TEL AVIV – Pop superstar Madonna kicked off a new world tour wishing peace on the Middle East even as she showcased grim dance routines depicting violence and bloody gunmen among her more colourful numbers.
Madonna, 53, mixed hit songs over three decades in music with tunes from her recent album, ‘MDNA’, before a packed audience, and she took a sly dig at younger diva, Lady Gaga. ‘She’s not me!’ Madonna belted out at the end of ‘Express Yourself’, which she had reworked to include a sampling of Lady Gaga’s recent ‘Born This Way’. That song from Lady Gaga, who emerged on the pop music scene about four years ago and has enjoyed a huge following, was noted by many fans and critics as being very similar to Madonna’s late 1980s dance club smash. Since Gaga, 26, released ‘Born This Way’, there has been speculation that a generational challenge was in the works and comedians have poked fun at any imagined rivalry between the two women. Despite occasional light-hearted touches such as a baton-twirling routine in cheerleader formation and a psychedelic homage to Indian philosophy, the dominant mood at the concert seemed more grim with a stage shrouded in black and red and costumes that often appeared ominous. ‘Like a Virgin’, a dance tune that helped propel Madonna to stardom as risqué pop ingénue in the 1980s, was performed as a mournful cabaret with violin accompaniment. The exertions never sapped her confident singing, though she did become somewhat breathless during remarks to the audience. “I chose to start my world tour in Israel for a very specific and important reason. As you know, the Middle East and all the conflicts that have been occurring here for thousands of years – they have to stop,” she said to cheers. -pakistantoday