So Madonna may not have solved the generations-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians with one show, but did you really expect the grandiose singer to try anything less during the kickoff to her MDNA world tour?
"I chose to start my world tour in Israel for a very specific and important reason," said Madonna from Ramat Gan Stadium in Tel Aviv. "You can't be a fan of mine and not want peace in the world. We all bleed the same color. If we can all rise above our egos and our titles and the names of our countries and our religions, and treat everyone around us with dignity and respect, then we are on the road to peace. If there is peace here in the Middle East, there can be peace in the whole world."
Having solved that conflict, Madge took on a potentially bigger issue: How to stay relevant when singers that could be your daughter reign over pop? The answer: Guns, blood, Catholic imagery, nearly 10 costume changes and a mix of new songs from MDNA and fan-approved classics.
As Reuters reports, the mood was different from Madge's playful Sticky & Sweet tour in 2008/09. "Despite occasional lighthearted touches such as a baton-twirling routine in cheerleader formation and a psychedelic homage to Indian philosophy, the dominant mood at Thursday's concert in Tel Aviv seemed more grim with a stage shrouded in black and red and costumes that often appeared ominous."
Madonna will have hit 28 countries by the time the tour ends in Australia in early 2013, and if all the shows are like this one, that means we'll have Lady Gaga/Madonna beef news for at least eight months. As we told you last week, Madonna performed Gaga's "Born This Way" at rehearsals and, as Reuters reports, incorporated it into her actual show alongside Madge's 2008 track "She's Not Me." Damn.
No word yet on if Gaga plans on responding. She's a little busy.
1. Girl Gone Wild
3. Gang Bang
4. Papa Don't Preach
5. Hung Up
6. I Don't Give A
7. Express Yourself/Born This Way (Lady Gaga cover)
8. Give Me All Your Luvin'
9. Turn Up the Radio
10. Open Your Heart/Sagarra jo! (with Kalakan)
11. Masterpiece (with Kalakan)
13. Candy Shop
14. Human Nature
15. Like a Virgin
16. I'm Addicted
17. I'm a Sinner/Cyberraga (with Kalakan)
18. Like a Prayer