Hollywood has it right, the music industry has it wrong. When the movie industry pauses during awards shows to honor the deceased they unroll a spool of greatest hits highlights. You get to relive actors’ most memorable lines and performances; the screen lingering over some choice scenes, characters or films closely tied to legacy. It’s as if the performers are briefly given life again — the screen fills up and lets us relive their most iconic moments. It’s a conjuring of sentiment, memory and reverence that makes it feel more like a séance; Chris Rock gathers us together, the room goes dark, and for five minutes Leonard Nimoy is with us again, wizened eyebrows and all.
But if Hollywood is a séance, the music industry is an exhumation. The music industry prefers to unearth the body of work of its deceased and give them a sometimes macabre, typically grotesque, tribute performance. It’s an awkward reanimation of the artist that usually pales in comparison of the original. And with the music awards season fully underway we got our first sight of the Prince of the Undead courtesy of Madonna’s 2016 Billboard Awards performance on Sunday. Her tribute performance was largely pilloried across the spectrum. Though softly aided by Philly’s own Questlove — who introduced her performance and reportedly helped engineer it — in a series of tweets, the internet had already spoken: the performance was horrible. Not even industry-safe props like Stevie Wonder could stave off the poor reception the performance received. Read more »
Before we into the personal, strobe-lit music daydream that was (and still most certainly is) Madonna’s whirling tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, it’s absolutely necessary to understand that before the conception of Madge’s Grammy award-winning dance music opus, her music career was in pure best of times, yet (somewhat)worst of times mode. Read more »
Versions of the Material Girl. | Photo by Victor Fiorillo.
Last night, Madonna performed for a nearly sold-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. While the show itself got mixed reviews (read ours here), it did provide the typical pop concert spectacle, complete with at least over a dozen outfit changes. But the other spectacle was on the other side of the stage, as thousands of show-goers came wearing everything from jeans and tees to, well, see for yourself. Our intrepid A&E reporter, Victor Fiorillo, snapped some of the most outrageous looks seen at the show. Read more »
The sacred and profane were on full display last night at Madonna’s Rebel Heart show at the Wells Fargo Center. Fans even broke out the Pope and nun costumes — plus the usual full drag-queen glam outfits you see at all her shows. You can imagine that months ago when the news of Pope Francis’s visit was announced that Madonna and her team must have cooed with pleasure at the timing that coincided so neatly with her tour stops in New York City and Philadelphia. The 57-year-old singer referenced His Holiness a lot throughout the night and noted, “You know what I think is interesting is that the Pope is stalking me. Either that or he’s secretly in love with me.”
Unless you were hiding under a big rainbow rock, you know that the Material Girl herself was in Philly last night bringing her Rebel Heart tour to town for a packed house at the Wells Fargo Center. Of course, the gays were out in full-force, taking in everything that the “Unapologetic Bitch” brought to the stage. We rounded up 10 of our favorite Instagrams from last evening’s raucous festivities for your own viewing pleasure.
Last night, Madonna brought her Rebel Heart tour to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and she had a very special guest get down and dirty with her on the stage: CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
It appears that the Material Girl pulled Cooper on stage during her “Unapologetic Bitch” number, and proclaimed that he had been “very bad.” She then proceeded to give Mr. Cooper an on-stage spanking of sorts. Thanks to the lovely world of Instagram, the moment was captured for all of our viewing pleasures.
Last night, Madonna previewed the tour in Canada, and when it came to the song “Holy Water,” she essentially performed a pole dance on a giant cross with a bunch of scantily-clad “nuns.” She later broke into a version of “Vogue” with giant projections of Biblical art in the background and a reenactment of a the last supper.
There’s a few videos floating around the internet that show the act, although the quality of them aren’t the best (and who knows how long they’ll be online before they get pulled). Here’s one that shows the Material Girl getting down on the cross:
Here’s another that’s a slightly better quality that shows the Biblical art and the last super reenactment:
Madonna is headed to the City of Brotherly Love this month. Photo via Shutterstock.
The Pope who? There’s a lot more going on in Philadelphia this September besides a visit from the Vatican. We rounded up 25 LGBT events, shows, and minglers that will keep you busy during back to school season.
Faced with Discrimination Photobooth: Equality Pennsylvania is teaming up with the William Way Community Center for this free event where guests can take a picture and describe why discrimination is a problem that isn’t just theoretical. Thursday, September 3rd, 11 am, free, William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street
Sharon Needles: The RuPaul icon “with the look of a cover model and the soul of a shoe” will be at Kung Fu Necktie for a one-nigh only show, featuring the Haus of Ham and The Homophones. Thursday, September 3rd, 7 pm, $20-50, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 North Front Street
FringeArts Festival 2015: There’s so many queer performances at this year’s FringeArts Fest that we’d be here all day if we listed all of them: everything from You Are the Hero to Not For Profit to Growing Into My Beard. In short, there’s something for everyone. Opens Thursday, September 3rd, various times, prices, and locations Read more »
Madonna was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night, and as you might expect she practically took over the whole show. Three Madge segments are making their way around the Internet this morning, including a performance of “Holiday” on toy instruments with Fallon and Philly’s The Roots. (What are those weird hand thingies Questlove is holding?)