Over her 25-year career, Madonna has gone on a remarkable seven world tours, each one with its own unique qualities.
On her most recent Confessions Tour, which danced its way through the United States last summer, Madonna proved that she may be a middle-aged mother, but she is just as talented as when she first started, if not more so. The Confessions Tour was arguably her best to date, so it is quite a treat to have the whole show captured forever on DVD and CD.
The show itself is spectacular. Singing many hits from her strong “Confessions on a Dance Floor” album, as well as some older goodies, Madonna wows the audience with her non-stop energy and incredible dancing. For those who saw the show in its crudely edited form on NBC in November, the version included on the DVD is completely uncensored.
One can finally see the much-talked-about song Madonna sings on a cross, which NBC was pressured into not showing; however, the message behind the spectacle, which involved helping AIDS-stricken African orphans, is apparent when watching the DVD.
Also absent from the NBC broadcast and included on the DVD are a controversial interlude involving current politicians, as well as three additional songs.
While the show itself may be close to perfect, one may not think so from just watching the DVD. The DVD’s director, Jonas i?1kerlund, is best known for directing music videos, including many of Madonna’s.
i?1kerlund’s expertise, unfortunately, seems to have influenced him to capture the show more like a music video than a live concert. Often the background screens are brought into the forefront or sliced into shots of Madonna and her dancers.
Such effects may be appropriate for a music video, but then take away from the live and palpable feel of a concert and only add unnecessary distractions.
The extras on the DVD include a photo gallery and some rehearsal footage, which can be interesting for major fans but boring for others. Perhaps rehearsal as well as behind the scene footage during the actual tour itself may have been a bit more enticing.
The Confessions Tour DVD also comes with a live CD of half the show. It is a bit baffling why Madonna did not just include a second CD so that fans could have the whole concert on CD.
The choice of some of the songs that are included are a bit odd as well, such as the spoken dancer interlude titled “Confessions,” which is somewhat boring when just listening to the audio. With only half the show on CD, the space could have been better utilized with another song.
Sure, the Confessions Tour DVD/CD set has some blemishes, but the show itself is so sublime that it may be worth it to overlook those flaws. Especially since Madonna’s last outing, the Re-Invention Tour, was never released in full, fans are happy to have this tour on DVD at all.