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Madonna News - May 2006

Madonna: Like a Veteran

What do you get when you mix a mock crucifixion, Kabbalah, political diatribes and a plea for AIDS relief with a giant crystal-covered disco ball?
Why, the first night of Madonna’s Confessions tour, of course.
The 47-year-old pop icon jumpstarted the North American leg of her tour with a bada-bang Sunday night at the Forum in Los Angeles, dazzling the sold-out crowd with million-dollar set pieces, seven costume changes and her yoga-buffed bod.
To gild the lily, Salma Hayek, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rosie O’Donnell and Nicole Richie were also spotted getting into the groove during the show.
About 50 minutes after the concert’s designated starting time, a mirrored disco ball encrusted with $2 million-worth of Swarovski crystals was lowered onto the stage and out popped Madge, wearing S&M-themed equestrian gear like a second skin. Carrying a jeweled riding crop and surrounded by male dancers with leather straps and bits in their mouths reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, Madonna straddled one of her “horses” and opened the show with “Future Lovers,” from her latest chart-topper, Confessions on a Dance Floor.
Nine of the evening’s 22 songs came from Confessions, including “Sorry,” “Jump” and “I Love New York,” while the rest were a combination of classics like “La Isla Bonita” and “Lucky Star” (loved by people old enough to actually be able to afford the $350 ticket prices) and newer old hits like “Music” and “Ray of Light.”
Maintaining a laudable amount of energy, Madonna danced her way through the night, stopping only to change Jean Paul Gaultier-designed clothes, pick at a Les Paul guitar, make a crude joke in reference to President George W. Bush, and, finally, head off into the night, sans encore.
During the lady of the hour’s brief forays offstage to change, video montages depicting members of the Bush administration and British Prime Minister Tony Blair interspersed with shots of Hitler, Osama bin Laden and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe kept the adoring crowd entertained, er, enraged, er uncomfortable.
Gone are Madonna’s days of suiting up in cone-shaped lingerie for a taboo-busting boudoir romp during the crowd favorite “Like a Virgin.” Looking back, the Truth or Dare days when she scandalized the local police for simulating masturbation onstage seem almost quaint.
Nowadays we’ve got the married mother of two perched atop a kinked-up carousel horse–minus the horse–on a saddle that looked more like a Hell’s Angel’s idea of black leather heaven. The non-animal bobbed up and down while the diva gyrated in time with “Like a Virgin.” In the background, images of the broken bones Madonna suffered in a horse-riding accident last year flashed on huge video screens.
Hidden trapdoors, ramps and a flashing catwalk crisscrossed the stage to accommodate the band and 22 backup dancers and singers employed by Madonna’s latest extravaganza.
Of course, the Material Girl did more than confess on the dance floor last night. Reaching out to her Kabbalah crew, she welcomed vocalist Isaac Sinwahy to harmonize with her on “Drowned” and play the shofar, a horn traditionally blown during the Jewish high holy days.
She also managed to antagonize anyone not already busy boycotting The Da Vinci Code with the crown of thorns she donned and the 20-foot-high mirrored cross she perched on during her ’80s-era ballad “Live to Tell.”
With silver cuffs holding her arms in place, Madonna sang while images of third-world poverty and numbers representing the 12 million children orphaned by AIDS in Africa ticked by on a screen.
The Church of England has already denounced Madonna’s “offending” performance, asking Monday whether the songstress was “prepared to take on everything else that goes with wearing a crown of thorns?”
“And why would someone with so much talent seem to feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?” a church spokesman said.
“Knock off the Christ-bashing,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement Monday. “It’s just pathetic.”
This isn’t the first time Madonna has crossed the church, so to speak. In 1990 the Pope called for a boycott of the pop star’s Blond Ambition tour because of her saucy “Like a Virgin” performances. A few years prior to that, the Vatican had condemned the video for “Like a Prayer,” which features burning crosses and images of a black Jesus figure.
Madonna’s latest blasphemy doesn’t reach Britain until July.
Billboard has predicted that the 51-date Confessions tour could gross in the $200 million range. Cher, queen of the “farewell tour,” currently holds the record with $192.5 million, but that was earned in the course of 273 shows.
To remember the night of 1,000 images, concert-goers can pop for a variety of souvenir goods, from $10 sheets of stickers to $85 long-sleeve tees.
We’re holding out for the $2 million disco ball.
source : eonline

