Exiting a packed metro station, amidst a sea of all kinds of people, I made my way towards the Stade de France. On Saturday, July 14, there was an electric atmosphere in the air. The weather forecast was proved wrong; there were no storms, no fireworks, just a one-of-a-kind concert, given to her fans by the unsurpassable Madonna. I met up with my accomplices for the evening, Laurène and Jessica, who were more motivated than ever!
The Stade de France was filling up as the sun set, as Martin Solveig opened proceedings for the first part of the show. The French DJ co-produced 6 tracks on the American superstar’s last album, “MDNA”. The album’s name is not meaningless, and Madonna, true to form, wanted to be provocative with the three-fold meaning of the title, referring to her name, her origins (DNA) and the world of drugs.
After a slightly mixed set by Martin Solveig, from tracks like “We Are Young” to those of the group, LMFAO, the audience was gradually coming to life when Martin Solveig announced the arrival of a special guest – and not just any special guest! It was will.i.am, the leader of the Black Eyed Peas. During his brief appearance, he gave us an exclusive preview of his new song, “This Is Love”, and promised us that “tonight’s gonna be a good night”.
After a Mexican wave swept around the stadium as the crowd waited, the projectors suddenly lit up and flooded the stage. A giant censer, the sound of a bell tolling, hooded men…and the Queen of Pop appeared and launched straight into the first song from her new album, “Girl Gone Wild”. That marked the start of a series of dance routines, costumes and frenzied acrobatics which carried on throughout the evening. During the track, “Gang Bang”, the set was transformed into a hotel room where Madonna put on a Kill Bill-style show, with the star taking out her attackers with shots from a revolver.
The show was very varied, with a mixture of some of her biggest hits as well as more “electro-pop” songs. Fans of her early material were treated to an incredible version of “Like a Prayer”, which featured a magnificent gospel choir. The big surprise was a very slow and yet spectacular piano-vocal version of “Like a Virgin”.
With incredible energy, she linked together the various sequences, stopping only for a moment to urge the crowd to “take action and fight against discrimination and intolerance” (albeit using a few swearwords). At that moment she turned her back to the crowd to show two words written across her back: “No Fear”.
As the evening drew to a close, it was clear that Madonna’s gamble had paid off: a sold-out Stade de France, an incredible show, and fans that were left with many great memories (as always). In response to any critic predicting the end of the road for this iconic artist, after a 30-year career, Madonna showed that she has found a second wind and still has incredible energy, by shouting in the faces of her critics that she has “no fear”.