Pop Queen Madonna’s tour-opening spectacle calls for ‘light and love’

Madonna urged her fans to unite in “light and love” to help bring peace to the Middle East and the world during the opening night of her Celebration Tour.

After overcoming a brief technical issue that paused the show, the US superstar delivered a spectacle for the ages at The O2 in London on Saturday (local time), treating thousands of adoring fans to an array of classic songs from her four-decade career, a host of extravagant outfits and a variety of theatrical stage set-ups.

The Queen of Pop also ensured the first show of her new tour would be a family affair as some of her six children took to the stage throughout the nearly 2½-hour performance.

For her first looks of the night, the 65-year-old donned an elaborate black gown and silver headpiece before unveiling a punk rocker-style outfit and what appeared to be a knee support on her left leg.

After opening with powerful renditions of Nothing Really Matters and Into The Groove, she asked the crowd: “Am I imagining this? Oh my God, it is so good to be back London.”

She added: “I’m pretty damned surprised that I made it this far and I mean that on so many levels… How did I make it this far? Because of you. I’m going to take a bit of credit too.”

Madonna said she was going to “tell the story of my life but I’m going to do it through music and dance”.

After performing her hit Burning Up, Madonna had to stop the show briefly due to a sound issue – and producers had to “press the reset button”.

She apologised for the delay and admitted “this is exactly what you don’t want to happen on your opening night” but kept the crowd entertained with anecdotes from her days in her first band when she was “broke and hungry and making zero cash”, confessing she would “date men who had showers and bathtubs” as she had no way to wash at the time.

After the sound issues were resolved, Madonna made up for the wait by launching into lively versions of Open Your Heart and Holiday.

The energy moved to a darker, more ritualistic place for her performance of Like A Prayer as a group of shirtless dancers hung off a rotating structure in the centre of the stage while Madonna wore a black robe during her performance.

She later paused the show to speak about her “heartbreak” over the suffering in Israel and Palestine.

After singing her song Little Star in honour of her daughter Lourdes celebrating her 27th birthday on Saturday, Madonna said: “We all come from love and its important to know that right now because there’s a lot of really crazy things happening in the world that are so painful to witness.

“All of us are suffering watching what’s happening in Israel and Palestine. It breaks my heart to see children suffering, teenagers suffering, elderly people suffering. All of it is heart-breaking.”

Addressing the thousands of adoring fans in the crowd, she continued: “Even though our hearts are broken, our spirits cannot be broken …

“We are altogether very powerful people, we can unite in the dark and evil or we can unite in a place of light and love.

“And if we all had that collective conscious, we could change the world and we can bring peace – not only to the Middle East but all over the world.”

This is Madonna’s first tour since her Madame X shows, which ended in 2020.

Some of these performances were called off due to knee and hip injuries.


Topics: Madonna
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