Live from Tel Aviv: Madonna kicks off world MDNA tour
Haaretz brings you a minute-by-minute update of the international pop star's premier show of her long-awaited world tour.
11:26 P.M. - Madonna and dancers returns for one storming song-less performance. Queen of pop calls out: "Shalom, Salam, thank you" and exits. No encore. Crowd leaves.
11:17 P.M. - Song ends, Madonna disappears into backstage. Encore?
11:14 P.M. - Intro into "Like a Prayer," and the entire crowd are on their feet. Gospel choir signals yet another religious reference.
11:11 P.M. - Stage filled with psychedelic sitar sounds and tabla rhythms.
11:03 P.M. - Video collage of social protests and political unrest fills the screen. Madonna goes into "I'm Addicted.
10:53 P.M. - Novel intro to "Like a Virgin," piano accompaniment. Dance hit turns into poignant ballad.
10:49 P.M. - "Human Nature" and its groove is welcomed warmly by the crowd. Madonna changes to a suit and tie.
10:39 P.M. - Madonna addresses crowd, says chose to open tour in Israel to promote peace. "You can't be my fan and not want peace."
10:21 P.M. - Madonna goes old school with "Open Your Heart," with the crowd singing along.
10:16 P.M. - A drum-filled version of the first single from her latest release "Give Me All Your Luvin.'"
10:11 P.M. - And, yes. She added a verse from Lady Gaga's "Born this Way," adding: "She's not me."
10:09 P.M. - Madonna dons cheerleader's outfit, breaks into "Express Yourself."
10:00 P.M. - Madonna, sporting an electric guitar and surrounded by priests, walks onto portion of stage stretching into the crowd. Plays "I don't Give A."
9:55 P.M. - Madonna starts super-dramatic version of "Papa don't Prech," before segueing into "Hung Up."
9:50 P.M. - Stage transforms into a 1950s film noir set, and Madonna starts singing "Gang Bang."
9:46 P.M. - Madonna yells out: "Tel Aviv, are you ready?" and breaks into the song "Revolver."
9:41 P.M. - At long last, after a lengthy wait, the queen of pop emerges, dressed in black, and kicks off the show with "Girl Gone Wild."
Tens of thousands of Madonna fans from Israel and around the world gathered at the Ramat Gan Stadium on Thursday night as the international pop star launched her world tour to promote her new album MDNA.
She was expected to take to the stage at 8:45 P.M., after performances by DJ Ofer Nissim and DJ Martin Solveig.
The opening show of "MDNA" comes three years after the singer finished her last worldwide concert tour, "Sticky & Sweet", with two performances in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park. Sticky & Sweet drew revenues of $408 million, breaking records for a solo artist. The current concert tour is Madonna's ninth and also her longest. She will visit 32 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, the Ukraine, and Colombia.
Tickets to the MDNA concert around the world range between $45 and $600 for a VIP package. In Israel, tickets range from NIS 240 ( $62) for a seat in the stands and NIS 2,400 ($620) for VIP package that includes an upholstered seat in the VIP area, on-site parking, a hot meal and a private party.
Madonna has already announced that she has sold $240 million of tickets, and the Huffington Post has estimated that the concert tour will rake in at least $300 million. The MDNA concert will also contribute to tourism in Israel - the fact that the Israeli show was be the tour premier caused 4,000 fans to arrive in Tel Aviv this week especially to attend.