Madonna’s Rebel Heart world tour saw her take to the stage of London’s The O2 for two show-stopping nights on 1 and 2 December.
Temptation was strong and I indulged in a little Material Girl action ourselves. After a mind-blowing 2-hour performance with what felt like 20-plus costume changes, I rounded up five reasons Madonna is still the most outstanding woman in pop music.
1. A one-of-a-kind performance
Even after over 30 years in the business, Madonna still knows how to get a crowd dancing. Her set list included career-spanning hits and new songs off her latest, and 13th, album Rebel Hearts. She takes us into four different worlds throughout the night, never failing to impress.
The first part is Madonna’s signature love-hate relationship with religion, and her blasphemy-filled performances are greeted with applause and appreciation from the crowd. The second half sees Rockabilly meet Tokyo, where we take a look at the singer’s past. Madonna plays one of her more innocent songs True Blue on a ukulele; resulting in an acoustic version that’s genuinely charming with a country spin. Just before she turns up the heat again, The O2 dances and sings their rebel hearts out to Like A Virgin.
If you’ve even remotely followed Madonna for the last three decades, you’ll note the Spanish/Latin influence in songs like La Isla Bonita. Tonight, she takes this sound and ramps it up with amazing tango routines, mariachi bands, and flamenco dresses. As the show comes to a close, the Material Girl has one more ace up her sleeve with a roaring ’20s theme, bringing out Stella McCartney as tonight’s celebrity guest, aka “Unapologetic B*tch of the night”.
2. The stage encompasses everything we love about Madonna
The stage itself is extended with a heart attached to a cross, to keep in tune with her Rebel Hearttheme and very much in tune with the themes adorning the stage throughout the evening. According to the singer herself, the stage also has a hidden phallic meaning, but we’ll leave that to you to decide.
The rims of the extravagant stage light up the whole arena; creating something truly stunning. It helps set the mood, too, whether it’s a warm-blooded red or a bright, electric white. On top of that, there are hidden openings all over the stage for the queen or her dancers to quickly disappear for a costume change – or, as with one case, they serve as a safety net for the moment Madonna pushes one of her dances off a roughly 12-feet-tall spiral staircase. Most impressive of all, is the main stage. It goes from being just your average arena stage into a tilted screen that is the platform for various dance routines. Uh-mazing.
3. The dancers are out of this world
There is no doubting that super-skilled dancers have always played a crucial part of Madonna’s live show. Talented is an absolute understatement. One moment she has the girls dancing on poles, and the next she has the guys strapped to the top of what felt like a 30-feet pole swinging around casually. The dance performances are very much Cirque du Soleil – meets strip club – meets classic ballet.
4. So many outfits I lost count
The outfits worn at Madonna’s show at The O2 are nothing short of spectacular. That, and we fully applaud the sheer amount of outfits worn on the night. In fact, we lost count, but we loved every single one of them. From a Samurai Kimono robe to a full flamenco frock and ’30s-style flapper dress – Madonna proves she can wear literally anything and look stunning.
5. She knows how to provoke
…and her fans love it! Whether it is nuns dancing on poles or dancers frolicking on the table of The Last Supper, Madonna’s look at religion feels as present as ever. Her confidence is roaring loud, but in an honest, humble way.
All this and more means we leave confident in Madonna as our queen of pop. The Rebel Heart world tour is proof that if there’s one thing this star can do, it’s put on a huge show with unforgettable production. We loved every single bit of it!