Madonna brings sex, sin, inshallah 'n' shalom to her gun-toting 'peace' tour

Published June 5th, 2012 - 15:11 GMT

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The Middle East leg of Madonna's MDNA tour, billed her Peace Tour, was the opening act to the world tour ahead, and certainly got off to a bang-bang, with guns blazing. The Queen of Pop and ever-evolving woman of a thousand contradictions, with fewer apologies, managed to impress and dismay in equal measure, whether for the heat storm she kicked up by shunning AC units on stage in Abu Dhabi, or the political upset brought about by her performing in Israel and talking 'peace'. Continue reading below »

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Madonna hit the Middle East all guns blazing, a region where live ammunition is not unheard of. She called it the Peace Tour, but brought AK47s on stage in both Israel and the UAE.
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Image 1 of 12:  1 / 12Madonna hit the Middle East all guns blazing, a region where live ammunition is not unheard of. She called it the Peace Tour, but brought AK47s on stage in both Israel and the UAE.

Enlarge
Shalom-Salam: she started the peace tour in Israel, inviting Palestinian peace activists to Tel Aviv. But she reportedly kept the Hebrew backdrop for the UAE leg, ruffling more than a few feathers. Sheikhas in the royal box were not impressed.
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Image 2 of 12:  2 / 12Shalom-Salam: she started the peace tour in Israel, inviting Palestinian peace activists to Tel Aviv. But she reportedly kept the Hebrew backdrop for the UAE leg, ruffling more than a few feathers. Sheikhas in the royal box were not impressed.

Enlarge
Some people called for a wider cultural boycott of Israel. Celebrities such as Cold Play and Lenny Kravitz who paid no heed have come under fire in the past. But Madonna paid no attention, choosing to keep the Tel Aviv concert on her list, keeping Kaballah friends happy.
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Image 3 of 12:  3 / 12Some people called for a wider cultural boycott of Israel. Celebrities such as Cold Play and Lenny Kravitz who paid no heed have come under fire in the past. But Madonna paid no attention, choosing to keep the Tel Aviv concert on her list, keeping Kaballah friends happy.

Enlarge
It was a disorientating video-projected variety of sexual, violent and religious imagery, and an entreaty for Middle East peace. A contradictory tour for a contradictory region. Burqas featured for one night only in Abu Dhabi.
Reduce

Image 4 of 12:  4 / 12It was a disorientating video-projected variety of sexual, violent and religious imagery, and an entreaty for Middle East peace. A contradictory tour for a contradictory region. Burqas featured for one night only in Abu Dhabi.

Enlarge
Madonna and child: most mothers don't want their kids anywhere near violence and sex but Madge isn't just any old mother. She invited her son to join her on stage in her peace dance with guns.
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Image 5 of 12:  5 / 12Madonna and child: most mothers don't want their kids anywhere near violence and sex but Madge isn't just any old mother. She invited her son to join her on stage in her peace dance with guns.

Enlarge
She combined sex and God onstage in Abu Dhabi - throwing in a touch of Islam alongside her usual Catholic rebellion. Fitting for a tour around the Holy Land perhaps?
Reduce

Image 6 of 12:  6 / 12She combined sex and God onstage in Abu Dhabi - throwing in a touch of Islam alongside her usual Catholic rebellion. Fitting for a tour around the Holy Land perhaps?

Enlarge
Feeling the heat: Madonna decided to sweat it out in the desert, shunning all offers of AC and sophisticated cooling fan systems for the outdoor venue.
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Image 7 of 12:  7 / 12Feeling the heat: Madonna decided to sweat it out in the desert, shunning all offers of AC and sophisticated cooling fan systems for the outdoor venue.

Enlarge
As if there wasn't already enough controversy, Madonna borrowed a little scandal from Lady Gaga by singing 'Born This Way', a song banned in a number countries in the region.
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Image 8 of 12:  8 / 12As if there wasn't already enough controversy, Madonna borrowed a little scandal from Lady Gaga by singing 'Born This Way', a song banned in a number countries in the region.

Enlarge
Madonna fans in the Middle East leg of the tour were divided on whether she was too old, too 'hot', too hypocritical, too peace-pushing, too outrageous or just right.
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Image 9 of 12:  9 / 12Madonna fans in the Middle East leg of the tour were divided on whether she was too old, too 'hot', too hypocritical, too peace-pushing, too outrageous or just right.

Enlarge
Even ousted former Egyptian President and current jailbird, Hosni Mubarak made a guest appearance at Madge's Tel Aviv concert-- appearing on the back-drop video projections.
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Image 10 of 12:  10 / 12Even ousted former Egyptian President and current jailbird, Hosni Mubarak made a guest appearance at Madge's Tel Aviv concert-- appearing on the back-drop video projections.

Enlarge
Balancing act: Madonna got into the groove with a dynamic mix of guitars and tight ropes in her new slack-rope routine.
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Image 11 of 12:  11 / 12Balancing act: Madonna got into the groove with a dynamic mix of guitars and tight ropes in her new slack-rope routine.

Enlarge
Trash-talking: She cussed out the audience and the heat but better she stuck to foul language than politics some felt. 'It’s easy to say I want peace in the world, but it’s another thing to do it,” she said and didn't we know it.
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Image 12 of 12:  12 / 12Trash-talking: She cussed out the audience and the heat but better she stuck to foul language than politics some felt. "It’s easy to say I want peace in the world, but it’s another thing to do it,” she said and didn't we know it.

