Last night my house became that rare territory where no-one else is allowed near the TV. Joe was sent to bed to watch Sex and the City DVDs and our housemate Mat was launched towards a hot Italian guy for dinner. The reason? MDNA Live. The concert DVD of Madonna’s last incredible tour.
I’m the first to admit that this tour didn’t really do the business in stadiums. I was one of the lucky ones to be close enough to the stage in Edinburgh, so I pretty much got the full gist of what Her Madgesty was projecting. Pals in the gods at the back of Murrayfield however (and other UK shows) claimed to miss most of the action and were pissed off that the sound was so terrible.
The MDNA live DVD shows you exactly how Madonna thrives. Close up, in person… and in a light controlled environment.
Kicking off with the Virgin Mary, a chant delivered by the Kalakan Trio that seems to last as long as the Olympic Closing Ceremony, M bursts on stage, gun in hand in a black version of her wedding veil and proceeds to scream her way through Girl Gone Wild. It seems there’s 100 cameras on her as it looks amazing. Unfortunately it sounds like my eight year old niece on karaoke. I put it down to not being able to hear herself from the screaming fans as for the rest of the show she sounds incredible (apart from missing a few of her customary chest-belts in Express Yourself).
Highlights of the show for me include the bits I didn’t get to see in Edinburgh as she cut them short due to running over. Like a Virgin (yes..she came to Edinburgh for the first time in her 30 year career and didn’t sing Like a Fucking Virgin). She also dropped I’m Addicted my favourite track on the new record in favour of I’m a Sinner, my least favourite. Both are remarkable live performances within a wonderful body of work. Nevertheless, the real highlight is her incredibly emotive version of Love Spent, a song that wasn’t put into the set list until much later on the tour.
As a die-hard fan, I loved the experience of sitting on my sofa for two hours watching one of my heroes perform. It’s hard to see why there was so much complaining that she didn’t sing her hits. Express Yourself, Like a Prayer, Vogue, Open Your Heart, Human Nature are all in there. As are some fan favourites with Candy Shop, Revolver, Celebration and even Cyber Raga making an appearance.
The show is really dark. There’s lots of violence and conflicting imagery, and the editing tells the story exactly how it was conceptualised. Not since In Bed With Madonna has her live experience been captured so brilliantly.
If you’re a fan – get it. If not, try and see it at a friend’s. She’ll definitely surprise you.
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