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The Confessions Tour (CD/DVD) – Rocky Mountain News Review

I’ve never had much desire to see Madonna in concert, but The Confessions Tour has changed my mind. The new CD/DVD combo is stuffed with so many unintentional moments of spit-take comedy and high camp that it may well have been worth $350 a ticket to see the show after all.
What’s the finest moment? The crucifixion and crown of thorns (complete with dangling red crystal droplets of “blood”) during Live To Tell? The guitar-hero moments as Madonna pantomimes some radical shredding on a black Stratocaster, grabbing chords that don’t exist? The John Travolta/Saturday Night Fever-style dance-off? Or the repeated “rebel” gestures to the crowd as if she’s just discovered she has a middle finger?
One is reminded of the old joke that the only thing actually “live” on a live album is the applause. So with Madonna’s heavy use of backing tracks and rather transparent, er, “vocal enhancement,” one wonders just how much singing and playing was done at this show. For some songs she’s not on the stage at all, with prerecorded video and dance routines covering for her endless costume changes.
The 13-song CD is almost an afterthought. The best songs here, including Live To Tell and Ray of Light, appear only among the DVD’s 21 cuts. You also have the obligatory behind-the-scenes footage, where buff twentysomething dancers swear that Madge dances circles around them.
The comedy just doesn’t end.