87 posts categorized "MUSIC REVIEW"

Jan 29 2024
Madonna's CELEBRATION TOUR: All About Thy Mother Comments (0)
Madonna Matthew Rettenmund Do Not Copy Licensable from Splash News IMG_0192 copy(All images by and © Matthew Rettenmund)

Monday's third and final Celebration Tour appearance by Madonna at Madison Square Garden in NYC was a mood!

I wasn't going to go, then got the urge ... only to find it was almost totally sold out. Like, for real. I let a floor seat slip away due to the expense, saw some nice lower bowl but always like to be close and finally wound up lucking into buying my poor friend's ticket when he got sick.

Price madonna splash news do not copy stuart IMG_0012 copyStuart Price is among the show's openers in North America, and unlike the other DJs, he played Madonna jams!

It was fun hitting up the merch stand (I replaced my Who's That Girl? satin jacket with a better size for me, so if anyone wants that in size L, tell me and I'll sell it off-eBay) and chatting with fellow longtime fans, strategizing, reminiscing and anticipating.

Demi Moore Madonna by Matthew Rettenmund Do Not Copy Licensable from Splash.JPGDemi & Madonna were once attached to star in a female buddy cop movie, Leda & Swan. Now, Demi is on Feud: Capote vs. The Swans. Coincidence? Yes.

Madonna by matthew rettenmund do not copy splash licenses thisInside, Uma Thurman was in the Sound Factory pit, and the celebrity section at the end of the main catwalk boasted Demi Moore, Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos, Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, Jessica Seinfeld, Madonna's first stylist Maripol with Joey Arias, Luigi & Iango and her famed backup singers Donna De Lory and Niki Haris.

There had been some question as to whether Donna and Niki might join Madonna onstage, but while it didn't happen, they were given some love by the fans, were front-row and could be seen singing along. (That some have turned this into a major diss and reason to feed negative stories to The New York Post is ... unhinged. Can't we have a world were Donna and Niki are great, it would've been sweet to see Madonna bring them onstage or to have said hello from the stage, but where Madonna isn't a bad person for not doing so? The drama.)

My seat was pretty perfect, with a great view of everything. I even had a decent side-view of her later spot at the mic at the end of the main catwalk, instead of getting her back, as I had at every other show.

The show is a miracle, and as Madonna would remind us in one of her speeches, so is the fact that Madonna is with us to perform it. She nearly died last year of a bacterial infection, and she choked back sobs as she called out a special guest — Maria, the nurse who came home with her after she regained consciousness following an induced coma. The Queen of Pop self-IDed as a crybaby, thanking Maria for her angelic good work, referring to her acting like a mother to her. Of course, Madonna's mom died when she was 5, and this speech was paired with a heartfelt performance of her American Life track “Mother & Father,” on which she duets with her 18-year-old son David.

She was on fire the whole show, I thought, and the crowd ate it up, from her ethereal “Nothing Really Matters” to her bonkers “Bitch I'm Madonna” conclusion, and all across her catalogue in-between.

Madonna's Celebration is not just a narcissistic celebration of Madonna's achievements (which double as life markers for many of us ... I remember where I was when “Like a Prayer” hit radio, I know who I was in love with when Ray of Light hit Tower Records), but a clarion call for all of us to celebrate life itself, the ridiculous and the profound.

Madonna celebration splash news license matthew rettenmund IMG_0190 2 copyBack in business

Nothing really matters in the end, so you might as well lead with love. And I loved this show. All six times I saw it.

I've been too busy to go into the tour in-depth and felt like it had been covered by everyone in Europe first, but now that I have so many shows under my belt, some more thoughts about last night and about the show in general:

Michael Jackson's music and Madonna's disembodied voice from “Deeper and Deeper” — “I'm gonna be there!” — herald her arrival, but not before MVP emcee Bob the Drag Queen wades through the sea of humanity in a replica of his boss's 1990 “Vogue” MTV Video Music Awards gown. Hype person Bob's banter and a segment in which he reminds us of Madonna's many triumphs whets our appetite further, and extends the promise that he'll reappear throughout the show.