Confessions Tour in Japan – Dates Announced

Having opened to fabulous reviews on Sunday night in Los Angeles, tour promoters The Next Adventure and Kyodo Tokyo are pleased to confirm that Madonna will visit Japan this September. Madonna Confessions Tour will play the Osaka Dome on Saturday, Sept. 16th and Tokyo Dome on Wed. Sept. 20.
Ticket reservations will begin on Saturday, June 10th with public on sale Sunday, July 9th. Ticket prices will be 14.000 yen, 11,000 yen with special seats available for 50,000 yen. Additional ticket information will be announced soon. For Concert Inquiries, please contact: Kyodo Tokyo, Inc. For Ticket and Ticket Package Information, please contact PIA.
source : confessionstour.com

Madonna on the cover of New York Post

Madonna on Cover of New York Post

Catholic-bashing Madonna has a disco-mirrored cross to bear – not to mention a prickly crown of thorns – which she uses to crucify herself in her new international tour.
The singer’s controversial stunt stunned the crowd as she kicked off her Confessions tour in Los Angeles over the weekend.
Just as she started to croon the sultry ballad “Live to Tell,” Madge suddenly appeared onstage as a modern-day, Christ-like figure being “crucified” on a giant, mirrored cross.
To complete the look, the singer wore a crown of 50 thorns over flowing, golden locks.
The stunt immediately drew protests.
“When the Material Girl first embraced kabbala, we thought her newfound faith would inspire her to show some respect for religion,” said the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue. “But I guess you can’t teach an old pop star new tricks.”
The Church of England, in Madonna’s adopted country, where she lives with her British hubby and two kids, also ripped the singer. “Why would someone with so much talent seem to feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?” church officials asked in a statement.
Industry experts say the raunchy tour – which is peddling tickets at up to $380 a pop – could be the highest-grossing ever. Billboard magazine says the overall gross could hit $200 million. The 47-year-old singer has already sold out her six dates at Madison Square Garden this summer.
Watching the muscle-bound Material Girl strut her stuff in L.A. were such celebs as Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Salma Hayek.
Comics Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O’Donnell, as well as O’Donnell’s partner, also made the scene – although at one point, Rosie reportedly upgraded herself to a premium spot on the floor, leaving her lover alone in the stands.
The kooky-for-kabbala Madonna even had her guru, Rabbi Yehuda Berg, in attendance.
Berg watched his star pupil sweat and gyrate in thigh-high, spiked-heel, black boots and skintight S&M outfits as she straddled a crystal-rivet-studded saddle on a dancing pole to belt out such oldies as “Like a Virgin.”
The singer performed other throwbacks, including “Lucky Star” and “Ray of Light,” while touting her newer stuff, such as the single “Hung Up” and “Future Lovers,” from her latest work, “Confessions on a Dance Floor.”
It appeared that Madonna’s tumble from a horse last year wasn’t far from her mind, either.
After popping out of a $2 million-plus, Swarovski-studded ball, a whip-bearing Madonna rode the back of a muzzled male dancer.
X-rays of her once-broken bones also were flashed overhead.
source : ny post

