The gigs marked Madonna’s first concert in the city. The local press gave the shows glowing reviews and complimented Madonna’s sincere efforts in speaking French with her audience.
While the majority of the tour played to stadiums, a handful of arena dates in North America – including the shows at the Forum – required the use of a less sprawling stage configuration.
Thanks to Tonytheturtle, FYO PIX for the video clips & Caroline Duval for the images!
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!)
The charity single, recorded for the Live Earth benefit, was not promoted to radio and appeared on the chart for a single week only. It marked Madonna’s first appearance on the newly created Canadian Hot 100 Singles chart, which replaced the Nielsen Soundscan chart as Canada’s official singles monitor earlier that year.
Hey You was produced by Madonna & Pharrell Williams during the sessions for the Hard Candy album and is credited to Madonna alone.
On June 2 2005, Madonna.com confirmed Madonna’s participation of Live 8:
“Sir Bob Geldof confirmed in a press conference yesterday the details and confirmed the artists featuring in Live 8 – a series of five live shows in London, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome and Berlin on Saturday July 2nd. The concerts have been organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure as part of a campaign to force the world’s richest nations to relieve poverty in the third world. The concerts – which will be free – are aimed at raising awareness of poverty just before leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations meet in Scotland…”
Madonna went on to perform a three-song set from London’s Hyde Park consisting of Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light & Music.