Re-Invention Tour press - Europe

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Madonna wows crowds at Slane Castle

Source: Yahoo! UK - Dubin Slane Castle - 29 Aug. 2004

Thousands of fans went wild as Madonna erupted through the stage floor to take her throne at Slane Castle.

The Queen of Pop wowed a sell-out 80,000-strong crowd of festival-goers with her dramatic 45 minute late entrance for her first-ever Irish concert.

Fans who have waited 20-odd years were not left disappointed by the technical onslaught as images moved across the stage screens as the heavily-jewelled star spoke a passage called The Beast Within.

The atmosphere was electric as the first female to headline the County Meath Festival confidently began her hit parade with Vogue.

There were no pointed bras in sight but the 46-year-old mother-of-two still lived up to her sensational image as she donned a slightly camp outfit of a sparkling silver corset, thigh-high boots and black hot pants.

Madonna's filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie watched her perform from a viewpoint close to the stage and their two children Lourdes and Rocco were also at the event.

Other celebrities greeted by the castle owner Lord Henry Mount Charles included former Labour politician Mo Mowlam, some members of rock band U2, Coronation Street star Keith Duffy and his wife Lisa, Westlife singer Kian Egan and his girlfriend Jodi Albert, from Hollyoaks.

Madonna's Re-Invention Tour is a mix of her hits which have spanned three decades, including songs from her Like A Virgin album to American Life.

The wizardry erupted behind as the 12-strong dancing troupe swung down from the ceiling to perform acrobatic feats including trapeze tricks and tap dancing.

Aileen Barnes, 40, from Walkinstown in Dublin, said: "I've been a fan of hers since the early 1980s. As a young girl I always wanted to see her. She never came so I never got a chance."

Papa Needn't Preach

Source: Lauren Taylor for Thread - London - 18 Aug. 2004

In culmination of a life-long dream, well a fairly long held desire anyhow, I went to see Madonna last night. The queen of pop played London to an enthusiastic crowd of fans and celebrities and we had perfect seats, near the front, on the side, first row. No heads in front; nothing between me and Mrs Ritchie, my favourite new British resident, living legend and the most recognizable face post-Diana.

Vogue There was a massive commotion just before it started as Kylie and Dannii Minogue were there - in the block next to us. Omigod, Madonna, Kylie, and Dannii. Where were Britney and Diana Ross? Certainly not in the rows round me.

Loads of people left their seats and gathered around them, taking photos and shouting. Of course, we were very blasé and cool, and the Minogues just sat there waving, not rattling their Jewellery as John Lennon would have suggested. Brit fashion darling designer Matthew Williamson was there bringing the celeb-fashion quotient up to par. Supporting the rock-chick element was Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, just a Baby when Mads started out as a Virgin in a gondola in white lace.

But, onto Madonna - she was fantastic. Absolutely no smut - she is definitely a mother! The Pope would have no problems with this show; neither would Diet Pepsi, so Papa Needn’t Preach. Her Ritchieness started with Vogue and did a mixture of oldies and newbies from recent album American Life.

As usual, the dancing was brilliant and really athletic. I must stick with my yoga. Madonna had about six costume changes throughout the show; one with a tee-shirt saying 'Brits do it better' which I thought was cool. There were some people playing bagpipes and for a while she was even in a kilt which was fun.

The show was fabulous. We danced and sung all the songs but it seemed to be over so quick. There was no encore which I couldn’t believe. At the end everyone was leaving and I was sure she would come back on. James had to drag me out.

Madonna didn't disappoint and is a true entertainer that puts the youngies to shame. Well, I’m back to dancing in my room…

Madonna leaves fans ecstatic

Source: ITV - London - 18 Aug. 2004

Pop queen Madonna's world tour has hit London and her fans were left ecstatic after an electrifying gig at Earls Court. She kicked off the concert with a crowd-pleasing show at London's Earls Court Arena.

Wearing black hot pants, a sequinned silver top and knee-high black boots, the material girl mixed classics like Vogue and Into The Groove with more recent tracks such as Frozen. The mother of two, sporting a new muscular physique, struck a series of impressive gymnastic poses. She also performed an explosive version of American Life - the title track from her latest album - featuring a troupe of backing dancers dressed head-to-toe in military garb.

The Re-Invention Tour has been getting rave reviews since landing in England but with tickets priced between £75 and £160 the she has a lot to live up to.

Tremendously well-crafted, perhaps somewhat calculated and soulless

Source: Manchester Online - Manchester - 15 Aug. 2004

Dancers cavorted in army battledress, Madonna stepped up in flatteringly-tailored fatigues and the screens flashed up unsettling images of explosions and middle Eastern children lying injured.

Then a strange procession strutted the long gantries suspended over the audience - a priest in red, a nun in a skimpy habit, a similarly saucy burqua-clad woman.

On stage, a soldier struggled to escape from a cage while the screen behind him showed a woman in flames, then a George Bush look-alike kissing a Saddam Hussein lookalike.

Vogue What did it all mean? That war is bad? Or merely that, like a Madonna concert, war is spectacular?

There was no explanation from the singer, nor any in the lyrics to the song this garish sequence illustrated, American Life. In the absence of such explanation, the juxtaposition of images of suffering with high-camp showmanship seemed not just empty but distasteful.

