Madonna takes Cardiff

Madonna’s world tour got off to a rapturous, if controversial, start at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff where fans bayed for encores. The stadium, which this summer hosted Bruce Springsteen and Neil Diamond, was chosen by the performer for the opening night of her 51-date Sticky and Sweet tour - her first with promoter Live Nation. By Abigail Parkin (28 Aug'08) 

Around 40,000 came to see the self-styled "Queen of Pop" in the Welsh capital on August 23. Madonna's 50 years are an illusion with her streamlined physique  put to entertaining use by pole dancing antics and outdancing her backing dancers. She lived up to her strapline by arriving to Candy Shop on an ornate moving throne on which she slithered in fetish wear legitimised for the audience by Givenchy with a cane accompanying her fishnets and knee-high boots.

The stadium's closed roof added to the theatrics creating a super-sized studio effect. The Sticky & Sweet tour promotes Madonna’s current album Hard Candy, which topped the charts when it was released in April. 

“This concert was very different from usual as it was the premiere of a world tour," said Gerry Toms, stadium manager. “Madonna and her production team had been in the stadium for some time setting up the new stage and lighting, as well as managing hours of rehearsals. A huge attraction was that it was the opening night of her tour so a lot of time and effort was put in which created a flawless performance.”

With wardrobe a significant feature of any Madonna tour, not to mention turning 50, the singer chose French couture house Givenchy to dress her for this tour. Two outfits from Givenchy have been designed for her by Riccardo Tisci taking design cues from "‘Gangster Pimp"/Art Deco and "Gypsy" style. Givenchy is among a reputed 36 wardrobe suppliers for this tour which also includes Stella McCartney and Roberto Cavalli.

Showbiz pals, including Kanye West,Britney Spears (locked in a lift) and Pharrel Williams all recorded special video performances for her two-hour set as she indulged in her chameleon-style and experimented with different looks from old school and rave to gipsy.

 (Left) Givenchy waistcoat in blackstretch satin, black silkfringes,jet beads and corset.

Less controversial than Madonna's fetish wear was the furore over trackGet Stupidin which American presidential candidate John McCain was portrayed with images of Hitler and Robert Mugabe while Barack Obama joined the rather more saintly screen projections of John Lennon and John F Kennedy.

The show ended without any encore as the message “Game Over” filled screens. Fans left the Millennium Stadium preserving the show theme with pink cowboy hats and feather boas adding colour to the Cardiff night.

(Right) Black stretch chiffon, multicoloured ribbons and fuchsia coloured metal chains with matching necklace,Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci.

 (left) Ruling the roost in frock coat of black stretch satin, trimmed with
pleated black silk organza embroidered with jet beads. 














(Images Kevin Mazur for Givenchy)

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