MADONNA’S SINGAPORE CONCERT TAME, BUT F-BOMBS AND SEXUAL REFERENCES APLENTY

img_1982After a week of furore from religious leaders in the region speaking out against Madonna’s controversial Rebel Heart tour, the Queen of Pop’s first ever concert in Singapore on Sunday (28 Feb) appeared very tame and devoid of any religious references.

On Monday, Singapore archbishop William Goh expressed concern over Madonna’s concert in Singapore. He had reminded Catholics in the country to not support “those who denigrate and insult religions”.

Two days later, Catholic bishops in the Philippines urged people to boycott Madonna’s concert.

The “Like A Virgin” superstar was in town for a one-night only show at the National Stadium and performed in front of about 25,000 fans. Surprisingly, the concert started only an hour late. She had been known to appear two to three hours later than scheduled showtime at other stops along the tour.

Instead of having dancers dressed as half naked nuns, sexy popes, or having them hold up giant crosses – as seen in online fan videos of her tour in other countries such as the US and Canada – her Singapore fans enjoyed a more watered down version laden with F-bombs and sexual references.

“Is it okay if I use the F-word?” Madonna asked her fans one hour into the show. She had been refraining from cussing from when the show began, she added.

The 57-year-old performed a handful of her classics, such as “Like A Virgin”, “Material Girl”, “Crazy For You” as well as “La Isla Bonita”, which saw the loudest cheers from the crowd, with many jumping from their seats to dance and sing along.

Her dancers gave a spectacular performance and somewhat made up for what was lacking in her show. The scenes ranged from provocative dance moves on a bed on stage – which included guy-on-guy action- during her song “Sex”, to a thrilling stunt which saw some of the dancers bouncing dangerously from high poles.

Toyed with fans

Madonna also jokingly asked one man in the crowd to marry her, then rejected him, saying that he could not afford to support her expensive lifestyle.

Towards the end of the show, a lucky Singapore fan by the name of Hamzah was invited on stage to dance with her. Hamzah obliged by wowing the crowd with his provocative booty-shaking dance moves.

As a reward for his performance, Madonna handed to him a bejeweled banana-shaped bottle. She had a sip of the drink before pouring some into Hamzah’s mouth, and later splashed the drink on his face.

Source : Yahoo News

SINGAPORE CONCERT REVIEW

img_2032SINGAPORE — Sunday’s (Feb 28) concert at the National Stadium was Madonna’s first ever show in Singapore in her phenomenal three-decade career. And boy, did she show us what we had been missing out on.

The American Queen of Pop sang, danced and thrilled her audience of 25,000 during the show, which lasted more than two hours.

Her set included newer hits like B**** I’m Madonna, Unapologetic B**** and Rebel Heart, as well as old favourites Like A Virgin, True Blue, Crazy For You and Material Girl, among others.

And, despite the buzz and controversy, the Material Girl was also a Well-behaved Girl — in her own unique way, of course. She eschewed the more controversial segments of her show, skipping songs like Iconic, Holy Water and Devil Pray. The The 57-year-old also started the show only 55 minutes late —compared to three hours in Manila — which meant that the concert ended in time for concert attendees to catch the last buses or trains home.

But that is not to say there wasn’t plenty of the expected raunchy bits in the concert, which was rated R18 by the Media Development Authority for its sexually suggestive content. The notoriously defiant singer swore freely and frequently, referred to her fans as “b****es” and “motherf******”, and even pretended to play with what sounded like a xylophone with her private parts, much to her fan/s delight. “Nobody f**** with the Queen,”she declared to her adoring fans, before performing a remixed version of her classic hit Like A Virgin, prancing and gyrating to an updated beat as the crowd sang loudly along.

Unfortunately, while Madonna gave her best, the National Stadium is decidedly unsuitable for a concert of its scale. Even though I was seated in a Category 1 zone where tickets cost S$688 a pop, I could hardly see what was happening on stage, and had to rely on tiny screens that were placed on either side of the stadium. I felt like a bystander at a party that was taking place in the distance, and could only watch in envy as the fans who had spent S$1288 to stand in the VIP zone danced the night away. But such is the configuration for concerts held here. Perhaps a more intimate setting, like Taylor Swift’s recent show at the Indoor Stadium, would have been better.

Nevertheless, it was a privilege being in the presence of music royalty, a woman who — no matter what you think of her — has inspired generations of fans and musicians, and will likely spend the rest of her life pushing the boundaries of music and art. And now that the Queen herself has shown fans in Singapore what they have been missing, we sure hope it won’t be another 30 years before we see her on our shores again.

Source : TodayOnline

MADONNA : FEMALE POWER

8Depending on which side of the divide you are on, Madonna’s first concert in Singapore will be a cause for rapturous celebration or an ominous sign that Singapore has lost its moral compass to a marauding she-devil in hot pants.

