I am a relatively new Madonna fan. In my younger years the only songs I liked by Madonna were the never dying “Vogue” and later the pseudo rap song “Don’t Tell Me” accompanied by the Wrangler/Marlboro/Gap commercial video. Madonna was so controversial in my youth that I dared not be associated as one of her fans. True story. It was only in the last year with the Lady GaGa Establishment take over that nearly drove me insane that I decided to go back to the roots of nearly every blonde thing that has tried to be the next innovator controversial spectacle. I bought her two disc “Celebration” hit set and the concert set she released of the “Hard Candy” tour. I loved the concert so much I bought an older concert from the Drowned World Tour, and a couple of more albums. Given the longevity of her career, I don’t think anyone can still say she is only famous for her sexcapades in music videos and song….she really has not done that in a long time. I loved the passion she put in Evita (one thing I did watch in my teens) I loved the guts she had to be controversial and yes to re invent her style (I say style because the term “reinvent herself”is overdone and not true. Becoming more mature,having children changing your stage style and music style is not reinventing yourself. Madonna is the same person just like Cher is the same person) I also did respect her business sense,she has trailed on no ones coat tails and took no ones advice but her own and she still defied the odds.
It doesn’t mean that she is likable or a soft cozy person. One reason I liked to watch the behind the stage cuts off the concert DVD was it showed snapshots of her acting silly or reprimanding the auditioning dancers for being a “strip show”. It seemed more real then her interviews where she never makes eye contact with the interviewer and always sounds like she is marrying into the Royal Family…cold and controlled. But as far as the DVDs of stage performances that I own,a Madonna concert is one I would like to see. Her vocals are not that of Bette Midler but I would rather hear weak vocals that are not auto tuned with something to say,then the synthesized to perfection meanderings that come across pop today.
So I was real excited that Madonna was going to do the half time show for Super Bowl 2012. I was really interested to see what she would do. Some critics made fun that it would be her…for some reason. Some called it a comeback but that made no sense because she has not went anywhere. (Those were NEW releases I bought last year). I am fascinated by the intricate and exact timing that goes into the Half Time Show,but it seems that every artist tries to out do great shows before them-like they want to see how much of a circus they can get on a stage in precise exact timing. Allot of people liked it but half way through I was bored. Too much. It was the equivalent of watching a Mission Impossible movie with one of those never ending fight scenes….like get to the point already. Granted her concerts have allot of circus…as does Cher’s as did Michael’s…but there is time to balance it with a few vocal only performances…a few lower key elements. Things that are not really afforded in adrenaline rush hat time show for Super Bowl I guess….although Michael did sing “Heal The World” and Prince did sing “Purple Rain”….in the rain.( best show ever).
Thee were three special guests, Nicki Minaj who has tweeted anyone who would listen that Madonna kissed her on her Birthday. This got all kinds of press although nobody saw the kiss and Madonna says it was not even really a kiss. This got so much coverage that I figured they would kiss on the Super Bowl stage. I thought they did because we got that “5 second block out” by the network. I still am not sure what that was about but no one has reported that their was yet another girl kiss by Madonna. Good thing….I mean really? Foreshadowing for a month and then kissing on stage…again? I wouldn’t brag if I were Nicki,considering every new pop Barbie that Madonna has kissed usually hits a road block in their career that lasts for the next decade. There was M.I.A. who apparently did the most memorable thing that nobody even saw! She in her emotional rapping uttered something nobody heard and flipped the middle finger which in all the mili- second camera swooping no one saw. It is not just me,it is every news site and blog I read today when I was trying to figure out what the CBS block party in the middle of the show was about. They all start with “you probably didn’t see it but”…and an accompanying video of the offense. What? …are we trying to drum up the same kind of uproar that accompanied the Janet/Justin show years ago? If it keeps being talked about the way it is it will be, because apparently that was the only thing memorable in a show with tight rope acts,smoke and Egyptian style dancing (another incarnation of Vogue…gotta give it to her-how many themes can you give that song).
Cee Lo Green was there but you never heard him. He accompanied Madonna on the old favorite “Just Like a Prayer” the song which Madonna ends all her shows with but this rendition was just boring. Maybe she was not lying when she said she was nervous because she really seemed out of element-just like her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes except to music. Like she was expected to meet some invisible criteria that everyone was judging. Her work directorial debut W.E , which she calls a work of passion,that she promoted in every avenue she could is not getting coverage except from her,so I don’t know why she didn’t insert it’s award winning theme song into her performance instead of giving that same tired performance of “Like a Prayer”. Heck even her stage intro was almost identical to “The sticky and Sweet Tour, the only difference was she was dressed as an Egyptian goddess instead of Carrie Bradshaw. I almost put in that DVD just to make my wait worth while. In fact Lady G probbly would have had more passion-the girl has pipes and would have played on an elevated piano and seemed more in tune with the crowd. John Mellencamp-who is from Indiana would have had a little soul as well. Oh well… I guess everyone cannot be on the same plane as Prince who can take two girls, a guitar and a microphone and turn the world on its axis.(I still don’t think he lip synced)
All in all as impressive as the woman can be this wasn’t. She looked great as usual but it was not anything new,except for her new song that features rappers…oh yay. Stop doing dance albums Madge. You don’t need to. Remember the incredible album that was introspective and the best album you had done up to that point…and since? Ray of Light? Go somewhere quiet and get some insight again, the only way to defeat the Beyonce’s and GaGa’s of the World is not to join them or attempt to out perform them, it is to out think them…which we all know you can do.
Madonna Ray of Light Live “Drowned World”
Madonna Devil Wouldn’t Recognize “Sticky and Sweet Tour”
Madonna Halftime Show
Prince Half Time Show -2007