It took 20 years for Madonna to play in Ireland but for her 80,000 fans who packed into the grounds of Slane Castle it was well worth the wait.
Any pretender to her throne was left in no doubt that Madonna is the undisputed Queen of Pop as she belted out hit after hit in a high-octane performance which left the crowd panting for more.
She may be 46 but the superstar showed no signs of slowing down. “I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to play here”, she told her delighted fans “It’s great to be in Ireland at last”.
Even the downpours failed to dampen the spirits of fans, though at one stage Madonna, whose arrival on stage was delayed by the weather, did plead with the rain to stop. The singer’s career has spanned two decades so there was plenty of material for the Material Girl to choose from. All the hit singles were there – Papa Don’t Preach, American Life, Into the Groove and a jazzed-up version of Deeper And Deeper.
There were several costume changes too, from black sequined hotpants to a kilt, but it was a teeshirt emblazoned with the words Irish Do It Better which won the fans’ approval. Crowd favourites Music and Like A Prayer had the Slane audience singing along in unison while she saved her early hit Holiday for the last song of the night.
While most fans hailed her debut Irish appearance a major success, the event ended on a sour note for a group of Ulster fans. Up to 40 people were left stranded when a bus organised to convey them down to Slane and home left without them. A number of people had to fork out GBP150 for a taxi back to Belfast, while others were forced to sleep overnight in Slane.
One angry concert-goer, Clare Jackson from east Belfast, said somebody had to take responsibility. “We were told to be back at the bus by midnight but the concert didn’t finish to 11.20pm and by the time we had walked from the Castle to where the buses were parked through the hordes of fans it was nearly 1am. “But we were convinced at least one of the seven buses which brought us down would still be there. “I couldn’t believe it when we realised that we had been abandoned in Slane.
“It’s not the type of place where you can pick up hotel accommodation or get a taxi.”
source : belfast telegraph
Police were called to calm angry fans who were turned away from Madonna’s London concert although they had already purchased tickets.
About 70 people who paid hundreds of dollars for tickets through an agency arrived Thursday at Wembley Arena to find their seats were unavailable, resulting in an angry scene, Britain’s Mirror said Monday.
Some of the people had flown in from far away and they were very disappointed. Some paid $3,000 for three tickets. There were kids of 7 or 8 years old who were most disappointed, said Alain Gavin, an attorney who paid an agency more than $250 for a ticket, but did not get in to the concert.
Approximately 20 of the disgruntled fans bought tickets through www.londonticketshop.co.uk.
I feared for my life. I have received death threats. But we are not a fraudulent company, said Michael James, manager of online firm.
British police were investigating the incident.
source : bignewsnetwork.com
Traditions and rules are meant to be broken. For the first time in the history of Slane concerts, there was no Irish act on the bill at Slane.
It is hardly the fault of promoters MCD, or of Lord Mount Charles, owner of Slane Castle. Rather, it seems as if Madonna wide-reaching control of the event has failed to notice that a music event in a specific country needs a localised, if not personalised touch.
Make no mistake about it, this was Madonna’s gig. Not even the paltry support acts, D.J. Paul Oakenfold and Iggy Pop and the Stooges, could, even if they had a notion to, upstage Madonna.
D.J. Paul Oakenfold was, well, a D.J. in a field playing tracks from the likes of U2, Coldplay and Radiohead to a less than enthusiastic, streaming crowd. Iggy Pop and the Stooges fared no better.
The veteran so-called Godfather of Punk, normally works up an almighty sweat, but only in confined spaces. In the chilly expanse of Slane, Iggy looked and sounded faintly ridiculous. The power and visceral glory of tracks such as 1969, TV eye, and I wanna be your dog, the latter prefaced by Iggy’s corporate, baiting I like shagging animals, was diluted by a flow of indifference as strong as the River Boyne.
