Again there were rumours about a possible surprise for the final show at the Lisbon Pavilion Atlantico. Some fans claim to have heard Madonna rehearse an unknown pop song in the afternoon. But none of this in tonights show. Like yesterday, she's wearing the gold corset and the Kabbalah shirt.
Don't Tell Me was London style. During Material Girl she shouts: "OK, I'll give you one more chance to blow the roof off this motherfucker!" For Like A Prayer she says: "Alright, we're just getting this party started. And you ain't seen the last of me! Life is a mystery..." When Siedah is singing, Madonna gives her a big kiss on her cheek, then laughs when she has to wipe off the lipstick.
She introduces Imagine with "Please listen to the words of this next song. We have to make the world a better place." At the end of Papa Don't Preach, Madonna bursts into tears "I look around and see so much love and joy in your eyes. I look at the people that work with me. I don't want tonight to end. Thank you Portugal!"
For Holiday, the confetti is multicolored tonight. As the screens close for the last time, Madonna hugs and kisses every dancer. The re-Invention tour is over, now we can only reminisce with our great memories. It was a fantastic summer. Thanks for that Madonna, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
For the end is near. Madonna has arrived at her final tour stop in Lisbon, Portugal. Though there were rumours on possible surprises during the show, Madonna didn't change anything. For Vogue she was wearing the gold corset and for Papa Don't Preach the 'Kabbalists Do It Better 'shirt.
Don't Tell Me was done with the London background and the Bittersweet Symphony sample. She introduced Imagine as "This song was written 35 years ago but it could've been written yesterday. History is doomed to repeat itself."
After Nothing Fails she thanked the crowd in Portuguese: "Obrigado" and after Papa Don't Preach she addressed the audience: "It's about time I came to Portugal, it's a wonderful place to end my tour. I'm not happy about ending it though, but thanks for having me." She didn't say much more since the show was being recorded for the DVD.
Resting from last night a bit, we only get to the Arnhem Gelredome at 11am. Mark has a pit place, so he'll come later. For tonight's show Marcin joins Kris and me. And guess who we meet at the venue? Our Mexican friend Yunuen! She was so crazy about the Paris show that she took a train from Cologne to Arnhem, hoping she could still find a ticket for the show. Fortunately we still have some left so she can pay normal price. Jodi, a Dutch friend we met in the queue yesterday, is also there again.
All together we manage to get ourselves a good place in the queue. Comparable with yesterday even though we started queuing 4,5 hours later! We're at the other entrance today, which means less burning sun in the afternoon. There are less people in the first waiting box, so there's lotsa space for us. Luxury compared to Paris! And inside the Gelredome it assures us again a great view from second row. We're standing on the right side of the stage this time.
When the lights go out around 9pm, there's a voice recording from Madonna, which we can't understand very well. Something like "This is Madonna and I want you to wait a few more minutes". After The Beast Within, Madonna gives us our first surprise of the night: she's wearing the golden corset this time! There are a few technical problems in the show. The screens are sometimes slow.
During Burning Up, we all of a sudden see a technical guy appear on the TV screens behind Madonna. That couldn't have been on purpose. When a cameraman finally notices the mistake, they start filming the audience, so we see ourselves on the screens. Then Madonna and Monte give their guitar performance and this time it's Monte licking HER fingers! Of course, the crowd gives a big cheer.
For Don't Tell Me we see the London background appear on the screen and we start cheering, coz we had only seen the French version so far. People around us who clearly haven't been following the tour like we have, give us strange looks when we jump around "It's London! It's London!" The mix with Bittersweet Symphony sounds great, much better than the French music actually. At the end of the song Madonna sings her usual "Don't ever tell me..." but then looks a bit surprised when the audience doesn't respond with "...to stop". Though there's more dancing and singing than yesterday, the crowd is still pretty meak. When she sings for the 3rd time "Don't you ever, ever, never tell me..." Marcin and I give our all and shout "TO STOOOP!!!" Seems she heard it, coz she replied "I wanna sing it myself, okay?!" Marcin and I jump around in pride. Poles and Belgians really do it better! :-)
Then there's one more surprise for us: during Papa Don't Preach, she doesn't dance around with 4 girls, but with Donna, Siedah and two male dancers, wearing 'Kabbalists Do It Better' tops, with bare rif. You certainly didn't hear us complaining! ;-))
We give our all during Music and Holiday, and so does Madonna. For her there's only Lisbon left. For us, the re-Invention tour is over. I saw 4 shows from front row and enjoyed them to the fullest. There's not much an honest critic can criticize about this show. The political and religious messages some were complaining about aren't as omnipresent as some claimed. Every song on the setlist worked very well, and the ode to Imagine got every justice it deserves. Every detail, from costumes to choreography and stage design was carefully chosen. And Madonna's voice was better than ever. This show is top and should get awarded. Congrats Maddy, you rock girl!
