You heard it here first. I am not going to believe any more MDNA tour set lists until June 1st, which is, conveniently enough, one day after the tour opens.
I think that there has been a fake tour set list for every one of the dollars I spent on my ticket. And without going into details, let’s just say that’s a lot of fake set lists. In the past, it’s been pretty easy to spot the fake ones, but in this day and age of Photoshop, I have been fooled more than twice. It’s hard not to fall for them – in the run up to the tour, the biggest question is “what songs will make the cut?” When you have a catalog as vast as Madonna’s, it can’t be easy to make the selections. Because she’s Madonna and she has to have some animosity for her biggest hits, the tours are always extremely heavy on the current album. On the Confessions Tour, only two songs from Confessions on a Dance Floor didn’t make the cut. I’m expecting this tour to be similarly heavy on MDNA, much like Sticky & Sweet was Hard Candy top heavy. But the fans love to guess which of the oldies will be included. Madonna certainly has her favorites – “La Isla Bonita” being the most notorious among them. Surprisingly, on all the fake tour set lists, “La Isla Bonita” has not shown up once. Maybe this is fan wishful-thinking.
This was the first tour set list that I fell for hook, line and sinker.
To me, it looked very official – as if someone had gotten a hold of a page of the tour book and leaked it to the internet. The song choices seemed reasonable and believable – nothing too out there or patently ridiculous. (i.e. she wasn’t opening the tour with “Think of Me” although I would die and go to heaven if she even sang 8 bars from that song on the tour.) But then I took a closer look and there’s “I’m Sinner” which is actually “I’m A Sinner.” This simple typo disqualified the entire thing for me. No way that the editing department would miss this. And I also don’t think that there’s any way that Madonna would miss the chance for the entire arena to chant “MDNA! MDNA! MDNA!” which means relegating “I’m Addicted” to interlude status seemed especially suspect. Back to the drawing board.
Another one was published by Matthew Rettenmund on his blog yesterday via supposed leaks from Madonnarama. It is, as follows:
- “Act of Contrition”
- “Girl Gone Wild” (meets “Material Girl”)
- “Gang Bang”
- “Papa Don’t Preach” (edit)
- “Hung Up” (MDNA remix)
- “I Don’t Give A” (rock remix)
- “Best Friend”/”Heartbeat” (interlude)
- “Express Yourself” (meets “Born This Way”)
- “Turn Up the Radio”
- “Give Me All Your Luvin'” (Just Blaze remix)
- “Open Your Heart” (meets “Sagarra Jo” by Kalakan)
- “Masterpiece” (feat. Kalakan)
- “Justify My Love” (William Orbit remix—interlude)
- “Candy Shop”
- “Human Nature”
- “Like a Virgin”
- “Nobody Knows Me” (interlude)
- “I’m Addicted”
- “I’m a Sinner” (meets “Cyber-Raga”)
- “Like a Prayer”
I was pretty convinced by this too – mostly because I’m completely married to the idea of “Celebration” ending the tour. But the more I looked at it, the more it seems faked. The Vogue/Candy Shop/Human Nature/Like A Virgin set contains 3 songs that she did in a single set on Sticky & Sweet and I just don’t see it happening again. I think she has a fondness for “Candy Shop” (and honestly, so do I in an odd way), but most fans don’t. Why include that when you can include a bona fide hit like “I’ll Remember” or a fan favorite like “Gambler”?
The other thing you have to be wary of is strategic placement of ballads or songs on which she could potentially plant her feet and play guitar. She may be in better shape than most all of us, but even she’s not infallible. She has to breathe every now and then. I don’t think either of these set lists include enough of these moments.
That said, what’s on my wish list for the tour? As usual, more than ever has a chance of making it to the final cut. I do hope for something from the first album – maybe it’s time to trot out “Everybody” again or, as is rumored right now “Physical Attraction.” I also don’t want her to ignore Erotica which turns 20 this year (God, I’m old), and would love to see her include something from that album – maybe “Bye Bye Baby” or even “Fever.” I hope that “Ray of Light”, “Music” and (yes) “La Isla Bonita” all sit this one out. I do suspect that the opening bit – “Girl Gone Wild”/”Revolver”/”Gang Bang”/”Papa Don’t Preach” will actually come to fruition and I, for one, am excited about that.
But mostly, I just can’t wait to see her live again. She’s not going to be able to put these kinds of productions on forever. She just better not hurt herself somewhere in Europe necessitating the cancellation of the rest of the tour. I will need even more therapy than I already get.