A Madonna concert is one of those once in a life time gigs. That explains why tickets were sold out in the first 25 minutes. I was super excited about Madonna – it was something I was looking forward to for months.
First of all the show started at 10:35pm. Concert goers were told that the doors would open by 7:00pm so we expected Madge to make an appearance by at least 9:30pm. This wouldn’t have been a problem except for the blistering heat. Can you imagine an arena packed with 20,000 fans when the temperature is bordering on 40 degrees?! Not a pleasant experience.
We all know that Madonna loves controversy and I didn’t expect her show to be any different. However, I got the distinct impression that she was somehow deliberately trying to be aggressive. Her first few scenes featured Madonna killing people and drinking. It was all a bit too much.
After that though, Madonna really showed her fans what she’s made of. You would have never guessed that she is 53 years old. She is exceptionally fit. She sang, she power danced – it was all raw energy for 2 hours in Abu Dhabi’s unforgiving heat and humidity. There was also a lot of religious imagery and swearing but I don’t even think Madonna cared that she was performing in Abu Dhabi. And we didn’t expect anything less!
I was disappointed though. I expected her to sing more of her old stuff. You know those songs that are almost iconic now? Although I must admit, she did Vogue, Like a Prayer (she asked people in the golden circle to sing along and they didn’t know the lyrics – how embarrassing!), Express Yourself and a very cool remix of Like a Virgin. I was also disappointed that she sang nothing from Ray of Light.
It is unbelievable but some people left the show early. Maybe they were travelling from Dubai like we were and it was getting late – or maybe they, like many others, felt that Madonna was a bit too over the top. I must admit, although the set and the lights were amazing, I can’t say that this was the best concert I ever went to. Then again, maybe it’s just because I don’t know this new Madonna of the 21st century – I really liked the one in the 80s and 90s. I’ll just stick to listening to her for now.
P.S. Thank you to my friend Sandhya for taking amazing pictures.