Madonna at the Pepsi Center, 10/18/2012

Categories: Last Night

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Eric Gruneisen
Madonna last night at the Pepsi Center. Slide show: Madonna at the Pepsi Center

Many other songs fell into the violence category, too. "Revolver" and "Papa Don't Preach," the latter of which saw Madonna give a notably strong vocal performance without her vocals being processed (rare for the mid- and high-tempo numbers last night), assumed new meaning when their lyrics were presented within the context of murder.

Whole sections of the concert were largely arranged according to themes, making the stage dramatics -- and sometimes lack thereof -- easier to process with the potency of the music and visuals. Madonna songs about guns, a woman scorned, Guy Ritchie to the front. Everything else at the end, like religion and obsession -- with love and sex more toward the middle. In this way, the structure of the show started on a high note with the theatrical peaks that were "Girl Gone Wild" and "Gang Bang" and went mostly downhill from there.

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Eric Gruneisen
Madonna last night at the Pepsi Center. Slide show: Madonna at the Pepsi Center

Catalogue duds like "Masterpiece" and "Celebration" were still a flop, with the night's wild ride ending on a bum note when set closer "Celebration" fizzled in execution as well as choreography. Not even fleeting moments of grandeur -- the raw version of "Like A Virgin" with backing only by a piano, the heavenly standard take on "Like A Prayer" powered by rent-a-choir pipes and the slackline-centric choreography that gave "Hung Up" a new meaning -- could compare to the ten minutes of sheer Madonna vengeance that was "Girl Gone Wild" and "Gang Bang."

We were spoiled, and we were spoiled early. And forget about "Material Girl" -- the jaded, beaten down, divorced Madonna would appear on stage in bra and panties before she would perform those superficial lyrics ever again. In fact, that's exactly what Modern Madonna did, and to "Like A Virgin" no less. Before the final chorus of the song, Madonna stripped down to her bra, panties and fishnets to not-so-subtly reveal whom she endorses for president. There, above the small of her back, was the name "Obama" (fake) tattooed. And this followed the only stage banter Madonna gave her fans the entire night, largely imploring them to vote -- not necessarily for Obama, but for someone.

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Eric Gruneisen
Madonna last night at the Pepsi Center. Slide show: Madonna at the Pepsi Center

"As long as you vote, that's all that matters," she said. "Take responsibility for your country... Look at these countries fighting for democracy. We're fucking lucky we can vote."

The concert became equally political during the interlude for "Nobody Knows Me," during which we were shown screen projections about socio-cultural injustices, particularly of gay teens who were killed because of their sexuality or the 99 percent versus the 1 percent in the Occupy movement. The one thing Madonna didn't touch on but we expected her to: Pussy Riot (though she was selling Pussy Riot shirts at her merch booth).

Oddly, it was Madonna's inaction on the subject of Pussy Riot last night that was surprising. This woman has been outspoken for their cause for so long -- and even mentioned her stance during prior shows, including one in Russia -- that it was odd she chose not to speak her mind for once. She must have been too focused on that damned handgun.

So were we.

Keep reading for Critic's Notebook and Setlist

Location Info

Map

Pepsi Center

1000 Chopper Circle, Denver, CO

Category: General


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10 comments
dizzymom
dizzymom

Agree with the issue of the 10:45 appearance sucked (especially for us working folk).  Also agree with the opening DJ was a real snooze!  Literally...I had to wake the guy sitting next to me.  The first 30-45 minutes were a bit too 'DARK' for me.  Had high expectations of a fun 'girls night out'.... This wasn't it. 

br1tan1
br1tan1

@HappyClamHL it was awesome!! hail madonna!

nealbraatz
nealbraatz

I don't know what concert artist_melissa attended, but from my vantage point (upper deck, back of the arena) the sound was fantastic, and the video and lighting were stellar. I'm not a big Madonna fan, but I thought the concert was great. Sure, it was a drag waiting until 1045P, (and the opening DJ was a snooze), but it was worth the wait in my opinion. And all this talk about how disrespectful it was for Madonna to use guns in her performance, in the wake of the the theater shootings, is ridiculous. I didn't even make the connection until after reading those comments online. I guess I should also have been upset when KISS and Motley Crue used flame pods in their show in the wake of the wild fires. Anway.....great show. I stayed for the whole performance and wasn't angry.

Brian Barkley
Brian Barkley

She is a stupid bitch and who cares about what she has done.

artist_melissa
artist_melissa

I'm sorry I think it was rude of Madonna to come on at 10:47pm and have her fans waiting. I also thought the sound quality was horrific and that no one wants to hear her political views. I left early along with many people and will never ever spend another dime on Madonna again. People should be angry. This concert was a disgrace.

Mike Long
Mike Long

When she asked if anybody'd seen Molly, she meant her nurse.

Mike Long
Mike Long

Breaking news from 1986? Haven't cared since 1996.

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