First of all, the song itself--even the studio version--is pulsing, mesmerizing, hypnotizing...ecstatic. The key and the musical arrangement are arresting, gripping. Even though it is ostensibly about leaving behind this reality ("I'm gonna tell you about love/ Let's forget your life/ Forget your problems/ Administration, bills, and loans/ Come with me") there is a delicious abstract sense about the following repeated phrase, like a mantra or ritual praise, "In the evidence of its brilliance." What possesses this brilliance? That is the unspoken core she is singing of--perhaps a place in some kind of shimmering future, a place beyond words, a place, as Rumi said, "beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing." Indeed, she next sings, "In the demonstration of this evidence/ Some have called it religion/ This is not a coincidence/ Would you like to try?"
Peak experience? A transcending altered consciousness? The sinking, thrilling sensation of being--finally--separated from your body outside of time? Regular readers of OBTW might recognize these ideas as recurring themes of the art, films, music, and literature I share with you, and as a motif in my own original writing and poetry (usually featured here in April for National Poetry Month). These ideas are "the evidence of its brilliance." Its brilliance: you can't see it without it destroying you. You can't be near it without becoming it. Words cannot be used to describe something beyond words. Images cannot be employed to show something that is beyond the physical. All we can do is feel it, follow it parallel, and intone endlessly, "In the evidence of its brilliance."
But back to our powerful performance at hand: Madonna opened every concert for her 2006 Confessions Tour with this piece of stunning performance art. The equestrian theme somehow blends beautifully--perhaps because the music is so pounding and relentless, like a horse at full gallop. The tensions and anticipation building up to her entrance is palpable--she knows how to choreograph a moment. And giving a nod to the original inspiration to the song--the classic Euro-disco hit "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer--is a wonderful, dreamlike touch.
Here, listen to the studio version too: just as powerful...
In the evidence of its brilliance.