Madonna Lights Up The TD Garden With New Tour
Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Napoleon Bonaparte, Catherine the Great, and Julius Caesar—all of them contributed to the modern day’s notion of power. Which contemporary figure will be carrying on their legacies? Madonna.
Madonna Louise Ciccone is not only the biggest-selling female artist of all time, but also the most influential celebrity of the last 30 years. Just hearing the queen of pop’s name stimulates thoughts of expertise, intelligence, controversy, and, most extraordinarily, fear. It has been 30 years since her debut single, and she has yet to be dethroned. Currently, Madonna is promoting her 12th studio album, MDNA, on her ninth concert tour of the same name. Last Tuesday, Sept. 4, she brought her arsenal of guns, crosses, outfits, and beautiful dancers to the city of Boston.
A few minutes after 10 p.m., the blinding lights of TD Garden dimmed and an enormous censer descended from the ceiling, spewing incense. A band of hooded dancers appeared out of the murky darkness reciting Gregorian chants as Madonna’s “Act of Contrition” echoed throughout the stadium. I was able to view a portion of the backstage from my seat, granting me the opportunity to see the Material Girl execute several rounds of intense stretches before stepping onstage. As her dancers hoisted the censer into the air, the glass surrounding her backstage haven shattered, revealing Madonna, microphone in hand and gun cocked. Her high-energy opening number, “Girl Gone Wild,” quickly transitioned into a full-fledged gun fight with her dancers during “Revolver,” which featured a healthy dosage of Lil Wayne on the big screen.
Madonna reminded us why she is the expert of combining performance and controversy during “Gang Bang,” an explosion of sexuality and violence that stirred up the audience. Armed with a pistol, she entered into a motel room and warded off dozens of masked criminals, all while tussling them on her bed. After taking out her last victim with a gun to his mouth, Madonna fell to her knees and belted out her first classic hit of the night, “Papa Don’t Preach.” The song produced an almost tangible upheaval of excitement and nostalgia.
Given her unrivaled work ethic, she was sure to pick up some new tricks before her tour kicked off. In the MDNA tour, we not only see a new vulnerability in Madonna, but also witness her walk a tightrope during “Hung Up” and dabble in folksy music with a trio of Basque singers and drummers.
The cheekiest and most humorous part of the show was most definitely the following portion. Madonna and her dancers, all sporting cheerleader gear, rose onto the stage and belted my favorite hit, “Express Yourself.” She strutted past her drummers as they were all pulled into the air in an impeccable, single-file line. But because Madonna is, well, Madonna, she could not help but throw shade at an artist who, like the rest of us, is also inspired by the songstress.
Right when it seemed like she was about to wrap up “Express Yourself,” she transitioned into Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way,” poking some fun at the similarities between the songs. Throughout her rendition of GaGa’s hit, the screens behind the stage displayed animated “little monsters” devouring cans of prepackaged food. Your faves would never.
There is also something to be said about the effort Madonna put forth in her brief intermission videos, which significantly contributed to the story she told throughout the show. In the first video, a morbid funeral procession took place as her dancers brutally fought one another on stage—an intense and quite gruesome visual. The next video featured the highly sexual soundtrack “Justify My Love,” and Madonna hiding from a gang of masked clowns in a luxurious hotel room. But the final video was perhaps the most impactful, played to the tune of “Nobody Knows Me.” A series of painful images were shown, displaying some of the prejudices and hatred our world faces, ranging from homosexual suicides to religious persecutions.
Although the concert featured many songs from her newest album, Madonna definitely pleased her fans with remixes of unforgettable classics like “Vogue” and “Like a Virgin,” to which she flashed her toned bum to the audience.
And then it happened—“Like a Prayer.” This performance inspired a volume of love and energy I had never witnessed before. Madonna worked every part of the movable stage as her large choir stood behind and belted the song’s bridge. In less than two hours, I had experienced every human emotion and was left with a feeling of worthiness, self-love, and power. As she said her final goodbye, I looked around and saw that the energy of the entire audience was in sync and a magical sensation of wonder permeated the air. It was at this very moment that I had come to realize the power of Madonna.