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Sticky & Sweet Tour: revues de presse du concert de Chicago.
- Madonna goes back in time, around the world [Post-Tribune, October 27, 2008]
- Grins all around: Madonna's a dancing fool [Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2008]
- Madonna's electrical hit parade [Daily Herald, October 27, 2008]
- Madonna goes back in time, around the world
October 27, 2008
BY MARK GUARINO
Mark Guarino is a Chicago free-lance writer.
For the Average Joe, plumber or no, an identity crisis is a private thing, aided by psychological therapy and a lot of pharmaceuticals.
But for Madonna, an identity crisis takes a different toll: Mock catharsis before about 35,000 fans.
At the United Center Sunday, the first of two stops on her current Sticky and Sweet Tour, Madonna confronted the multiple identities she's rotated through since 1982. Using "She's Not Me," a new song, she redirected the lyrics sung from the perspective of a jilted lover to four dancers costumed in the iconic images of her past hits: the virgin in the wedding dress, the "Material Girl" starlet, the blonde with ambition in the conical bra and the "Vogue" ingenue.
Each was assaulted by the present day incarnation. She ripped off their wigs, tore their dresses and otherwise thrashed against her past, which was finally killed -- appropriately -- by a kiss. And suffocation by bridal veil.
Madonna is a master of disguise, but even at age 50 she manages to elude. Recent news of her divorce did not make it to the stage -- well, suffocating her dancer in that bridal veil may have meant something -- because her current, and perhaps most lasting, manifestation is that of a stone-faced aerobics master who finds pleasure in choreographed combat.
After playing every role and foraging every musical style, what's left? Many of Madonna's favorite roles were reprised on this tour, but few felt freshly renewed. Most worn is her role as global messenger. A video interlude flashed images of world poverty and benevolent celebrities, but the underlying message of saving the world rang hollow. A more credible gesture may have been hosting tables in the lobby advocating Darfur relief, instead of images of emaciated children set to disco beats.
A good part of the show was dedicated to Eastern European music -- which included a gypsy band performing the Spanish-language "La Isla Bonita," which led to a cantina sequence and "You Must Love Me," a ballad from "Evita." It was commendable how she transformed a part of her catalog that seemed most unshakable, but mixing all languages, dress, and musical styles made the sequence feel like global clutter.
Madonna is still best served on the dance floor. Almost two hours long, the show mostly consisted of songs from "Hard Candy" (Warner Bros.), a new album that combined hip-hop swagger and hard beats.
Older songs were remixed to keep up: "Into the Groove" and "Like a Prayer" thumped more intensely than ever. Strapping on a guitar, she also reminded the audience she came of age in the punk era: "Borderline," her first Top Ten hit from 1984, became raucous pop-punk.
The most impressive sequence of the night was the return to the old school. Keith Haring characters danced in animation in the background while dancers break-danced and a DJ spun hip-hop. Together they looked like the cast of "Fame" and Madonna looked less the elder than just one of the gang.
She proved it too: Joining in the jump-rope line, she did the Double Dutch like she was 16, ending with her hands raised in victory.
"You can't touch this!" she yelled in a dare, less about sweat and more about stamina.
Madonna performs Sunday night at the United Center.
Photo: Tom Cruze/Sun-Times.
- Grins all around: Madonna's a dancing fool
Originally posted: October 27, 2008
Smiles don’t come easy for Madonna.
Instead, there are usually smirks, sneers, pouts, leers and thin-lipped, tough-as-nails displays of contempt for anyone who would dare mess with her. Madonna, she’s one tough dominatrix, and she’s got better developed biceps than just about any of the fans who filled the United Center on Sunday for the first of two concerts.
But smile she did Sunday, and often. Madonna having fun on stage? Exuding warmth rather than wielding a riding crop? Yes, it happened, a refreshing break from recent tours which presented a woman on a take-no-prisoners mission.
Consider the 50-year-old singer’s three-decade history as a performer: Her dancing, endurance and high-concept sets are never less than ambitious. But usually they have all the spontaneity of a big-budget Broadway musical.
Her tours are always technically impressive, and this one was no exception, a four-part blitz of video, dances with 16 accomplices and costume changes involving (no lie) “3,500 individual wardrobe elements,” according to a tour guide. And there were the usual canned vocals; about half the time, the massive “voice” coming out of the public-address system had little to do with the performer on stage. Once again the line between live performance and hyper-stylized MTV video was blurred --- a concept Madonna practically invented in the ‘80s.
In many ways, the “Sticky & Sweet” tour is more of the same. But it was less muddled by high-concept statements, and threw itself into a low-concept sweat. Here was a show that sustained an “Into the Groove”-like party vibe for nearly two straight hours. Big Ideas were conspicuously absent, save for a dunderheaded video interlude equating a certain presidential candidate with fascists and mass murderers and another candidate with saints and liberators.
