In her first show in Singapore, Queen of Pop finally showed us what we’ve been missing out on.
Sunday’s (Feb 28) concert at the National Stadium was Madonna’s first ever show in Singapore in her phenomenal three-decade career. And boy, did she show us what we had been missing out on.
The American Queen of Pop sang, danced and thrilled her audience of 25,000 during the show, which lasted more than two hours.
Her set included newer hits like B**** I’m Madonna, Unapologetic B**** and Rebel Heart, as well as old favourites Like A Virgin, True Blue, Crazy For You and Material Girl, among others.
And, despite the buzz and controversy, the Material Girl was also a Well-behaved Girl — in her own unique way, of course. She eschewed the more controversial segments of her show, skipping songs like Iconic, Holy Water and Devil Pray. The The 57-year-old also started the show only 55 minutes late —compared to three hours in Manila — which meant that the concert ended in time for concert attendees to catch the last buses or trains home.
But that is not to say there wasn’t plenty of the expected raunchy bits in the concert, which was rated R18 by the Media Development Authority for its sexually suggestive content. The notoriously defiant singer swore freely and frequently, referred to her fans as “b****es” and “motherf******”, and even pretended to play with what sounded like a xylophone with her private parts, much to her fan/s delight. “Nobody f**** with the Queen,”she declared to her adoring fans, before performing a remixed version of her classic hit Like A Virgin, prancing and gyrating to an updated beat as the crowd sang loudly along.
Unfortunately, while Madonna gave her best, the National Stadium is decidedly unsuitable for a concert of its scale. Even though I was seated in a Category 1 zone where tickets cost S$688 a pop, I could hardly see what was happening on stage, and had to rely on tiny screens that were placed on either side of the stadium. I felt like a bystander at a party that was taking place in the distance, and could only watch in envy as the fans who had spent S$1288 to stand in the VIP zone danced the night away. But such is the configuration for concerts held here. Perhaps a more intimate setting, like Taylor Swift’s recent show at the Indoor Stadium, would have been better.
Nevertheless, it was a privilege being in the presence of music royalty, a woman who — no matter what you think of her — has inspired generations of fans an musicians, and will likely spend the rest of her life pushing the boundaries of music and art. And now that the Queen herself has shown fans in Singapore what they have been missing, we sure hope it won’t be another 30 years before we see her on our shores again.