Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Review: Madonna, Copenhagen, 2nd of July 2012

Finally, it was time for me to see one of the artists I've wanted to see for a long time. My mum had a cassette tape of the album Like a prayer which I snatched when I was around 9-10. Today I can find the cassette cover but not the actual tape. My favourite songs on that tape was Dear Jessie and most importantly Like a prayer which I still to this day squeal/sing to. Despite that and that I've never owned a record by Madonna she's always been the queen of pop to me.

Me and J decided to take the car instead of the train since several had been cancelled and the train we were planning to go with were really delayed. I started to get nervous though when J's gps didn't work as it should and we rolled the streets up and down to find the place but we finally ended up at Parken in Copenhagen.

Some days earlier we had gotten an e-mail about things to not bring and that the waiting time to get in could be up to 45 minutes. When we got there way past the time they were suppose to open the doors - they were still closed. I think all in all with waiting and being padded down took 10 minutes.

We soon found our seats which were pretty far away but with a nice view of the whole stage. I had been afraid before we got there that our view was going to be obstructed by a pillar.

Support act: Martin Solveig
It was said that the support act was going to start at 20:00 (8:00pm) but the time came and gone. Closer to 20:30 (8:30pm) did Martin Solveig enter the stage. For an hour he remixed some Madonna songs, Daft Punk, Rihanna and so forth. It was a pretty good start for the evening. The mix was good and he really tried to pump the audience up for Madonna by for example getting us sing LUV MDNA. Even the bit older couple next to me and J moved their bodies to the music and sang along to some of the songs!

Main act: Madonna
What can I say? At a bit after 22:00 (10:00pm) it started. The opening with monks and bells with a backdrop of a crucifix was jaw dropping, but I didn't expect anything less from Madonna. It was accompanied by the song: The Prayer Ouverture: Act of Contrition (with Kalakan).

After that it was full throttle ahead all the way through to midnight and I can definitely see why she's still the queen of Pop, after 30 years.

Madonna in the spotlight (only photo I took)

I've seen excerpts on TV from earlier tours and I was looking forward to a splendid concert. Madonna didn't disappoint me. Some of my favourite moments must have been...
  • when she sang Express yourself mixed with Born this way by Lady Gaga and She's not me 
  • almost undressing herself and showing 'No fear' on her back and then singing a slow and powerful version of Like a virgin

I also cried during the video interlude with Nobody knows me where youths who have killed themselves due to LGBTQ was shown on the backdrop. Powerful and important to highlight and I think it's great that Madonna does it.

She also had a dance lesson with the audience. She taught us to stand up against hate, discrimination and prejudice with the word 'chagarido' (unsure of spelling) which we're suppose to say if someone for example say something discriminating. Important was to remember to jump at -do to give it more power: chagari-DO.

My number one favourite moment though must have been to see Like a prayer live with the choir in the background. It was strong, it was massive and I sang my heart out together with the audience and Madonna.

I really liked that even at the times when Madonna wasn't on stage you could still feel here presence. I can definitely say she was good both on and off stage. The dancers were amazing too, specially when they bent every bone they had in all directions.

Also, the stage set was intriguing and powerful. It moved, went up and down and had 'traps' in the floor where both Madonna and dancers could disappear. Really finicky. It worked well with the choreography of the show. To be frank that was what it was: a show, more than a concert. Madonna herself have even said she wanted to have acts (as plays and shows have) in her concert. I liked that.

What I liked less, during the concert/show, was the choreography to Gang bang. Mostly because it was so early in the show (4th song). It was hard and rough with the gun shots and blood sprayed over the backdrop when Madonna shot the dancers one after one. It was definitely an attention grabber though and I couldn't keep my eyes away.

Something I did like was the fact that even if you've heard Madonna's songs a hundred times before she made it into something new. I know a lot of reviews says she was stiff and slaughtered her old classics but I must say, wouldn't it been boring if you've gotten all the classics straight up? If you want it that way, stay at home and put on one of her records instead.

This is her 9th tour, she can't come with the same songs every time in the same package, neither for herself nor the audience. The excellence with Madonna is that she has reinvented herself for 30 years.

She is played and listened to by a diverse group of people and ages just because she's an artist and not just a singer. She's a show woman and that is what I like about her, that's what I see have affected younger female artists. There's much to say about Britney, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and other female artists but Madonna is the original who paved the road for them. I hope she will continue give a show and go against discrimination, hate, prejudice and stereotypical views!

The whole set list:
Act 1: Transgression
The Prayer Ouverture: Act of Contrition (with Kalakan) (with excerpts from "Lekhah dodi")
Girl Gone Wild (with samples from "Material Girl" and "Give It 2 Me")
Gang Bang
Papa Don't Preach
Hung Up (with samples from "Girl Gone Wild")
I Don't Give A

Act 2: Prophecy
Best Friend (video interlude; with samples from "Heartbeat")
Express Yourself (with excerpts from "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga and "She's Not Me")
Give Me All Your Luvin'
Turning Up the Hits (video interlude; with samples from several Madonna songs)
Turn Up the Radio
Open Your Heart (with Kalakan) (with excerpts from "Sagarra jo!" by Kalakan)
Masterpiece (with Kalakan)

Act 3: Masculine/Feminine
Justify My Love (video interlude)
Candy Shop (with samples from "Ashamed of Myself" by Kelley Polar and excerpts from "Erotica")
Human Nature
Like a Virgin (with samples from "Evgeni's Waltz" by Abel Korzeniowski)

Act 4: Redemption
Nobody Knows Me (video interlude)
I'm Addicted
I'm a Sinner (with Kalakan) (with excerpts from "Cyber-Raga")
Like a Prayer
Celebration (with samples from "Girl Gone Wild")

I have to say that I was sad there wasn't an encore. Madonna finished with Celebration and then it was just over and out. The lights above the stage lit and the speakers turned on a Madonna song at low volume. Some people stayed but the masses started to slowly withdraw from the arena. I would have loved a massive 'One more time' from the audience and forced Madonna out again if so just to take a last bow in front of us.

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