Otherwise, Madonna switched off her brain and flipped on the mirror-ball switch. She muscled up to push a car full of dancers, then impersonated Joan Jett with an electric guitar-driven version of “Borderline.” Much headbanging ensued.
The fun quotient was never higher than on “She’s Not Me,” with the singer interacting with four dancers dolled up like Madonnas of the past, including the “Like a Virgin” tease in a wedding dress and her platinum-haired Marilyn Monroe incarnation.
Things slowed a bit during the third segment, with a shrouded performer atop a piano in a cage-like cylinder, but peaked with a celebratory “La Isla Bonita,” complete with flamenco string band. A beaming Madonna strutted arm in arm with a retinue of female dancers, and it was almost possible to see her not as a pop icon, a hard-edged diva, but as the ringleader of a gang. Of course, she ruined that illusion by slipping into her big “Evita” ballad, “You Must Love Me,” which sounded more like a demand than a plea.
No matter. “Like a Prayer” soon rolled in, and then Madonna took requests. She stumbled through a few lines of “Beautiful Stranger,” then got back on script by strapping on her guitar for a heavy metal “Hung Up.” This was Madonna doing disco with feedback firing and devil horns flashing. Once again, she was grinning, this time like a 15-year-old listening to an AC/DC eight-track in the high school parking lot. It’s a good look.
Madonna set list:
"Beat Goes On"
"Die Another Day" (Remix) (Video Interlude)
"Into the Groove"
"She's Not Me"
"Rain" (Remix) (Video Interlude)
"Devil Wouldn't Recognize You"
"La Isla Bonita"
"Doli Doli" (Dance Interlude)
"You Must Love Me"
"Get Stupid" (Video Interlude)
"Like a Prayer"
"Ray of Light"
"Give It 2 Me"
Source: Chicago Tribune.
- Madonna's electrical hit parade
Extravagant United Center show reimagines Madge's pop catalog
By Jeff Pizek | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 10/27/2008 12:04 AM
Madonna's "Sticky & Sweet Tour" stopped for the first of two concerts at United Center Sunday, toting a reported 3,500 individual wardrobe elements by 36 different designers, 28 onstage performers and nine hydraulic lifts. With a production this huge and a sold-out crowd paying $50 to $350 per seat, it would seem the economy is doing just fine.
By touching on each of her 11 albums (with "Erotica" and "American Life" relegated to wardrobe-change video interludes), the chameleonic pop icon should have had diversity on her side. Instead, her setlist leaned heavily on her dance music, as club-oriented material has sold the best for her in recent years. These hard-thumping songs celebrated self-confidence, sexuality and, uh, dancing, reflecting her career-long love of electronic beats, yet also selling her adaptability short.
Three quarters of Madonna's 2008 album "Hard Candy" were aired, including the hit Justin Timberlake duet "4 Minutes," which aside from its bright brass samples sounded identical in its hypnotic monotony to Timberlake's "SexyBack." That's somewhat understandable since both tracks share predictable megaproducer Timbaland, but it points to a larger problem with Madonna's recent stuff. Sure, it fits into the current pop landscape better than that of any veteran artist, but it no longer stands out.
Take the new arrangement of "Vogue," which incorporated pulsing electro beats and elements of newer Madonna songs. This approach helped the decades-old track blend in with the sleek contemporary material, but to the effect of making it interchangeable with the rest. A rocked-up variation on early hit "Borderline," one of several during which Madonna stummed a guitar, certainly sounded different, but lacking the bubbly enthusiasm of the original synth-pop setting.
"Into the Groove" fared much better, set to a thumping house rhythm with breakdancers and animated Keith Haring art nodding to its '80s origin. "La Isla Bonita" also sounded energized by a quicker tempo and Romany folk musicians injecting the evening's most genuine multicultural expression.
But, hey, who sees Madonna for the music? Her shows are more like theatrical productions, her dancers and lighting technicians as crucial to the night as her lithe, limber strutting. Although it started nearly an hour late, the spectacle was seamless and immense, from the ever-moving video screens (they held cameos by Kanye West and Britney Spears) to the bizarre boxing/dance routine accompanying the prerecorded "Die Another Day."
Yet the biggest spectacle of all was naturally Madonna herself. She's in fantastic shape and almost never stopped moving while she was in front of the crowd, all of which spoke volumes about her self-respect. However, during new track "She's Not Me," she flashed dozens of images of herself on the screens while dismissing a series of look-alikes, turning a pithy kiss-off to an ex-lover into a creepy parade of self-worship.
Source: Daily Herald.
Madonna puts on a show, including a car, for fans at the United Center.
Madonna wows fans during a sold out show at the United Center.
Madonna strums and struts for fans at the United Center.
Photos: Bill Zars/Daily Herald.