I’ve never seen a Madonna concert. I wouldn’t call me a “Madonna fan” but I’m also no hater. I really respect her as an artist. So when I found out she was coming to town, I thought it was a great chance to see a true performer. With an artist like Madonna, you will always find people with sky high expectations. And people that just don’t “get” her. For instance, the Seattle Times reviewer could not get past the violence of the “Gang Bang.” Personally, I think if you don’t go into a Madonna concert with some idea that there will be something of shock value, you are quite naïve.

That being said, I really enjoyed the show. Having seen clips and read reviews of some of Madonna’s contemporaries, I have come away with a certain opinion of them and the effort they put into their performances and shows. Let’s just say I don’t think most give it their all. Madge on the other hand can bring it. She worked her ass off the whole time, singing, dancing, doing all the moves…and doing it all very well. She even got on the tightrope for a few seconds (better than what I could do I’m sure). She seemed to be gracious in her comments, recalling how Seattle was the first stop on her first tour (and not saying why she hadn’t been back since).

She made everyone wait an inexplicably long time for her set to start, well after the frenzy that DJ Martin Solveig had created died down. Note to Madonna tour peeps: Why not go right from Solveig mixing a Madge song into the show and throw the curtain down in one glorious swoop? It was an odd beginning, which made for a slow start. A roadie just kind of pulled down the Madonna banner that was behind Solveig and dragged it off the stage. Once she got to her first older song (“Papa Don’t Preach”) after opening with “Girl Gone Wild,” “Revolver,” and “Gang Bang,” things kicked into a higher gear. From a marching band themed “Express Yourself” (complete with a tip of the hat to Lady Gaga by mashing in a little “Born This Way”) to a slow burn strip tease revealing a fishnet clad behind and “tattoo” tribute to Obama to a gospel choir accompanied “Like A Prayer,” the loosely themed show kept everyone interested and excited. The stage was innovative as well, with cube shaped towers that rose and fell with video screens on them. But nothing too over the top as to take away from the performer herself.  She delivered 100%. I just kept thinking “damn, she’s 54” while in the back of my mind promising to get my younger self into the gym.


The Prayer Overture: Act of Contrition
Girl Gone Wild
Gang Bang
Papa Don’t Preach
Hung Up
I Don’t Give A
Best Friend


Express Yourself
Give Me All Your Luvin’
Turning Up the Hits
Turn Up the Radio
Open Your Heart
Justify My Love


Candy Shop
Human Nature
Like a Virgin
Nobody Knows Me
(video interlude)
I’m Addicted
I’m a Sinner
Like a Prayer

– Submitted by Joel Oltyan, Music Design