Before the historic Singapore concert date was announced, many of her fans here had already, over the decades, fanned out across the seven seas to catch her concerts in foreign lands. In recent months, her fans have seen her perform in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Macau on her current Rebel Heart Tour.

But such is the measure of the woman that many of these fans will probably be packing the National Stadium on Sunday to finally see her in Singapore.

Such is a sign of our times that 34 years after Madonna unleashed herself onto the public consciousness, she is still considered shocking, controversial and ban-worthy.

Even The Rolling Stones, with their legendary associations with drug-fuelled orgies and Satanism, have played four concerts in Singapore to date. And this is a band whose infamous concert in Altamont, California, in the United States in 1969 saw the murder of a fan.

Madonna’s biggest offences so far have been going against conservative and religious mores. She arrives here at a time when we are very much at a cultural crossroads in our evolution not only as Singaporeans, but also as global citizens.

The Media Development Authority has banned the performance of the song, Holy Water, because the segment contains “religiously sensitive content which breaches our guidelines”.

Singapore’s OB markers are clear in that respect and the country resolutely sings a different tune from the rest of the world on issues such as freedom of speech and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, another cause which Madonna champions.

Continue reading “MADONNA : FEMALE POWER”

WHAT WILL MADONNA’S NEXT CAREER MOVE BE?

With the Rebel Heart Tour being her last with Live Nation, TODAY looks at the Queen of Pop’s future options

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SINGAPORE — Her 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour and 2012’s MDNA Tour netted US$408 million (S$573m) and US$305 million, respectively; making her the only female artiste ever to score the top-two highest grossing concert tours of all time.

Her latest, Rebel Heart Tour, which the pop diva will strut out at the National Stadium on Sunday, has already raked in US$88 million from its European and North American legs, with the Asian and Oceania stops yet to be included.

Yet, this could be the last time we will get to see the megastar in big-scale spectaculars. Her 10-year deal with live-events promoter Live Nation ends in 2017; and according to industry watchers, the unprecedented US$120 million contract is unlikely to be renewed.

So, the singer with a net worth of US$520 million could easily bankroll the production of her future albums and tours, but in case she does not want to, TODAY has a few options for the Iconic One…

VIVA LAS VEGAS?

Talk that Madonna was offered a US$1 billion contract to do a five-year headlining residency in Las Vegas has been bubbling since 2010. Her contemporaries such as Celine Dion, Elton John and Jennifer Lopez have already ventured down this route. With her undeniable stage presence, rich catalogue of hits and ardent fan base, Madonna is more than capable of drawing the crowds night after night, while making new music along the way. The only snag is that she has famously declared she hates the place: “I couldn’t bear it for five minutes!” Then again, Las Vegas has always been a stop on all her world tours, so, never say never.

INTIMATE GIGS?

While a Guitar and a Microphone tour a la Prince’s Piano and a Microphone stint is quite unlikely, Madonna could do mini concerts such as the one she did in 2012 in the middle of the MDNA World Tour. Billed as an intimate event, La M played a 45-minute set at Paris’ Olympia Club, and fans paid between EUR80 (S$124) and EUR280 to see her. Despite some controversy — some ticket holders were expecting the entire MDNA show (duh) — the one-time-only gig was generally well-received, asserting that Madonna can most certainly thrill with less frills.

Continue reading “WHAT WILL MADONNA’S NEXT CAREER MOVE BE?”

“THE REBEL HEART TOUR”IS AWARE OF THE CULTURAL SENSITIVITIES

IMG_0297-0SINGAPORE — The Madonna tour group has broken its silence for the first time, since the Catholic Church and other religious organisations expressed their concerns over the American pop superstar’s concert earlier this week.

“The Rebel Heart Tour is aware of the cultural sensitivities, and Madonna is excited to share her celebration of art and music with her fans in Singapore,” a spokesperson from Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour said on Thursday (Feb 25) in an e-mail statement to TODAY.

Earlier this week, the Catholic Church revealed its “grave concerns” about the Rebel Heart Tour concert. Archbishop William Goh had also reminded Catholic Christians of their moral obligation not to support “the ‘pseudo arts’ that promote sensuality, rebellion, disrespect, pornography, contamination of the mind of the young, abusive freedom, individualism at the expense of the common good, vulgarity, lies and half-truths”.

Other Christian and Catholic organisations contacted by TODAY, including Faith Community Baptist Church’s Pastor Lawrence Khong, also expressed support for the Catholic Church’s stand.

The Rebel Heart Tour concert, which will be held at the National Stadium on Sunday has been rated R18 for its sexual references by the MDA.

The singer, who will be performing in Singapore for the first time, has also been asked not to perform her controversial song Holy Water in her show here.

The tour is produced by Live Nation Global Touring in association with East West Best Inc, and exclusively supported by King Lun and the UMS Group.