Only two days home from Paris, Krissy, Marcin and I already leave for Arnhem on tuesday evening. By car that only takes 2,5 hours. We check into the local youth hostel, where we meet up with Mark from Düsseldorf, who will also be attending the shows. When asked for driving instructions at the reception, they tell us to leave the car behind and take the busses that drive towards the Gelredome. We try to explain why we can't wait till the busses start driving in the afternoon and why we want to be at the venue in the early morning. After some weird looks we manage to order a taxi in the early morning. Marcin has a seat so he can sleep in. Mark, Krissy and I leave at 6.15am.
At the Gelredome we notice that fans aren't allowed near the venue. Seems they couldn't even stay overnight. A few dozen fans are waiting on the parking of the nearby McDonalds. It's very chilly and we're more than happy when the McDonalds finally opens so we can warm ourselves to some bad but warm coffee. We explain to the security guards that they better let us near the venue because the parking will soon be crowded and chaotic. When they laugh us away, we start expecting the worst - with the Parisian chaos fresh in mind. Luckily, the Dutch are more organised people. By 9am they take us in groups towards the two entrances for standing places. People are reasonable and there's less of a rush than in Paris. At the entrance they lead us into a box, which they close after a certain capacity. We have just enough space to sit down and though the sun is burning again, it's more relaxed than a week ago. A little past 5pm we're all standing but the gates won't open until 7pm. Fortunately we meet some great people again.
It's around 9pm when the lights go out - the expected 45 minutes after the scheduled starting date. No doubt it's not just Madonna being late, but it also takes time to get 30.000 people inside the soccer stadium. Once again, the waiting pays up for us: we're now on 2nd row with an even better view than in Paris. Since the floor is divided into boxes, we also have more space to move and dance. Only bad side is that they've taken away our water bottles and they don't give any water to the front rows. It's a cliché but the Dutch are cheap sometimes! ;-)
Too bad they're also very quiet compared to the French and other Southern audiences. While we dance, sing, clap and cheer, we see many people around us just standing still and watching the show. Not that they don't enjoy it, they just don't show it. Madonna gives a great show, but you can see she doesn't enjoy the audience like she did in Paris. But politely she addresses the crowd from time to time. She apologizes for not coming to Holland in a long time, "I didn't mean to". But if the crowd is this silent tomorrow, she'll again be skipping this place next time. Maybe she has to consider Belgium instead! ;-)
There aren't any surprises in the show. She wears the lilac corset and the 'Kabbalists Do It Better' shirt, and she does the French version of Don't Tell Me. There are a few mistakes. During Hollywood, the skateboarder loses his board at the end, so he just runs up the ramp. Halfway the show (i forgot which song) Donna doesn't have a microphone, so she signals to the technician, who quickly hands her one. Before starting Deeper And Deeper, there's a big moth flying on stage, and Madonna is distracted by it for a second, but then concentrates on the song. The rest of the show goes smoothly though you can't see Madonna and her dancers smiling that much. Must be coz the audience isn't giving her enough energy...
We're on the Thalys back home when Madonna kicks off her last show in Paris. She didn't change anything in the show; there's the lilac corset and the Kabbalah shirt, and the French version of Don't Tell Me. Both Madonna and the crowd are very enthousiastic. Fans who've seen several European shows agree that the first and the last show in Paris are among the best. Good thing because tonights show is being filmed for the documentary.
She dedicates Imagine to the tragedy in Russia: "I'm sure everybody knows what's going on in Russia with the children killed in the school. I want you to listen to the words." After Papa Don't Preach she said good-bye to France: "Vive la France! This is my last show here and I'm sad, and you? Do you want me to stay here forever?"
