Madonna kept her Thai fans waiting until 10pm on Tuesday night at Impact Arena – but then what was an extra hour or two after they’d already waited decades for a chance to see the Queen of Pop live and in person?
The world’s best-selling pop singer rolled into Bangkok on her Rebel Heart Tour and suddenly all the impatience drained away in the course of a mind-blowing production spiced with her delightfully controversial stage persona.
It was the first of two Bangkok shows and anticipation is every bit as keen for tonight’s event.
Onscreen video and the tremors of the track Iconic from her latest and 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, opened Tuesday’s proceedings before she burst onto the stage with a hearty roar. “Are you with me, Bangkok?” Madonna yelled, and the crowd responded with thunderous cheer.
She wasted no time singing and dancing her way through Bitch I’m Madonna and Burning Up from her self-titled 1983 debut CD. Holy Water mingled with shards of Vogue next as pole dancers (barely) dressed as naughty nuns formed a decidedly unholy pastiche of the Last Supper. Then, while the Queen took a break backstage, her dance crew entertained with an eerie rendition of Messiah.
Borrowing elements from Cirque de Soleil trapeze work, Chinese New Year and the movies 300 and Grease, this was perhaps the most complex and intricate concert production Bangkok has ever seen.
Madonna returned in retro costume straight out of Grease to sing Body Shop and True Blue and then danced up a whirlwind though Deeper And Deeper. Next a spiral staircase descended to the catwalk to set the dramatic scene for HeartbreakCity, during which she sent her “love interest” to his doom with the immortal words “Nobody f**ks with the Queen.”
Like A Virgin was heavy with drums, shorn of its disco roots, but the fans sang along at the top of their lungs nevertheless. Then it was bedtime – hardly. Three beds appeared onstage for the raunchy dancing of Sex, though Madonna chose to abstain from this round, perhaps having generated enough steam-heated controversy in her time.
At age 57, Madonna likely needs those regular pauses from the kinetic pace of the show, and this time she left her dance posse to put on an enthusiastic, perfectly synchronised master class in flamenco. When the star came back, she offered a warm and funny greeting. “It took me a long time to finally get here. I have a lot of fans in this part of the world and it’s good to be back, Bangkok! Bang – kok – it sounds so pornographic!”
Showing little sign of her age, Madonna gave us what was clearly one of the most sensational concerts that’s ever graced Bangkok. She did a great job as a dancer, singer and all-round entertainer.
Source: The Nation