When pop queen Madonna performed in San Jose Monday night, she was not showing her age. The fifty-something singer didn’t send out a memo out to her fans that she was going to play a late show on a school/work night.
However, Madonna did not disappoint the sold-out crowd at SAP Center as she made her only stop in the San Francisco Bay Area on her current Rebel Heart Tour. Supporting Madonna’s thirteenth studio effort with the same name, the vocalist has trekked across North America with San Jose being part of the last leg before heading out to Europe.
Most fans anticipated the pop queen performing her top singles. Yes, there were many of the radio hits that shaped what you remember from the ’80s, from Who’s That Girl to La Isla Bonita, Like A Prayer, Material Girl and the inclusion of early hit Holiday during her encore. She added some rhythm to Like A Virgin that gave the song a more reggaeton beat and offered up dance moves that recalled Madonna disciple Gwen Stefani (both can move in a very seductive way that can melt the hearts of men and women alike).
But her new album Rebel Heart presents a chance for Madonna’s now-aging fans to relive their teen years with their teenage daughters or sons, a bridge to the Music evolution on the last three decades. The show began with the song Iconic from the new album. Featuring visuals with Chance the Rapper and boxer Mike Tyson, it signaled Madonna’s acknowledgment of her status as an international superstar Musician but reaffirmed her humble beginnings.
The song spoke to how she has worked heard and spoken her mind while never letting anyone speak for her. She has worked hard throughout her career to get to where she is today and won’t let anyone else put her down. It’s not an ego push, but we all know and feel she didn’t become this superstar overnight.
The singer followed with the recent single, Bitch I’m Madonna. Yes, we know. We all know. We all know that Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift are fighting for her crown. But as the evening went on, Madonna proved she was perfectly capable of keeping an arena full of people up partying late at night when many in attendance had long since outgrown late-night partying.
While her ’80s contemporary Prince has toned down the provocative mix of sex and religion that dominated his stage show, Madonna still loves talking naughty about sexual things during her concerts. Though more relaxed and liberal modern times have made sexual taboos tougher to to come by, she still managed to sound blasphemous on Holy Water when she talked about the love Jesus had for a certain part of her anatomy.
Cavorting with dancers dressed in skimpy nun costumes with traditional white habits and black veils who swung like strippers on poles placed along the stage’s catwalk, Madonna joined right in, having a swing on one pole like a pro. She moved on to the metaphor-heavy indie-pop track Body Shop, a tune could catch on like a Coldplay song.