After all the queuing, with little sleep and food, we deserve a day off on friday. So does Madonna and her team. Difference is that they'll be back on stage on saturday, while we don't have tickets for that show. Marcin does and we visit him when he's queuing in the afternoon. But the security is now very tight. Barriers and lines are everywhere. Nobody is allowed to leave the queue and the others can't come close either. There are even guards with bulldogs. Where were they when chaos broke loose on Wednesday? Anyway, we manage to give Marcin the battery he forgot for his brand new digital camera. That night he'll make us some fantastic shots; just take a look at our picture gallery.
Tony and I secretly hope we can still get some tickets on the black market. Money left in our pocket: 150 Euros. But ticket prices for standing places (normal price: 57 Euro) range from 120 to 200 Euro. Thinking the price should drop after 8pm, we wait but there are too many buyers and not enough sellers, so the price never drops. I meet a friend from Belgium who is going to try to find Allison from ClearChannel to try to get all os us some pit tickets. We don't find Allison but we see the pit people walking in one line towards their entrance. We try to sneak into the line, but security quickly notices us. At 9pm we give up; it will be a night at the Eiffel tower instead...
Later Marcin gives us details from the show. Among celebrities attending the show were fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, French singer Mylene Farmer, director Luc Besson and football player Zidane.
Madonna said some new things tonight. Before Burning Up, she says "I'm hot. Je suis chaud!". During Material Girl, she shouts "I'm gonna give you one more chance to make me feel welcome in gay Paris!", much to the delight of the mostly gay crowd. She extends the ending of Don't Tell Me: "Don't you ever tell me what to do, what to say, what to think, don't ever tell me to stop..." After Papa Don't Preach - wearing the Kabbalists Do It Better shirt - she thanked international fans for being here: "I see a lot of people from a lot of different countries. Italy, Spain, Australia and many more. Thank you for coming here to be with me! This proves that music really makes the people come together. I wish it wouldn't only happen in a rock concert. Oh well okay, this is not a rock concert."
The first show was fantastic, but got us completely exhausted. After all, we had been literally on our feet from 11am till 11pm. The waiting in the sun gave many of us a sunburn and a headache. I can even say I didn't enjoy the show for 100% because of this. So we decide to have a good night's rest before queuing again. When we arrive at Bercy at 2.30pm, the queue extends to the parc behind the stadium. The security has learned a bit from yesterday and they placed more barriers this time. Still they can't prevent another rush at 3.30pm. All of a sudden we're standing 100 meters further, really not that bad for arriving that late. The sun is burning again, but we only have 3 hours left to go. Compared to yesterday, that's a piece of cake! ;-)
They let us in at 6.30pm again. We could get a nice place in the front 10 rows but we decide for a different view: right in front of the catwalk, which also gives us a better overview of the stage. Sine everyone is rushing for the front rows, we can sit down and relax. I'm there again with Tony and Krissy; Stijn was so enthousiastic from last night that he joined us again too. We get to know some great people around us: Mounir and Franck, and a lovely Mexican couple Mayo and Yunuen. Good company makes the waiting easier; because Madonna won't appear on stage before 9pm.
When The Beast Within starts, it gives us shivers again, just like last night. In general, there are not many changes. She wears the lilac corset for Vogue and the Kabbalah shirt for Into The Groove. Don't Tell Me had his French theme; it's expected she'll use this version for all the Paris shows. She spoke some French again too; repeating the "Vous vous amusez?" from yesterday.
After Like A Prayer she asked "Don't you like to dance? I want to see everybody standing up!". She introduced magine saying "I didn't write this song but I wish I had. It has very simple lyrics but the simple things in life are usually difficult."
She made a new speech after Papa Don't Preach, talking about her American Life album: "When my American Life album was released last year, it was deemed anti-American and radios refused to play it. But France stuck by me. I wanna thank you for that." The audience cheered and she added "Who wanted a f*cking war anyway!!"
She hardly makes any mistakes and gives us a great show. One we could enjoy a lot more than yesterday because we were more fit. And our view is perfect when she's on the catwalk for American Life and Holiday, singing right in front of us.