Enlarge

1

Madonna hit the Middle East all guns blazing, a region where live ammunition is not unheard of. She called it the Peace Tour, but brought AK47s on stage in both Israel and the UAE.

Image 1 of 12Madonna hit the Middle East all guns blazing, a region where live ammunition is not unheard of. She called it the Peace Tour, but brought AK47s on stage in both Israel and the UAE.

2

Shalom-Salam: she started the peace tour in Israel, inviting Palestinian peace activists to Tel Aviv. But she reportedly kept the Hebrew backdrop for the UAE leg, ruffling more than a few feathers. Sheikhas in the royal box were not impressed.

Image 2 of 12Shalom-Salam: she started the peace tour in Israel, inviting Palestinian peace activists to Tel Aviv. But she reportedly kept the Hebrew backdrop for the UAE leg, ruffling more than a few feathers. Sheikhas in the royal box were not impressed.

3

Some people called for a wider cultural boycott of Israel. Celebrities such as Cold Play and Lenny Kravitz who paid no heed have come under fire in the past. But Madonna paid no attention, choosing to keep the Tel Aviv concert on her list, keeping Kaballah friends happy.

Image 3 of 12Some people called for a wider cultural boycott of Israel. Celebrities such as Cold Play and Lenny Kravitz who paid no heed have come under fire in the past. But Madonna paid no attention, choosing to keep the Tel Aviv concert on her list, keeping Kaballah friends happy.

4

It was a disorientating video-projected variety of sexual, violent and religious imagery, and an entreaty for Middle East peace. A contradictory tour for a contradictory region. Burqas featured for one night only in Abu Dhabi.

Image 4 of 12It was a disorientating video-projected variety of sexual, violent and religious imagery, and an entreaty for Middle East peace. A contradictory tour for a contradictory region. Burqas featured for one night only in Abu Dhabi.

5

Madonna and child: most mothers don't want their kids anywhere near violence and sex but Madge isn't just any old mother. She invited her son to join her on stage in her peace dance with guns.

Image 5 of 12Madonna and child: most mothers don't want their kids anywhere near violence and sex but Madge isn't just any old mother. She invited her son to join her on stage in her peace dance with guns.

6

She combined sex and God onstage in Abu Dhabi - throwing in a touch of Islam alongside her usual Catholic rebellion. Fitting for a tour around the Holy Land perhaps?

Image 6 of 12She combined sex and God onstage in Abu Dhabi - throwing in a touch of Islam alongside her usual Catholic rebellion. Fitting for a tour around the Holy Land perhaps?

7

Feeling the heat: Madonna decided to sweat it out in the desert, shunning all offers of AC and sophisticated cooling fan systems for the outdoor venue.

Image 7 of 12Feeling the heat: Madonna decided to sweat it out in the desert, shunning all offers of AC and sophisticated cooling fan systems for the outdoor venue.

8

As if there wasn't already enough controversy, Madonna borrowed a little scandal from Lady Gaga by singing 'Born This Way', a song banned in a number countries in the region.

Image 8 of 12As if there wasn't already enough controversy, Madonna borrowed a little scandal from Lady Gaga by singing 'Born This Way', a song banned in a number countries in the region.

9

Madonna fans in the Middle East leg of the tour were divided on whether she was too old, too 'hot', too hypocritical, too peace-pushing, too outrageous or just right.

Image 9 of 12Madonna fans in the Middle East leg of the tour were divided on whether she was too old, too 'hot', too hypocritical, too peace-pushing, too outrageous or just right.

10

Even ousted former Egyptian President and current jailbird, Hosni Mubarak made a guest appearance at Madge's Tel Aviv concert-- appearing on the back-drop video projections.

Image 10 of 12Even ousted former Egyptian President and current jailbird, Hosni Mubarak made a guest appearance at Madge's Tel Aviv concert-- appearing on the back-drop video projections.

11

Balancing act: Madonna got into the groove with a dynamic mix of guitars and tight ropes in her new slack-rope routine.

Image 11 of 12Balancing act: Madonna got into the groove with a dynamic mix of guitars and tight ropes in her new slack-rope routine.

12

Trash-talking: She cussed out the audience and the heat but better she stuck to foul language than politics some felt. 'It’s easy to say I want peace in the world, but it’s another thing to do it,” she said and didn't we know it.

Image 12 of 12Trash-talking: She cussed out the audience and the heat but better she stuck to foul language than politics some felt. "It’s easy to say I want peace in the world, but it’s another thing to do it,” she said and didn't we know it.

Reduce

Air con wasn't the only thing she flew in the face of but religion, politics and sexual mores be damned, she was employing her usual defiant and brazen style of risque busty, bawdy and belligerent, with a cheeky nod to God in lyrical Inshallah and stage prop larger than life crucifix. 

There was the usual blend of ingredients intended to shock, as red-cloaked monks dancing to bells and Hebrew prayers, striptease, and same-sex snogs.  Madonna shouted “Hey Tel Aviv", and variously "Abu Dhabi are you ready?” before launching into “Girl Gone Wild.” The crowd screamed back at Ramat Gan stadium, and mustered a limited response in the heat of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

This week, the 53-year-old queen of pop started her 2012 MDNA tour in the Middle East, with a two-hour show that combined amazingly dynamic performances with thudding beats and provocative erotic dance, to the back-drop of sexual, bloody, political and religious images; and all delivered on a 'prayer' for Middle East peace.

 

 

What do you think of the MDNA tour in its Middle East leg opening? Please have your say on Abu Dhabi, Israel, or the nature of the Material Girl's show.

 

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