Yesterday we saw photos and video from Madonna’s recent concert stop in Rome, Italy on her MDNA World Tour where she happily and brazenly bared her bum (just days after she even more brazenly bared her breast in Istanbul, Turkey). Today we get to read, in full, a review of the concert published by Vogue Italia
. As you can read below, the reviewer didn’t really find much about the show that she liked. In fact, the scathing nature of the review makes it quite evident that the reviewer was not a fan of the show at all. Can Madonna’s new tour really be that bad? Read on to find out what Vogue Italia says.
The Queen of Pop, Madonna, has left the building. Seconds after the last echoes of the closing number, Celebration (which saw Rocco Ritchie dancing with his mother and sister Lourdes) faded out, a couple of luxury cars were seen speeding out of the back of the stage. There would be no encores, no coming back for more, no extra songs to make up for a very late start: Madonna’s show leaves nothing to chance or spontaneity.
Everything is meticulously calculated and bears little resemblance to what we would normally call a “concert”, including some suspiciously pristine vocals in the middle of very choreography-heavy songs.
The MDNA Tour, like all other Madonna tours, is more akin to musical theatre than music gig. Huge, spectacular, often slightly tacky, obvously expensive, it feels like a very long Glee fantasy sequence crossed with a particularly lavish Eurovision Song Contest performance, with better songs and a lot less humour.
The tracks from her latest album, MDNA, struggle to keep up not only with her earlier material, but also with some of her more recent output: Human Nature and Hung Up seemed to get a far better reception than any of the newer songs, with the possible exception of Girl Gone Wild and Give Me All Your Luvin’. A slowed-down, BDSM-themed re-reading of Like a Virgin drew quite a few hisses and boos from the crowd; elsewhere, honesty paid off, as in the case of a rousing, relatively simple performance of Like a Prayer that had everyone on their feet.
The blame may in fact lay in the poor quality of the sound for anyone not standing directly in front of the stage. The overall feeling was that some of the audience were quite simply left out of the show, which lost most of its punch when viewed from a distance.
And, of course, the controversy, this time in the form of chaste mooning. All somewhat expected from the woman who has been courting controversy for over thirty years, to the point that we have become desensitized to it; and even her tongue-in-cheek, passive-aggressive insertion of Born this Way into Express Yourself only served to remind us of how Lady Gaga’s affectionate, generous approach to live performance is her most valuable asset.
Madonna deserves credit for her longevity and staying power, but there is little she can do to tweak her stage persona without losing status. Gaga gets smacked upside the head by a giant bar and soldiers on through the rest of the gig; Madonna sees a flag land on the stage at her feet and kicks it back down. And there, children, lies all the difference in the world.