The magic is in the air again. The lights are about to go down. And only one woman in the world can instill such a rapture in me and so many others, even three decades into her storied career. Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour opened last night in Montreal, and in a few short weeks I’ll be seeing her in Boston. Suzie and I will return to the place where we saw her live for the very first time, some fourteen years ago, on her Drowned World Tour. It’s our tradition, and we’ll be celebrating our 40th birthdays again that weekend, which makes it doubly momentous.
This time around, I almost didn’t get caught up in the usual excitement and anticipation that precedes a Madonna tour. I’m not sure why – maybe tour fatigue (I’ve seen her nine times since she returned to regular touring in 2001) – or maybe just the natural maturation of fandom, whereby one is less obsessed but no less in love. Yet as per tradition, the electricity is arcing again, and as these video promos for the show will attest, something special is in the offing.
After the catastrophic leak of the ‘Rebel Heart’ album earlier in the year, Madonna has managed to keep pretty much every aspect of this tour under wraps. She’s teased song titles and set-list ideas, but the visuals, until now, have been impressively secret and unseen. A few costume sketches showed up in Women’s Wear Daily, and they looked lovely – but the real test will be how they appear in person. It will also be interesting to hear how many of her teased songs make it into the final set-list. (Whispers of ‘Who’s That Girl’ and ‘Rescue Me’ had most Madonna fans fainting with giddy nostalgia. Yes, the 90’s are nostalgic at this point – deal with it.)
As for whatever else this tour brings, the element of surprise, often an aspect of her greatest work, is back in effect – and I’m getting extremely excited.