Review: Emma Whitelaw
IT'S BEEN a while since Madonna first graced the stage at Wembley,
almost 20 years in fact. But after an extraordinarily high-energy
show for her Reinvention Tour last Wednesday (August 25, 2004),
it appears the years have had anything but an adverse effect on
Before the show even started, the audience were advised over
the loudspeakers that this was to be an artistic piece. There
was no support act and no encore; it was more like a theatrical
piece than a pop concert.
Artistically defined by its dramatic undertones, the shows opening
sequence was a blend of David Lynch / Andy Warhol-esque imagery
displayed on large moving screens, and Madonna’s recital
of The Beast Within, which features outtakes from the
Book of Revelation.
It was followed by a dance routine that would put most yoga bunnies
to shame, before Her Madgesty finally appeared in all her glory.
Wearing a sequined bustier and black hot pants she showed off
her flexible prowess to possibly her most famous of tunes, Vogue.
Much to the crowds' delight, Madonna performed an array of songs
from her staggeringly long-standing and successful career, including
Nobody Knows Me, American Life, Express Yourself, and
a visually stunning performance of her exquisite masterpiece,
With a string of sell-out dates for her Re-invention Tour, Madonna
has shown the world once and for all that she is no longer a mere
She has long since proven her self to be a master of her art.
And, unlike some of her contemporary counterparts, Madonna makes
no use of mime.
With a truly phenomenal voice, she
has the ability to hold every note and still flit about the stage.
At times, it was impossible to believe that the woman before
us was a 45-year-old mother of two!
Nor did the energy levels drop, as she continued on with the
song which she once swore she’d never perform again, Material
She probably also swore she’d never do it playing guitar,
or wear khaki, but there’s always a first for everything!
With many a costume change, which included kilts and shirts proclaiming
that 'Brits do it Better', Madonna pleased the crowd to no end.
Often letting her adorers do the singing for her; the hits kept
on coming with such tracks as Hollywood, Hanky Panky, Deeper
and Deeper, Die Another Day, Like A Prayer, a cover of John
Lennon’s epic, Imagine, and the list goes on!
The show was a far cry from those by her formerly vampish, vixen-self,
given that there was no crotch-grabbing, cone-shaped bras, or
profanity on stage - bu then, she no longer needs the element
of shock to amuse and engage her audience.
Yet, Madonna is still very much a provocative performer. What
appears on stage now is the polished talent of a veteran artist.
Despite toning it down, Madonna has still received criticism
for her latest tour, this time for the outrageously expensive
The finale was nothing short of spectacular and, as the ticker-tape
fell on Holiday, the regal one bid her loving audience
adieu and left the stage for what is rumored to be her last world
Ever the notorious one, Madonna may never shake her risqué
reputation, yet it is that which I believe has established her
as one of the most exciting icons of our time.
I do hope she keeps up the good work for yet another 20 years!