Madonna kicked off her Celebration tour in London on Saturday (Oct 14), with a performance that proved her energy, charisma and appetite for controversy were little dimmed after four decades of pop super-stardom and a brush with death earlier this year.
The 65-year-old’s greatest hits show was pushed back from its original July start date after she was hospitalised in intensive care for a serious bacterial infection.
“I’m really damn surprised I made it this far. And I mean that on so many levels,” she told fans at the O2 arena.
Wearing the corset and chains that defined her breakthrough, she sang Into The Groove before a sound problem forced her to ad-lib about her early struggles in New York.
With the backing track restored, 1983’s Holiday recreated the hedonistic joy of a New York club before the onslaught of AIDS, marked by a tribute to those who had died.