After coming on stage an hour and 40 minutes late, star lives up to hype
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!
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Munia Awan Jun 07, 2012 06:12 am
By far the WORST concert I have been to in the UAE, in terms of timing ( she was extremely late, the concert was in June), size ( too big), viewing ( seats were too far) SCREENS were TINY and only two of them, songs were AWFUL, chosen very badly
all in all, an utter waste of time and money
NEVER COME BACK WOMAN
Michael Gray Jun 05, 2012 05:55 pm
she was exactly the same time late on the second night my friends who were sadly disappointed on night one were right exactly about night two not just the show total lack of respect for fand who paid dearly in MONEY and SWEAT to see Madonna
Being a Hot Ticket Guest in grandstand and having to trail to the main entrance to get the gift and not all of them was truly a disgrace i saw no advantage to hot ticket
its pointless ThinkFlash believing their own BS and posing around the FANS pay your wages SO THINK ON if in UK would have been a riot
Fitzov Jun 04, 2012 10:02 pm
Succinctly put Quack. All enthusiasm for the second night's show had dissipated by the time it started 1 3/4 hours late. Like many other families before us, we left early; hot, tired and resenting the disrespect.
Anjum Hameed Jun 04, 2012 04:16 pm
Utterly horrendous evening!!..the best part was the weather, so go figure what my feelings are like!!..she started at 10:40, we left at 11:30..oh and by the way, we were in the Dhs 1425 seats!!..didnt care..my sanity was more important
SharjahFan Jun 04, 2012 03:44 pm
Got there early and didn't have to way long for anything--except Madonna. Really enjoyed her show but the heat was taking its toll. The UAE needs a big indoor concert arena to seat 20,000+.