concert with them) to be told that this song i don’t know is off the new album.

    the first song of the show is “girl gone wild,” which i only remember because there was a uncomfortable degree of pelvis thrusting and crotch grabbing that surpassed michael jackson—speaking of which, they played his entire repertoire before she came on… i don’t know why. perhaps it was to remind us what once existed? anyway, maybe grabbing your crotch works better when you’re in your twenties and it’s risqué instead of fifty-whatever and doing it for the sake of thinking you’re still transgressive and/or sexy, or maybe it just works better if you actually have a crotch. the point is that home girl needs to find a new choreographer. perhaps all her shows are like this, but it was essentially one routine after another that featured flat choreography or over the top tricks (not performed by the queen of pop herself— side note, i said queen and queen elizabeth came to mind). i get that she’s older now, and people will tell me she moves well for her age, but she dances (in heels) in comparison to her backup dancers akin to that kid in kindergarten who’s always a half-second off in the clapping part of b-i-n-g-o.

    oh yeah, and there were all these weird sets where she was doing a costume change and the dancers went out on slack lines by themselves. maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if she returned wearing something other than another black outfit. i think cher could’ve done five-times as many for the time she took. in general, costumes, set, everything… was über uninspired. even the crew seemed to be flustered as whoever was working the camera didn’t understand what a zoom feature is. i will, though, say the efficiency of the stage design was impressive. and the weird three singers from central america (?) were actually interesting, but they had no business being there and singing on key.

    so after the opening number, she goes on to sing “revolver” and “bang bang,” the latter of which takes place in this living room set where people keep on breaking in and getting shot on the downbeat, even when it’s clear most people shoot intruders right away, regardless of if it fits musically. these two numbers along with a few others all featured guns and fighting and people dying…. the irony of this is that halfway through the show, madge decides to speak to audience about why she decided to open her world tour in tel aviv, and she even dropped the p-word, but didn’t come close to advocating for a free palestine. she told us there’s a conflict in the middle east that we’re probably not aware about and that peace is important and that we need to start treating each other with respect and dignity. hearing her tell people to treat others with respect was a bit of the pot calling the kettle a stuck-up british wannabe who will throw acid in your face if your look at her when she’s not talking to you. at least when lady gaga preaches, she gets all weepy, and you genuinely feel as if you’re in the church for sins o’ the flesh. i’m sure as soon as everyone left, the middle east crisis was solved. her next show will be in jericho.

    in general, i don’t remember a lot of the numbers. going to a madonna concert to hear her sing is like going on a vacation because you want to go through tsa. between “playing the guitar” and “giving us a show” the queen forgot the reason people see her is to have fun. “vogue” (which she performed so boringly… and i don’t want to hear about her age… willi ninja could vogue better than she did without his limbs) and “borderline” (which she didn’t perform) are fun. her most popular songs are fun. that’s why they’re popular. don't believe me? the entire crowd was lukewarm the whole night, and we didn’t stand until the penultimate song (“like a prayer”).
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    May 31, 2012 10:52 PM GMT
    i did enjoy some moments. the “express yourself” into “born this way” was cute, but it wasn’t amazing because any punch it would’ve had was completely lost by it being “leaked” the day before. what was amazing was a high-powered performance of “luv madonna” because it featured a floating drum line. seriously. who doesn’t love drums, and who doesn’t like floating people? the tour also includes an interesting interpretation of “like a virgin,” but it’s ultimately deflated by the fact that madonna can’t really sing and that the song is as impressive, lyrically speaking, as napkin from mcdonalds. still, brownie points for reinvention (i’m always hearing she’s the master of this… perhaps she retired before the new album). my advice would’ve been to sing old songs in a new way instead of new songs in a bad way.

    and then she sang some song and the show was over. it was super anticlimactic. at least end the night on the high note of “like a prayer.” it was so sudden that the audience didn’t expect it or just wanted to catch the last bus out because we barely clapped, and then she was gone. the lights came on. no “frozen,” “lucky star,” “material girl,” “ray of light,” “music,” “american pie,” “beautiful stranger,” or “4 minutes.” the only other major hit she performed was “hung up.” this is what i mean by her show wasn’t much fun, and she spent too much time singing songs no one wanted to hear. i can buy the fact that she might be tired of singing those songs, but what’s that old saying in charity where beggars can’t be choosers.
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    May 31, 2012 11:04 PM GMT
    What the fuck is this?
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    Jun 01, 2012 6:01 AM GMT
    I find it difficult to read your review with seriousness when you start it with "I'm not a madonna fan" and your previous post on the other thread was, "i'm seeing the concert tomorrow, so i'll let you know how badly she sucked."

