Madonna employs HUGE security team on motorbikes as she arrives to opening night of Celebration Tour in London in swanky Range Rover
Madonna employed a huge security team on motorbikes as she arrived to the opening night of her Celebration Tour in London on Saturday.
The tour kicked off at London’s O2 Arena, which is the first of 78 shows across 15 countries for the singer, 65.
The Material Girl superstar was driven in a swanky Range Rover to the venue with four motorcycle outriders ensuring her safe arrival.
The bikers, all dressed in black, looked straight out of a scene from a movie before she stepped out of the car.
Several other large cars arrived to alongside her, presumably carrying her entourage.
While the Queen Of Pop brought all the pomp and circumstance on stage, delivering many of her biggest hits from her 40-plus year career in her first respective tour, the performance was not without its glitches.
The show came to a screeching halt after just the fourth song, which was her hit Burning Up, when technical problems with the sound surfaced.
Being the consummate pro, the singer-songwriter took control of the situation and announced her crew would have to ‘press the reset button’.
‘This is exactly what you don’t want to happen on your opening night, so this wasn’t planned, I’m sorry,’ the pop superstar told the fans, according to Metro.
With time to kill, Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone), 65, proceeded to entertain the audience with stories of her youth, as a means keep the show from descending into chaos.
She recalled how difficult life had become while playing in her first band, described her situation as being ‘broke and hungry and making zero cash’, but she was still optimistic and could ‘see the future.’
Trying to keep the crowd from becoming restless, she asked the thousands in attendance with enthusiasm: ‘Am I imagining this? Oh my God, it is so good to be back London.’
The Holiday singer added: ‘I’m pretty damned surprised that I made it this far and I mean that on so many levels. How did I make it this far? Because of you. I’m going to take a bit of credit too.’
The Bay City, Michigan native recalled battling anorexia right after she made the move to New York City in 1978 to pursue a career in modern dance, according to Mirror.
It turns out, during that time, money was scarce so she resorted to finding men that could help with her basic daily needs.
‘When I was broke I had no money to take a bath or a shower so I would actually date men who had showers and bathrooms,’ she confessed to her fans. ‘I’d date them and if I thought they were cute I’d surreptitiously work into the chat – so you live alone and they’d say yes.’
Once it was made clear the man did in fact live alone, the singer-songwriter would get right to the point.
‘Do you have a bathroom and shower?’ she continued during opening night of The Celebration Tour. ‘And they’d nod and look at me like I was a crazy person. And I’d say let’s get dinner.’
Showing her sense of humor, she added, ‘Blow jobs for showers! We all have to struggle to make ends meet right? You know what I’m taking about?’
During her storytelling, Madonna also talked about her recent health scare that some thought would force the tour to be canceled.
The Material Girl was rushed to an intensive care unit with a ‘serious bacterial infection’ back in June after being found unconscious.
‘My first thought when I woke up in the hospital was my children,’ she revealed during her show. ‘My second thought was that I did not want to disappoint anyone who bought tickets for my tour.’
Elaborating on the situation, she continued, ‘I also didn’t want to let down the people who worked tirelessly with me over the last few months to create my show. I hate to disappoint anyone.’
Ultimately The Celebration Tour was pushed back but not canceled.
‘It was a crazy year for me and I didn’t think I was going to make it. I forgot five days of my life,’ she told the London-based fans.
‘But the angels were protecting me and my children were there and my children always save me every time. And if you want to know a secret as to how I survived, I thought, ‘I have to survive for them. I have to survive for my children.”
After the technical issues were resolved, Madonna made up for the wait by launching into lively versions of her hit Open Your Heart and Holiday.
Along with telling her personal story of triumph, Madonna also took time to pay tribute to 1980s icons Michael Jackson and Sinéad O’Connor, who have now both passed away.
Madonna left the audience in awe during the night as she rocked endless outfits, including a plethora of bustiers and negligees.
She also had a video montage of all the disparaging headlines she faced during her rise from homeless dancer wanna-be to global pop superstar.
‘What a Tramp!’ was just one of the worst headlines that were shown during the performance.
There was also a tribute to Palestine and Israel, which is another storyline that sadly dates back to her humble beginnings, and beyond.
The mother of six also incorporated a sweet cameo of her daughter Mercy, 17, on the piano into the show, while her oldest of her kids, Lourdes, 26, also made an appearance on stage to help judge a Ballroom walk.
Madonna did not disappoint when it came to delivering the hits through her career that begins with her self-titled first studio album, Madonna (1983).
After opening with Nothing Really Matters, she went back to the songs that helped break her and send her toward music icon status that included Everybody, Into The Groove, Live To Tell, Like A Prayer.
She would continue to reach back to how it all began with renditions of Erotica, Justify My Love, Vogue, Human Nature and Crazy For You.
Largely focusing on the first half of her career, she also played La Isla Bonita, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Ray Of Light and Like A Virgin.
She would end the show with B**ch I’m Madonna and Celebration, which seems appropriate considering its the name of the retrospective tour.
The Celebration Tour takes Madonna through Europe until December 6, when she returns to London’s O2 Arena for two more shows.
The pop superstar then heads to North America on December 13 with three shows at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
She will move around the U.S. and Canada until April 15, and then head to Mexico City, Mexico for the final four show of the tour that ends on April 24.
This is Madonna’s first tour since her Madame X shows, which ended in 2020.