Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour Proves She Still Has What It Takes To Be Modern Pop Standard

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What can be said about Madonna Louise Ciccone, aka Madonna, that hasn’t been said, seen, or written dozens of times before? Nothing really, I suppose, so I’m just going to focus on this CD/DVD set what it is and what it does.

This set shows that despite the passage of time, Madonna at 59 is still the Queen of Pop she was in the eighties, able to put on a pop show unlike any other, still the consummate professional who knows what she is doing and what needs to be done to turn an already frenzied audience into a frenzied mob. What helps makes this possible is the technical advances enabling the “off the charts” stage show that they could only hint at back in those “dark ages.”

The CD doesn’t have as many songs as the DVD, but that is okay; not because I didn’t like many of the songs, but even those on the CD didn’t convey themselves effectively on the disc. What I mean is there is so much production that is part of every song on this concert, hearing just the songs without seeing the production left it lacking. Compounded with the roar of the crowd, upon listening to the CD, I just kept feeling I was missing something--and believe me, when you do watch the DVD, you realize right away: you were. The sonics are okay, but it is hard to follow the music through the audience noise and video music. For listening purposes, I would find it okay to have on as I was doing something or were driving somewhere, but I would not consider it for serious listening.

The DVD on the other hand is quite the opposite!

From the onset, the conceptual choreography is off the charts--and the opening is several minutes long before we ever see Madonna. As the DVD played I was mesmerized by what was playing out before me, to the point where even though I could see Madonna singing her songs, I was not paying any attention to the lyrics; they were secondary to what was happening on stage: a mix of live action and video screens.

What I was seeing, I imagined, would be what MTV would be doing now if they still made music videos. Even songs where the visualness was subdued, to focus more on Madonna herself singing a song, in its own way blew you away because it gave you time to catch your breath and set you up for the next. It’s the same way, albeit in totally different genre, Alice Cooper does his shows.

And let’s face it: Madonna was always more of a visual performer than a song substance performer. None of her songs ever inspired deep thought, and some of the songs here kind of embrace that persona ala “Bitch I’m Madonna.” And she is.

There is some fairly rough language throughout the performance, but again, this is Madonna, and it’s to be expected.

If you’re a Madonna fan and never gave up the notion that she was the Queen no matter who pretended to assume the throne, then this set will confirm what you felt all these years.

Visually stunning to watch and okay to listen to, the true fan will forgive the sonics and embrace the event. For those of the younger set who may have wondered why she was thought of the way she was, here’s your chance to be amazed.

CD

DVD

  1. Rebel Heart Tour intro
  2. Iconic
  3. Bitch I’m Madonna
  4. Burning Up
  5. Holy Water / Vogue
  6. Devil Pray
  7. Deeper and Deeper
  8. Heartbreakcity
  9. Living for Love
  10. La Isla Bonita
  11. Rebel Heart
  12. Candy Shop
  13. Unapologetic Bitch
  14. Holiday
  1. Rebel Heart Tour Intro
  2. Iconic
  3. Bitch I’m Madonna
  4. Burning Up
  5. Holy Water / Vogue
  6. Messiah (video interlude)
  7. Body Shop
  8. True Blue
  9. Deeper and Deeper
  10. Heartbreakcity
  11. Like A Virgin
  12. S.E.X. (video interlude)
  13. Living for Love
  14. La Isla Bonita
  15. Dress You Up / Into the Groove
  16. Rebel Heart
  17. Illuminati (video interlude)
  18. Music
  19. Candy Shop
  20. Material Girl
  21. La Vie En Rose
  22. Unapologetic Bitch
  23. Holiday

Special Features

  1. An Excerpt from “Tears of A Clown”
  2. Like A Prayer
Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0