On Monday night, Madonna brought her 10th tour, Rebel Heart to San Jose for one night. Over 12,000 people attended to see the Queen of Pop perform hits from her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, and classics from her thirty-year career.
For the casual fan, they can get upset at the late start time, Madonna started the show after 10:00pm and the opener played for an hour around the start time of the show at 8:00pm. On a Monday night, it can be tough to pull a full work day and then deal with traffic to see the concert, only to wait a few more hours in anticipation of when the show will actually start.
But to the hardcore fans, they know Madonna will arrive late and take advantage of waiting in the long drink and merchandise lines.
The casual fan might also not like the current album and will prefer a greatest hits concert with all of her classic hits instead, but Madonna isn’t about to do what everyone else wants. That’s not why she has outlasted her peers and at 57 can still sell out arenas around the world and is the top touring female artist and also have the record of most hits in a single Billboard chart with 45 No. 1’s.
There were moments that were great, and others not so much.
Madonna started off the show with soldiers to “Iconic”, Mike Tyson was on the big screens while images of Madonna in a classic “Express Yourself” gown was flashed to the crowd. Madonna is revealed coming out of a cage in a red robe and the show has just begun.
Madonna sang hits from her Rebel Heart album, “Iconic”, “Unapologetic Bitch”, Heartbreak City”, “Bitch I’m Madonna” and more along with classic hits that I frankly haven’t seen her perform in 15 years, “True Blue”, “Who’s that Girl”, “Deeper and Deeper”, “Burning Up” and the one that made my jaw drop to the floor, “Material Girl”. The song hadn’t been performed live since the 2004 Reinvention Tour and the remix of the song gave it a modern, dance edge.
The dancers of the tour, always carefully hand-picked by Madonna, had their shining moments, dancing on a moving vertical light stage and strapping themselves to the top of swinging poles which like a Cirque Du Soleil show, swayed high above the crowd. “Living for Love” was especially well done, Madonna usually will perform remixes of her songs for the live shows and the cape came off flawlessly, as Madonna has learned from her fall at the Brits Awards show.
Madonna also pulled out the ukulele for the first time and performed a few songs for the crowd, one of them being “Frozen”. This show was especially different from previous shows because she was quite chatty with the crowd and would pull up an audience member for every stop of her tour on stage to dance with her. Madonna told the crowd, “don’t let life pass you by, be life itself!”. The costumes ranged from matador to Spanish and Mexican dresses to 1920’s glam.
Madonna’s vocals were definitely in the spotlight as she sang “La Vie en Rose” and this tour had less dancing and more vocal power than other shows.
The only downfalls of the night was the arrangement of the music, a few slow songs in a row followed by an upbeat dance number was a little jarring, also the crowd was tired from the late start time and the show didn’t end until 12:30am. The crowd mostly consisted of her long-time fans, that aren’t necessarily teenagers anymore.
Also, missing were theatrical elements from previous tours like MDNA and Drowned World Tour. The setlist was all over the place and at the end of the night, didn’t feel like a high peak, until the encore of “Holiday” at the end of the night.
Also to note that the first song before the concert started and the last song after the concert ended were Michael Jackson songs, that was no coincidence as Madonna and Michael Jackson were born in the same month and year and Madonna was to be rumored to perform on Jackson’s “This is It” Tour before he passed away at the age of 50. Madonna is one of the last long-standing pop icons from the 80’s, and she shows no signs of stopping or letting anyone tell her what to do.
Overall, it was a great show and great performance with some highly memorable moments that only the Queen of Pop could deliver.