Madonna urged her fans to unite in “light and love” to help bring peace to the Middle East and the world during the opening night of her Celebration tour.
After overcoming a brief technical glitch that interrupted the show, the American superstar put on an unforgettable show at London’s O2 on Saturday, treating thousands of adoring fans to an array of classic songs from his four-decade career, a host of extravagant songs. outfits and a variety of theatrical productions.
The Queen of Pop also ensured the first show of her new tour was a family affair as a number of her six children took to the stage throughout the nearly two-and-a-half hour performance .
For her first looks of the evening, the 65-year-old donned an elaborate black dress and silver headpiece before revealing a punk rocker-style outfit and what appeared to be a knee brace on her left leg.
After opening with powerful renditions of Nothing Really Matters and Into The Groove, she asked the audience, “Am I imagining this?” Oh my God, it’s so good to be back in London.
She added: “I’m so damn surprised that I’ve made it this far and I mean that on so many levels… How did I get this far? Because of you. I’ll take some credit too.
The singer explained that she was going to “tell my life story but I’m going to do it through music and dance”.
After performing her hit Burning Up, Madonna had to stop the show briefly as she explained that there was a problem with the sound and they needed to “hit the reset button.”
The singer apologized for the delay and admitted “that’s exactly what you don’t want to happen on your opening night,” but entertained the crowd by recalling anecdotes from her days in her first band when she was “broke and hungry and making nothing.” cash,” admitting that she “would date men who had showers and bathtubs” because she had no way of washing at the time.
Once the sound issues were resolved, the singer made up for it by launching into rousing versions of Open Your Heart and Holiday.
The energy shifted to a darker, more ritualistic place for her performance of Like A Prayer as a group of shirtless dancers held onto a rotating structure in the center of the stage while the singer wore a dress black during her performance.
She then interrupted the show to talk about her “sorrow” over the suffering in Israel and Palestine.
After singing her song Little Star in honor of her daughter Lourdes celebrating her 27th birthday on Saturday, she said: “We all come from love and it’s important to know that now because there’s a lot of really crazy things happening in the world that are so painful to see.
“We are all suffering from what is happening in Israel and Palestine. It breaks my heart to see children suffering, adolescents suffering, elderly people suffering. This is all heartbreaking. »
Addressing the thousands of fans in the crowd, she continued: “Even though our hearts are broken, our spirits cannot be broken…
“We are very powerful people, we can come together in darkness and evil or we can come together in a place of light and love.
“And if we all had this collective consciousness, we could change the world and bring peace – not only to the Middle East but all over the world. »
The show also featured a sultry rendition of her 2005 anthem, Hung Up, which saw her perform in a red dress alongside a crowd of topless dancers.
The singer then redoubled her energy for her 1900 hit Vogue, with her younger daughter Estère and older daughter Lourdes making a surprise appearance on stage.
The rendition paid homage to the New York ballroom culture that the song draws inspiration from as the dancers performed in extravagant outfits for Madonna and Lourdes while rating them 10s across the board.
Her daughter Estère, dressed in a gold jumpsuit, also showed off her dance moves for her mother and older sister.
The singer’s daughter, Mercy James, took the stage to play the piano while her mother sang her track Bad Girl.
The superstar praised her children for supporting her as she suffered a “serious bacterial infection” earlier this year that led to her being admitted to intensive care for several days and forced her to postpone the tour, which was scheduled to begin in Canada in July. .
The singer said: “It was a crazy year for me too and I didn’t think I was going to make it, neither did my doctors…
“I forgot five days of my life, or of my death, I don’t really know where I was anymore. But the angels were protecting me and my children were there, and my children still save me every time.
She added that her secret to surviving is to think “I have to be there for my children” before playing the chords of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive.
A photo of the late Sinead O’Connor was then shown on the big screens and Madonna draped a Ukrainian flag on her back before launching into Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.
She ended the song by encouraging the crowd to chant “no fear.”
The superstar closed the show with a trip down memory lane as dancers donned a number of her classic outfits, including her Like A Virgin wedding dress look, while she sang her 2015 track B*** * I’m Madonna and a medley of her songs Celebration and Music.
Madonna will perform three more sold-out dates in London before continuing to tour Europe and North America.
This is Madonna’s first tour since her Madame X concerts, which ended in 2020.
Some of these performances were canceled due to knee and hip injuries.