Madonna Launches Tour With Disco Crucifixion

Though Madonna’s latest world tour has been dubbed the Confessions tour in honor of the singer’s latest album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, the trek, which began Sunday night before a sold-out audience at L.A.’s hallowed Forum, was much more Cirque du Soleil than a night of intimate revelation.
Descending from the heavens at a quarter to nine in a ton-and-a-half disco ball — covered in 2 million dollars? worth in crystals — Madonna began the “Equestrian” portion of the show (the nearly two-hour show was broken down into four sections) with Confessions’ “Future Lover.” Clad in horseback-riding attire, complete with top hat and riding crop, she moved around the stage’s center inlet, which stretched halfway through the floor, before making her way to center to pay homage to another disco queen, with Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.” She returned to the new album for “Get Together,” performing the song without much assistance from her cadre of backup dancers — and proving why the disco-tinged track is one of the album’s high points.
But since the majority of the frenzied throng paid as much as $350 a ticket for some high-powered spectacle, Madonna would not let the faithful down. And she didn’t: The pop diva rode a mechanical saddle/stripper pole during “Like a Virgin” and displayed her gymnastics skills in “Jump.” Madonna re-emerged for the “Bedouin” portion of the evening on a mammoth disco crucifix wearing a crown of thorns to perform “Live to Tell.” She returned to religious imagery for Confession’s “Isaac,” which featured a woman dancing in a cage. The singer showed some of that who-gives-a-f*ck attitude that first made her a star with “Like It or Not,” a rendition spiked by her burlesque-style dancing with a chair. And that was only in the first half of the evening.
Changing costumes again for the “Never Mind the Bollocks” section, Madonna came out rocking an electric guitar for “I Love New York,” which featured projections of the city skyline on a large video screen. She held the guitar while exhorting the crowd to dance for a hard-rocking version of the title track of Ray of Light. In keeping with the theme of this portion, the background dancers reemerged, New Wave’d out in black-and-white ties.
Madonna’s career has been marked by her chameleon-like ability to reinvent herself, and indeed, in the annals of pop music, her talent in that category may be second only to David Bowie’s. Throughout the night, she continually assumed new roles — even playing the balladeer remarkably well, in renditions of “Drowned World” and “Paradise (Not for Me),” the latter of which was a duet with Yitzhak Sinwani, whom she introduced as her friend.
The singer’s most recent role in the pop world has been dance diva, and she assumed that mantle proudly for the evening’s final “Disco” theme. Emerging to the beat of the Tramps’ “Disco Inferno” in a John Travolta-style white suit (circa Saturday Night Fever, of course), Madonna became the dancing queen for high-energy versions of “Music,” “La Isla Bonita” (complete with a cavalcade of dancers and tropical-island images), a techno-fied “Lucky Star” and the closer, “Hung Up.” With the climax of that runaway single, gold balloons descended from the rooftops.
Madonna had played many roles in the first night of her Confessions tour — but confessor was not one of them. Apparently, in all the pomp and circumstance, there was no room for warmth, or even the attitude that made her recent Coachella festival performance so memorable.
Performing at Coachella before a largely foreign audience, she appeared as the Madonna of old: defiant, hungry, ready to fight. A determined Madonna, one who might spar with the crowd, seemed largely absent this weekend at the Forum. She limited her interaction to platitudes like, “Are you ready for a ride, L.A.?,” “The show is just beginning!” and “Put on your dancing shoes.”
Then again, she didn’t have anything to prove to these fans. They got exactly what they wanted on this night: a celebration of all things Madonna, for better or worse.
source :rolling stone

Madonna crucifies herself in L.A. tour opener

Madonna launched her first world tour in two years on Sunday, delighting an enthusiastic Los Angeles crowd by hanging herself from a cross, insulting President George W. Bush, and dusting off some of the sexy moves that have sustained her career for more than 20 years.
The “Confessions” tour will keep her on the road for two months in North America, and then resume on July 30 in Wales for a five-week stadium swing through eight European cities. Shows in Japan are also on tap for mid-September.The 47-year-old dance diva spent two hours churning out most of the tunes from her new album, “Confessions on a Dancefloor,” as well as a few old hits such as “Like a Virgin,” “Ray of Light” and “Lucky Star.”
The audience at the Los Angeles Forum included Madonna’s Kabbalah guru Rabbi Yehuda Berg, socialite Nicole Richie, and gay icon Rosie O’Donnell, who upgraded herself to a premium seat on the floor and left her spouse alone in the stands.
The meticulously choreographed Vegas-style routine began 50 minutes late when a giant mirror ball was lowered from the ceiling to the end of a catwalk stretching deep into the floor. Out popped Madonna, in S&M-styled riding gear and whip, singing the new tune “Future Lovers” as four bare-breasted male dancers writhed around with ball gags in their mouths.

