On Tuesday night Madonna brought her MDNA tour to England, performing a show in Hyde Park that was witty, narrative and relentlessly energetic, as well as the ridiculous spectacle you would expect from the Queen of Pop. After emerging on stage from a confession box brandishing a firearm, she wasted no time in introducing slackline walking, video screen cameos from hip-hop heavyweights, a troop of military drummers suspended from the ceiling, and much more.
My friends and I were enthralled throughout the two hour experience, screaming and clapping at Madonna’s various gymnastics, jokes and the moments of meritable vocal performance, agreeing in the post-concert buzz that the vibrancy and cleverness of MDNA leaves her previous tour lying in the dust.
Aside from the fair point that the sound could have done with being a great deal louder, criticisms of the concert have been overwhelmingly predictable. Renowned antagonist Piers Morgan, whose never-ending throwing of cheap insults at Madonna in a bid for column inches to boost his plummeting American TV career, is echoed by others who seem to have adopted his trite view that Madonna is too old to attempt business-as-usual in her pop career. This view fatally overlooks the artifice of any pop personality.
You do not go to a gig to find out about a real individual, their favourite food, their personal details - indeed, their age. When Eminem murders his mother in a music video, do we really think he is at high-risk of committing matricide? When Rihanna sings 'chains and whips excite me' do we really believe that she is a depraved frequenter of S&M dungeons? No, we do not.
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