The other night I went to see Madonna. I of course remember her from ‘Holiday’ days, and that brilliant film (or at least I thought it was brilliant at the time) ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’. So for days before the concert I listened to all her old hits and skipped around the house thinking about all the dancing Pauline and I (pictured below) would do.
Alas, it was not to be. The Madonna concert was more of a spectacle really. An incredible, impressive, astounding spectacle, but really we were all just there to watch in awe and amazement as she showed us how toned, fit. sexy, daring and energetic she is, despite her age.
Don’t get me wrong, it was incredible. It was slicker than slick, and it was perfectly executed. But it wasn’t what I, and I think most of the other punters, wanted.
Forget the flying half-naked dancers and the pom-pom girls and the fireworks and the incredible graphics. What we longed for was ‘Material Girl’ or ‘True Blue’ or even ‘La Isla Bonita’. We got ‘Like a Virgin’ in a sort of hideous slow motion version that we all thought must speed up soon. And we got ‘Vogue’ and ‘Like a Prayer’ in the versions we know and love. But that was it. Added to which she showed up at ten to eleven. And the doors opened at seven.
Which all in all I felt sent a strong signal of lack of respect for her audience, some of whom were children, or pregnant women, left standing in 40 degree heat for four hours. From a woman who taught us to respect ourselves and express ourselves I thought this was weak.
The final insult was no encore. No actually, the final insult was that they played a record of ‘Holiday’ as we were all leaving.
My husband (who sensibly stayed at home) said Madge should not be expected to sing the same old songs, she sees herself as an artist and wants to continue to grow. Agreed, but she is also a material girl, and as such should look after her audience.
And just because the Mona Lisa has been around a long time, doesn’t mean we don’t want to look at her. But I certainly won’t bother going to see Madge again, however old she gets.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2012