Live Nation Lushington managing director Michael Roche said: “We just passed 25 years of bringing in major artistes to Singapore.

“We have always applied for licenses and we have always worked closely with the authorities.”

Source : TodayOnline.com

LET’S JUST ENJOY MADONNA’S MUSIC

In the early years of our nation’s development, it was understandable that censorship was a little heavy-handed, especially when it came to foreign artists. As a result, we lost out on watching many international acts in concerts.

But we have since matured enough to come to terms with being exposed to these acts, or at least I thought so, until the furore over Madonna’s tour coming to Singapore erupted .

For a select few who were able to see “banned” shows in the 1970s and 1980s, when we went overseas to study or work, they were something to be grateful for.
Watching these concerts live did little to stunt our growth or twist our minds. We were able to enjoy the music, without worrying too much about what the singer or group stood for.
It was the music itself that we paid attention to, especially if one was an aficionado and understood as well as appreciated the music.

I heard Madonna’s music in the 1980s, but was never a true follower. But even to an outsider, her work was ground-breaking, to say the least, and she was always a survivor. That inspired many. She was always able to morph with each passing decade.

In the 1970s, there was much made of the bad influence heavy metal music had on young minds.

Yet, I became an avid follower and collector, even when there were accusations of subliminal messages – some allegedly satanic – being inserted into such music.This accusation – that there was use of a technique called backward masking to penetrate our subconscious – was levelled at many groups, including Led Zeppelin. I can say, after listening to the group’s albums for more than 40 years, that I am none the worse for it.

I will say this much: If not for the music, I don’t think I would have made it through life.
I heard Madonna’s music in the 1980s, but was never a true follower. But even to an outsider, her work was ground-breaking, to say the least, and she was always a survivor. That inspired many.
She was always able to morph with each passing decade.
There is little doubt that she is a successful entertainer, flamboyant, and always thinking ahead.

Of course, she tends to explore various themes, but that is her mode of expression.
In the final analysis, her concerts are for those who are mature enough, those who do not want to be subjected to dictates taken too far.

This is what music should be about. The opposite would be living in a void and being stifled. I don’t think we want to go down that road.

Manoraj Rajathurai
straitstimes.com

MADONNA ARRIVES IN SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE – Queen of Pop Madonna arrived by private jet shortly before midnight on Friday (Feb 26) for her first concert here at the National Stadium on Sunday (Feb 28).

An entourage of about 12 MPVs and three Mercedes had arrived earlier on Friday night at Changi’s CIP Terminal, which is for private jet passengers.

She was expected to stay at Capella Singapore on Sentosa, according to a report by TODAY, citing unnamed sources.

The report added that the 57-year-old is expected to head to the National Stadium for rehearsals tomorrow, ahead of her first concert in Singapore on Sunday.

Mediacorp is the parent company of both TODAY and Mediacorp Vizpro, which is one of the partners bringing the pop star into Singapore.

The luxury hotel is relatively secluded, tucked away at the end of a quiet lane on Sentosa. It is adjacent to the Sentosa Golf Club and next to One Degree 15 Marina and Sentosa Cove.

Madonna is currently on the Asian leg of her Rebel Heart tour, having already played in cities including Manila, Macau and Hong.

The Straits Times reported that her show in Singapore is costing its Taiwanese investors US$10 million (S$14 million).

The cost of staging her show here includes air freight for the pop star’s 27 containers holding the stage, lighting and wardrobe set-ups.

Last month, the show received an R18 rating from the authorities for “sexually suggestive content”.

HOW MADONNA PROVED THAT SHE IS STILL THE QUEEN OF POP (MANILA’S SHOW REVIEW)

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Whenever anyone asks who my favorite singer is, I say Madonna. Those older than me would nod understandingly, while those in my generation would look bewildered, asking if Madonna is still relevant. It’s an expected response. After all, people my age listen to Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift. But even with the popularity of these younger singers, don’t you think it’s strange that Madonna still has the title of Queen of Pop? It’s a title that still follows her even if she’s 57 years old. And after her concert in Manila, she proves that she still deserves to be called that.

Her Rebel Heart concert is her first in Manila. Strange, considering she has been in the business for 37 years. And in that span of time, she still shows every female singer how to do it, as she is the best-selling female recording artist of all time, and is top touring female artist of all time. 2008’s Sticky and Sweet Tour is the highest grossing tour by a female artist. The second? Her 2012 MDNA Tour. It’s too early to say where the Rebel Heart Tour stands, but Billboard ranked it as number one on a weekly recap of concert touring artists.

Still think Madonna is no longer relevant? Allow me to school you. Continue reading “HOW MADONNA PROVED THAT SHE IS STILL THE QUEEN OF POP (MANILA’S SHOW REVIEW)”