Tuesday, 14 September
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! -x-
Monday, 13 September
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. Thursday, 9 September
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!
Wednesday, 8 September
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... Sunday, 5 September
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
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?"
Saturday, 4 September
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
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
Thursday, 2 September
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. Wednesday, 1 September
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
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!
Monday, 30 August
"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"
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. Check the first press review here. Friday, 27 August
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
Mon, 23 August
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?"
At the end of Papa Don't Preach
she messed up the American Life
reprise a bit. Singing again the "Do I have to change my name"
line, she shouted: "Don't call me Esther!". Friday, 20 August
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!" After
that she launched into Crazy
For You. For Papa Don't Preach
she was wearing the 'Brits Do It Better' shirt.
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.
Thursday, 19 August
"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
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!"
(thanks to MTribe
for details) Tuesday, 17 August
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
3. Take A Bow was rehearsed
as an interlude to Mother &
Father but Madonna thought Intervention
was more appropriate so she could give her kids the props and finish
cycle about her and her family.
4. Bad Girl, Ray
Of Light, Easy Ride and
Love Profusion did get rehearsed.
And there is really a possibility of LP
getting an extra attention on some European concert.
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. Monday, 16 August
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 Manchetser.
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!
Sunday, 15 August
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.