The question in the minds of every gay I know this past Saturday, June 22nd–all last minute style–was, what da fuck is Epix, and how do I get it? In case you missed the billboard ads all over the city, something called Epix premiered Madonna’s MDNA Tour on HD this past weekend. All one had to do was sign up for a free trial and you basically got some MDNA, hassle free. Of course, I had to see for myself how the top grossing tour in history made the … err … cut, so to speak (that shit was sliced and diced to death), but I would not be getting my M fix so easily. After calling Time Warner and searching the net, I learned that Epix is more Youtube/web channel than premium cable–at least not the way I know premium cable; they say they go big anywhere, but good luck figuring that shit out. I watched the concert like most people I know … through my computer monitor, but whatever, the MDNA fix was had.
It was so nice to re-visit the MDNA Tour. Of course the MDNA … um … movie barely taps the actual concert experience with its fast cuts and jumps from one screen shot to the next and the next without giving you much time to enjoy the view, which feels more like a music video (forward slash) video game. My girl is burned out and filtered to the max, so that all you see is nostrils and eye sockets, which is EXACTLY how I would do it if this were my stamp in history, but the highlights and the cool elements that made this tour spectacular, are all there … for the most part.
My favorite moment in most M concerts is the opening number. M has mastered the art of making an entrance. Here she has chanting monks, a giant swinging earn, bending gargoyles and a shattering explosion of stained glass–a far cry from the Virgin Tour in ’85 and the Who’s That Girl Tour in ’87, where a simple white panel rolled up for the big reveal. I love the darker portions of the show, but that could just be my own personal twisted problems. I’m sooo there with the shirtless queens in black tights and stiletto heels for Girls Gone Wild and I let out some aggression with the guns, blood, gore and violence of Bang, Bang.
A lot of songs transfer better live than they do in digital format. Revolver is a song that I just did not care for as a single (mostly because it sound like a twisted joke about spreading HIV/AIDS with lyrics like “my sex is a killer, do you wanna die happy …”)–that is until M performed it live. She looks pretty badass in her catsuit with a gun-toting pussy posse trailing behind her. Add lasers and cool backdrops of flying bullet shells and you have a pretty tough performance, which was not lost in the Epix presentation. Revolver is now on heavy rotation in my playlist.
I thought the performance of I Don’t Give a … was a great moment also, but that’s mostly because she was very close to where we were standing when my friend and I saw her in LA—well, there’s that, and I think the white girl rapping is passable this time around in comparison to that horrible attempt she made with American Life (moving along). I also love the message, “I don’t give a fuck-fuck-fuck. I don’t give a … .” I thought it transferred well on my computer screen.
What didn’t transfer so well was the continuity of Madonna’s hair. One second it’s all sweaty with a blond lock stuck to her forehead, then cut-slice-dice-scene, and the next second, the lock is gone. I’m sooo not that guy who looks for these sorts of things, but there’s a noticeable difference between frame 28:15 and frame 28:17. I wanna say that the hair was airbrushed out of her forehead, but judging from the cleavage that comes and goes, we’re CLEARLY looking at footage from two different concerts that are being edited into one show. Ah Madonna … The truth is she really doesn’t give a ffff …
And speaking of not giving a fuck. Express Yourself did not spare Lady Gaga’s reductive Born This Way mash-up with a deeper elbow jab to the ribs by adding She’s Not Me in the very end. And we still saw the Swastika on the forehead of that French La Pen bitch. And she didn’t give up on Give Me All Your Luvin, which I must admit redeemed itself big time on the MDNA stage with drummers suspended in midair and M giving her all with pompoms pumping all over the place. It was pretty fierce.
The Epix show took a nose dive in the the masculine/feminine portion of the show, where this hiss fit is concerned. The live production of Vogue was tight. She gave her fans exactly what they wanted. It was arrogant and glamorous with Art Deco and we even got some Jean Paul Gaultier–however, in Epix, she stopped pretending the show was a concert presentation of the tour. Reality took a back seat when the scenes cut into black and white sequences. The slicing and dicing becomes annoying at this point. You want to see the backdrop, but instead you’re watching closeups of the triangle bitches. By the time she bared her ass for the Like a Virgin number, it became very evident that M was very hands-on with this production. L.A.V. turns into complete black & whiteness with random cuts to stills from previous shows. It was bizarre–kinda like the performance itself, if you ask me.
Turn Up the Radio was charming in the third portion of the show, as well as Open Your Heart, however, the best part that takes place in the middle of the concert, where she engages the crowd into a mini improptu of an oldie-but-goody, was cut on the editing floor. Watching her sing Holiday in L.A. was the best part of my night. Maybe we’ll get slices of those spontaneous moments on the DVD set. I would pay 20 bucks to watch that.
So moving along, the journey into the light is fun, but oh my gawd … I must confess that I mostly fast-forwarded the redemption section of the show, which is the perk of hybrid television, no differently than you would fast-forward a Youtube clip. I stopped at Like a Prayer and ended the Epix presentation of Madonna’s MDNA Tour with her performance of Celebration.
They say the lady that can’t dance complains that the band can’t play. I’m so not going to be that bitch and pretend to give this movie any sort of grade or star score. It was a pain in my ass to get the right screen captures for this here blog, so I can’t even begin to imagine the Behemoth of work that went into editing this concert for the masses. Overall it was a fun reflection to a spectacular, stupendous, mind-blowing, super fantastic bubble plastic popping, shit kicking tour.
The MDNA TOUR will be released on DVD/Blue-ray August 27, 2013.
Thank you Epix for my free trial. And noooo, I’m not interested in signing up to get more movies from my computer screen. Thank you though.
ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!!!
TOP 10 MDNA FUN FACTS
- A seasoned pro: this is Madonna’s ninth concert tour, in support of her 12th studio album MDNA.
- Famous firsts: the MDNA tour marked Madonna’s first performances in the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Scotland and Colombia.
- Deep, but with plenty of dancing, too: Madonna divides the MDNA show into sections titled Transgression, Prophecy, Masculine/Feminine and Redemption.
- She’s still got it (duh): Billboard ranked this as the highest-grossing tour of 2012, with over $305 million grossed from 88 sold-out shows.
- Double whammy: the MDNA tour’s success makes it the second highest grossing tour of all time by a female artist. Number one? Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet tour.
- Fashion forward: Madonna’s long-time designer Jean Paul Gaultier created the costumes for this tour.
- Can you blame them? Fans lined up 24 hours in advance to score tickets for Madonna’s first-ever show in Abu Dhabi.
- Annnnnd go! 60,000 tickets for Madonna’s performance at Yankee Stadium sold out in just 20 minutes, prompting concert promoters to add a second NYC date.
- Not to be outdone by the Big Apple, Madonna’s Kansas City fans snapped up tickets so fast the show sold out in a mere 12 minutes.
- For those about to rock: tickets for the show at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa sold out in 21 minutes to become the fastest-selling concert in the venue’s history, knocking off previous record holders AC/DC