Madonna paid tribute to her legacy and fallen friends at Londons O2 – review

Madonna really needs no introduction, and she knows it. Her Celebration Tour was not about her returning to stages after so long – but instead acted a touching tribute to her youth, legacy, and the friends she lost along the way.

Hitting London’s O2 Arena on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, Madonna launched onto stage with a trio of absolute hits before she truly reintroduced herself to her 20,000 fans in attendance.

Nothing Really Matters, Everybody and Into The Groove got the party started with a cacophony of pop music sensory overload. And, throughout the night, Madonna solidified her position as the Queen of Pop with her constant moving, dancing, singing, and general ownership of the stage.

Despite the fact she was surrounded by more than a dozen dancers and performers almost at all times, it was impossible to lose focus on her. She’s the best for a reason.

It’s no wonder that frenzied fans ran to viagogo to purchase last-minute resale tickets after the release date of her biography (A Rebel Life) was announced earlier this month. As a result, there was a 130 percent spike in sales.

Madonna is currently on her ‘The Celebration Tour’ and will continue to make waves throughout the UK and Europe over the next couple of months.

Although tickets have sold out, you can still grab resale tickets from viagogo right here.

Madonna also has a number of resale tickets available at Vivid Seats, one of the world’s biggest ticket resellers. 

Click here to get your Vivid Seasts resale tickets right now.

What’s more, the ticket reseller site confirmed Madonna has become the “second highest-selling female performer of 2023,” losing out only to Beyonce. viagogo also noted that Madonna is within the “UK’s top-ten highest-selling shows of 2023.”

And it’s easy to see why. Madonna delivered a pop performance that was quite literally second to none. And despite her dizzying delivery of some of her biggest tracks (Holiday, Hung Up, Vogue, et al) it was not simply a pop performance. This was an emotional family affair.

The 65-year-old brought out her children for special performances. One daughter played the piano during her touching rendition of Bad Girl. While another Vogued on a faux runway event judged by Bob the Drag Queen (the host and MC for the evening).

She also brought out past versions of herself to demonstrate the styles and performances of her youth. A look back at what she has achieved – not through a lens of complete narcissism, but of nostalgia.

That was perhaps the most surprising thing about Madonna’s performance to me: It felt intimate. Despite the fact it was her standing against a wall of 20,000 people, everyone had permission to let go. They could become part of Madonna’s world – even for a couple of hours.

And she made it clear that, through the references to her past lives, she was still sentimental about a lot of her journey.

Live To Tell left people around me sobbing as Madonna paid tribute to victims of AIDS. Showing faces of the men and women who died over the past 50 years on large screens, it was a tender experience that, perhaps, no one expected from such a diva.

Likewise, she also took some time to pay tribute to Michael Jackson. In the 1980s Madonna and Michael were great friends who ruled the decade with their power-pop music. His death, naturally, hit her hard, and as a result he was a large part of her show.

Madonna was always going to deliver an incredible performance, but this was not what I expected at all. Instead of being a no-frills pop act that stopped your breath every 20 minutes, Madonna took the time to thank the people she built relationships and lost throughout her career. And it wasn’t completely self-indulgent, either. She also made her thoughts clear on the war taking place in the Middle East, saying the fighting “made her sick” and wished it would stop.

I stepped away from Madonna’s Celebration Tour (perhaps naively) with a newfound sense of respect for her. Between pop music, sex appeal, and sheer, endless innovation, there was sentimentality. Humanitarianism. A real love for life and her peers.

Buy tickets to Madonna’s remaining shows here.

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