Madonna, Hitler & Bush
Later on, she donned a crown of thorns and suspended herself from a giant mirrored cross to deliver the ballad “Live to Tell.” Video screens showed images of third-world poverty and reeled off grim statistics.
During one of her half-dozen costume changes, another video montage juxtaposed images of Bush, members of his administration and British Prime Minister Tony Blair with footage of Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. Midway through the new song “I Love New York,” she deviated from the script and made a crude reference to Bush and oral sex.
Beyond that, she barely spoke to the audience, largely focusing on keeping control of a busy nightclub-style stage that boasted 15 dancers, four musicians and three backing vocalists. For the most part, she joined in the tricky choreography, her voice evidently not affected by the aerobic workout. She did pause for a few songs during which she appeared to play a shiny Gibson Les Paul guitar.
A disco segment near the end, where she dressed in a “Saturday Night Fever”-style white suit to perform “Music” thrilled the crowd, as did the “Like a Virgin” routine, when she climbed aboard a carousel-style black leather saddle.
There was no encore, and the lights came up as soon as she had completed a medley of “Lucky Star” and latest hit single “Hung Up” while sporting an illuminated white cape with “Dancing Queen” embroidered on the back.
Billboard magazine has forecast ticket sales could reach the $200 million range, making it the most successful tour by a female artist. Cher holds the record with $192.5 million from 273 shows on a “farewell” world tour that began in June 2002 and lasted almost three years, according to Billboard.
Madonna, on the other hand, is scheduled to play fewer than 60 dates on this tour. Similarly, her $125 million-grossing Re-Invention tour in 2004 and the $75 million Drowned trek in 2001 were also relatively brief.
What catapults her to the top of the leagues is her ticket price, topping out at $380 (including Ticketmaster fees) in most U.S. venues. However, it did not stop her from adding dates to accommodate demand.
source : washington post / reuters

Madonna Kicks Off ‘Confessions’ Tour In L.A.

An onstage roller-disco complete with a fleet of satin-jacketed rollergirls and -boys. A shofar (Jewish horn) solo and traditional Hebrew incantation by a turban-swaddled man named Isaac, followed by a Fosse-style chair dance and some ghetto-blaster dry-humping. A politicized video montage starring Adolf Hitler, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, Osama bin Laden, Richard Nixon, George Bush, and starving African children. A futuristic mechanical bull equipped with oddly gynecological-looking steel stirrups. And no less than seven costume changes, including three leotards, one unitard, a Saturday Night Fever Tony Manero leisure suit, a crown of thorns, and an electric cape emblazoned with the rightful title of “Dancing Queen.”
All of this may sound like the makings of Cirque Du Soleil, the Eurovision Song Contest, Live 8, a lost weekend in Vegas, and an evening at either the Kabbalah Centre or Coyote Ugly rolled into one. But of course, it was just the opening night of Madonna’s much-hyped Confessions tour in Los Angeles.
Proving that music does indeed make the people come together, Madonna debuted her new show-of-shows before an adoring mixed audience of drag queens, moms, grandmas, club kids, and yuppies at L.A.’s Forum on Sunday, May 21 (her first of three sold-out nights at the 16,000-capacity venue). She launched her set with a sultry homage to the Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder disco anthem “I Feel Love” while dressed in equestrian fetish-wear and brandishing a whip (a nod to both her recent horsey W photo spread and the 2005 horse-riding accident from which she has triumphantly recovered), and from that moment on, she was off and galloping, taking the audience on a truly wild ride.
She showed she could still be shocking after all these years by singing “Live To Tell” while suspended, Christ-like, from a mirror-paneled crucifix; demonstrated her basic but unexpectedly solid guitar-playing skills during “I Love New York” (while looking like a supremely badass rock star in a patent-leather motorcycle jacket and glammy feather boa); revealed some bull-riding moves that would make Debra Winger green with envy; and was basically a walking (make that strutting) advertisement for power yoga as she flaunted her finely muscled, mind-bogglingly age-resistant physique in shiny, second-skin Spandex throughout.
Despite the surprising and disappointing lack of an encore (what, no “Like A Prayer”? no “Borderline”? no “Material Girl,” even?), during her breathless two-hour set the Divine Miz M justified not only her audience’s love, but her somewhat exorbitant $350 ticket price as well. It can safely be said that those 16,000 fans got their money’s worth, and then some.
source : yahoo