Be still my gay heart.
Though Madonna’s latest spectacle, “Rebel Heart Tour,” spotlights her 13th studio album of the same name, the concert queen still reached into her back pocket and pulled out a swoon-worthy collection of classics. Ones she hasn’t touched in years – and an exclusive addition just for her fellow Detroiters.
“Hometown girl is back!” Madonna proudly declared on Oct. 1 in Detroit.
And, oh yes, she was. The icon’s stop at Joe Louis Arena could only be described as the stuff of dreams, a delicious fusion of old and new, writhing nuns and blissed-out fun. “Rebel Heart” was all sweet… not sticky. And nostalgic.
Gays, we have so much to be thankful for.
“Baby, I love you,” Madonna gushed, dipping into her back catalog for this adorable 1985 relic. Stripped of its pop sheen, “True Blue” became a finger-snappin’, hand-clappin’ campfire sing-along, with Madonna plucking away at a ukulele. Yes, baby, we love you too.
Deeper and Deeper
In 2004, for the “Re-Invention World Tour,” she took her great disco rave from 1992’s “Erotica” to the cabaret, quieting it down for a lounge-style slowie. Not this time. For “Rebel Heart,” “Deeper and Deeper” retained its original pulse, dizzying the crowd of queers with its dance spins as Madge and her crew worked the heart-capped catwalk with a voguish hustle.
Flame bursts boomed from behind Madonna on a towering backdrop, but the diva herself was the one bringing the heat. As she punched her electric guitar, transforming this 1983 fan favorite into a rockin’ rush, someone probably should’ve called 911.
Like a Virgin
Bitch, she’s Madonna. Owning the stage like a boss during a solo hip-hop take on “Like a Virgin,” Madonna bounced her booty during a ravishing display of agelessness – proof that Pilates and full-powered Beyonce-type fans are a girl’s best friends.
La Isla Bonita
Toro, toro! No, there wasn’t a bull, and this wasn’t “Take a Bow” (sigh). Hand to pelvis, Madonna moved to the Spanish vibes of “La Isla Bonita,” showing off her slow mo gyrations amidst her festively-attired stage gang who came together for a performance that was muy bien.
Dress You Up Medley
If Madonna wants to spoil us, who are we to argue? Not only did “Dress You Up” (in full!) make the cut, but the diva went deep into the ’80s for “Into the Groove” and “Lucky Star,” essentially giving life to all basking in her presence. #Humanitarian
Who’s that Girl
Dusting off the title song from her 1987 film, “Who’s that Girl,” Madonna gave this ditty a guitar-guided makeover – nearly 30 years after last performing it on tour! Despite the fact that Madonna was actually there, donning gypsy attire and taking our collective breath away, it was hard to tell if this was real life.
This used to be her playground, which Madonna enthused during her hometown stop, proclaiming that, “Detroit made me who I am today.” And she didn’t stop there. She swapped set-list staple “Ghost Town” for “Frozen,” her stunning “Ray of Light”-era trip to the dark side, stripped to merely the rawness of acoustic guitar and a vocal that left everyone, well, you guessed it: frozen.
Raise your hand if you wet yourself during this one. Beyond the obvious fact that “Material Girl” sits atop Madonna’s smoldering hit heap, the way she folded it into “Rebel Heart” – simple, chic, “Great Gatsby”-inspired – was pure blast-from-the-past pleasure.
Love Don’t Live Here Anymore
After shoving a faux lover down a spiral staircase at the end of “Heartbreak City,” Madonna caused a ruckus when she launched into her showstopping ballad “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” from 1984’s “Like a Virgin.” It was just a snippet, a tease – because, you know, she’s Madonna.
It didn’t take this, the encore, to know that Madonna had let her hair down again, ditching brooding theatrics for the essence of early Madonna: frilly fun. “Rebel Heart Tour” was a two-hour-plus celebration of Madonna’s career, and it all came to a boisterous, confetti-filled head with “Holiday.”