Madonna brings Rebel Heart tour to the UK
EXACTLY 278 days, 22 hours and 44 minutes after she dominated international headlines with her unfortunate fall at the Brits, MADONNA returned to London’s O2 Arena last night.
And it was an absolute triumph – the world’s undisputed Queen of Pop reigns.
Seconds into the first night of her Rebel Heart UK tour, the Brits incident was forgotten – and this time she whipped her cape off without a hitch after opening numbers Iconic and B****, I’m Madonna.
What followed was a masterpiece in live performance.
There was no backing band necessary as she rocked out on the electric guitar to Burning Up, only stopping to rip her trousers off.
Her religious iconography was as strong as ever too. I won’t forget her pole dancing on a crucifix to Holy Water with a squad of nuns in hot pants in a hurry.
This was Madge at her uncompromising best, demanding her male and female crew members strip topless before heading straight into a version of True Blue with her playing the ukulele.
After 39 shows all over the world, London had been waiting for her – and she’d been waiting too.
She told the screaming sold-out crowd: “Alright London, it’s so good to be back. Right back here where I belong.
“It’s been forever and it’s so good to be back in the UK. I have this special fondness for this place.”
Unlike most, Madonna was just as playful and comfortable singing her hits as her latest material.
That was summed up when she followed up recent single Living For Love with a Bollywood-themed Eighties medley of La Isla Bonita, Into The Groove and Dress You Up.
Before Like A Prayer, she commemorated World AIDS Day with an incredible and emotional speech.
She said: “I should acknowledge the dearest and most amazing friends of mine who died of AIDS – the entire family of my adopted son who died of AIDS.
“It’s not a disease that has gone away, and we need to remember that.
“Let’s fight to find a cure for this disease.”
For me, the highlight was the tour’s title track Rebel Heart, with just Madonna on a guitar captivating the 20,000-strong crowd with the intensely personal story of her life.
At 57, she is still the undoubted greatest pop star in the world.