Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mute it!

(Author’s note: If you’re looking for the outrage section regarding NBC’s broadcast of the Confessions Tour, go here.)

Tonight was, to paraphrase Madonna from the final number of Blond Ambition, a family affair.

Heidi, Anna and I all gathered around the television tonight to watch the NBC broadcast of Madonna’s Confessions Tour. I was especially excited about it because we haven’t had a professionally shot version of a Madonna tour since Drowned World in 2001 (okay, there’s only been one in between there but it was the RE-INVENTION TOUR!!) and, well, of all the tours I’ve been to, this show had far and away the most energy and excitement. So naturally, I was excited to see it again and relive all my tour memories. Anna pretty much loves everything Madonna since I’ve provided her with the genes and the environment. And Heidi, well, she was along for the ride to be with us and she did have some interest in it. But frankly, Madonna’s live stuff has never really been her cup of tea, so I applaud her for sticking with it.

I must say that we hardly ever watch commercial television any more. Mostly, when our TV is on, it’s tuned into PBS or we’re watching DVDs. So tonight was a bit of an anomaly for us. But we’ll do anything for Madge!!

Let’s get my impressions on the concert out of the way first. It was beautifully filmed. They really did a good job capturing what it was like to be there live. Even from my nosebleed seats in Vegas, it was a captivating show, full of an energy that seemed to just come from nowhere and spread across the arena. And this really came through in the broadcast. I just love the first moment Madonna appears as the disco ball opens up and you see her there, smiling and then she looks directly into the camera and launches into “Future Lovers.” (click on the picture to the right for an approximation of what I'm talking about.) The editing of Madonna on the cross was just ridiculous, because they left Madonna whipping of the dancers during the opening and zoomed in for a close up on Madonna’s mouth while bleeping out her “you can fuck off” and “you can suck George Bush’s dick” during “I Love New York.” But the decision to delete “Drowned World” and “Paradise (Not For Me)” were understandable as they really slowed down the pacing of the live show, and I’m sure NBC was after something that was all upbeat all the way through.

What I didn’t like: Editing out “Lucky Star.” For Pete’s sake, they should have cut the “Live To Tell” intro and kept “Lucky Star.” And all the goddamn commercials. One song, commercial break, two songs, commercial break, etc. That messed with the pacing of the broadcast so much and made the show seem like a bunch of choppy numbers rather than a well thought out production.

But what was great was watching this with my daughter. Not only does she know the words to a lot of the songs, she knows the names as well. The beginning notes of “Get Together” started playing, she yelled out “Daddy, this one’s ‘Can We Get Together’!!!” She jumped around the living room during “Jump.” She sings the “boogie-woogie, do you like to” part of “Music” and heck, she was even singing along with “Erotica!” (although when she asked me what the name of the song was, I told her it was “You Thrill Me.” Hey, I wasn’t lying, just saving that discussion for another day!)

As I mentioned previously, the show was fabulous, but the commercial interruptions were hideous. We mostly can’t tolerate ads at all on TV, they’ve become so bad and so annoying that Heidi kept telling me to “mute it” whenever they went to commercial. Well, Anna picked up on this and before long, every time the show went to commercial, she’d bellow at the top of her lungs “MUTE IT!!!!” Eventually, this started getting sung to the tune of “Music.” “MUTE IT!/Makes the people/Come together/Yeah!”

Anna was, however disappointed by Madonna’s outfit choice during the Bedouin portion of the show. (see picture at left.) She said to me that those were “home clothes” and “not fancy enough.” She even said that she liked Cher’s outfits better. The sequins and beads and sparkles are definitely in more abundance at a Cher show, but this is decidedly not a Cher show. Not to knock Cher’s shows which are quite fun as well, but seriously, there’s only one Madonna. Fortunately, by the time we got to “I Love New York” and the outfit had changed, Anna approved of the choice (although Heidi did not – saying that Madge looked like a big black bird.)

By the time it was all over and “Hung Up” was on, Anna went into her toy room and dug out her disco ball key chain that was given to her by the owner of Borderline Music in Chicago and danced around the living room. She was starting to get manic by that point anyway since it was seriously past her bedtime.

It makes me pine so seriously for the DVD which I hope is inevitable. And it will almost assuredly not be edited and there will be no fucking commercials to mute!!

Ah Madonna. Entertainment for the entire family.

1 comment:

xolondon said...

That's cute! There is another blogger - he does Silence Is A Rhythm Too - and wrote about how popular COAD was with his children (like 2 and 5). I can see why with melodies, the uptempos and the Stuart Pricey trick of repetition (get off my street, get off my street...)