Better Than: Gwar and David Sedaris in the same room.
Gerrick D. Kennedy of the L.A. Times recently broke down Madonna’s MDNA Tour by the numbers. Among his findings: 89 shows in 28 countries (18 — including the show in KC — are places where Madonna has never performed), 90 speakers hung on stage, 700 pieces of wardrobe required for all of the onstage performers, 374 tons of pure stage, and even 16 different kinds of salad dressing required by the crew from craft services. This is some high-maintenance shit.
Obviously, with high-maintenance shit come high-dollar tickets. And high-dollar tickets tend to bring out, shall we say, a more discerning crowd. In the case of Madonna’s show at the Sprint Center last night, the crowd skewed older. Not many spring chickens in the house. They flocked in early, then clogged up the booze lines and complained about the late set time (10:30 p.m.).
If they were so inclined, they might also have complained about the huge fleet of big rigs that kept the westbound lanes of Truman Road blocked last night. Or the fact that Madonna didn’t play very many of her signature hits. Or, if they were prudes, that she literally showed the audience her ass at one point.
But, hey, Madge didn’t come to town so you could hear Open Your Heart for the millionth time. She came to show you what’s up. And she looked awesome doing it.
Over the course of the evening, Madonna took us from church and monks to a broken-glass shootout in a sleazy motel room — yes, she was in a motel room set that moved — to walking on a wire to being surrounded by a marching band. She twirled a baton, played guitar (kind of), allowed a dancer to tighten her bustier and let down her hair, danced on top of a psychedelic bus, and danced solo in front of mirrors. At one point, she even walked with a cane. It was visual overload: Among the dancers (some of whom appeared to be double-jointed), the hydraulics, the band, and the video screens in the back, there was too much to watch at any given moment.
To satisfy the folks who wanted to hear the hits, Madonna performed a slowed-down version of Like A Virgin atop a piano being played by a black man in a top hat. She was wearing a bra — a really little bra. But that wasn’t the end of the show. After a video montage of misunderstood people — Kim Jong Il, Tyler Clementi, herself — the Sprint Center went full-bore gay-club anthem with I’m Addicted.
Of course, the olds in the house were annoyed. They don’t get it anymore. It was past their bedtime, apparently. Madonna has passed them by. But hey, baby, that’s why she’s the Queen.
Random Detail: I was so excited, I chewed up a pen and rendered it useless.
Personal Bias: I really wish she had played something off Ray of Light.
By the Way: I still can’t believe someone brought their giant Romney/Ryan sign in with them.
Gregorian Chant intro
Girl Gone Wild
Papa Don’t Preach
I Don’t Give A
Express Yourself/Born This Way
Give Me All Your Luvin’‘
Turn Up The Radio
Open Your Heart /Saggara Jo (Kalakan)
Justify My Love (Interlude)
Like A Virgin
Nobody Knows Me (Interlude)
I’m a Sinner
Like A Prayer