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Madonna delivers shock, awe at HP Pavilion

As the only pop mega-show this summer — Britney Spears is pregnant again, Christina Aguilera is going retro to revive her career, and Justin Timberlake is reportedly taking voice lessons — Madonna did what was expected Tuesday night and delivered a multi-dimensional concert with healthy doses of shock and awe.
You have to give Madge credit — the 47-year-old mother of two still has it, looking good and sounding good at the packed show in San Jose’s HP Pavilion. She performs there again at 8 tonight.
With bulging biceps, a 24-inch waist, and a behind that women half her age would envy, Madonna commanded the stage for two hours.
The self-proclaimed dancing queen changed seven times (from jockey in black to disco star in white, and multiple leotards — how many women would willingly wear a white leotard? Maybe only Madonna).
Visually, the concert was stunning, with a curtain on stage that doubled as a movie screen — flashing pictures of President George W. Bush with photos of dictators like Saddam Hussein and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il — a mechanical horse with a stripper pole that she saddled during a rendition of “Like a Virgin,” and the larger than life disco ball that lowered onto stage with her inside. The ball was embellished with $2 million worth of Swarovski crystals.
And of course, there was the already infamous crucifixion segment with Madonna suspended from a giant illuminated cross, wearing a crown of thorns, singing “Live to Tell.” While visually stunning, the depiction wasn’t anything new in the music world. Many still recall rapper Kanye West wearing a crown of thorns on Rolling Stone magazine in early February.
At any rate, Madonna had to out-do her last tour which displayed images of the crucifixion, had T-shirts with the line “Kabbalists Do It Better,” and dancers in rabbi robes and burqas that covered their heads but exposed their legs.
The bulk of the music Tuesday night concentrated on new material from her latest album, “Confessions on a Dance Floor.” And like her album, most of her concert was upbeat. She remixed some of her classics disco-style, with “Music” done up as “Saturday Night Fever,” and “Erotica” and “La Isla Bonita” in that white leotard. (She reportedly will soon be releasing an album of remixes.)
She slowed down during the middle of the concert with a stripped-down acoustic version of “Drowned World/Substitute for Love” and a duet on “Paradise (Not for Me),” with Yitzhak Sinwani of the London Kabbalah Centre. Sinwani also joined with her on the controversial song “Isaac,” which some argue tries to cash in on the name of the founder of one form of Kabbalah, which is a no-no.
Much of Madonna’s pop-concert longevity can be attributed to her dancers whose break-dancing, roller-skating and urban gymnastics wowed the audience.
Although, she rarely strayed from the script, Madonna did say San Jose was much more fun than Las Vegas. And the crowd seemed to believe her. From the beginning, the audience partied in her honor and stood up and danced for most of the show.
Madonna has transformed from pop icon to mom and back, challenging lines of good taste and longevity in an unforgiving genre. But she continues to reinvent herself. Let’s hope she still has more to confess.
source : mercury news