Madonna Earls Court London 2001 and Manchester Arena 2004

Madonna Earls Court London 2001 and Manchester Arena 2004
madonna2001I guess this should be classed as a guilty pleasure. I’ve seen Madonna twice in concert; in London at Earls Court for the Drowned World Tour in 2001 and at Manchester Arena on the Re-Invention Word Tour in 2004. I also saw her perform at Live 8 in Hyde Park in 2005. Going to see Madonna in concert is an experience in itself. There is an air of excitement and anticipation about her shows like no other; you just know that you are going to witness something different and special. Guilty pleasure or not, you have to hand it to her, this lady really does understand the art of performance, and her shows stand above those of other artists, in terms of their production values, concept and attention to detail.
The 2001 Drowned World Tour was the fifth concert tour by Madonna in support of her seventh and eight studio albums, Ray of Light and Music. The tour was her first outing for some time and featured a major production with many costumes changes, sets and dancers. The show was divided into five segments: Neo-Punk, Geisha-Anime, Country-Western Latin-Spanish, and Ghetto/Urban. The setlist consisted mainly of songs from Madonna’s most recent studio albums, with only a couple of old hits. Each segment had its own theme, stage set and costumes. This was some show.MadonnaDrownedTour I went with Marie and we were seriously impressed. The tour was a major success and went on to become the highest-grossing concert tours of 2001. The tour eventually played to 730,000 people throughout North America and Europe. The show is available on home video (I still have a VHS copy somewhere 🙂 ).
Set list for 2001 tour: Drowned World/Substitute For Love; Impressive Instant; Candy Perfume Girl; Beautiful Stranger; Ray of Light; Paradise (Not for Me); Frozen; Nobody’s Perfect; Mer Girl/ Sky Fits Heaven; What It Feels Like for a Girl; I Deserve It; Don’t Tell Me; Human Nature; The Funny Song (Oh Dear Daddy); Secret; Gone; Don’t Cry for Me Argentina; Lo Que Siente La Mujer; La Isla Bonita; Holiday; Music
madonna2004The next time that I saw Madonna was with David at Manchester Arena in 2004. The concert took place on August 15th 2001 which was one day before Madonna’s birthday, and some enterprising fans, from the Madonna “Tribe” and thus known as “Tribers”, decided that we should all sing “Happy Birthday’ to her. I found the full story on http://www.ultimatemadonna.com/:
“The plan to sing birthday wishes to Madonna as a celebration of her 46th birthday tomorrow began as an idea in one forum threads a few weeks ago. Since then Tribers have worked hard on a secret plan on how to get an arena of thousands to sing to Madonna on Sunday night. This logistical nightmare involved informing the management of MEN Arena as well as Caresse Henry [Madonna’s personal manager at the time] of the secret plan.MadonnaRe-InventionTour Last night a letter was passed to the Musical Director and Stuart Price [Madonna’s musical director at the time] to involve them too. All expressed their interest and indicated that it was a great idea, but the planning and execution was left to the fans themselves. So Tribers got busy – banners spelling out Happy Birthday were made. Thousands of flyers were printed and handed out by Tribers on the door as people took to their seats and then once again in the sections. The flyers asked the audience to sing Happy Birthday 3 times in between ‘Papa don’t Preach’ and ‘Crazy for You’. Word soon spread and the stage was set. But would it work? Hell did it work! As Madonna started speaking Siedah Garrett interrupted and as one the crowd came together and sang Happy Birthday, the band and the dancers joined in, and the Queen of Pop was overtaken by emotion before thanking them and dedicating ‘Crazy for You’ to them.”
madonnaflyerIt was a great moment, and made the concert extra special for everyone there. This time Madonna performed several more of her hits which ,for me, gave this concert an edge over the 2001 show.
The central theme of the show was unity versus violence. It was divided into five acts with different themes: French Baroque-Marie Antoinette Revival, Military-Army, Circus-Cabaret, Acoustic and Scottish-Tribal segments. The show began with “The Beast Within”, a recitation from the Book of Revelation. Madonna appeared onstage on a rising platform, striking yoga poses and performing “Vogue”. The Re-Invention World Tour was the sixth concert tour by Madonna, promoting her ninth studio album American Life. Re-Invention was named as the highest grossing tour of 2004, earning $125 million from 56 shows and 900,000 total audience figures. The tour was recorded and a live album/DVD set was released in 2006.
Set list from 2004 tour: The Beast Within (Video Introduction); Vogue; Nobody Knows Me; Frozen; American Life; Express Yourself; Burning Up; Material Girl; Hollywood; Hanky Panky; Deeper and Deeper; Die Another Day; Lament; Bedtime Story; Nothing Fails; Don’t Tell Me; Like a Prayer; Mother and Father; Imagine; Into the Groove; Papa Don’t Preach; Crazy for You; Music; Holiday

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