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Review: Madonna feels her 'Rebel Heart' beat at the Forum

As watchful a superstar as pop has ever known, Madonna paused not long into her concert at the Forum to appraise the recent renovation of the venerable Inglewood arena, which has housed so many of her performances over the decades that 'I feel like this is one of my homes,' she said.

'I see the ceiling is getting lower and lower,' she went on. 'Or is that my ego getting bigger and bigger?'

Surely, one needn’t eliminate the possibility of the other.

Part of her world tour behind this year’s 'Rebel Heart' album, Tuesday’s show spared no opportunity to remind the capacity crowd of the singer’s incalculable influence on modern music. (The evening’s second song was the 2015 single 'Bitch I’m Madonna.')

But if her legacy is secure, Madonna at 57 no longer holds down pop’s center. Taylor Swift sells more records and concert tickets. Beyoncé is a more coveted interview. Katy Perry, who turned up onstage at the Forum on Tuesday night to pay her respects with a slyly backhanded compliment, has more followers on social media.

So, as much as she was celebrating her own importance, Madonna seemed to be looking for ways to demonstrate that she still mattered. What was remarkable was that she succeeded by taking advantage of her experience, not by running from it.

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