Queen of Pop reigns supreme
There were storms brewing over Slane Castle last night in anticipation of Madonna’s one and only Irish concert.
Rows over ticket sales and concert dates have plagued the Queen of Pop’s massive outdoor gig, but in the end the dark clouds lifted, the tickets sold out and the Queen of Pop reigned supreme.
Yesterday, 80,000 fans gathered in the picturesque grounds of Lord Henry Mountcharles’ Co Meath estate, many sporting tiger and leopard print cowboy hats in homage to the star’s ‘Music’ album cover.
The music pumped out across the green fields as the sea of fans spread out in admiration of the Material Girl. Even the steady stream of limousines and helicopters came to rest as she stepped on stage.
Starting her performance with a dramatic rendition of Vogue, Madonna sealed her place in Slane history, watched by members of U2 who also took the venue by storm a few years ago. She took the crowd’s breath away with the strength of her voice, and the power of her performance.
Controversy has dogged Slane this year, to the irritation of promoters MCD who generally prefer an easy ride. But rumours were rife that Madge had demanded 2m to play the venue, pushing ticket prices up to a record 100.
Although they eventually sold out, ticket sales were not aided by the comparative flop (by the pop star’s high standards) of her latest album ‘American Life‘. Then there was the Sunday issue. Lapsed Roman Catholic Madonna, she of Papa Don’t Preach fame, demanded to play on a Sunday, rather than the traditional Saturday, causing church-going locals to fear they might miss Mass. Feathers were indeed ruffled, but Madonna is not only the queen of reinvention, but also of control.
She got her way, as she has learnt to in order to survive 20 years in a notoriously fickle industry, and lo and behold the Irish concert was under way.
It was a tour that started in Los Angeles in May, and which has yet to take her across continental Europe. Wheeling out the classics, including Material Girl, Like a Prayer and Holiday, she was guaranteed to have a happy screaming following. A heavy dose of suspenders, basques and boots didn’t hurt, either.
She also flirted with politics, lambasting George Bush during a khaki-clad rendition of American Life. And in Hanky Panky, Madonna adopted a comic circus-style routine.
As the massive crowds clustered for warm-up acts Paul Oakenfold, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, an atmosphere of eager anticipation was building. Would she set out to shock? Would she scandalise the natives? Or would the 46-year-old mother-of-two act her age and really disappoint everyone?
As the crowd milled around, the forerunning stars appeared on a special turntable stage, which weighed 40 tons, while the large screen behind broke into smaller pieces.
Backstage, Madonna’s massive entourage made the final touches to their heroine’s wardrobe, and attended to her unique dietary demands. Prior to last night’s concert, most of the publicity surrounding Madge concerned her backstage demands and poor ticket sales.
But despite the recent savaging by the media, the thousands of fans heading home through the streams of traffic last night were delighted with her performance.
The Queen of Pop thanked them herself for coming, so perhaps there will be another Irish gig one day after all.
Source: Irish Independent