Despite early breathless reports about
the shocking nature of Madonna's latest world tour, only one
element proved to be true. And it was pretty tame at that.
The bombardment of video --
projected on four mobile panels -- was equal to, but not greater
than Celine Dion or Elton John at Caesars Palace. The obvious
difference is that the Caesars screen doesn't have to pack up and
move, so it's larger and of higher definition. But give Madonna's
production designers bonus style points for the way the mobile
screens doubled as design elements, moving around to frame the
singer and dancers.
The screens and their imagery would
probably be exciting and provocative in the Midwest, if Madonna was
actually playing anywhere in the Midwest except Chicago.
But there was nothing in the
edgy-but-artistic sexual imagery that David LaChapelle didn't do for
John's videos or that Cirque du Soleil didn't do in person with "Zumanity."
As the concert ended, an audio
recording of Bush speaking was played -- to a loud chorus of boos
from the sold-out audience.
Video of explosions and young
victims of war were shown both during American Life and Madonna's
cover of John Lennon's Imagine. It ended with these words on the
video screens: "Spirituality for kids: Make things happen."