Cardiff goes crazy for Madonna’s first UK show
Clad from head-to-toe in jet black riding gear, Madonna made her entrance by emerging from a giant silver glitter-ball.
In the two hours which followed there were seven costume changes, a plethora of extravagant props, three separate hairstyles and even, apparently, a change of eyelashes.
Madonna certainly left no stone unturned in the special effects department as she began the UK leg of her “Confessions Tour” in front of 59,000 ecstatic fans in Cardiff last night.
Coming into the tour on the back of 34 sold-out shows in the States and her most successful album in almost a decade in last year’s Confessions On A Dance Floor, Madonna was in a confident often conspiratorial mood, winking surreptitiously at a fan as she stepped out of the one-and-a-half ton glitter- ball.
The pop diva, who begins an eight-night stint at Wembley Arena tomorrow (Tuesday) is obviously in no mood to relinquish her crown “Alright Cardiff? Are you ready to ride with me?“‘ she asked as she opened a concert which was divided into four separately themed ‘acts’ with subtitles such as equestrian, Bedouin and, closing the show, disco.
Click on the Full Article link below to continue reading this review by Adrian Thrill, The Daily Mail.
With over half of its 21 songs drawn from the career-revitalising Confessions album it was an evening which resembled a lavish theatre production as much as a rock and roll show.
With the stadium roof closed and the huge arena bathed in red and white spotlights it was also a show that could lay claim to being the biggest nightclub on earth. The crowd, a fair proportion of them wearing bright pink Stetsons certainly lapped it up.
In bringing retro-sounding, dance-influenced pop into a stadium setting, Madonna is trying something different with this tour.
These bigger gigs are usually the sole preserve of boys with loud crashing guitars and anthemic , sing-a-long choruses. In trying to stage a glorified disco on such a large stage Madonna was certainly bucking a trend.
And while the venue of last year’s FA Cup final did not quite mutate into legendary New York nightspot Studio 54 Madonna’s fans were all on their feet from roughly the third number, current hit single Get Together, onwards.
The equestrian section, which opened the show, mixed new songs with old favourite Like A Virgin and a cover of Donna Summer’s classic 70s hit I Feel Love.
And while the Bedouin segment of the show was more low-key, Madonna practically raised the roof when she began the third part of the show by donning a black leather jacket and strapping on a gibson guitar to sing full-on rock versions of I Love New York and Ray of Light. The former came complete with a backdrop of the Manhattan skyline and a crude and gratuitous insult aimed in the direction of George Bush.
The latter was a dance song which lent itself perfectly to a more rock-orientated arrangement. Despite the overall reliance on special effects, a 22-strong dance troupe and costumes and shoes by Jean-Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent respectively, this was a show with more natural energy than the last Madonna outing I saw, 2001’s Drowned World tour.
There are those of course who argue that a 47-year-old mother-of-two is getting on a bit for this sort of thing. Maybe Madonna, they say, would be better off leaving the suggestive, risque gyrations to talented youngsters such as Christina Aguilera and Natasha Bedingfield.
Madonna being Madonna, there were also plenty of moments when the stunts seemed to be there purely to court controversy. The sight of the singer wearing a crown of thorns while being raised above the stage on a ‘disco-fied’ silver crucifix certainly lent nothing to the overall spectacle. Likewise, the screens which showed x-rays of the injuries sustained in a riding accident were rather superfluous but, at the times when Madonna got it right, the Confessions show was an expertly choreographed, high-octane marriage of music and visuals.
Despite her seemingly on-going need to shock for the sake of it there are still moments when you simply have to raise your pink Stetson to her. Forget stadium rock.
In giving the world its first ‘stadium disco’ show Madonna, who closed the show with supped up versions of Music, La Isla Bonita and Lucky Star, has practically invented a brand new live genre.