And then it was Madonna’s turn. Control over the weather, however, is something that not even Madonna can manage, which meant that over 45 minutes elapsed from the 8.30 p.m. official starting time before she appeared on stage – the stage that had to be continuously wiped dry to prevent slippage.
Arriving on stage to the mellow strains of a Brian Eno instrumental and the big screen flash of the tricolour, Madonna sauntered into Vogue, an impressive opening set-piece that marked the tone for the remainder of the gig. With a full moon you’d swear was strategically situated above the stage, in order to orbit around the star of the show, Madonna quickly and efficiently transformed the wide space of the venue into something less of a field and more of a very big uni sex gym.
She had the brilliant advantage of over 20 years of hits, which she took full use of. From Burning Up and Holiday from 1983 to tracks from last year’s American Life album, Madonna traipsed through her back catalogue in a curious manner, ignoring her most successful album (Ray of Light, from which she played only one track, Frozen), concentrating instead on lesser known records.
Damp eyebrows were raised at the inclusion of, perhaps, least appealing hits of her career (Hanky Panky, Die Another Day). Yet feet were stamped at more than several pop classics, including Express Yourself, Like a Prayer, Into the Groove, Papa Don’t Preach, Music and Holiday.
Did Madonna rock? No, but she proved why she’s the best and most successful female pop star in the world. The material girl is very much in control. Too much in control, some might say, possibly MCD and Henry Mountcharles.
A mixture of arrogance, precision, perfectionism and resolute adherence to detail, Madonna arrived in Ireland made sure she left an indelible impression.
source : irish time
The Irish “do it better,” according to pop icon Madonna.
For the Material Girl thrilled the crowd during her first appearance at Slane Castle near Dublin by wearing a T-shirt expressing exactly those sentiments.
She later threw the piece of clothing out to a delighted audience.
Despite initial concern about ticket sales for this part of her Re-invention tour, fans packed the outdoor venue on Sunday to see the superstar unleash hit after hit, from a repertoire spanning a entire 20-year career.
Crowd favourites included oldies from the 1980s and 1990s, such as Like a Prayer and Vogue, as well as more recent material such as Hollywood and Music.
There was a heavy shower just before Madonna went onstage, but the weather remained relatively dry, much to the delight of the concert goers.
At the beginning of the show, Madonna was raised onto the stage wearing black hot pants with a gold sequined top and black knee-high boots.
The show featured spectacular dance routines involving acrobats and breakdancers, with an incredibly energetic Madonna incorporating complex yoga moves into the high-octane choreography.
The stage was carefully designed to avoid delays during set changes.
The 46-year-old singer was lifted into the air on rising pedestals, whizzed across the stage on a conveyer belt and disappeared through trap doors for occasional, and very slick, costume changes. True to form, Madonna did not shy away from controversy, and mounted a strong anti-war protest with the song American Life.
It was set against the backdrop of a powerful video sequence depicting the horror of war, as dancers donned military uniforms and marched around caged prisoners.
Madonna’s vocal performance was nothing short of incredible given the singer’s fast-paced choreography and at times she took up the guitar herself and played ballads for her fans.
The singer also used the occasion to perform a cover of John Lennon’s Imagine, which she said was one of her favourite songs.
Madonna crowned her 90-minute set with a dazzling performance of Holiday which saw the singer and her dancers move out into the crowd on an elevated platform.
They were then lowered below the stage to the sound of fireworks in the distance, confetti raining down and rapturous applause from fans.
Supporting Madonna was DJ Paul Oakenfold who played two 30-minute sets, and rock sensation Iggy Pop, who sent crowds wild with his antics, as he leapt off the stage to greet fans after his performance which lasted more than an hour.
source : bbc
Madonna seems to have put aside her Stella McCartney designer dresses and adopted former Corrie binman Eddie Yeats as her fashion guru.
The Material Girl dressed down in a flat cap and bodywarmer yesterday as she cycled through rainswept London streets. But the film crew on a rickshaw made her stand out from the crowd.
