Madonna prepares for high-energy GRAMMY performance
A second day of performance rehearsals for the 43rd GRAMMYs ended in spectacular, musical fashion when Madonna ran through her much-anticipated. high-production value performance of Music, the techno-groove hit single from the album of the same name.
Madonna is, of course, no stranger to GRAMMY success. She's a five-time winner of the prestigious award, and this year is nominated in no less than three major categories: Record Of The Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album. But while GRAMMY-watchers and pop fans in general may be used to seeing Madonna at the yearly awards show, the mercurial performer has built her career at least partly on her ability to surprise, and Monday night those abilities were readily apparent.
For Madonna's performance, the GRAMMY stage will sport five giant video screens, which introduce the singer by way of a fast-flicker montage that covers images of her from her beaded and baubled Like A Virgin days on through to her raved-up Beautiful Stranger guise. As her eight-piece, percussion-heavy backup band vamped, the singer practiced what is sure to be one of the more memorable entrances at this year's show, rolling onto the stage in a huge classic Cadillac that's been detailed with the reflective finish of a disco mirror ball. Madonna emerged from the back seat of the car looking glamorous in a full-length fur coat and a fancy hat, but quickly peeled those off to reveal a tight leather jacket and a pair of baggy, bell-bottomed jeans. (Keep your eye out for tiny rapper Lil" Bow Wow, who's driving the limo....)
The timing of the entrance to the music was crucial, and as details were worked out, Madonna was clearly in charge of what happened on stage, working with a pair of choreographers to make sure that band, backup singers, and a dozen dancers were all tight and together for the performance. You could see that detail work pay off once the full rehearsal began, with Madonna growing more energetic and flashing more smiles as the takes proceeded.
Motherhood certainly hasn't diminished any of Madonna's dance skills -- she worked the stage in a fiercely athletic manner, all the while belting out the vocals in particularly strong fashion. A highlight of her final run-through of the song came when she jumped atop the Caddy and ripped off her leather jacket to reveal a scanty white t-shirt with Material Girl written in gold sparkle letters across the front. With the band in top form, the dancers exhibiting expert timing, and some song-ending special effects functioning flawlessly, the shining star was clearly happy with the production, and wrapped up the rehearsal night ready to make some very exciting Music on GRAMMY night.
-- Chuck Crisafulli