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Thread June 2, 2012 editorial: comments

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1 June 2, 2012 editorial: comments

Dear Fellow Audiofanziners!

I am not in the habit of focusing the subject of my editorial on artists or concert reviews.  Admittedly, I have long since abandoned my concert going tendencies, mostly because I’ve become a sound snob, as most times it is impossible to get good sound in large venues.  Or maybe I’ve just gotten old.

Be that as it may, I find it fitting to comment on Madonna’s MDNA Tour opening concern last night in Tel Aviv.  Of course I did not attend, what with the pushing, high prices and notoriously bad sound in Ramat Gan’s Stadium, I spared myself unnecessary pain.  In the days prior to the concert the media followed Madonna, her entourage and her kids relentlessly, and secretly recorded rehearsals and leaked info regarding musical set list and costume changes.  Finally, last night the big event took place and this morning I woke up to the ensuing critical reviews.  Pro reviewers called Madonna’s performance “tired and lacking magic”.  Fans’ recreations to the show ranged from “waste of money” to “great- Madonna is the queen!”.  IMO both types of reviews were predictable.

At 53, you have to give Madonna the credit she deserves.  What artist has endured for so long?  What artist looks as great as she does at her age (with or without cosmetic treatments)?  I think it was unfair to call Madonna ‘tired and lacking magic’, though performance will surely tighten up as the tour progresses.  It could very well be that Madonna is tired, and after 3 decades it is hard to keep generating the same type of magic over and over again. 

I will argue on her behalf that she doesn’t need to.  Madonna, you are the queen.  Nobody can take that from you.  You don’t need to produce a circus of show and leap like a lion to the crack of a whip.  You don’t need to jump through hoops of fire to impress us.  You don’t need to prove anything to us and you certainly do not need to do any of this to compete with the Lady Gagas of the world.  It would be so much classier and elegant if you exchanged your cheerleader/marching band leader little skirt (we know you have great leg tone, no need to flaunt) for an evening gown or an all-black rock outfit, stood center stage, and had a band behind you and just sang and focused your emotions on delivering your repertoire live with no samples or playback.  I’d love to hear Material Girl acoustic version with just your voice and the 30 year life experience behind the words.  La Isla Bonita with a live Latin percussion set.  I don’t need video art, a dance troupe or a concept show to make it happen for me, this time Madonna, just give us the music, live, in real time, imperfect and real.


Interesting editorial. I would have to disagree, though. Madonna's latest productions lack the magic we expect from her. There's no sonical breakthrough except the use of common electronic devices (both in sound and composition). I've come to expect her to be an envelope pusher NOT in terms of songwriting (if you strip the modern sounds and polished effects from her latest songs, the songs are mere pop constructions) but in terms of sonic adventures. There are productions which are awesome (Ray of Light) but lately there is no magic and no surprise in her music. That's the reason she has to resort to audio-visuals, costumes and firework in her shows. Just like Lady Gaga and co. except that Madonna has more talent and as you said, the experience of a lifetime. Also, I believe audiences have changed too. They feel a song not through the music (the emotion of a tonality change, a minor arpeggio in 16ths, a great vocal harmony, etc) but in general through the eyes. What a shame. How much they are missing! Artists (big names with big expenses) know this and change their shows accordingly. Madonna is no exception. She could hold her own in an acoustic format with some great songs (not even half of her complete repertoire though) but she wouldn't. Market laws I suppose. All in all, she's a great artist but there are artists with her same longevity and more who are also as good or even better in terms of giving music to people not just the whole circus. Sorry about my English. Not my native language. Great site! Best regards
Right on Chater-La! My feelings exactly...I am so sick of the hype, explosions, dancers in front of the band!
Thank you both for your comments, good to hear what others think!:bravo: