Sticky & Sweet Tour Press Pictures
UK Press: First Night in Cardiff

Madonna raves on as tour begins

Madonna has begun her new world tour in Cardiff, proving to fans that she can still cut it on stage at the age of 50.
In a typically energetic performance, the pop superstar played two hours of hits from her 25-year career.
It featured radically reworked versions of some of her old favourites, such as a techno remix of Like A Prayer and a rock take on Borderline.
'She gets better with age,' said Lewis Aldous, 23, from Brentwood, Essex.
He said Madonna looked 'incredible', adding: 'She looks like she's in her 30s. This is the most fast-paced tour of recent times, especially Like A Prayer.'
Maria Paradisis, 32, who travelled from Sydney, Australia, for the show, said Madonna's dancing was 'mesmerising'.
'She can still shake it like she's a 20-year-old,' she said.
But some fans at the Millennium Stadium were not so happy with her latest reinvention.
'She didn't do any of the traditional stuff that everyone loves her for,' said Susan Harvey from Cardiff.
'For £85 a ticket, I was really disappointed.'
Danielle Wheeler, 26, said she was 'not as good as Kylie', while Stephanie Olokopa, 20, from London, gave the show six out of 10.
'She was late and she didn't even thank the people,' she said.
Madonna appeared on a jewel-encrusted black leather throne with the letter M written on its back.
Opening with Candy Store, the first track of her latest album Hard Candy, the Pimp section was characterised by revealing and risque black outfits for Madonna and her troupe.
When a classic white convertible rolled on, it took Madonna and her dancers out into the crowd, with Madonna donning the driver's white top hat before pushing the car back.
The intricately planned visual spectacle was as potent as the music, and Madonna is the master at using colour, costume and choreography to full effect.
She was raised on podium for Vogue with four female dancers wearing long black gloves and boots and very little else.
After that, it was into the Old School segment - intended to evoke her 1980s New York roots - with Madonna appearing in red shorts, pop socks and a skipping rope, surrounded by the kids from Fame.
Into the Groove was the first of her '80s hits to be updated, backed by heavy bass and trance piano.
She then picked up a guitar for Borderline, backed by a more conventional rock band set-up.
The star donned heart-shaped sunglasses for She's Not Me, from her latest album, with her old videos flashing up behind her.
When four dancers appeared as Madonna at various stages of her career, the singer went on to abuse them before indulging in some very frenetic, angry dancing.
With her long, wavy blonde hair, fit physique and endless stamina, she doesn't look too dissimilar to the Madonna of a couple of decades ago.
The Gypsy segment began with Madonna in a black cloak writhing on top of a black piano, before her dancers donned hooded robes for Spanish Lesson.
They then ripped off the cloaks to reveal shiny, gaudy shirts and indulge in some flamenco-style dancing.
Not everything quite made sense - but it looked quite good, and that, you suspect, is what matters to Madonna.
With her dazzling friends, she went on to play a Europop version of La Isla Bonita, complete with big, bearded violinist in a sequined shirt.
The final section was Rave, which started with a pair of sparkly American football shoulder pads for her recent hit 4 Minutes.
It then turned into a full-on rave as the queen of pop played thumping techno versions of Like A Prayer and Ray Of Light.
During Like A Prayer, screens behind her flashed the names of sacred figures from various religions and quotes from holy texts.
Most of the crowd seemed to lap up the pumped-up dance remixes.
But as she strummed guitar in a skin-tight silver top, surrounded by futuristic creatures during Ray of Light, lasers firing over her head, it was tempting to think that maybe she should calm down just a bit.
The entire night had the feel of a giant nightclub - and that is something that some purists didn't like.
But heavy beats made the more mediocre new songs more passable, and the momentum was maintained by non-stop music even when she was off stage.
With wailing thrash metal guitars at end of Hung Up, Madonna posed, hand on hip, seemingly satisfied with her night's work.
Now she's hit 50, she seems even more determined to prove that she doesn't stand still, and she certainly doesn't slow down.

From BBC News By Ian Youngs


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Anita Organ

I was there at the opening night last night and it makes me wonder if any of these so called reporters actually were as all of their reports seem to differ and far outstretch the truth as to what actually went on! Firstly she always come on around 9pm even thought she is due to start at 8.30pm which for Madonna is not bad at all compared to some artists. so i have no idea where the '90 minute wait' BS came from! Also Susan Harvey from Cardiff should have stayed at home - this was NOT a greatest hits tour this tour is to promote the 'Hard Candy' albulm just released. The title 'Sticky & Sweet' kinda gives that away love! True Madonna fans would have been treated to a fantastic show last night and we know what to expect of Madonna so people who were disappointed you really needed to do your research before spending that amount on a ticket only to complain at the end. I loved it from start to finish and i will go back again and again. Madonna still rocks a fifty peeps!!!

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