AS emphatic as you please, Madonna played her first ever gig on Scottish soil and answered her critics in resounding fashion.
Murrayfield Stadium ****
It was a slaughter of the naysayers on a grand scale, one that looked unlikely after a string of negative reviews from her MDNA world tour.
The 53-year-old icon is only a couple of months on the road but at almost every date she has courted controversy. Already she has flashed audiences, made some ridiculous statements about drug use, and incurred the wrath of Marine Le Pen after showing an image of the French far right leader with a swastika on her forehead during a concert in Paris.
There was nothing so controversial at the home of Scottish rugby. No nipple flashes. No Nazi imagery. Just a slice of Gaga-baiting, a bit of blasphemy, and the decision to defy warnings from police not to brandish a machine gun and a six-shooter pistol on stage - as if she was ever likely to bow to the local constabulary.
Instead, what Murrayfield got was a top-notch performance from a world-class phenomenon who shows no sign of relinquishing her Queen of Pop title.
Her Madge-esty kicked off with an opening salvo of Girl Gone Wild, Revolver and Gang Bang, which was stage set in a motel bedroom where the singer swigged whisky and gunned down masked men. It was exhilarating to watch, if in bad taste during a week when a cinema in Colorado suffered multiple killings as a result of a random act of violence.
The mood then lightened as the singer threw on a cheerleader outfit for a mash-up of Express Yourself, with excerpts of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, during which she taunted her biggest rival by singing “She’s not me, she’s not me”.
Other classics given an airing were Vogue, Open Your Heart and Like A Prayer.
Admittedly, it would have been great to hear a few more of the singer’s vintage hits, though to be fair this was never billed as a greatest hits tour. Despite the unfamiliarity of the material, Madonna is still a class act.
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