Madonna – Rebel Heart Tour in Vancouver

Madonna – Rogers Arena – October 14, 2015

Every time people try to deem her irrelevant, ‘past it’ or (gasp) too old, Madonna steps up and proves why she is the one who sets the standard.  Wednesday night, her Rebel Heart Tour touched down in Vancouver and the thousands of fans in Rogers Arena were treated to a spectacle that throws down the gauntlet for other performers to live up to.

For over two hours, the Material Girl presented a vision of her musical journey from opening with the brand new “Rebel Heart” track “Iconic” all the way back to the iconic single “Holiday” from her eponymous 1983 first album.  Whether is was watching the dramatic Matador-themed performance  of “Living For Love” turn into a Flamenco inspired “La Isla Bonita” the multi-faceted performer kept all eyes and ears on her throughout the show, unless she wanted them focused elsewhere.

From start to finish, the audience was at her command, the performance level never wavered, even during costume changes her cadre of dancers kept us enraptured with visual spectacles to Madonna backing tracks. Each act built upon the last, introducing new material while reeling us in with tastes and treats of singles from her vast catalogue.  Since she hasn’t played Vancouver until her more recent tours, there’s still plenty of fans seeing her for the first time, which adds to the high energy and excitement in the arena and for those returning fans, she doesn’t disappoint.

While many a pop princess has come and gone for over three decades, Madonna has reigned supreme and continues to create, innovate and evolve her talent.

Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour continues down the West Coast of North American this month and around the world until next Spring.

My Top 10 Bond Themes

This week, Sam Smith debuted his new single, Writing’s On The Wall, (click to listen on Spotify) the theme song for the upcoming 24th Bond film, Spectre.

As with many Bond themes, the single has generated much discussion as people debate the track’s merits. It will take some time and the movie’s release to see how Sam Smith’s effort fits in the pantheon of cinema scores.  With 24 tunes over the last 5 decades, there has been a lot of hits and misses in the Bond playlist.

I thought I’d offer up my fave Top 10 Bond Tunes to add to the debate;


Top Grossing Concert Tours of 2012

Jay-Z & Kanye WestAs 2012 draws to a close, it’s time to tally up the totals from the year’s big headlining concert tours. As one would expect, the top tours are those names that can pack in the stadiums.  Coincidentally the top 3 tours all held the same number of shows, 72, with each of them having a similar ticket price point it came to the number of sell-outs to determine the #1.

The Top Ten Grossing Tours of 2012 as compiled by Billboard Magazine are:

#1 Madonna
Total Gross: $228,406,085      Number of Shows: 72
Total Attendance: 1,635,176    Number of Sell-Outs: 72

#2 Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Total Gross: $199,371,791      Number of Shows: 72
Total Attendance: 2,165,925    Number of Sell-Outs: 54

#3 Roger Waters
Total Gross: $186,466,703      Number of Shows: 72
Total Attendance: 1,680,042    Number of Sell-Outs: 51

#4 Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil
Total Gross: $147,310,505      Number of Shows: 183
Total Attendance: 1,374,482    Number of Sell-Outs: 9

#5 Coldplay
Total Gross: $147,188,828      Number of Shows: 67
Total Attendance: 1,811,787    Number of Sell-Outs: 56

#6 Lady Gaga
Total Gross: $124,879,545      Number of Shows: 65
Total Attendance: 1,111,099    Number of Sell-Outs: 65

#7 Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw
Total Gross: $96,458,890       Number of Shows: 23
Total Attendance: 1,085,382    Number of Sell-Outs: 9

#8 Van Halen
Total Gross: $54,425,548       Number of Shows: 46
Total Attendance: 522,296      Number of Sell-Outs: 9

#9 Jay-Z & Kanye West (pictured)
Total Gross: $46,986,464       Number of Shows: 31
Total Attendance: 371,777      Number of Sell-Outs: 15

#10 Andre Rieu
Total Gross: $46,785,717       Number of Shows: 99
Total Attendance: 490,165      Number of Sell-Outs: 2

To read about more top tours, see Billboard’s Top 25 List

Desert Island Discs – Disc 7

(Read disc 1, disc 2, disc 3 disc 4, disc 5, disc 6)

Madonna – The Immaculate Collection

I know this breaks my rule of no compilations but this one is so iconic that I needed to. For those of the younger generation, who think Madonna is over, Lady Gaga would not exist in the form she has taken if not for Madonna paving the way a generation before her.
This is Madonna’s first greatest hits collection and contains the singles from the first 8 years of her career. Released in 1990 these were the ‘80’s classics, the songs that defined the rebellious artist as she broke into the mainstream and became the superstar we know today. Hit singles; Holiday, Like a Virgin, Material Girl, Papa Don’t Preach, Express Yourself and Vogue were joined by the new and controversial Justify My Love. Banned by MTV for its video’s risque sexual content Justify My Love seems tame by today’s standards, this is a great example of the groundbreaking singles and music videos that became a staple of her catalogue.
Besides the great visuals from the videos, each of the singles on this album brings back a distinct memory of a moment in a club or someone special. These are what make a great collection, not just great songs but lasting memories.