    I'm not denying your experience, but it almost seems like you went in wanting to dislike it. Honestly, you never do explain why the hell you had possession of tickets to this concert in the first place.

    And, yes, true Madonna fans are loving the show. Even Perez Hilton surprisingly gave it a very positive review.
  • Karl

    Posts: 5787

    Jun 01, 2012 6:10 AM GMT
    I prefer the old Madonna with her old and unforgettable songs like "Like A Virgin" .. "Frozen" ... " Vogue"
    I still love Madonna but not that much .
    IMO , really , the song Girl Gone Wild makes no sense to me.
    by the way , she isnt that bad , those other songs like "Falling Free" , "Im F**ked Up" ... in her new album MDNA are very good, I prefer those songs to Give Me All Your Luvin or Girl Gone Wild.
    She still hot and there's so many fans love her ;)
    Enjoy the show and try to imagine yourself as a fan , everything will be different
    tumblr_m3vpnacQn11qejgz3o1_r1_500.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 01, 2012 6:15 AM GMT
    ECnAZ saidI find it difficult to read your review with seriousness when you start it with "I'm not a madonna fan" and your previous post on the other thread was, "i'm seeing the concert tomorrow, so i'll let you know how badly she sucked."

    I'm not denying your experience, but it almost seems like you went in wanting to dislike it. Honestly, you never do explain why the hell you had possession of tickets to this concert in the first place.

    And, yes, true Madonna fans are loving the show. Even Perez Hilton surprisingly gave it a very positive review.


    actually, most people seemed incredibly bored. whether you love her or not, she sounded terrible. my friends who love her completely agreed on this point. and yes i do explain it. i went because going to a madonna concert with my friends is an experience worth having. it was just 2 hours of her being old while trying to be young with really bad songs. i would have been totally satisfied with a less forced performance of just her classic hits.
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    Jun 01, 2012 6:39 AM GMT
    calibro said


    actually, most people seemed incredibly bored. whether you love her or not, she sounded terrible. my friends who love her completely agreed on this point. and yes i do explain it. i went because going to a madonna concert with my friends is an experience worth having. it was just 2 hours of her being old while trying to be young with really bad songs. i would have been totally satisfied with a less forced performance of just her classic hits.


    Then I don't understand why you would bother providing a critique on a show that you very clearly were already predispositioned to dislike. Just makes no sense to me, but clearly it makes sense to you. Sorry you didn't enjoy it. Two friends that I know were there, in the pit, were blown away by it. To each their own.
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    Jun 01, 2012 6:41 AM GMT
    karl3s saidtumblr_m3vpnacQn11qejgz3o1_r1_500.gif

    When I was a kid, this scene in the Vogue video was like porn for me. There was something so fucking fetching about it.


    I don't blame musicians for not performing the same songs EVERY time. Stuff that's decades old especially. When I go to a concert, I expect it to be themed by the most recent album, with a few past ones thrown in for the people who haven't heard the new album. But I will listen to the album several times before the date so I can appreciate the new stuff being done live.
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    Jun 01, 2012 6:44 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said^ The blond wig perhaps?

    Try it on and I'll let you know.
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    Jun 01, 2012 6:44 AM GMT
    You spend so much time writing abut things you hate; why not write about things you like for once?
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 01, 2012 7:05 AM GMT
    dash_8 saidYou spend so much time writing abut things you hate; why not write about things you like for once?


    i was actually asked to write about it by curiousjockaz.
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    Jun 01, 2012 7:07 AM GMT
    calibro said

    i was actually asked to write about it by curiousjockaz.


    Not trying to be confrontational, but you offered first, and I re-quote,"i'm seeing the concert tomorrow, so i'll let you know how badly she sucked", to which CuriousJock responded, "we look forward to your review".
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    Jun 01, 2012 7:14 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI have a feeling Curiousjock will be displeased.


    I'm sure a detailed and concise rebuttal is in the making.
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    Jun 01, 2012 7:18 AM GMT
    In my crystal ball I see Madonna fans rustling like angry hornets at anything that even has the slightest anti-madonna whiff to it.
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    Jun 01, 2012 7:19 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidIn my crystal ball I see Madonna fans rustling like angry hornets at anything that even has the slightest anti-madonna whiff to it.


  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 01, 2012 7:20 AM GMT
    ECnAZ said
    calibro said

    i was actually asked to write about it by curiousjockaz.