An insider with the crew revealed that the Esther, as she now likes to be known, was heading for a Kabbalah centre and was shooting scenes for a documentary about her new-found beliefs.
source : drownedmadonna
Pop diva Madonna broke down in tears while dedicating the hit number “Crazy For You” to her British fans on her last date in Britain at Wembley Arena.
Dressed in a kilt and with a T-shirt saying, “Brits Do It Better”, Madonna dedicated the song to fans whom she said had “stuck by me for 20 years”, and suddenly broke down in tears.
“Madonna was overcome with emotion. It seems she has thoroughly enjoyed the tour and she was thrilled at the crowd’s response.
She couldn’t find a tissue so wiped her eyes with the hem of her kilt, and then pulled herself together to do the number. It was brilliant,” The Sun quoted an onlooker as saying.
source : ANI
Critics have expressed reservations about Madonna’s latest concerts as she ends the UK leg of her world tour.
The singer visited Manchester and London as part of her 56-date Re-invention tour, which visits Dublin’s Slane Castle on Sunday.
The star twisted her way through greatest hits and anti-war protests.
“This is a show of strange juxtapositions, one in which theatricality is often substituted for sentimentality,” The Independent said.
“Each time she picks up a guitar, you know a message is soon to follow,” wrote the newspaper’s critic Fiona Sturges.
This mix of pop and politics, coupled with ticket prices as high as £150 each, made a number of critics uncomfortable.
“This new earnestness is terribly wearying,” wrote the Daily Mail’s Amanda Platell. “We came along for a singsong, and we got a sermon.”
The Evening Standard agreed. “All was not wholly well. Five costumes meant four spirit-sapping interludes and the mawkish backdrop to American Life (guns, orphans, bombs) was a reminder of Madonna’s unwavering political ignorance.”
Nevertheless some were impressed by the sheer professionalism of the concerts.
“The concert ran as smoothly as a Broadway show,” wrote Ludovic Hunter-Tilney of the Financial Times.
“During costume breaks we were kept entertained by a fire juggler, a skateboarder and frenetic break-dancers.”
He described the staging of Madonna’s songs as “imaginative, sometimes eccentrically so”.
“Why she sang a syrupy ballad from Evita strapped in an electric chair was unclear, while the use of a kilted bagpiper and highland drummers on Into The Groove was even more curious.”
For some critics, the fact that the 46-year-old yoga fan was still embarking on such huge tours more than proved her showbusiness credentials.
“Madonna has been playing gigs for so long she can do it standing on her head, and last night she did just that,” said the News of the World.
“The likes of Emma Bunton, Rachel Stevens and even Britney Spears will never be able to captivate an audience the way Madge did,” agreed the Daily Star.
Meanwhile the Daily Express noted: “Madonna’s first ever gig in Britain was at the Hacienda club in Manchester more than 20 years ago – and this bold show proved she’s still got what it takes to thrill her fans.”
The Independent on Sunday’s Simon Price compared the concert favourably to her previous Drowned World tour in 2001.
“The actual show is slightly less spectacular than the gravity-defying stunts and cutting edge choreography of her last jaunt,” he wrote, “but the selection of songs, admittedly, is superior.”
Nevertheless he joined the vast majority of critics in feeling that Madonna’s cover version of John Lennon’s Imagine, sung against a backdrop of images of starving children, was ill-judged.
“This is the moment when I wonder whether the £150 includes a complimentary sick bag.”
source : bbc
Rapper LL COOL J has slammed critics for attacking Madonna’s children books.
The Material Girl published the first of five books,The English Roses, last year (03) but received bad reviews for her literary debut, but the Phenomenon rapper – who penned “rap and read” children’s book and the winner is … – fiercely defends the pop-queen.
He says, “I don’t know why people didn’t like Madonna’s books, maybe they don’t think it’s a valid art form, maybe they don’t like kids.
“Why not be rich and famous and take time to inspire kids? That would embarrass whoever said you cannot do it! I don’t understand it at all!”
source : contactmusic