Finally! After 3 months of reporting on the tour, I finally saw it myself! And it seems Madonna gave a few of her best shows last week in Paris! It was on tuesday evening that I took the Thalys train towards the city of light with my lovely boyfriend and 3 good friends of mine. Krissy had joined me on the Drowned World Tour already, but for Stijn and Peggy it was the first Madonna experience. They're not really die hard fans like Krissy, Tony and me, but since the concerts they understand better why we're all crazy for M! ;-)
On Wednesday morning we went to the Palais Omnisports de Bercy at 6am, where we joined our Polish friend Marcin. A few dozen fans had stayed overnight but the queue was reasonable. But it immediately worried us that there were only few barriers to guide the queue and only 2 or 3 security guards. The line built longer behind us and soon there was a group of Italian fans who preferred to stand instead of sit and relax. Shockingly, they started a rush at 11am! We had to jump up and run to keep our places. The result was that everyone had to stand all the time with very little space and all this in the burning sun. 7 and a half hour to go! In the afternoon there followzed two more rushes, so everyone in the front of the queue was dead beat before the show even started. The doors finally opened at 6.30pm.
It was 8.45pm - 45 minutes after the scheduled starting date - when the lights went out. This was the moment we had been waiting for! The big screens portrayed the Steven Klein video for The Beast Within and we had to take turns screaming our longs out in excitement and staring in disbelief and amazement. The difficult hours in the queue had paid up in giving us a good view from 3rd row. I watched my lover gaze at the spectacle - it was his long awaited first Madonna show ever.
I knew very well that she was about to appear on stage after the "Behold I am coming soon", but when i saw her rising out of the stage, I still completely flipped out and screamed like crazy. Wearing the lilac corset she showed off her yoga poses before striking some more with her gorgeous dancers. We immediately got a good look at what to expect from the show: extravagant costumes, a perfectly timed choreography and a mind-bogling stage design.
The dancers already disappeared after Vogue and Madonna was left alone on the moving path for a catchy dance performance of Nobody Knows Me. While the screens flash every word of the lyrics, Madonnaslides from side to side, and sometimes singing closely to the lucky fans in the pits. Before you know it, the tone of the shows changes and the chilly effect of the Frozen intro covers the place. The vocoder used for Nobody Knows Me disappears and Madonna proves how strong her voice has improved, even more since the Drowned World Tour. In the background we see the Flex video from Chris Cunningham, which shows the attraction / rejection of two figures. While in the beginning they're clearly a man and a woman, the woman seems to morph into a man, when the other guy wraps his arms around her/him. Stunningly beautiful. After her last line, Madonna disappears under the stage again.
It's time for another spectacle. The large screen starts showing war images, ranging from army helicopters to wounded children. The sound of gunfire and exploding bombs fills the air, while on stage dancers in army fatigue are doing a military drill. When American Life kicks in, the noice disappears and we only hea Monte's guitar. Madonna in army gear appears sitting on some TV screens and she starts singing the first verse of the song. As she continues, we see several figures passing by on stage: a woman in burka, a nun with bare legs,... They all walk down the catwalk that now hangs a meter above our heads. Then the beat kicks in and Madonna and ther other dancers run up the catwalk, with fans in the front rows going mad. Madonna sings at the end of the catwalk, giving the audience the reversed peace-sign, followed by her middle finger! "Do I have to CHANGE!!" she screams at the end.
The sirenes fade away and make way for a marching bass. "OK Paris, are you ready? Vous êtes prêts?" she then yells, much to the delight of the crowd. "Come on boys, you believe in love?" she sings, kicking into this thumping version of Express Yourself. It reminds us a bit of the military version of Holiday during the Girlie Show. In the end there's the great rifle choreography. It gets heavier even when she picks up her electric guitar for a smashing punk/new wave version of Burning Up. Just like when she did Candy Perfume Girl on the DW Tour, I'm thinking again she should try a rock album. Monte Pittman joins her and she even goes down on her knees next to him, licking his finger!
Talk about re-invention: seeing Madonna in army gear with electric guitar perform Material Girl. This was the song i was looking forward the least, but this version rocks big time! Don't know what the mathematical formulas on the screens were about, but we scream our long outs after she asked us "Will you help me out with the lyrics, Paris? Yes? Oui? YES?? OUI?!". Sometimes she moves away from the microphone and just lips the words, letting us sing them. "OK Paris this is your last chance, okay?!" she shouts for the final "A material, a material, a material world" part. We get some aid from an electric voice. The "living in a material world" repeat slides smoothly in the "everybody, everybody" of the White Duck mix of Hollywood. While Madonna is gone for another costume change, one of her dancers steals the show as "the fool". He presents his circus colleagues: a fire artist, an eastern belly dancer, a tap dancer and a skate boarder. Himself, he gives the great finale with a fantastic breakdance. They're all true artists, giving us a superb moment instead of just filling time till Madonna gets back.
