Rebel Heart Tour shows why Madonna is still the Queen of Pop!
She’s the ultimate unapologetic b*tch, and the Rebel Heart Tour shows why Madonna is the most successful female artist of all time. The penultimate show of the year in North America wowed the audience last night at The Forum in Inglewood, Los Angeles, during an impressive 2 hours and 17 minutes. Even Katy Perry made a guest appearance on stage. This is her tenth world tour and is by all means bigger, stronger, and better.
“I made it to the top!,” she screamed, while standing in a round structure with dancers kneeling at her feet. “Let me just tell you one thing: it’s lonely at the top”, she confided. “But it ain’t crowded!”. Not at all. No one has ever come close to her status – 45 Billboard number one singles, 13 studio albums over 32 years, and the two top grossing tours by a female artist of all time, Sticky & Sweet in 2008 and MDNA in 2012.
So the stakes where higher than ever for the Rebel Heart Tour, and Madonna delivered. It was an epic performance by all counts – crystal voice, stamina, interaction with the audience and great mood, all wrapped up in a very theatrical show. The modular stage reminded us of Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Ka’, which might be due to the partnership between Madonna and Montreal-based Moment Factory for multimedia production.
The 57-year-old star danced now stop with her 20-dancer entourage, who also performed some acrobatics. And, of course, she pushed the boundaries several times during the concert, including when one of the dancers handed her a joint and she said. “We don’t smoke dear. No one smokes in L.A., right?”
Then there were the sexy nuns dancing in stripper poles, the Last Supper recreation after a very suggestive performance of ‘Holy Water’, taken from the Rebel Heart album, and the grinding with Katy Perry, who made a special appearance after being spotted in the audience. “Hi mom!”, she said upon climbing the stage. “I’m so excited, I’m such a fan!”, she squished. The ladies then drank a shot out of a flask shaped like a banana, and Madonna nominated Perry as the ‘Unapologetic Bitch’ of the night (the last song before the encore.)
With all the theatrics and props, the vocal performance was very solid. As were the new musical arrangements of a lot of classics she brought back to life in this tour – from ‘True Blue’ to ‘Deeper and Deeper’ and ‘La Isla Bonita’. She got the most enthusiastic reaction from the crowd with ‘Like a Prayer’, saying it was a gift to the city of angels (the song is not featured in the tour’s setlist). A brilliant performance of ‘Secret’ and a very emotional ‘La vie en Rose’ also showed how much her vocal abilities have evolved and improved over the years.
Set list highlights
The show featured 11 songs from the Rebel Heart album, which the audience clearly didn’t know well. They were there for the classics, and got a lot of them, including a medley of ‘Dress you Up’, ‘Into the Groove’ and ‘Lucky Star’, as well as a rendition of ‘Love don’t live here anymore’ after ‘Heartbreak City’. In the end, way past midnight, everyone was screaming “Madonna!!” and The Forum converted into a giant club to the sound of ‘Holiday’, this tour’s closing song. The rave reviews in previous concerts are absolutely justified. And one thing was clearly visible: she is happy.