If you have a yearning for all 80s, nothing takes you back to this old school pop beat than the original material girl, Madonna. Even way before Lady Gaga was a gleam in her parent’s eye, Madonna ruled the day.
For one night on November 17 she stopped in Atlanta on her current MDNA tour, her ninth. The multi-generational audience was patient as they waited for her to appear on stage until 10:20 PM after DJ Marius Devries warmed up the sold out Phillips Arena crowd.
From my vantage point the stage was a protruding triangle shape with an inner triangle space outline that held her designated VIP “Golden Triangle Bitches”.
Madonna was not afraid to be touchy feely this time around and interacted with the audience as she shared “she feeds off the energy”.
For a bit over two and a half hours she wowed the audience with multiple costume changes and multimedia splash. Her stamina is unbelievable as she kept up with the youngest of her 20 something year old dancers. Madonna was not afraid for a close up “booty” shot as she stuck a pose and really rocked out with her guitar.
Madonna themes fell into her traditional messages centering around anti-Catholic, political economic inequality, and of course overt sexual openness. This night’s story was the transition from “darkness to light”.
Being a Madonna fan from the early 80s it is hard believe she is pushing mid-fifties. This blond bombshell is not afraid to push the limits of her physical capabilities with all that jumpin’ and jivin’ and not once did I hear any huffing and puffing.
The beginning of the show was set in a gothic cathedral with monks in robes calmly chanting rhythmic incantations of spiritual sounds from a huge scale alter while incense filled thurible swinging back and forth. Madonna came out in a confessional both chanting “oh my God” with a back drop of multiple big high def digital screens streaming multimedia of shifting images that transported you toward the heavens.
She then takes off with a revolver in hand into a seedy hotel scene and shoots her way out in a mix of James Bond and Tarrentino blended scenes that hit the targets right on.
Pushing her latest album MDNA, she sprinkle past hits and jumped right into “Papa Don’t Preach” which made the crowd join in.
Quickly shifting gears with a marching band and in a cheerleading costume she sang “Express Yourself” and mixed in a bit of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” to give her a nod that she knows Lady Gaga took her style and tempo even though imitation can be a great form of flattery.
Madonna took her baton and twirled it all over. Nikki Minaj made a video cameo as to way to nod and say, “yeah, sister you’re hip” in their duo song.
A little river dance was mixed into “Open Your Heart” with mixin’ it up break dancers and then in a snapping flash she moved into high stylin’ “Vogue”. The stage majestically shifted with multimedia dimensions created a layering of color in a flashing rubric cube type of hi tech mix up.
Where pleasure and plain draw a fine line, Madonna took to the vice grip of a bustier and tighten to showcase her hour shape figure.
Gyrating on the grown and getting as naked as she would that night a tight-fitting costume she came out and made a plea for those who suffered in New York.
In a cue to her Jewish faith Kabbalah she brought three guys who sang some traditional versus.
The last sequence was high fast pace moving lights and sound explosion in “celebration” and she showed no sign of slowing down. As always she kept you wanting more and even for the high ticket price you felt you had your money’s worth.
Her sound surely makes this majority middle age rainbow color mixed crowd yearn for days long gone, when the world was full of possibilities the simpler conquests were wanting to “express ourselves”. Bravo, these are the reasons why there will only ever be one Madonna.
With 88 shows and an estimated $225 million dollar take, MDNA now shifts down to South America, keep up with Madonna at http://www.madonna.com/
As a bonus her is a copy of her setlist
- “Gregorian Chants/Virgin Mary” (Kalakan Introduction) (contains excerpts of “Lekhah Dodi”, “Psalm 91“ and of “Birjina Gaztetto bat Zegoen“)
- “Girl Gone Wild” (contains excerpts from “Material Girl“, along with elements of “Give It 2 Me” and the “Offer Nissim Remix”)
- “Gang Bang“
- “Papa Don’t Preach“
- “Hung Up” (contains elements of “Girl Gone Wild”)
- “I Don’t Give A”
- “Best Friend” (Remix) (Video Interlude) (contains excerpts from “Heartbeat”)
- “Express Yourself” (contains excerpts from “Born This Way” and “She’s Not Me”)
- “Give Me All Your Luvin’” (Just Blaze Remix)
- “Turning Up the Hits” (Video Interlude) (contains excerpts from “Holiday“, “Into the Groove“, “Lucky Star“, “Like a Virgin“, “4 Minutes“, “Ray of Light” and “Music“)
- “Turn Up the Radio” (contains elements of the Leo Zero Remix)
- “Open Your Heart” (contains elements of “Sagarra Jo”)
- “Justify My Love” (Remix) (Video Interlude)
- “Candy Shop” (contains elements of “Ashamed of Myself“, along with excerpts from “Erotica“)
- “Human Nature
- “Like a Virgin” (contains elements of “Evgeni’s Waltz“)
- “Love Spent”[B] (contains elements of the acoustic version and a reprise of “Evgeni’s Waltz”)
- “Nobody Knows Me” (Remix) (Video Interlude)
- “I’m Addicted“
- “I’m a Sinner” (contains elements of “Cyber-Raga” and “De Trevilles-n azken hitzak”)
- “Like a Prayer“
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Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad
Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.
Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”
Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.
The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.
Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair
The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.
What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.
Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.
Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.” The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.
Years & Years at Royale Boston
During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.
Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.
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