And when she comes back, it's dressed in her red & white striped circus outfit, for the catchy Hanky Panky. In true Moulin Rouge style she dances around with her girls and lifts her legs as a real cancan dancer. She might have become the good and spiritual mother now, but she can still be a sex bomb. The peace returns again with the piano sounds that introduce the most re-invented song of the show: a jazzy ballad version of Deeper And Deeper. She sits on the circus stage, right next to one of the pits.
When Die Another Day begins, she teases the pit people, pretending to give them her hair band and then dropping it out of their reach. This song is just amazing and quickly becomes one of my favorites of the show. The tango choreography with the male dancers is just incredible. Then they strap her into the electric chair. One of the dancers secretly gives her some water, but most fans don't see it and think she really spits. Anyway, as she sings the hauntingly beautiful Lament, I can't believe how strong and clear her voice is. Negative critics will always find something to criticize her, but for this show it can't be her voice, because everyone has to admit that it's stronger than ever. As she finishes the last sentence, the electric chair disappears in the ground.
An adapted version of the Orbital Mix of Bedtime Story sounds through Bercy. A beautiful new shot video appears on the big screen, while 3 female dancers perform gymnastics on swings, sometimes right above our heads. No matter how little space we have, we just have to dance to this. At the end, the two big screens slowly close again, with the middle swing still flying through it a few times. We didn't immediately notice that Madonna got back on stage on the left side, with her black Stella McCartney outfit and acoustic guitar. She didn't change much for Nothing Fails, and why would she? It's so beautiful as it is. The screens slide open again and on the large screen in the back, the choir appears. The feel-good atmosphere was perfect for Don't Tell Me. Of course it was the Paris scenery that appeared on the screen and there was the French interlude that was also used in the first US shows. They do the original choreography from the video, which is still so lovely.
She then "got the party started" with Like A Prayer. As a routine she asked people to get up and then realised that for the first time on this tour she was performing in a venue with standing places: "I was gonna say that this is a no-sitting-down song but you're already up" she laughed. It was wonderful to hear that 80s classic after 15 years. Siedah Garrett did an amazing job with her vocals at the end of the song. When the first tones of Mother And Father play, Madonna asks in her best French: "Est-ce que vous vous amusez ce soir?" When the crowd roars approvingly, she smiles "Moi aussi!". She sits down with her musicians, playing her acoustic guitar again. The lovely song turns into a heavier gear for the rap part, as images of her mother appear on the screens. The Intervention verse fits in perfectly.
It's risky to do a cover of a legendary song as Imagine, but I truely believe Madonna did the song all the justice it deserves. Her voice was beautiful and serene. With the imagery of the children it's indeed the ultimate peace song. All the time, I held up my hands with the peace sign. She did mess up a line though: "Imagine no possessions, it isn't hard to do" then she smiled and quickly corrected herself "I wonder if you can." The first time she sings "You may say I'm a dreamer", there's a picture of John Lennon on the screen, which results in huge applause. At the end of the song we see the Palestinian and Israeli boys walk away together, bringing tears to many eyes.
The bagpiper immediately received wild cheers from the audience. Then he's joined by the two drum musicians and the 4 dancers (such hotties!) with their drum choreography. When the Into The Groove tunes are recognised, the crowd goes wild again. Missy appears on the screen and Maddy on stage - both in kilts. They all get their sticks out and there's another wonderful and perfectly timed choreography. The enthousiasm both on stage as in front is so big that I quickly chose this as another favorite part of the show for me. You can't but get into the groove and dance your ass off!
As I didn't know the complete order of the setlist, I didn't recognise the tunes that follow. Then it turns out to be Papa Don't Preach. Madonna spinning around, dancing with her girlfriends, it's so cute and sweet. Before the powerful American Life reprise, she praised us for queuing to be in the standing places - she must've noticed that there was a lot of pushing and very little space in the front rows where I was standing. "You are very brave - and I'm brave too" she grinned. She also asked why it was allowed to smoke in the venue, but not to drink Red Bull. "I'll have to write to your president about that."
