Madonna proves she is still the queen of pop at the Du Arena
Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Yes, she came on stage an hour and 40 minutes late, long after Benny Benassi stopped showering us with David Guetta tracks. This was unusually tardy, even for Madonna. And, yes, it was warm. But it was certainly not as warm as we were all dreading it would be when we first heard about the June gig date back in February: the humidity levels remained relatively kind to us, and the fans, 'cooling stations' and promised 'Yas Island breeze' all made a difference.
And yes, she played a fair few 'old ones'. Ten of 22 to be exact, spanning 'Papa Don't Preach', 'Express Yourself (feat. Born This Way and She's Not Me)' - a five-inch-heel-high dig at Lady Gaga's familiar-sounding track - 'Open Your Heart' ,'Justify My Love', 'Vogue', 'Human Nature', 'Like A Virgin' - albeit a stripped-down, maudlin, take on the chirpy '80s original - and 'Like A Prayer.' 'Material Girl' and 'Erotica' were also played, mixed in to newer tracks.
And yes, of course Madonna shocked us. After opening with religious chants and an incense pot that swung above some of the crowd, she proceeded to run about with an AK47 during 'Revolver', before shooting a man in a Kill Bill-style motel room during the clearly-shock-tactic-motivated 'Gang Bang'. Of course, other gasp-inducing moments included her stripping down to her underwear and inviting everyone to 'act dangerously', flirting with girls (as well as her current squeeze, 24-year-old Brahim Zaibat, during a flash of 'Erotica'), and men dressed as women - in corsets. Indeed, moments of 'I'm a Sinner', particularly the religious-references included in the dance routine, played precariously with local boundaries.
But then, there were also plenty of surprises we couldn't have predicted (at least, those of us who'd avoided reading the tour's first night reviews). There was the flying marching band during 'Give Me All Your Luvin', that drifted high above the lucky few in the stage's triangle pit area. Indeed, there was the stage itself, and how far the two catwalks stretched out into the Golden Circle. And finally, there was the appearance of her 11-year-old son Rocco, and his - very focussed! - participation in several dance routines.
Yes: she kept us waiting for an hour and 40 minutes. But she certainly kept us all enthralled for an hour and 50. While the energy of the set may have been a bit patchy for some towards the back of the arena (that 'Like a Virgin' rendition...), for only the second date of a production of this scale, the show was spectacularly polished (we spotted just one accidental drop of the mic. And we're guessing the dancer that passed it to her knew about it afterwards…).
And, most importantly of all on a school night - the traffic wasn't too bad at all on the way out. Panic not, those heading to Yas Island tonight!
What did you think of Madonna’s UAE show? Tell us in the comments below ...
Pitch your ideas now to win up to Dhs25,000 investment
Apple Pay arrives in UAE
You can now use your iPhone to pay in stores across the country
Yerzhan Jun 14, 2012 08:53 am
I was in golden circle near of scene.It was best beutifull amazing show. When Madonna sign "I m sinner" at indian style and the she sing indian song "Cyber Raga" - stuff guy, he was from India, crying.
I askd him why you crying and he sad that he miss home miss India...
You know. It was one touch-heart moment.
Madonna`s show is BEST CONCERT that other artist in the world.More people don`t understand this show cause they angry. They are thought that Madonna must to apologize for Abu-Dabu humidity and do something what only theia want.
No! if you come to concert, please, be happy. you should be ready to dance and have fun. This is not cinema there you set at the chair an watching 3d movie. It is LIVE CONCERT
Keeef Jun 06, 2012 10:33 pm
Retire Madonna . Worse concert I have seen.Saw GaGa last week and if you are trying to keep up.........give up. Waste of money and time standing around waiting for you. Screwed up your hits with your poor attempt to remix.
Did anyone see her drop the mic but the words kept flowing?
I am glad to see she still has many of you as loyal fans
A Jun 06, 2012 09:18 pm
All the 50 pics look the same. And none of them is nice. Very bad photography.
PaleAle Jun 06, 2012 05:36 am
In reply to dxbgirl Quote " Y'all should appreciate the fact you even get an opportunity to see such an amazing artist live."
If it wasn't for her fans paying to see her shows, she wouldn't be the Superstar that she is, so let's keep it real and maybe you should take your own advice and "Calm down"
Felicia Jun 05, 2012 12:39 pm
The promoters should do their job better and inform us when the artist will be performing. Come on how difficult can that be....
How about more chair seating arrangement.. Who stands at a concert for 5 hours??
Madonna out shined herself with her brilliant Madonna style performance. It was perfect. You could see that she was struggling with the heat.