Last night I fulfilled a childhood dream. I sang “Like A Prayer” at the top of my lungs with Madonna – and about 10,000 other people at Madison Square Garden. I can tell you right now, that between the choir, the cone bra and the sheer nostalgia of it all – I almost cried.
Like many of you I’m sure, I grew up listening to Madonna. Her compilation disc, “The Immaculate Collection,” changed my life. I honestly never thought I’d get to see someone like her in concert, and to do so was actually quite nearly a religious experience. I was so incredibly impressed, entertained and humbled.
No one in the blogging industry can at this point claim a throne like Madonna – we’re very much still at the start of all this, and who will emerge as forever icons is yet unknown. As she werked the stage, performing songs old and new I wondered if that kind of longevity is even possible in the blogosphere. Do you think so? If it is, we can all take a few cues from her Majesty, Madonna.
1. The power of the original. At one point, as Madge was swinging her band leader’s baton and going all out for “Express Yourself” she sang a few lines of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” right over her own music. A tribute? Hardly. She went back to her lyrics and followed that up by singing a few times over “Shes not me.” And you know what? She’s right. The audience went wild and I thought to myself – she’s right! Why be a second rate version of someone else, when you can be a first-rate version of yourself.
2. “Kick your ego’s a** everyday.” Yes, Madonna admitted that she has to keep herself in check. Madonna! If anyone deserves to have an ego, it’s her. What makes her show so incredible is that the woman is 54 years old, and she hardly stopped dancing or singing for 2 hours straight. She works hard, and apparently doesn’t let her superstar status supersede her gratitude and appreciation of where she is today.
3. Get. Your. Money. (For the right reason.) Picture it: Madonna, alone on the stage but for a man and a stand-up piano. He’s playing a slow, cabaret-esque melody. She’s wearing a corset and fish-net stockings, writhing on the stage, slowly, soulfully singing “Like A Virgin.” Every few bars she would stop, and implore the audience members to throw cash on stage – to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The night before she was able to raise $3,000 from the patrons, and using a good cause, seductive moves and one of her greatest hits – she got what she wanted.
4. Just because you’re known for one thing, doesn’t mean you can’t transition to another. This world tour is to promote Madonna’s new album, MDNA. It’s just about the farthest thing from her days of “Cherish” and “Material Girl.” This wasn’t a sing-a-long to the greatest hits for two hours – though of course she did play some of her most iconic songs. She performed songs I’d never heard before, and I loved it. She gave the audience what they thought they wanted – and showed them what they didn’t even know they wanted, too.
5. Talent is talent is talent. And put on a damn good show. In 4-inch stiletto knee-high boots, while singing, Madonna jumped, kicked, danced, and ran that stage ragged. The props evolved constantly, with moving parts, lights and insane visuals. All the while, she sang live. Britney Spears is half her age and can’t get through one song without lip-syncing. Madonna’s longevity is as much about her raw talent as it is her status as an industry chameleon and provocateur. From start to finish, Madonna put on a non-stop, action-packed, undeniably amazing concert.
So there you have it. Talent. Attitude. Showmanship. Humility. Madonna set the standard, and just keeps pushing it. If that’s not something to strive for…