She then moved to the left side of the stage and dedicated Crazy For You to us, the fans that stood by her for the past 20 years. Although we hoped for a French version, she's wearing the "Kabbalists Do It Better". Everyone was waving their hands in the air, some with lighters. We all embraced each other. It was our intimate moment with Madonna. Every time she sang "crazy for YOU" she pointed at us and we pointed at her.
After this lovely ballad it was time for the grand finale. The stage changes again and in the middle of dancefloor-colored cubicles, we see the DJ of tonight: Stuart Price. We hear the teaser line "Get into the groove" and then "Music, Music", and "Do you like to... boogie woogie?". Madonna stands on top of the cubicles, while the screens behind her display the disco ball from the Ray Of Light video. Stuart scratches the records, while Madonna and her dancers get their groove on. The uh-uh part is extended, building the tension even more. Madonna performs a few more "deep-knee bends", which she favored in the DW Tour already, while singing "Huh! Huh-oh! Huh! Huh-oh!".
The final "Do you like my acid rock" immediately flows into the tribal beats of Holiday. Madonna and the dancers sit down on stage, first just moving their heads, then sliding their bodies from side to side. Then they get up for a cool group dance, while on the screens all international flags flow into each other. Every nation, come together! The catwalk is down again, and as they all dance run around above our heads, confetti is shot into the air. Everyone is dancing like crazy now; this will always be the ultimate Madonna dance classic. "All the people on the left, sing Holiday! All the people on the right, sing Holiday! All the people in the back, sing Holiday! All the people on the floor, sing Holiday!" With this last one, we yell our lungs out. We watch them disappear behind the closing screens. Only their feet are still visible. "Thank you. Merci beaucoup. Goodnight." is the last we hear from M. The heart-beating of the bass is still heard, though slowing down. Fans scream, applaud and cheer. All soaked from sweat and tired as hell, but so happy, we all hug each other. What a great show!
"I can't believe I've finally come to Ireland. Jesus Christ, what took me so fucking long!" Yesterday evening Madonna gave her first open air concert in 11 years. After rumours of bad ticket sales, it was announced yesterday that all 80,000 tickets of Slane Castle had been sold out! And Madonna didn't disappointed. Even though it rained and she had to cover herself with a jumper sometimes, she put on a magnificent show. During the first part of the show, she wore the golden corset again. Later in the show she aluded on the open air show; while spinning during Papa Don't Preach, she said "I'm just trying to keep myself warm!". The crowd was certainly warmed up and gave her a lot of energy. She certainly appreciated it a lot and when drinking from her bottle, she joked "Cheers, and I'll see all of you in the pub later!" For Papa Don't Preach she was wearing an "Irish Do It Better" shirt.
When it was raining during Nothing Fails, a crew member sat on his knees on stage, covering Madfonna under an umbrella while she was playing the guitar. Madonna laughed and sang "rain, rain, go away". Because of the open air, the catwalk was present all the time and even much lower than usual, giving Madonna the chance to skim hands of the fans. The confetti for Holiday was blown into the air. As the message "Re-Invent Yourself" appeared on screen, Madonna thanked the crowd "thank you goodnight" and added "Ireland you're the best!" Afterwards huge fireworks broke out over the place.
A night to remember. The last show in London certainly was, for both the fans and Madonna herself. She put on a great show and the audience reponded accordingly. It impressed her so much, that she got overwhelmed with emotion right before dedicating Crazy For You to her fans that stuck by her through the years, and she broke down in tears. She asked for a tissue but then wiped her tears with the tip of her kilt. 'I can't sing when I'm crying' So sweet...
Continuing her stay in hometown London, Madonna moved on to the Wembley Arena. Playing the crowd, she commented: "Earl's Court is bigger than this place, but who says size matters?", which the fans loudly approved of.
Earlier reports proved that the addition of Material Girl to the setlist was rather Jamie King's idea than Madonna's and last night she again alluded to that: "I swore I'd never do this song again and here I am about to do it." When singing "And I am a material girl" she quickly added "That was long ago".
For Like A Prayer, she urged the crowd to get on their feet coz "We're getting this party started!". She teased the British fans, showing her 'Brits Do It Better'-shirt and asking "Are they really doing it better? They do tea better but what about the rest?"