    Not trying to be confrontational, but you offered first, "i'm seeing the concert tomorrow, so i'll let you know how badly she sucked", to which CuriousJock responded, "we look forward to your review".


    and yes, i gave him a review (as opposed to saying it just sucked). see for yourself...

    this is the opening number with the on-key singer dudes and her live auto-tuning...



    this was actually one of the best numbers, but it was still pretty dead when performed. i wasn't lying when i said everyone was sitting and quiet the whole time.

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    Jun 01, 2012 7:24 AM GMT
    pocketnico said
    Ariodante saidIn my crystal ball I see Madonna fans rustling like angry hornets at anything that even has the slightest anti-madonna whiff to it.




    The giant hornets are obviously GaGa fans, slaughtering the weaker Madonna fan honeybees.

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    Jun 01, 2012 7:28 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidIn my crystal ball I see Madonna fans rustling like angry hornets at anything that even has the slightest anti-madonna whiff to it.


    Nah. If it's a fair review, then so be it. But when the reviewer explicitly displays a predisposition of negativity and expectations of dislike and failure, that's not a fair review.
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    Jun 01, 2012 7:34 AM GMT
    A lone GaGa fan found at a Madonna concert....

  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 01, 2012 7:35 AM GMT
    ECnAZ said
    Ariodante saidIn my crystal ball I see Madonna fans rustling like angry hornets at anything that even has the slightest anti-madonna whiff to it.


    Nah. If it's a fair review, then so be it. But when the reviewer explicitly displays a predisposition of negativity and expectations of dislike and failure, that's not a fair review.


    i might not be predisposed to love her, but by no means am i gunning for her. had she given a great show, i would have called it like i saw it. if anything, you're bound to get a more biased review from a fan, which is why it's etymologically linked to fanatic. i've written many a review (i worked as a critic) where i've said i didn't want to love something, but i did love at the end. was it all horrible and the most miserable two hours of my life? of course not. but if you're going to argue with me that she sang well, made an interesting set list, and did more than just a bunch of flash, you clearly are blinded by your love for her.
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    Jun 01, 2012 7:56 AM GMT
    calibro said
    ECnAZ said
    Ariodante saidIn my crystal ball I see Madonna fans rustling like angry hornets at anything that even has the slightest anti-madonna whiff to it.


    Nah. If it's a fair review, then so be it. But when the reviewer explicitly displays a predisposition of negativity and expectations of dislike and failure, that's not a fair review.


    i might not be predisposed to love her, but by no means am i gunning for her. had she given a great show, i would have called it like i saw it. if anything, you're bound to get a more biased review from a fan, which is why it's etymologically linked to fanatic. i've written many a review (i worked as a critic) where i've said i didn't want to love something, but i did love at the end. was it all horrible and the most miserable two hours of my life? of course not. but if you're going to argue with me that she sang well, made an interesting set list, and did more than just a bunch of flash, you clearly are blinded by your love for her.


    But, saying this is MUCH different than how you originally presented it. Your initial presentation on this and the other thread was of immediate judgement and expectations of failure. I appreciate the balanced approach you took here. If I'm being honest, yes, I did feel like you were "gunning" for her at first.

    And, yes, I am a Madonna fan. But I am a fan because she entertains me. I know her voice sucks 95% of the time when she sings live. But I don't go to her concerts for her vocals. Never have because I know she isn't a strong singer, and Madonna, herself, has even admitted she's not the strongest singer. Now, if she went around dubbing herself "The Voice", and she sang the way she does, then I wouldn't be a fan because of the contradiction.
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    Jun 01, 2012 7:57 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said

    Ammeye ryte or wut? icon_eek.gif


    Um, no. Now you just stand there and keep looking purrtty, ok? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
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    Jun 01, 2012 7:59 AM GMT
    Based on the leaked clips and photos I've seen, this tour seems miles better than the Sticky & Sweet Tour, and perhaps even the Confessions Tour. The sets, the costumes, the choreography... I can't wait to see the show in September! I wonder how it will translate to a smaller venue though, like Rogers Arena. That stage looks huge!

    The opening looks epic. And the audience seemed happy and enthusiastic to me......oh well, glass half full.



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    Jun 01, 2012 8:00 AM GMT
    I can't understand how someone who has been a singer for 20+ years can be not a great singer. Isn't there a voice coach or something? Anyone could become a great singer with that much time, those resources and with the voice being their focus.
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    Jun 01, 2012 8:01 AM GMT
    pocketnico saidA lone GaGa fan found at a Madonna concert....



    1:08
    Hornet: "Madonna SUX!!!"