Madonna in Vegas: More sweet than sticky
Ready for an in-person review of Madonna's latest tour? Seattle-based SIT80s correspondent Christina K. caught the "Sticky and Sweet" tour this weekend in Las Vegas. Here's her review in her own words:
Madonna performed on Saturday at the MGM Grand in the Garden Arena. Who knew a casino could house a gigantic indoor stadium? The show started at 9 and lasted for a good, solid two hours.
THE STAGE: There were huge screens that projected all kinds of visuals that related to whatever song she was singing about (one song featured her many different looks throughout the years and each image that flashed on screen seemed to mimic the lyrics of the song.) Whenever she had a duet with Justin Timberlake, Timbaland or Pharrell Williams they "sang" along on the video screens behind her, or else appeared on life-sized screens on the stage next to her.
THE TUNES: She opened the show with Candy Shop off her new album. The show featured mainly songs from her new album as well as older songs thrown into the mix.
HIGHLIGHTS: She did an amazing rock 'n roll version of Borderline. When she performed She's Not Me, four models representing old versions of Madonna appeared on stage -- her Marilyn Monroe impression from her Material Girl video, her stripper girl from her Open your Heart video, her feminist self during her Express Yourself video and the famous bride-in-the-wedding-dress Madonna from the beginning of her career. Essentially Madonna sang to these versions of herself almost as if to say: "You're not me ... I'm not those people anymore."
LOWLIGHTS: She tended to update all her old songs to sound more like the musical style she created with Hard Candy. It worked with Borderline, but it felt really crappy when she tried to make Hung Up sound like a rock song. It's a dance song, it should remain a dance song.
The old songs had the same beat and tempo as the new songs. I understand that when you're singing the same songs for 20 years you might want to change it up a bit, but it would have been nice to have heard Like a Prayer done in its original form.
Also, her voice just doesn't sound good live. She slowed the tempo down a bit with Ray of Light and her voice sounded awful. When she included dancing and high energy music to the songs, she sounded a lot better.
The things I mentioned above didn't take anything away from the show, I still had a great time, but I would have liked it to have been done a little bit better.
Overall, what I got from Madonna's performance is exactly what I expected. The light show was great, her dancers were awesome, and she had playful banter with the audience. She kept politics at a minimum and kept it at a fun, high-energy pace. I left the show completely satisfied (despite the fact she didn't do an encore).