It rained it poured, they screamed they roared.
Live Review by Daithí Ó Drisceoil
Last night, July 24th, saw the tour de force that is Madonna’s MDNA Tour roll into Aviva Stadium, Dublin. In typical Irish summer fashion, most of the audience wore rain macks and ponchos to salute the arrival of the Queen Bee. ‘Why does it always rain when I come to Ireland…..WTF?’ she pondered aloud to an ecstatic crowd.
Dj Allesso got most spectators into the groove while others ran for the last remaining rain macks on sale. At 9.10, things kicked off with ‘The Act Of Contrition’ leading into ‘Girl Gone Wild’. From the word ‘go’ it’s clear that Madge means business. For a woman of 53, soon to be 54 years, she was very much an equal to her 20 something dancer counterparts, in terms of stage agility and energy.
With a cinematic first act, including the Tarantino tinged ‘Gang Bang’ and a tasty remix of ‘Hung Up’, it’s clear to see that Madonna is distancing herself from her former husband Guy Ritchie. She’s taken us to the dancefloor of hell, exercised our dance muscles and exorcised her own personal demons.
Although this is far from a greatest hits tour, old favourite ‘Express Yourself’ was the opener of the second act. This is when the crowd really began to forget about the downpour. Cheekily mixed with ‘Born This Way’ and ‘She’s Not Me’ Madge confirms that she is still top of the game.
The momentum took a slower pace for act 3 which saw Basque region drummers re-interpret her songs. In typical ‘b section format’ Madonna spoke to the crowd, asking if there were a lot of good catholics…bad catholics…..spiritual people on the Emerald Isle? She informed us of her love for Ireland, hatred of rain and asked us all to pray for some dry spell. In reality, energy was being stored for what was about to come.
If you weren’t a gym member going to this show, you were about to get a grueling workout. Act 4 and 5 brought us from a kinky boudoir to an all out rave! Favourites such as Vogue, Human Nature and Like A Prayer were performed to a frenzied, rain soaked crowd. Set closer ‘Celebration’ really ended things with a bang we as shouted for more!
Some argue that prices were too high for recession time Ireland. Of course, they were expensive, but in terms of production, length, energy, you just about got what you paid for. At no point did the Material Girl give an impression of not wanting to be up there on stage in the rain and wind. She kept spirits up and seemed genuinely happy to be here in Dublin. Could a 53 year old Irish mammy perform the same feat?
Regardless of age, if you like her or loathe her, one must admit that she is the master of what she does…and that is being an exuberant entertainer, who can catchy songs and perform them to the max.