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Niki & Donna Prove There's Nothing To It Comments (0)

*Screenshot 2024-01-29 at 1.03.21 AM copyNiki & Donna forever (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

The Niki Haris & Donna De Lory show at the Green Room 42 here in NYC was smashing!


The ladies, who are Madonna's former backup singers — and let's be real, backup dancers, too! — have a unique vocal chemistry they continually refer to in their act, but that you'd recognize even if they ignored it. Their voices blend so perfectly, making anything they sing powerful and uplifting.

Accentuating the positive is second nature to them, as is honoring their musical legacy. Along with their own songs (solo and as a duo), the women offered powerful renditions of “Open Your Heart,” “Rain” and “Nothing Really Matters,” and promised a future Q&A to further appease their Madonna-loving fanbase.

I was delighted when Donna impulsively sang a bit of her fabulous single “Just a Dream,” having already fully aired Praying for Love with Niki's backing and Niki's a true comedy queen. The women emphasize spirituality, yet not of the square kind — Niki was pulling a Moms Mabley from time to time. I LOLed when she pondered whether, in her 60s, It's just me and these labradoodles.

This show — produced by Jess Rothschild — follows one several years ago that came to the East Coast via a small club in Brooklyn, but it's far more polished, more of a rock show and more fully formed. 

They just get better, a good sign for whatever comes next. 

P.S. At the meet-and-greet Niki said she'd see me Monday at Madonna's Celebration Tour at Madison Square Garden. So whether they wind up merely attending or taking the stage, simply having the dream team share air once more will be a treat long in the making.

Dec 17 2023
Andrew Scott: Acting Helped Him Come Out + Trump Goes Full Hitler + Matthew Perry's Cause Of Death + MORE! — 6-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Some of my best Madonna Celebration Tour shots from night 3 of Brooklyn. Catch this tour if you're a fan or casual fan. Follow my Madonna Instagram if you're a fan-fan.

BELOW: Andrew Scott, Matthew Perry, Robin Cousins and more  ...

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Oct 19 2023
SENSE8 Star In Love + RIP Dwight Twilley + Apprehend The Kraken! + Trump Dissed Melania To A Romney + Kraken Crackpot Pleads GUILTY To Rico Charges + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

Colman-domingo-rustin-gay-boycultureBar none — a queer space where prying eyes can do no harm (Image via Netflix)

ABOVE: Rustin's trailer is down below.

BELOW: Keep reading for shirtless lovebird, RIP Dwight Twilley, apprehend the Kraken and more ...

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Oct 15 2023
Graham Norton — The Madonna Morning After Comments (0)

Maria-mcerlane-graham-norton-madonna-boycultureMadonna really matters. (Image via video still)

Maria McErlane and Graham Norton rave about Madonna's Celebration Tour opener. All the positivity is refreshing ...

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Jul 29 2022
Fauci: Monkeypox Response Should Address Homophobia + Beyoncé's RENAISSANCE Here + GOP Celebrates Screwing Vets + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Follows here.

BELOW: Keep reading for Susan Collins threatening marriage equality over hurt feelings, Republicans cheering themselves for screwing veterans, Alito's Euro victory lap and more ...

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Jul 27 2021
Darlene Love Ball: Turning 80, Bringing The '60s To Life Comments (0)

Darlene-love-boyculture-1Love with Paul Shaffer (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

The concept of a musical performance being magical is a cliché, but there is something otherworldly about a Darlene Love concert.

Her pipes are transcendent, she channels gospel as if calling the angels and she looks like no 80-year-old woman you've ever seen, challenging doubts about man's ability to time-travel. For all the world, it feels like the '60s when Love channels them, making an evening with her feel like witnessing a link to the past, to how music sounded, was played, was sung.

And yet she is very much in the now, enjoying herself and enjoying touching you with her blessed instrument.

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Jan 30 2020
Harry's Thing + Bloomberg's Hit-'Em-With-Everything Ad Strategy + Madonna Slays London With One Leg Tied Behind Her Back + The Queen Who Fucked Your Dad + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: I've never seen a stool in a locker room before. Perhaps a rim seat would be handier.

BELOW: Keep reading for a sexy gay rom-com, Bloomberg scarfing down something big and gay, the queen who fucked your dad, Vanessa Bryant speaks and more ...

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