Thirty-years after the release of her first single, Madonna remains as successful and controversial as ever – but has also become reflective over her long tenure as one of pop music’s biggest names.
She spent her 30th anniversary performing a two-hour Saturday night show at HP Pavilion in San Jose as part of her MDNA world concert tour that touches sexual and religious themes just like past ones – but this time adds gunplay and violence.
So, what’s the best way to celebrate three decades in the music industry? Madonna’s answered seemed to be: ‘Strike a Pose.’
“Take off some articles of clothing and let your hair down,” is the advice she gave the audience. True to her word, the 54-year-old ‘Material Girl’ performed an eye-catching strip tease midway through the show that left her bare bottom showing and left little else to the imagination – perhaps a response to those critics who claim she’s too old by showing that she can still mix pop music with sexuality and a level of sophistication better than any other entertainer.
After showing off her ass(ets) on stage, Madonna recounted: “I remember living as a broke ass in New York when I finally heard my first song on the radio.”
“I’m proof that dreams do come true, so be careful what you wish for,” she told the crowd of about 18,000, in between performances of some of her vintage hits dating back to the 1980s coupled with releases from her MDNA album that came out earlier this year.
One of her impressively performed classics was “Express Yourself” – in which she took an apparent swipe at Lady Gaga for being a copycat by illustrating just how easily “Born This Way” fits into the melody of her own song.
Aside from the strip tease, the numbers of costume and hair changes throughout the concert were nothing short of phenomenal. They ranged from her opening act where she pops out of a confessional in a virtual church scene, to playing the role of a deadly diva in a seedy motel shootout and posing as a cheerleader while escorted by a marching band across the stage.
- Jim Parker, CBS San Francisco