track “Get Stupid” is Madonna’s dare to her audience to walk-the-walk and not the talk and get
involved in world affairs and affect societal transformation. Images of tyranny and historical
injustice are coupled with heroic foreshadowing including the election of President Barack
Obama as Madonna emotes: “the time is right now.”
So when you pick up your copy this week of Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour whether on CD and
DVD, or in it’s first time ever presented in high definition Blu-ray offering and sit down and
marvel at the 50 year-old and her antics, straddled atop a moving pimp-mobile, dancing
effortlessly across multiple stages with performers half her age, or jump-roping while carrying
a tune as she is shimmying in alternating fashions through 4 separate acts. Perhaps you’ll get
that moment of apathy...be reminded that although “there’s nothing new under the sun” there’s
no one who can do it, who has been delivering as consistently as an artist as Madonna has.
And although many will follow, she has set in perpetual motion the reinvention of popular music
and the joy of performing unlike anyone else who staked a claim to fame.
She closes the The Girlie Show with the statement: “Everybody is a star.” Yet hungrily begs her
fans at the end of Sticky & Sweet to “Give it 2 Me” again and again.
Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet is available as a CD/DVD combo, Blu-ray in high definition and is
also downloadable. Madonna: The Girlie Show - Live Down Under is available on DVD.
CLICK HERE for more JC Alvarez
Copyright © AMBIENTE MAGAZINE. Do not reproduce without citing this source
selling out stadiums across the map! Do you see the parallels?
During The Girlie Show Madonna also continues to toy with the arrangements of her songs and
presented re-invented versions of her hits. This proved bombastically successful during her
reinterpretation of “Like A Virgin” during Blond Ambition (a performance so controversial she
had to make an escape from “the fascist state of Canada” or otherwise risk incarceration). This
is clearly most evidenced in the show’s performance of the #1 single “Vogue” which was
reinterpreted with a Middle-Eastern flare, and again gets revamped for S&S by the hip-hop
stylings of Timbaland, sampling his own current Madonna-laboration “4 Minutes”.
The Girlie Show is classically staged, it’s multi-tiered and meant to look (at points in the show)
like a true-life Parisian burlesque house, with peek-a-boo dark curtains and all, and
nickelodeon -like films playing intermittently -- remember this was the age before video
monitors were incorporated to create multi-dimensional backdrops and set pieces that
otherwise would cost millions to fabricate, and to evoke these images traditional visual-trickery
is utilized to realize the illusion.
Both shows also take great leaps to travel back in time. The Girlie Show recaptures the early
days of funk and disco, puffy afro wigs and all with vibrant sequent daisy dukes and “doing the
bump”. Sticky & Sweet remains a little more grounded more appropriately revisiting Madonna’s
own early 80’s career as a downtown street urchin exploring New York City’s hip-underground
art scene. S&S gives a nod or two to pop-art celebrity artist Keith Haring who was one of her
closest friends during those early years; inspiring her dress and encouraging her irreverent
behavior which lead to the icon we know today.
And although the Queen of Pop has always made being political part of her agenda The Girlie
Show is among the first of her stage antics to include an overtly political interlude. During the
performance of “The Beast Within” Madonna’s dancers gyrate in military fatigues paired same-
sex and simulate fornication and aggressive brutality, before rapturously falling into each other’
s arms: a hyper-emotional expression of sexual discovery and exploration, which appropriately
leads into the sexually ambiguously Marlene Dietrich-inspired “Like A Virgin”. In Sticky & Sweet
the video interlude for the
www.ambiente.us APRIL | ABRIL 2010
Madonna | Still Sticky & Sweet
By JC Alvarez
This week the true Queen of all Media, her Madjesty Herself...Madonna is preparing to
unleash to her fans the video-graphic release of her last record-breaking world tour.
Sticky & Sweet played to 85 dates across the world and would go down as the most
successful tour ever by a solo artist, performed for more than 3.5 million fans in 32
different countries! The tour billed to mostly bolster attention to her 2008 studio album
release Hard Candy which sported collaborations with Pharrell Williams, Timbaland
and Justin Timberlake, would also feature some of the Material Girl’s most memorable
hits from her celebrated 25 years in music.
It’s no surprise that after the undeniably ground-breaking Blond Ambition Tour of the
1990’s Madonna would ever just go on the road and be anything less than an
electrified expression of her intensely danceable music catalogue; no pop-concert
since has been ordinary. Madonna changed the game for live acts by combining
theatre, dance, art, fashion and always the most cutting edge technology to fully realize
her staged visions. Madonna’s shows are conceptualized to be a “grand spectacle
and burlesque” and would often feature heavy sexual overtones. And it’s interesting to
look at the evolution of the artist and difficult to not see the very distinct similarities
between the Sticky & Sweet Tour and one of Madonna’s past
productions. I’m referring to the oft dismissed Girlie Show
which came on the heals of the aforementioned Blond
Ambition Tour (which undeniably was a tough act to follow).
April 17, 2010
In his book Life with My Sister Madonna Christopher Ciccone, the director of The
Girlie Show, he reflects on his impression of Madonna’s Drowned World Tour: he
sites the show as “overall angry, violent, and not fun to watch,” and a complete
departure from what they both explored during the design and direction of the The
Girlie Show. He goes on to describe the rest of Drowned World as “dark, ominous,
and unfriendly.” A stark contrast to the illuminated vision of Girlie Show, and directly
compared to Sticky & Sweet, a much more romantic and sexually-charged and
revolutionized staged confection.
When The Girlie Show opens at Wembley Stadium (September 25, 1993) Madonna
had spent a good portion of the year leading up to the show thumbing her finger at
her critics. She had just published her controversial Sex book which was a photo-
essay exploring Madonna’s various definitions of erotic fantasies through visual
representation and prose. She had also released Erotica one of her most critically
well-received album projects, but not one of her greatest commercial successes. It
seemed that the air in the tires of her career were slowly being let out, and in
defense Madonna did what she did best and took her act on the road! The result
being The Girlie Show.
Cut to: 2008 and as Madonna prepares to close the door on one relationship (her
long-standing recording contract with Warner Brothers comes to an end) and enters
into a new all-media deal with emerging power Live Nation, she decidedly takes to
one of the most ambitious tours of her career to promote her latest album Hard
Candy, itself not one of her biggest commercial efforts and critically polarized by
many who view it as the pop-powerhouse’s most desperate effort to connect with the
changing musical consumption of the current hip-hop heavy audience. Defiantly,
she proves her relevance by