Published: August 15th 2009August 7th 2009
Tallinn: 2nd - 5th August 2009
We saw Madonna in Tallinn. There. I said it. Now, you are probably having one of two reactions. You are possibly thinking: “I can't believe they paid money to see that nutty lady.” Or, you are thinking: “I bet that was a great show. She's quite a force in music, and a performer that anyone should see.”
As we've all noticed, being the King of Rock or Pop equals hazardous duty, and I've come to the conclusion that, even if you aren't crazy about a major artist, you have to see them because there may not be another concert. This was the rationale behind seeing REM a year ago. I'm not a huge REM fan. I like some of their music, with the exception of their new album. But, they're accomplished, and frankly, you just can't say no. Same thing with Madonna. Our strategy isn't entirely morbid, either. And artist can also just drop out of the music biz altogether, like Cat Stevens or Reuben and the Jets. You just never know.
Some of Madonna's music is pretty good, though I wouldn't consider myself a Madonna fan. But, the reality is, there
is no escape from her music these days unless you're blind AND deaf.
The show itself was fresh with new songs and lots of new arrangements for old favorites. Also, it was quite different from her last “Confessions” tour. I happened to buy the concert album because she did a great cover of a song that I liked. In that show, though, she was quite edgy and at one point noted that New York has the kind of attitude that says “f*** you” and if you don't like it you can go back to Texas and blank George Bush's blank. For this reason, about the only thing I listen to on that album is the cover of the song that I like and that's pretty much it.
In the Tallinn show, she made no similar observations or suggestions about New York or George Bush. The tone was quite a lot more positive, and I think it was a better show. As always, the music was complemented by great dancers and choreography. No encore though. When it's over, it's over.
Apart from the concert, we got in some good sightseeing as well. Tallinn wins the prize for the
most interesting and accessible Old Town that we've yet seen in Europe. Any respectable guide book for any old town would suggest “ambling”, “wandering” and other actions relating to walking slowly and looking around. But, Tallinn's old town was the first one where we did so voluntarily. It really is gorgeous with tons of interesting nooks and crannies. The object is to get as lost as possible, which won't be too long or inconvenient because it's not THAT big.
We took a day trip as well to Lahemaa Reserve where the cycling trails were scenic, well marked, flat, and completely empty. Fantastic.
Finally, in the category of “Random Observation by Doug”, the prize goes to a Soviet monument to the fallen heroes from WWII, built circa 1960. This monument has a total of 9 words dedicated to it in the guide book, mainly noting its crumbling state. However, I must admit that when we came upon it, I found it to be quite dramatic with an obelisk that was about the same shape as a rocket ship you might see on cover of a 1950's science fiction magazine or an old Heinlein novel. It was almost as if
the monument meant to honor their fallen heroes, and yet also look to a utopian future in space where there would be no grief or imperialism. But, in reality, I couldn't find anything on the internet about the monument, in English anyway. So, maybe it means something different. I like it, though.
There are more photos below