More than 3,000 people and an estimated worldwide Internet audience easily running into millions watched MADONNA’s first European show for seven years at LONDON’s BRIXTON ACADEMY tonight (November 28).
With the world’s first report of the sensational show, NME.COM was on the spot along with stars including Noel and Liam Gallagher, All Saints, Richard Ashcroft, Goldie, Richard E Grant, Sting, Liam Howlett, Texas’ Sharleen Spiteri, Dolce & Gabbana, Arthur Baker, Paul Oakenfold, The Spice Girls and Roger Sanchez to see the Queen Of Pop play songs from her latest album, ‘Music’.
Showing her love for Britain, Madonna treated the capacity crowd to one more song than she performed at her November 5 show at New York’s Roseland Ballroom. The extra song tonight, the classic ‘Holiday’, received a reception verging on hysterical.
The event – which was broadcast live via msn.co.uk and madonnamusic.com on the Internet – saw thousands of ticketless fans turning up to wait outside the south London venue to see the celebrities arriving and hoping to catch a glimpse of Madonna, who took to the stage tonight wearing a little leather jacket which she shed during the second number to reveal a vest top bearing the names of both her children – Rocco on the front and Lola on the back.
Dolce & Gabbana, who designed three stage costumes for Madonna to choose from on the evening, decked out the entire venue following their “Spaghetti Western” brief to a T. The fashion legends also contributed elaborate musical invitations which invited VIP guest to “Come and see the super cowgirl”.
The show itself was everything it promised to be. Despite clocking in at slightly shy of half an hour, it’s believed it easily smashed the record for the biggest ever Internet event – previously held by Sir Paul McCartney’s Cavern show from December 1999 which attracted 255,000 online viewers .
With The Prodigy’s Liam Howlett’s DJ set leading the by-now feverish crowd into Madonna’s first live appearance on a UK stage for seven years with Meatbeat Manifesto’s ‘Babylon’, he deftly mixed into the open bars of ‘Music’ before stopping the record dead as Madonna made her entrance from beneath a massive Union Jack.
During opener, ‘Impressive Instant’, Madonna made an impromptu stagedive and was carried aloft by the adoring crowd before being returned safely to the stage. Backdropped by a huge video screen and flanked by a troupe of male and female dancers – not to mention the American pick-up truck – Madge greeted the crowd after the first song by saying: “Hello London, thank you for coming to my party.”
She then shed her D&G-designed leather jacket to reveal a Rocco/Lolo vest top before second song, ‘Runaway Lover’ which on its conclusion she dedicated to “all you love rats out there” before adding “you know who you are. Everyone hates a grass right?”.
Introducing producer Mirwas as “a direct descendant of Jean Paul Sartre” and donning a cowboy hat for new single, ‘Don’t Tell Me’, she proceeded to reconstruct the video for the song live on stage with the help of the huge back-projected video and her troupe of dancers.
It was followed by ‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’ which was dedicated to “all the pop bitches out there… including myself”, an almost certain reference to the scurrilous UK rumour website.
Nobody could have expected what was to come next as the Queen Of Pop told the crowd, “How could I come to London and not do one of my old songs?”. After a brief pause in which the audience called out for their own favourites, Madonna proclaimed “unfortunately it’s not a democracy so I’m doing ‘Holiday’.” She finished the set with a welcome romp through her latest album’s title track ‘Music’ flanked by female dancers clad in Union Jack vest tops.
The prolonged cries for “More” from the crowd went unheeded as drum & bass don Goldie took to the decks to finish the evening off in mellow style before the aftershows began in numerous locations across the capital.
The six song set was:
‘Don’t Tell Me’
‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’
If you missed Madonna’s historic set, fear not, you can watch it on demand until December 12 by [url=] clicking here.
Check back tomorrow for a full review and all the gossip from the gig of the year.