On her second night at Earls Court, Madonna spoke about her love for Britain:
"God Save The Queen... you never know she may be here. I actually wrote a letter to the Queen and asked her to come to my show. I never heard back from her. Oh well, she doesn't know what she is missing! Actually it has been a long time since I first came to the UK, it has been over 20 years. When I first came here, I'm telling you I hated this place... I didn't get it, the sun never shone, I didn't understand the humour, I didn't understand the food, I just couldn't stand coming here... and now 20 years later I'm living here, I am married to a Brit and I'm even wearing a fucking kilt.... okay? And my entire band is British!"
For Don't Tell Me she still used the Verve mix, with the London video background, showing the Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. As usual, she missed the first part of Material Girl, saying "Oh, help me remember the words of this song", "Oh, no, that's the second line"?, while the music was playing.
"It's so good to be home", Madonna exclaimed when playing her first show in hometown London. Many celebrities came down to Earls Court to see the spectacle; Kylie Minogue and sister Dannii got a big welcome from the crowd. Also spotted were Stella McCartney, George Michael (no more Madonna bashing now, George!), Macy Gray, Darren Hayes, Geri Halliwell and her choreographer (and former Madonna dancer) Luca Tommassini.
Madonna was in great shape and got a lot energy back from the crowd. Right from the start, with Vogue, Earls Court turned into a dancing and singing arena. She introduced Like A Prayer with "Ok London this is the get up your ass and dance song"; the audience had no problem with that. Satisfied with the enthusiasm of the dancing fans, M shouted "You're the best audience ever!".
As usual, she took "a trip down memory lane" with Material Girl and urged the fans "to help her remembering the words". Before singing Imagine, she said "There are songs that are so good to hear that you wish you had written them, this is one of those. The lyrics are very simple but beautiful".
Like in Manchester, she wore the lilac/silver corset in the beginning of the show and the "Brits Do It Better"-shirt for Papa Don't Preach.
Near the end, she addressed Stella McCartney and her other friends attending: "I want to thank my mates that are here to support me, Stelly and Melly, and the people I don't know that are here to support me as well. Cheers!"
While we're waiting for Madonna to conquer London's Earls Court, here's a nice article originally posted on Brazilian fansite Madonna Online, which contains the songs that were rehearsed for the show but didn't make the final selection:
1. Nothing Really Matters was meant to follow Nobody Knows Me with a similar choreography (eventually some steps are used by Madonna). Jamie King advised taking the track off, because two solo perfomances in a row with the conveyor belt could be kinda tiring, then Frozen replaced, as a break of the dancey segment. The glittery corselet segment was meant to feature 4 songs. The video background to Nothing Really Matters would be the one used on NKM, with the lyrics and for the original NKM perfomance, they would use the Aviddiva remix video of Nobody Knows Me, another reason to drop it, because Madonna thought it was too self-celebrating.
2. Material Girl, as we all know by far, wasn't meant at all to be on the setlist, because and only because Madonna really doesn't like it. Dress You Up was meant to be the final number on the war segment but Madonna had a hard time learning to play the song. Jamie King suggested and convinced Madonna so MG got included.
5. The name of the tour, Re-Invention was Guy Ritchie's suggestion, as Madonna had 'Whore Of Babylon', 'Ground 0' or 'Nobody Knows Me' as possible titles for the tour.
After two nights in Manchester, Madonna is now having a relaxing birthday, at home in London. At yesterday's show, fans gave her quite a birthday surprise. It all started a while ago when fans at the MadonnaTribe forum suggested to sing a birthday song in Manchester. They managed to involve Caresse Henry and Madonna's tour team but it was up to the fans to make the plan work. Before the show, flyers were handed out to inform other attending fans and soon the word spread out. After Papa Don't Preach, Siedah Garrett interrupted Madonna and the crowd started singing Happy Birthday. The band and the dancers soon joined in too. A clearly moved Madonna thanked the fans and dedicated Crazy For You to them. Big congrats to all the fans who worked hard for this wonderful surprise!
Fellow Europeans, now it's our turn! Yesterday evening Madonna kicked off her European tour with a fantastic show in Manchester. Everything went smooth. There weren't any major changes to the show; the setlist remained the same. There were a few costume changes though: the gold corset that she's wearing during the opening of the show has now been replaced by a silver/lilac coloured corset. During Papa Don't Preach she was wearing a new shirt that read "Brits Do It Better". She jokingly added "And I should know!" For the rest of the show she was in a good mood and very talkative.
Check out some early press reviews from the opening night.↑ Back to top of page