By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Queen of reinvention and consummate performer Madonna will return to Rio de Janeiro this Sunday December 2nd, bringing her critically acclaimed live show spectacular to Barra’s Parque dos Atletas (Athlete’s Park) stage. Entitled “MDNA”, the tour promotes her twelfth studio album release of the same name.
On February 7, 2012, her ninth concert tour was officially announced with a total of 88 shows separated into four legs, the tour kicked off in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 31, 2012 and will end in Córdoba, Argentina on December 22, 2012.
There are three stops in Brazil with Rio being first on December 2nd, then São Paulo on the 4th and 5th, and Porto Alegre on the 9th.
The set-list for the shows has remained basically the same throughout the tour. The 26 songs are broken down into four sections with breaks in between for set and costume changes.
The songs performed have included both new hits like “Give Me All Your Luvin'”, “Gang Bang” and “Turn Up the Radio” and popular mega hits from the singer’s almost thirty year career including “Vogue”, “Like a Virgin” and “Papa Don’t Preach”.
“Madonna is the queen of pop,” said Todd Eastridge, an American fan of Madonna, who has seen the icon in concert seven times, including twice during the North American leg of the current tour. “You must be a fan of her latest album ‘MDNA’ to appreciate the show.”
Eastridge, when asked about the ticket costs for the show which have varied from R$85 to R$1,150 per person and have been called too expensive by some fans, told The Rio Times: “Her opening alone is worth the price of admission.”
The show reportedly begins with “Gregorian Chants/Virgin Mary” performed by the Kalakan Trio featuring excerpts of “Psalm 91”, while dancers dressed in red robes ring a bell and giant screens part on the stage to reveal Madonna in a glass confessional with a rifle.
Breaking the glass with the weapon, she then proceeds to emerge from the shattered box to sing “Girl Gone Wild” , the second single from released from “MDNA”.
Throughout the show the three giant screens are used to project various images. Rapper Lil’ Wayne appears on them during the performance of the song “Revolver” and rapper Nicki Minaj appears seated on a throne during the performance of “I Don’t Give A”.
This tour features slackliners, the previously mentioned Kalakan trio and will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas will open for her in Rio. Also, among the featured dancers on this tour is Bboy Neguin, a Brazilian and winner of 2010 Ultimate Bboy Championship and 2009 Red Bull Bc One champion.
“It’s a journey,” Madonna recently told Luciano Huck during a taped interview for his show. Describing the show’s segments, Madonna told Huck, “The first section of the show is like watching a movie and then the second section is like a Busby Berkley musical […]the third section is like a cabaret […] the fourth is just celebration.”
The show ends with the song “Celebration” as 3-D cubes fall down on the giant screen and Madonna and her dancers (including her son, Rocco) play rising platforms like DJ turntables.
Madonna is expected to go onstage in Barra at 10PM on Sunday but there have been numerous reports of late starts throughout the tour.
Who: Madonna, with will.i.am as an opening act
Where: Parque dos Atletas, Av. Salvador Allende, Barra da Tijuca
When: Sunday, December 2, 2012, gates open at 8PM
More Ticket information here.