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> Confessions Tour Survivor ● The Results
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liamk97
post Jan 28 2017, 02:39 PM
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Runner Up: Live to Tell



'Live to Tell', among the most well-known and celebrated Madonna tour performances, places in second position. As one of her most confessional songs, the song fittingly made its return to the stage for this tour after a 16 years absence and Madonna introduced it with a bang - as an organ rendition of the intro kicks in, a mirrored cross raises from the ground with Madonna, dressed with a crown of thorns, hung upon it. It's a striking image, made all the more iconic for the amount of backlash it evoked from religious groups who considered the image blasphemous and disrespectful. As Madonna begins to sing, a counter above starts rapidly climbing through the 100,000s. All aspects of the performance keep the audience's attention fixed and it's hard not to find yourself really listening to the words and hanging on to every meaning they could portray. The counter stops at 12 million when the second chorus concludes and the spotlight is removed from the cross to focus on the images of African children on the backdrop. "In Africa, 12 million children are orphaned by AIDS" bursts from the screen and Madonna, now detached from the cross, sings the bridge; a section that sees the production fall back to put emphasis on Madonna's clear, sincere vocals. The screens behind then show explosions whilst Madonna collapses, removes her crown and lies on the ground, depicting the fate of those who shout out to make their voices heard but are swiftly ignored. The whole performance is a stunning, theatrical piece; all elements carefully measured to portray the right amount of emotion without going overboard; and results in one of the best examples of Madonna delivering a visual representation of a song that evokes new thoughts and feelings.

Winner: Hung Up



As many predicted, 'Hung Up' takes the winning spot. It will have no doubt been the song everyone was waiting for when watching the show so, inevitably, it is not until the end of the setlist that the song appears. The audience is teased further by hearing strong elements of the song sampled in the penultimate performance, 'Lucky Star', before Madonna disappears and a lengthy outro/intro commences; the audience eager for her to reappear again. In the meantime, dancers run and flip across the stage and arena, whilst a loop of the 'Hung Up' bassline and unforgettable 'Lucky Star' instrumental hook. The "time goes by so slowly" refrain fades in to signify that Madonna's arrival is imminent, then, posed in the starting position seen in her EMA performance the previous year, she appears with her dancers, bopping up and down, as uncontrollably excited as the audience. A succession of choreographies follow until we get to the breakdown, where a familiar, intimate sequence is recreated. This section is then extended to allow Madonna to strut with such sass down the runway before suggestively riding a boombox, which we as the audience completely eat up. Golden balloons fall down onto the crowd as Madonna sings the song out - this could be the end of the performance and it would remain one of Madonna's most remarkable performances, but Madonna was going to squeeze out every last ounce of ecstatic energy from the crowd. It's here she addresses everyone and encourages them to chant the song's hook, teasing that she can't hear them and that she wants to make it a contest, requesting each segment of the audience to do their best at shouting the lyric. The atmosphere in the arena is extraordinarily intense and it's such testimony to Madonna as an entertainer; the crowds are in the palms of her hands and it's a moment that you know will remain in the crowd's hearts. Perhaps it's because she's female or perhaps because she's considered merely a pop artist (and pop has an apparent ceiling in terms of what can be achieved), but I don't think Madonna gets the recognition she deserves when it compared to other touring greats, but this performance in particular is one that takes such self-assurance, such charisma and such love of music to create.
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liamk97
post Jan 28 2017, 02:39 PM
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The results:

01. Hung Up
02. Live to Tell
03. Forbidden Love
04. Jump
05. Future Lovers
06. Ray of Light
07. Lucky Star
08. Like a Virgin
09. La Isla Bonita
10. Drowned World (Substitute for Love)
11. Get Together
12. Erotica
13. Sorry
14. Music Inferno
15. Let It Will Be
16. Isaac
17. Paradise (Not for Me)
18. Like It Or Not
19. I Love New York
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HausofSZA
post Jan 28 2017, 07:56 PM
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Henrietta R Hippo
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The correct winner. The 13 minute Lucky Star > Hung Up run is one of the best moments of her entire career for me. An absolute beast, so high-octane and makes you feel like you're there yourself with every listen. Fab stuff wub.gif
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liamk97
post Jan 29 2017, 02:31 PM
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Absolutely agree with all that! You feel so involved despite only watching from a computer screen. It's a mystery as to why Madonna seems to have annihilated the song in subsequent performances (it does NOT work as a rock song).
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liamk97
post Jan 30 2017, 06:58 PM
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Looking at the results, they're pretty alright although 'Paradise', 'Music Inferno' and 'Erotica' should have been much higher. I'd have had 'Get Together' and 'La Isla Bonita' lower too.
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