Still, the overall place remained dilapidated.

"The ceiling tiles would be falling on your head during the gigs," says Herrera. David Ensminger

The Island reunion show featuring Mydolls, Anarchitex, the Hates, Doomsday Massacre, AK-47, the Introverts, Bevatron, Gary Yokie and Vex is Saturday, November 10 at Walter's, 1120 Naylor, 713-222-2679 or

Every cent of Madonna’s steep ticket prices showed up onstage last Wednesday.
Julian Bajsel
Every cent of Madonna’s steep ticket prices showed up onstage last Wednesday.
We already know George Strait is closing RodeoHouston this coming March, but who will join him?
Vanessa Gavalya
We already know George Strait is closing RodeoHouston this coming March, but who will join him?

Live Shots

October 24: Madonna at Toyota Center

A sharp influx of sequined booty shorts and fashionable ankle boots invaded downtown the evening of October 24, and many of them were even worn by women. Madonna, the Queen Mother of pop music, was in Houston for the first of two nights at Toyota Center, and her legion of fans representing every color, creed and kink turned out in force to celebrate in style.

Madonna has made headlines all over the world this year for her political statements from the stage, and she made a few Wednesday night. There was nothing too controversial; she encouraged her admirers to exercise their right to vote in a few weeks and to cherish their freedoms despite the many dysfunctions of their government.

Her endorsement of President Obama via temporary tramp stamp was less than shocking.

For her grand entrance of the evening, however, Madonna fell back on more reliable trespasses, appearing first in silhouette as she knelt in a floating confession booth. After an apology to the Almighty for the decadent fun to come, the star threw off a sexy, sheer burqa and lit into "Girl Gone Wild," the torrid opener from MDNA.

It was the first of eight songs of the evening from the new album. Though many of her critics are happy to paint Madonna as a relic, Wednesday's show was no nostalgia act. More than half of her set list was drawn from her 21st-century output, and even the classic hits from the '80s and '90s were freshened up significantly.

"Express Yourself," for instance, included passages from Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," a tacit acknowledgment of Madonna's continuing influence on modern pop.

As for the woman herself, she certainly didn't look over the hill. Good luck finding another 54-year-old mother of four with a body like hers at your local gym. Madonna performed the show's characteristically detailed choreography as capably as ever, including a particularly impressive bit during "Gang Bang" that cast her as a Hollywood action star fighting off a band of paramilitary attackers in hand-to-hand combat. Milla Jovovich, eat your heart out.

Tickets to the show weren't cheap, but every cent of the price of admission Wednesday showed up onstage. LED platforms rose and fell beneath Madonna and her small army of dancers all night, which the performers navigated effortlessly.

In addition to the flying confession booth, a uniformed drumline twisted high above the stage during "Give Me All Your Luvin,'" a tune that also featured the singer twirling a mean baton. The sequence was spectacular enough to send TSU's Ocean of Soul marching band back to the drawing board. Nathan Smith

Electric Rodeo

Who Should Play RodeoHouston in 2013?

On October 30, just after this issue went to press, RodeoHouston announced its first round of performers for the 2013 edition of the star-studded, yeehawin', nearly three-week event at Reliant Park. (See who they did add at our Rocks Off music blog, of course.)

Rodeo bookings the last few years have been getting more adventurous, with the likes of Kid Rock, Kiss, Mary J. Blige and Janet Jackson making the cut. Our friends over there are getting the hang of booking non-country acts, which is cool, since a lot of (most of) the pop-country that is coming around is pretty vanilla. Save for some of the bigger nostalgia acts like Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw and Reba, the acts are kind of interchangeable.

Obviously, Taylor Swift has moved on from the rodeo, though there could always be a ­surprise.

Dub(Two)Step Night: Can you feel it? Can you feel it? The bass is about to drop inside Reliant Stadium with the help of Rusko and Skrillex, who preside over the opening night of RodeoHouston: Neon cowboy boots, assless chaps, glitter bombs, rodeo clowns with glowsticks, and cowgirls covered in strategically placed flannel patches. For one night, Mutton Bustin' is replaced with HPD trying to tackle and taser kids on crystal meth on the Reliant floor.

Green Day: Billie Joe will long be out of rehab, chubbed-up from laying off all the fun stuff, and will be craving ribs, alligator meat and funnel cakes. Good, now I am, too. Maybe Tre Cool can play nude except for a cowboy hat.

A Holographic Classic Country Hootenanny!: A few months back, as "holograms" became all the rage after Hologram Tupac appeared at Coachella, I proposed that RodeoHouston do the same with classic country legends like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr., Waylon Jennings and Tammy Wynette headlining one ­evening.

I would like to add holograms of Conway Twitty and Johnny Paycheck to that request, because I wanna hear Paycheck's "Colorado Kool-Aid" at least once in the Slaughterhouse, and a Twitty hologram would probably find a way to get laid.

Psy: RodeoHouston branches out to the Korean-American community by having pop sensation Psy headline. He has more than one song, guys, so don't worry about him filling up an hour onstage.

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