From the opening number showing a half-naked dancer sliding down a pole, you know this is gonna be fun. Where Madonna was serious and iconoclastic in Blonde Ambition and Drowned World, this much-overlooked tour is one of her best. It has a vaudeville, circus feeling to it, and it's basically Madonna having some fun.
At the time her career was going through a rough patch, but you can't tell from this. Her voice sounds much better than Blonde Ambition - witness 'Why's It So Hard' and 'La Isla Bonita' - she sounds great. She looks da bomb with a harsh crew-cut and her dancing is top-notch.
She flies through the likes of 'Erotica', 'Vogue', disco-style 'Express Yourself', Marlene Dietrich-style 'Like A Virgin' and even Military-style 'Holiday'. She sits down and harmonises with the best of them on 'Rain', and dresses like a man for 'Bye Bye Baby'.
This is sexy stuff. There's an onstage orgy, topless dancers and very gay themes to all the dances, this being Madonna and her art. But the overall theme is the party theme, and freedom of speech.
A hidden gem in an amazing career, The Girlie Show is classic Madonna.