Madonna Confessions Tour Review

On Sunday night (yes, this is another overdue post), we went to see Madonna at the United Center. She’s on tour promoting her Confessions on a Dance Floor album. Some notes:

* It was really hot in there. Madonna made a comment during the “talk to the audience and pretend like you’re saying something just for them” segment about “doing our part for global warming” by not having the AC on. However, I’ve read a bunch of articles since Sunday that seem to imply it’s pretty common to turn off the AC for concerts because both the noise of it and the effect on the air can negatively impact the sound of the performance. Point being, I don’t know if it was a moral/diva thing on Madonna’s part or something pretty normal. It was hot, and I tied my shirt up hoochie-style about halfway through. I also spent a fair amount of time wishing one of Madonna’s people would wipe her damn brow off. No matter what commercials say, no one “glistens” when they’re sweating. They’re just sweaty. And if you’re dancing, you’re flinging it everywhere.

* Most of the songs were from the new album…probably a 70/30 split of new to old. Set lists are all over the internet if you want to know what was played. Prior to the concert, I’d made up a playlist for my iPod of the songs so that DH and I could get familiar with them. The songs flowed well together, and I did enjoy the stage performances. Unfortunately, the concert had been heralded as having great staging and a cirque-ish feel. My expectations were thus elevated unfairly. (Semi-spoiler note: I totally didn’t get the images of horses falling during the second number. Made no sense.)

* Madonna did prove over and over again that she’s in great shape, and there were quite a few R or NC-17 moments. Given how asexual her latest albums are, the sexual stuff she threw in seemed out of place. It also was jarring to bounce between social commentary (images of orphans in Africa, monologues about gang violence) and sexual celebration. Even more so, it seemed weird to be talking charity at an event that people paid upwards of $150 a ticket to go to, where none of the ticket price went to charity. As Madonna herself put it (paraphrased)….she’s talking the talk, but is she walking the walk? (and OMG have I heard that saying WAY too many times lately, to the point that when she said it, I was immediately put off.)

* Madonna’s dance moves haven’t changed that much over the years. I wonder if that’s intentional choreography (to show that connection with her past) or just that it’s what she’s good at.

* The concert didn’t actually start until almost 70 minutes after the start time on the ticket. WTF is the point in that? Thankfully, DH and I had read reviews saying it wasn’t starting until 40 minutes late in any of the cities, but seriously…why? I can understand making your actual time be 10-15 minutes after the posted start time to give everyone a chance to get into their seats. I can also understand having an opening act or mini-film for the same purpose. But 70 minutes of *nothing* just seems like you’re trying to get people bored enough to buy things.