Behind the Scenes: The Rebel Heart Tour, Still in the Game
Updated: Nov 8, 2018
For those that missed the real thing, Madonna's 35-city Rebel Heart Tour, produced by Live Nation, is the subject of a new concert documentary on Showtime. Madonna is the mightiest touring artist of our age, and she has released some of the best live concert films of all time, huge stadium extravaganzas which she somehow manages to pull off, that deliver equal amounts of show business flair, music and provocative imagery.
The 2009 Sticky & Sweet tour is the highest grossing tour in history for a solo artist and the 2012 MDNA tour was the most successful tour of that year, but in my view, artistically she achieved a sort of zenith, with the Confessions Tour.
The new Rebel Heart Tour is right up there with her best, with a great look, feel, atmosphere and run of song choices to rival all that have come before it. Madonna herself looks great, and you really can't keep your eyes off her. I've been a fan since I was a kid, but she seems to have reached a point of self assurance now that makes her magnetic. This is Madonna in her prime. Her look and voice aside, the backdrops and visuals are stunning and there are some truly shiver inducing moments.
This collection features 22 smash songs from the "Material Girl." It kicks off with "Iconic" and the unapologetic "Bitch I'm Madonna," prior to her classic hit "Burning Up," which has a retro vibe to it. The DVD includes an acoustic version of "True Blue" and a distinct version of "Like a Virgin." Equally fun is "Living for Love", which is followed by such pop staples as "La Isla Bonita," and "Dress You Up," which is incorporated as a medley with "Lucky Star" and "Into the Groove." Some of the highlight songs are "Like a Prayer," "Music," her namesake song "Material Girl" and her encore performance of "Holiday." She commands the stage for the duration of the "Rebel Heart Tour," and proves that the pop throne still belongs to her, well over 30 years into her career.
For me, this is the most "fun" Madonna DVD, in that there is a heavy party atmosphere. When Madonna proclaims on the concert's second track, Bitch I'm Madonna, that she just wants to have some fun tonight, we believe her; and she definitely takes the crowd, and the viewer along for the ride with her. Madonna chose a Japanese samurai theme for the staging of the hit single. With her female dancers and a kimono costume, the pop icon starts with simple choreography to the tune that intensifies with the film's hypnotic editing. As the song builds, she begins stage-fighting her male dancers for a video-game-esque treatment of the Diplo-produced EDM-trap anthem. Minaj even makes a brief appearance via video during a portion of her verse.
Overall, the "Rebel Heart" concert film is a must for any die-hard fan of Madonna and a front-row seat for anyone who missed the live event. It's excellent from start to finish, and the editing, filtering and effects only enhance it. Madonna is a real artist, and just putting the concert on a DVD probably isn't something she wants to do at this stage. It is, in essence, a "film", a piece all of its own, both a part of and independent from the tour itself.
Check out exclusive behind the scenes clips from Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour and meet some of the crew members travelling the world with her, from tour manager to dresser, choreographers and production team!
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