Madonna

Even at 51, Madonna still dances your face off. She’s belting out every note like it’s a celebration — through the choreography, through the guitar playing, even in the midst of the transforming stage… The show is like a night out at the most posh club. DJs are on stage, dancers are workin’ it, huge video screens provide an ever-changing, moving backdrop, the lighting is enough to give someone healthy a seizure, and the beat doesn’t stop. Eventually everyone was dancing.

Old school fans might be a bit disappointed by the club scene-inspired show which retains little 80’s Madonna style, but Madonna seems to know her core audience these days happens to be those late night ravers who crave something more techno than showtune. She still found a way to weave in some old favorites and pay respect to Michael in several tasteful ways. Whatever your opinion of the material girl, this show is worth seeing — even from the nosebleed section.

P!NK, The Funhouse Tour

For some reason, I love her like my very own flesh and blood, though most of you know that I love fast and fiercely. My poor heart knows not a stranger. There’s also that thing I have about people in pain… Well, P!NK doesn’t need my shoulder to cry on, but it’s here. Though we’ve been welcomed into her grandly staged and mesmerizing therapy session, she would still be singing, raging, dancing, jumping, falling, cursing, and lighting fires without an audience. She’s completely honest. That’s not a character on stage – she is absolutely someone you could know; she’s someone who reminds you of your own responsibility to face the fire and give thanks when pain gives way to wholeness.

The Funhouse tour is as wildly exciting as it is pensive or painful. I am just as grateful for the acoustic set as I am for the acrobatics, though I could not help but hold my breath until she was safely back on the ground. I love that she doesn’t need me, but that she shares this journey with me anyway.

Star struck? No, not really. Inspired. Overflowing. Impressed. Grateful.

Get tickets. Seriously, right now. Put the ice cream down.

(AM, if your stage manager quits and you need me to join you on the road, let me know. I’ve got a couple more years before we settle down and have kids, it could be fun…)

Are You Diggin’ On Me?

To look upon Joss Stone is to behold someone distinctly familiar.  Sweet. Young. Lovely.  But when she parts her lips her soul comes rushing out like thick velvet or strong coffee.    You can blink, but she’s still your little sister or the girl next door – she’s standing on stage and it’s as if the voice of someone soulful, sultry, sexy, older sings straight through her.  Each of us has a gift to give the world and Joss clearly understands what she is meant to share.

Touring the UK in intimate settings prior to the release of her newest album, she offers her grassroots fans a fantastic show complete with band, back up singers, and a bit of polite conversation.  She’ll sing her part.

It’s quite a bit like a show built for a bigger venue, but gives a certain air of closeness that you miss in a stadium.  In fact, last night one of Birmingham’s locals asked Joss out for a curry after the show.  I am not quite sure that her coy smile said either “yes” or “no”, but he’ll always have that.

Opening for Joss was a singer/songwriter friend Adam Isaac, also from Devon.  Quite the cure for my headache, Adam has a fantastic voice and an accessible style.  Adam’s energy is refreshing to say the very least; his clever lyrics and poetic wordplay won my heart almost instantly.  If your iTunes folder includes anything by Jason Mraz, Jon Meyer, or Jack Johnson you should check out Adam Isaac.

If you are in Birmingham, do look up the The Rainbow Pub.  You’ll be sure to enjoy.