Today in Madonna History: July 4, 2009

Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 6Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 4Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 5Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 1Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 7_2

On July 4 2009, the Sticky & Sweet Tour‘s 2009 extension began with the first of two sold out dates at London’s O2 Arena.

In January 2009, following the completion of European, North American and South American legs of the massively successful 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour, it was confirmed that Madonna would extend the tour during the Summer of 2009 with a second European leg before concluding with two dates in Israel in September. The itinerary for the extension consisted largely of markets where Madonna either hadn’t previously performed or hadn’t visited in many years.

In a January 2009 interview with Billboard.com, Live Nation chairman Arthur Fogel commented on the extended run of the tour:

“It absolutely has not happened in the four tours I’ve been involved with, […] There has been talk [of extending] during each one, but it has never come to be. But with this one, she loves the show, she’s had a great time and she’s excited about playing new markets. […] We went to quite a few markets she has never played or hasn’t been to in 15-plus years. This [extension] is really a continuation of that in the sense of playing new and different markets. [The six-month break] is a long hiatus, but everybody was excited to continue. […] So we basically worked out the arrangements for all the performers, crew and equipment and we’ll be ready to go.”

The extension’s opening night and all subsequent dates featured three song changes to the original setlist: Holiday replaced Heartbeat, a guitar-heavy version of Dress You Up took the place of Borderline, and the non fan-favorite “rock version” of Hung Up was dropped in favour of a much more pleasing, club-ready mash-up of Frozen with I’m Not Alone by Calvin Harris (which also threw in snippets of Open Your Heart).

Madonna also included a special tribute to Michael Jackson during Holiday, as well as a quote attributed to him at the end of Frozen (the lyrics quoted from his song Man In The Mirror were in fact written by Madonna’s occasional backing singer, Siedah Garrett, if you want to get technical). At the time of his passing Jackson had been scheduled to begin a run of comeback concerts at the O2 Arena, beginning the week after Madonna’s shows at the venue.

(Thanks to Michael aka MykillICON for the video footage and pictures!)

Today in Madonna History: April 29, 1998

madonna-rain-forest-benefit-98-1 madonna-rain-forest-benefit-98-2 madonna-rain-forest-benefit-98-3 madonna-rain-forest-benefit-98-4 madonna-rain-forest-benefit-98-5

On April 29 1998, Madonna made an unannounced appearance at the 9th annual Rainforest Foundation Benefit Concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, where she performed Frozen with the East Harlem Violin Project, while wearing a Versace dress.

Jon Pareles from The New York Times felt that during this performance Madonna had “turned herself into America’s answer to Björk”.

Later that night, she wore a cowboy hat and joined various artists in a rendition of The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends and Twist & Shout.

Today in Madonna History: February 16, 1998

Lorraine Day - Frozen(2 2)550frozen 2 550 Lorraine Day - Frozen(3)550 frozen 1 550Lorraine Day - Frozen(1)550 frozen 4 550

On February 16 1998, the music video for Frozen premiered on MTV at 4 p.m. Directed by Chris Cunningham, the video was filmed in the Mojave Desert in California from January 7th to 10th.

Initially Madonna had considered filming the video in Iceland but decided that a barren desert would create a similarly desolate backdrop, without the added difficulty of filming in extreme cold temperatures. As it turned out, filming in the desert at dusk in January was far from the warm location she had envisioned; low temperatures and an accompanying rainstorm left much of the crew under the weather.

In an interview with MTV News, Cunningham stated that Madonna became interested to work with him after seeing his Aphex Twin-directed music video, “Come to Daddy” (1997). The black goth gown outfit Madonna wears in the video was designed by Olivier Theyskens, and provided by then-new collaborator, designer Arianne Phillips.

Today in Madonna History: January 24, 1998

madonna-san-remo-frozen-1 madonna-san-remo-frozen-2 madonna-san-remo-frozen-3 madonna-san-remo-frozen-4 madonna-san-remo-frozen-5 madonna-san-remo-frozen-6 madonna-san-remo-frozen-7 madonna-san-remo-frozen-8

On January 24 1998, Madonna performed Frozen for the very first time.  It was at the Sanremo Music Festival, in Sanremo, Italy, that she first promoted the song, and the forthcoming album, Ray of Light.

The following month, on February 21, she performed the song on the BBC 1’s The National Lottery Show. Additionally, that same month, she appeared and performed the song on the German TV show Wetten dass..?

You only see what your eyes want to see
How can life be what you want it to be
You’re frozen
When your heart’s not open

Today in Madonna History: January 7, 1998

filming-frozen-madonna-1 filming-frozen-madonna-2 filming-frozen-madonna-3 filming-frozen-madonna-4

On January 7 1998, Madonna traveled to the Indian Wells Valley of the Mojave Desert in California to film the Frozen music video.  Shooting lasted from January 7 to January 10, directed by Chris Cunningham.

Madonna thought of filming the video in Iceland (or somewhere with snow), but decided against the idea.  She thought:

‘You know what, I’m going to be freezing. I’m going to be miserable, I’ll be complaining all day, I’ll be sorry that I ever chose a cold place. So I said, ‘Let’s do it in the desert, it’ll be warm,’ and it would be sort of the opposite, because even though you think of deserts as being hot, they’re still sort of frozen in terms of there’s no vegetation and they’re very desolate. I thought that that would still work as a visual, but then we got there and it was like 20 degrees below zero, it was bitterly cold, and I was barefoot. I was barefoot for the entire video, and then it started pouring rain and everyone got really sick, and it just actually turned out to be a really miserable experience.

Today in Madonna History: November 27, 1999

madonna-93-00-a madonna-93-00-b madonna-93-00-c

On November 27 1999, Madonna: The Video Collection 1993-99 hit #3 on the Billboard Top Music Videos chart.

Heather Phares from Allmusic gave the release five out of five stars and said:

Madonna’s Video Collection: 1993-1999 adds to her status as one of the best represented artists on DVD. Though it doesn’t offer much in the way of DVD-specific features, the artistry of directors like Mark Romanek, Stephane Sedaoui, David Fincher, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, as well as Madonna herself, is on full display with videos like ‘Take a Bow’, ‘Bedtime Story’, ‘Human Nature’, ‘Frozen’, and ‘Ray of Light’. All in all, it’s a worthwhile collection of memorable videos from one of pop’s trendsetters.”

Today in Madonna History: September 10, 1998

mtv_vma_98-1 mtv_vma_98-2 mtv_vma_98-3 mtv_vma_98-4 mtv_vma_98-5 mtv_vma_98-6 mtv_vma_98-7 Jonas Akerlund and Madonna

On September 10 1998, Madonna performed “Shanti/Ashtangi” and “Ray Of Light” at the 15th annual MTV Video Music Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, California.  “Ray Of Light” won Best Video, Best Female Video, Best Direction (Jonas Åkerlund), Best Choreography, Best Editing and “Frozen” won Best Special Effects.