Because it’s pretty great.
An early rumored setlist for Madonna’s upcoming MDNA tour, which kicks off May 29 at Tel Aviv, Israel’s Ramat Gan Stadium, has been kicking around the Interweb. It hasn’t been confirmed, but the source is pretty darn dependable when it comes to Madonna matters, so we thought we’d bring it to you so we could talk it out.
Lending a bit more credibility to the rumored setlist, during her Facebook chat with Jimmy Fallon to promote MDNA, Madonna said that the theme of the show’s first act would be “transgression.” “I like to have a theme for my show and create a dramatic arc,” she told Fallon. “Then I try to make the songs fit within that arc.”
If we’re talking transgressions, opening with a video intro of “Erotica”/”Justicy My Love” and segueing into “Girl Gone Wild,” as you’ll see below, seems right in line with the leaked set list.
Let’s dive in, shall we!
MDNA Tour Setlist:
>> Video intro: Erotica/Justify My Love
>> Girl Gone Wild
>> I’m A Sinner
>> Express Yourself
>> Dress You Up
>> Physical Attraction
>> Video interlude: Some Girls
>> Causing A Commotion
>> I’m Addicted
>> Beautiful Killer
>> Video interlude: Gang Bang
>> Die Another Day
>> I Don’t Give A
>> 4 Minutes
>> Love Spent
>> Video interlude: Holiday (2012 remix)
>> Give Me All Your Luvin
>> Deeper And Deeper
>> Take A Bow/Falling Free
>> Turn Up The Radio
There are two major things of note here, an inclusion and an absence, if these are indeed the songs Her Madgesty will be performing on her biggest (and largely sold out) world tour ever.
Missing from the lineup: “La Isla Bonita.” For reasons unknown, Madonna loves this song. She’s performed it on three of her four tours of the aughts (she left it off the lineup for her 2004 “Re-Invention Tour”) and jazzed it up with the help of Gogol Bordello for her performance at Live Earth. The song does lend itself well to the odd bit of tweaking, which Madonna often does to her classic hits to make them seem fresh for her current tours, but we’ve never really understood why she shows this song, out of all of her hits, so much preference.
In its place is a song most Madonna fans are probably dying to hear live – “Take a Bow.” She’s never performed “Bow,” her longest-running #1 on the Billboard singles chart, on any of her tours, and if the rumored setlist is to be believed, she’s pairing it with the spare, lovely MDNA ballad “Falling Free” as a medley. It’s a good fit and a nice way to close her show.
Yes, we can see that “Music” and “Turn Up the Radio” follow “Bow” and “Free” on the setlist. But Madonna doesn’t really do a conventional encore, and since each segment of the show is four or five songs in length and a “Bow”/”Free” medley feels so conclusive, we assume that “Music” and “Radio” are her version of it. Typically, she closes her show in some grand manner before disappearing from the stage briefly and returning for one or two more high octane numbers.
We’re thrilled she picked the upbeat, glitter synth wonder “Radio” as her closing number. It’s one of our favorite MDNA tracks – on our first listen, it was the unquestioned favorite; but as with all Madonna albums, repeat listens have amped up our love for other songs.
And she’s included many of our other MDNA faves here as well. “I’m Addicted,” “Love Spent” and the Madonna-by-the-numbers (not necessarily a bad thing) “Girl Gone Wild” all make the alleged lineup, in addition to the awesome “Gang Bang” and “Some Girls,” which are being used for video interludes.
However, she forgot two of the album’s best and most personal tracks – “I F**ked Up” and “Superstar” – and included two of our least favorite songs, “I Don’t Give A” and “I’m a Sinner” (which isn’t so bad, we guess, until she starts calling out saints near the end). I’ll never understand why “I F**ked Up” is a bonus track on the deluxe edition of MDNA and didn’t make the proper album. For my money, it’s easily one of the top three tracks from the entire release; it’s smartly written, warmly produced and would have complimented the overall album theme nicely by letting Madonna take some of the blame for the failed relationship (hello, Guy Ritchie!) at the album’s core. Instead she went with the silly, half-rap bravado of “I Don’t Give A.” Whatever.
As for the back catalog hits included here, she cherry-picked nicely. Casual longtime fans will freak over the inclusion of “Express Yourself,” “Deeper and Deeper,” “Secret” (YES!!!!) and “Dress You Up,” while hardcore supporters will be pleased to hear “Physical Attraction,” “Angel” and “Causing a Commotion” for the first time in, well, forever.
It looks like the pop queen is planning a little special something for every sort of Madonna fan – which should make for a pretty spectacular show (as usual). See you soon, Your Madgesty!
*Note: Perhaps we jumped the gun (bang, bang, shot you dead!) a little here, as Madonnarama is reporting some marked differences (and some similarities) to what we’ve detailed above. (Hey, we said it was rumored setlist.) In the end it looks like we’re just going to have to wait and see! We admit we were a little suspicious about “Hung Up’s” absence from the list, given how much she and her fans like that song.