But perhaps we should only ever expect Madonna to confound us. After all, she had already told us in song "I've had so many lives since I was a child" as the greatest self-publicist of her age delivered up the implausibly-titled Nobody Knows Me.

All those "lives", of course, add up to Re-Invention - the tired cliche which is, somewhat unimaginatively, the title of the world tour which had its UK debut with two shows in Manchester at the weekend.

What we got, a neat 20 years on from her rise to fame and also from her first UK appearance at Manchester's Hacienda club, was a two-hour greatest hits show.

But we also got what was surely the highest-priced pop ticket Manchester has ever known, the best seats costing a whopping £150.

By rights, we should expect the best show ever to come this city's way. And, sure, Madonna knocks your Britneys, Kylies and Beyonces into a cocked hat.

But she strives for more - to make the pop concert into supreme art and theatre. In that respect she falls well short of such conceptual geniuses as Peter Gabriel when it comes to putting on a gobsmacking and thought-provoking show.

There were great moments - Madonna singing Frozen, alone on a stage swathed in dry ice, the taut electro-funk of Die Another Day and Music, the huge singalong to Like A Prayer, a guitar-toting Madonna doing a rockier version of Material Girl and the kilted dance sequence to Into The Groove. There were skateboarders, trapeze artists and dancers galore.

From throwing her first acrobatic shapes to Vogue, it was obvious that Madonna, 46 on Monday, is in fabulous shape, managing to combine the jobs of singing and dancing better than performers half her age.

This show was tremendously well-crafted, but perhaps also somewhat calculated and soulless. The most genuinely thrilling moment came during the last number, Holiday, when a blizzard of red and white confetti was blown into the audience.

Ah, I thought, so that's where all the ticket money went.

Madonna gets back into the groove with pipers

Source: Sunday Mail - Manchester - 14 Aug. 2004

Nobody Knows MeMadonna was back in Vogue last night as she struck a pose for thousands of screaming fans in her first British tour date in three years. The supple 45-year-old superstar showed off her yoga moves as she kicked off the European leg of her Re-Invention Tour with a dance spectacular at the Manchester Evening News Arena - the first UK date.

The star came up through the floor on a moving stage to sing her hit song Vogue. She performed a mix of classics like Holiday from her early days and recent tracks from her American Life album. For the final section, the star donned a kilt to sing Into The Groove with a team of bagpipers. Wearing black hotpants, a sequinned silver top and knee-high black boots, she belted out hits surrounded by backing singers and dancers. She then took to a moving conveyor belt at the front of the stage to perform Nobody Knows Me.

Before Like A Prayer the singer said: 'We are just getting this party started. This is a non sitting down song.' Religious images adorned the screens around her as she sang a cover version of John Lennon's Imagine, saying to the audience that the song was just as relevant today as the time it was written. 'It's funny how history keeps on repeating itself,' she said to a background of images of children in war torn countries. The star be back in Manchester tonight before taking the tour to London, Ireland, The Netherlands and Portugal.

Madonna thrills fans with a dance spectacular

Source: BBC - Manchester - 14 Aug. 2004

Pop star Madonna thrilled fans with a dance spectacular in Manchester on Saturday night as she kicked off the European leg of her Re-Invention Tour. She performed wearing black hotpants, a sequinned silver top and knee-high black boots before a packed MEN Arena.

The show featured moving video screens, conveyer belts, a ballroom dance sequence and an electric chair. The singer wore a kilt and a t-shirt proclaiming "Brits do it better" later in the show. The 45-year-old performed songs from early in her career such as Holiday and Material Girl, as well as tracks from her most recent albums. She also included a cover version of John Lennon's Imagine.

She has not played in Manchester since 1984 and such was the demand for tickets for her return that an extra date was added. Madonna will then take her tour to London, Dublin, the Netherlands and Portugal. The 56-date Re-Invention Tour started in the Los Angeles in May, and has so far taken the pop icon across the US and Canada. By the time it finishes on 14 September in Portugal, an estimated 750,000 fans are expected to have seen her perform hits from her 20-year career.

Madonna kicks off European leg of 'Re-Invention Tour'

Source: AFP - Manchester - 14 Aug. 2004

Vogue Madonna brought her Re-Invention Tour to Europe with the first of two concerts in Manchester, northern England, which were sold out within an hour of tickets going on sale last May. Thousands of fans stood clapping and screaming at the Manchester Evening News Arena as the US pop icon emerged through the floor onto a moving stage to sing her hit Vogue.

Wearing black hotpants, a sequinned silver top and knee-high black boots, 45-year-old Madonna belted out a string of hits surrounded by backing singers and dancers. She took to a moving conveyor belt at the front of the stage to perform Nobody Knows Me, as she rewarded fans with a blend of classics and new material from her American Life album.

After Manchester, Madonna is to go to her adopted hometown of London for two nights at the Earls Court exhibition centre and three at Wembley Arena, followed by an August 29 show in Dublin. Later she will play Paris, Arnhem in the Netherlands, and Lisbon. Only one Manchester date was originally planned, but a second was added in response to big public demand for tickets -- bringing the total number of gigs to 56 since the tour kicked off in Los Angeles in May.

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