Tuesday, August 17, 2004

MADONNA IN MANCHESTER: REVIEW OF REVIEWS: The New York Post seemed convinced that Madonna would rather have been anywhere but Machester, but Manchester was falling over itself in excitement at her return to the first place she played in the UK. Ah, but now the place where she first kicked her heels, the Hacienda has been de-built and replaced with nasty little flats for people with lots of money but no soul. Actually, that sounds like Madonna's sort of place nowadays. The Manchester Evening News seemed puzzled by it all:

On stage, a soldier struggled to escape from a cage while the screen behind him showed a woman in flames, then a George Bush look-alike kissing a Saddam Hussein lookalike. What did it all mean? That war is bad? Or merely that, like a Madonna concert, war is spectacular? [...]But she strives ... to make the pop concert into supreme art and theatre. In that respect she falls well short of such conceptual geniuses as Peter Gabriel when it comes to putting on a gobsmacking and thought-provoking show.

"Less good than Peter Gabriel" is pretty damning in anyone's book. Like the MEN, The Times reached for the old stand by of giving it three stars out of five, the reviewer's shrug of the shoulders in headline form.. The Guardian's Dave Simpson gave her an extra mark, but seems equally puzzled:

" However, it's impossible to pin Madonna down: a Kabbalah convert who sings "I'm not religious" beneath images of Christ; a hit machine who mixes classics (Papa Don't Preach, Like a Prayer) with stinkers (Hanky Panky); a multimillionaire Material Girl who has no qualms performing John Lennon's Imagine."

- although, to be fair, Lennon wasn't exactly living on a bench in Central Park when he wrote Imagine, either. It seems to be the rich hypocrite's song of choice - let's hope nobody walks too far into Madonna's occupied chunk of the British countryside singing about no possessions and a brotherhood of man.

At least, asRadio One reported, the fans were happy:

"After she finished the concert with 'Holiday' we got the reaction from the fans, which included 'totally fantastic', 'awesome', 'electric' and even 'the best thing in my life'." As we've suggested before, what might be more telling is to ask the fans what they thought the show was worth - remember some of the tickets had been changing hands for silly money. Really, really silly money.

The Swabische Zeitung knows what's most important, though: It headlined its report "Madonna Starts Re-Invention European Tour in Kilt." I guess we should be thankful she had a skirt of any kind on.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Apparently in Ireland, tickets are on sale at a €20 discount at a corner shop in the village which will host Madonna's gig at Slane Castle. They haven't been selling very well across the country, by all accounts.

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