August 28, 2001

August 28, 2001 05:10 AM

The past week has been one of a flood of images in my mind and my varying responses to them. I’ve also had the sensation of *doing* any number of things – yet not actually participating in the activity but observing it. And it doesn’t matter what the activity is… So …..where in these instances have I gone? *** And it’s the simple and quiet things that I appreciate in my life. Like …….the grass wet with dew under my feet while drinking a glass of red wine at midnight in a soft white cotton nightgown and looking up at the stars. ! Or looking into the eyes of an achingly beautiful angry angel. . . And I do have an angel in my life. *** Many thanks to the gentleman who made the experience of the Madonna show a very special event. We entered, and after the show, exited the concert space through the backstage and were given a private tour of the understage set up of trap doors and dressing rooms and computers. Many of the technical production aspects were explained in detail. All of this before being shown to the perfect seats which were right up front near the stage .

The parade of the fans in the vicinity of our seats consisted of women dressed and made up like strippers and ‘flamboyant’ men. The show began with the entire arena’s roar to a non smiling punk-clad Madonna gliding out on a platform. There were two moments of the show that spoke to me and got my attention. One was the second song which was full throttle intense rock. I loved it. The other was during the ‘Japanese’ part of the show which featured video images of a battered Madonna with black hair and white face and red eyes and a nose bleed. The much used vocoder in the first part of the show was curious as well. The entire production was considerably less theatrical and more like a big budget rock show than I had expected. I was pleased with the quality of the sound and even though she is an entertainer and not a vocalist, the strength of Madonna’s alto voice dominated the arrangements. I noticed this lower register was also used in a couple of the old songs and I thought the alto was appropriate for the woman she is now instead of the radio friendly ‘Minnie Mouse’ effect used early on in her career.

This show was a type of product review with a clear homage to something that of course made her so famous and that is her video image. She is a huge brand/*star* but I am more fascinated by the behind the scenes aspects of star presentation. This is what I enjoyed about my sample of Hollywood and this is the main thing I delighted in at the Madonna show. As spectacular and worshipped as she is, observing : the presence of the posh suited British private security agency hired by Madonna to patrol the floor area in front of the stage, and the special effects and huge video screens and dancers and stage hands and techies and makeup and costume people (how do they keep those massive sleeves so wrinkle-free ) ..etc etc, it is an even more impressively spectacular executed presentation than made apparent by the star herself.