Last night, I saw Madonna live for the seventh time, taking in the first of her two MDNA shows in Las Vegas. Though it’s hard to fathom considering their fandom, electropop duo Purple Crush only realized their lifelong dream of seeing the Queen of Pop in concert earlier this month.
You’ll recall that in preparation for making their pilgrimage to Seattle, Isla Cheadle and Jared Selter embarked upon their MadonnaWannaBe project, which included plans for a tribute EP with some classic covers and original homages from the Brooklyn-bred pair. Purple Crush released the 5-track set as a free download a few days ago, so I asked for their reactions to seeing Madonna live for the first time.
“I was overwhelmed when she first came out. I cried,” Cheadle writes. “I can tell she has been in the director’s chair, because her overall production has gone to a whole other level, as well as her storytelling. People say that Blond Ambition was her peak, but as an artist outside of the pop machine, I like to look at relevance as opposed to chart postition, and to me she is more relevant now than ever before. She is copied by everyone, and is changing what it means to be a middle-aged woman in a diseased culture. Not to mention the fact that this tour has caused two countries to threaten lawsuits against her. COUNTRIES! That is power.”
Selter, Cheadle’s partner in pop and life, offered a much more succinct, but no less emotional reaction to no longer being a Madonna concert virgin: “It was like meeting a penpal for the first time after exchanging letters your whole life.”
Purple Crush’s MadonnaWannaBe EP includes one original (the title track), three covers (“Physical Attraction,” “Live To Tell,” and “Lucky Star”), and a remix inspired by Madonna’s “reductive” comment from earlier this year. Missing from the EP is last year’s mashup of “Vogue” with the duo’s “Sweat,” which you can grab here.
Purple Crush’s music video for the title track to MadonnaWannaBe is also worth a peep while you’re at it.
For me, no Madonna concert experience will ever compare to 1990′s Blond Ambition tour (see Cheadle’s comment above and my personal memories here), but 22 years later she’s still putting on an impressive show. MDNA definitely would have benefited from some setlist tweaking, like one or two more hits performed closer to the original arrangements, and a better overall flow (or including some of “Secret” B-side, “Up Down Suite,” by way of explanation).
Madonna’s performances of “Vogue” and “Like A Prayer” were flawless — no surprise there — but even newer models like “Girl Gone Wild” and “Give Me All Your Luvin’” were standouts. While an uneven evening, the MDNA Tour is still a thousand times better than the Drowned World Tour, which I consider Madonna’s worst.
Free download of Purple Crush – MadonnaWannaBe EP via Purple Crush’s website.