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Top concert grosses

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#1 Madonna – Wembley – Aug. 22-23, 25-26, 2004 – London, England – $9,809,717 – Attend : 45,267
#3 Madonna – Earls Court – Aug. 18-19, 2004 – London, England – $6,356,207 – Attend : 34,087
#4 Madonna – MEN Arena – Aug. 14-15, 2004 – Manchester, England – $5,136,114 – Attend : 27,320
source : billboard

Madonna aka Esther is still style icon

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When spiritually-reborn “Material Girl” Madonna hits the stage in the world’s couture capital from Wednesday, style gurus are likely to be out in force to appraise exactly what she’s wearing.
Faithful to her reputation as global fashionista icon, Madonna, who recently changed her name to Esther after converting to Kabbalah, has called on the top names in fashion to design the costumes for her current “Re-Invention” world tour – Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Stella McCartney etc.
In Paris, where she was originally due to play two nights, 15,000 tickets sold out in only 30 minutes for the opening show and organisers added two concerts. Her four concerts are totally sold out, with some holders offering seats on the Internet for sums of EUR 200 up.
But then Madonna, now 46, has been wowing crowds and setting fashion trends for two decades, from raunchy sex-symbol to hippie-style earth-mother. Big names such as Prada or Dolce and Gabbana have cashed in on her name, as have little known designers such as Belgian Olivier Theyskens, who first won fame when she turned out for the Oscars sporting one of his creations.
Stella McCartney, one of her friends, designed the once-in-a-lifetime dress for her wedding with Guy Ritchie, which was both a good deed and a good plug. In 1990 for her Blond Ambition Tour she turned Jean-Paul Gaultier into a household name because of his conicle-cupped corset.
Houses that succeed in getting Madonna – or even better Madonna plus daughter Lourdes – into the front row for their catwalk collections, such as Gaultier or Versace, know the paparazzi will fly into a frenzy, ensuring plenty of media footage for the label.
“She remains a strong fashion icon because she’s got a real fashion culture and knows what she wants,” Patrick Cabasset, deputy editor of fashion magazine L’Official, told AFP.
“She’s a chameleon with as much feeling for her image as someone like (designer) Jean-Paul Gaultier or Jean-Baptiste Mondino”, he added.
“If you were to give her a mark for either just being or keeping up appearances, you’d give her 100 percent for keeping up appearances. She’s first and foremost just image, despite the fact that nowadays she wants to show she has soul by writing children’s books and taking up spirituality.”
In September, with the world tour behind her, Esther/Madonna plans a pilgrimage to Israel in observance of her new Kabbalah faith and in recent concerts castigates war, or sings John Lennon’s “Imagine” to images of an Israeli and a Palestinian child walking side by side.
The pop diva began looking into Kabbalah – or at least a modern version of it – in 1997, and is now one of its most high-profile proponents. Jewish symbols and Hebrew letters feature in recent videos, and she is rarely seen without the trademark red string around her wrist to ward off the evil eye.
Yet “Re-Invention”, her first world tour since 2001, features lots of quite earthly garb. In European concerts ahead of the Paris stops, Madonna has stepped out in black hotpants, a sequinned silver top and knee-high black boots.
French couturier Christian Lacroix has specially designed a tight pale pink satin corset, a rembroidered gold-leaf-covered number inspired by a Lacroix red wedding dress she squeezed into for a series of pictures for the US “W” magazine last year.
“She wanted a corset that was a little more flexible for the dance numbers but that visually looked like the fitted whalebone original,” the couturier said.
source : afp

Madonna’s Father Slams Reports

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Madonna’s father Tony Ciccone has dismissed reports his daughter gave him nearly a million dollars to bail out his wine business as ‘totally untrue’.
Ciccone Vineyards in Michigan – owned and run by Ciccone and his wife Joan

Madonna’s fans send death threats to website manager!

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Madonna’s recent show at Wembley Arena turned chaotic as the police had to be called in when 70 fans, who had spent hundreds of pounds on tickets, found that there were no seats for them.
Michael James, the manager of www.londonticketshop.co.uk said that 20 customers did not get tickets because of a mistake, and added that furious fans turned on him and two other firms before they had time to buy tickets from touts.
“I feared for my life. I have received death threats. But we are not a fraudulent company,” The Mirror quoted James as saying.
Lawyer Alain Gavin, meanwhile, revealed that he had paid an agency 150 pounds to see the pop diva’s performance but had to return back disappointed.
“Some of the people had flown in from far away and they were very disappointed. Some paid 1,700 pounds for three tickets. There were kids of seven or eight-years-old who were most disappointed,” added Gavin.
source : ANI

Great to be in Ireland, Material Girl tells fans

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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

Madonna fans shut out of gig

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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

Madonna shows Iggy just how to pop

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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

Madonna thrills Irish crowd

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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

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