Friday, September 14, 2012

Madonna Plays Toronto: Oh, the Humanity

There has always been something a little off about Madonna.

I get the impression when she was less famous and more reigned in, those were the times she really shone.  I think the height of her fame was the Like a Prayer era, or even just after, with Blond Ambition or Vogue. But the video for Like a Prayer is a great starting point for this discussion.  No one wanted to see Madonna dancing with burning crosses, but they looked, it was a spectacle, the song was great, and it all became part of the show.  Despite her supposed protests, the spectacle portion of her act has increased with time and actually now takes over the show, and as in Like a Prayer, it's still a spectacle no one wants to see.

Roseanne has a similar career path, where as she got more famous, she got more control, but she also lost touch with reality and ruined her show.  Madonna has crossed that line herself, and there's really no going back from that point. 

Last night's show at the ACC, in support or her new album, MDNA, was a train wreck.  Elton John has been talking a lot of crap about Madonna lately and she proved him right last night.

MDNA is Madonna's second worst album, and a great example of what I've been saying.  When a 55 year old mother of four decides to name her album after a recreational drug, where is someone in her life telling her no?  When, with her worst album, American Life, Madge decides to protest the Iraqi war by doing a rap about yoga (!?!?!?), someone needs to smack her in the face and say "Look, bitch!  You're ruining your career!"

A smack in the face was sorrowly missing last night.

The 8 pm show opened 2 hours and 20 minutes late with a group of monks swinging a large lantern over the crowd while chanting for ten minutes.

Just let that sink in a minute.

Madge finally shows up in a leather cat suit with a large firearm and sings some song from her new album that no one in the whole place knows.  She shoots her fake gun at everyone with blood splattering on the screen for 10 minutes, switching guns as she goes.

This ends with her heading back to a sleazy motel and sitting on a bed drinking a bottle of whiskey while shooting more people as they try to enter her room and singing "My love's a revolver - Do you want to get happy?" which makes no sense.

Why she would think that anyone would want to see this is beyond me.  No one did.  It was a train wreck. She has completely lost touch with reality.

Moving on thankfully from there, we get Madonna in a cheerleader outfit.  Picture an evening at grandmother's house where she starts talking about her glory days and how she used to be a cheerleader in high school.  Everyone just keeps their mouth shut and humours the old broad - for a while.  Until she says "Here, let me get in to my costume and do one of my old routines!"  This is when everyone comes to life and says thing like "No, gramma" or "Stop, gramma" or "Oh, the humanity!"

This is what the crowd was chanting last night.

Madge sang several songs from her new terrible album, dropping very occasionally into hits like "Holiday" which she played for only 30 seconds with a whole new beat and missing most of the words.

The highlight for me was seeing her son Rocco looking very grown up.

At about the hour mark she launched into most of the song Vogue while wearing something slightly resembling a pointed bra.  Even though she ruined the ending by cutting it off too quick, this was the only one of the five hits she sang last night which even resembled the original and I knew that was the best it was going to get. We left about 11:30, vowing never to return. As we were leaving we heard her singing a song about visiting the candy store, as "sugar is sweet". A candy store.  A 55 year old woman.  Yikes.

Many in the stands last night were women, about 40, wanting a night to escape their day and step back in time for a minute to their youth.  They weren't getting that.

Many on the floor last night were gay men who came to see their idol be the empowering feminist singing her disco songs.  They weren't getting that.

What everyone got was a tired woman looking older than her years, sitting on a bed and drinking Whiskey straight from the bottle while shooting people in the head and splattering their blood.

Oh, the humanity.

The end of an era.

1 comment:

Juan said...

it's refreshing to read a blunt and honest review of this tour. it's making a ton of money but who's buying the album? on top of that so few hits played and all this weird gun stuff. thanks for the review!