Review: Madonna, SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Keith Bruce’s verdict: five stars.

Some of you perhaps thought the Queen of Pop was the girl who wouldn’t grow up, and was still out to shock and trade provocations with lasses less than half her age. Wise up, because the Rebel Heart show is the work of a woman who has shown no inclination to compromise over 30 years of work and would like to remind us of that.

We are ages, Madge and I, but I hadn’t seen her perform live since the Who’s That Girl tour visited Leeds Roundhay Park in 1986, an era she specifically recalled with a singalong acoustic version of the song and a thanks to her fans for supporting her over the past three decades – leading into her latest anthem Ghosttown, and the title-track of Rebel Heart. This show is a careful celebration of all things Madonna as well as a comprehensive plug for the new album, and if a retiral announcement would be as believable as Sinatra’s, it would still be a very fine biographical statement to go out on.

Split into four sections by stunning quality video and using the whole arena as no other has done, we ended up in a 20s speakeasy that was as much Josephine Baker as Sally Bowles and embraced Music and Material Girl, as well as a couple called Pierre and Stephen who caught her bouquet, and kilted lad called Jimmy. Before that we’d had a caped crusader segment with her physique revealed to be clad in a stunning toreador’s suit of lights, and lovely version of La Isla Bonita. The opening sequence dressed some of her dancers in wimples and tennis knickers and had them pole-dancing on crucifixes before a Last Supper tableau – even the liberal congregation of Cairns Kirk, Milngavie might have looked askance.

But it was the segment that followed it, with staging that recalled Greased Lightning and some panto audience-baiting, that revealed the show’s music-theatre heart. When Madonna says she’s a girl who works hard for her money, it ain’t no word of a lie. From her commitment to the ensemble – all stunning dancers – on Deeper and Deeper through to a virtuosic solo Like A Virgin to a pulsing industrial beat, this was a performance that was as much theatre as it was music, and owned the space.

Just to prove it, when they pulled the plug and the hard-hatted crew were waiting at the open dock door to start the get-out, Madonna and company came back out and performed Holiday anyway, with the audience filling the audibility gap. Whether you come back or not, Madonna, this was a night none who were there will forget.


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Madonna rocks the Hydro

POP diva Madonna wowed thousands of fans when she performed in Glasgow tonight.

The Queen of Pop graced the stage at the Hydro at 9.45pm, before an audience of around 13,00 music lovers.

David Hasselhoff, who is performing in a pantomime in Glasgow over Christmas, was understood to be among the crowd.

The performance was the last part of the 2015 Rebel Heart Tour which has seen the 57-year-old perform across Canada, America and Europe since September.

Madge will kick off the tour again next year, starting in Mexico before finishing up in Australia at the end of March.

Fans took to social media to express their excitement ahead of the show, but some complained they were kept waiting too long.

One Twitter user named Deryck Fullerton tweeted: “@Madonna why are we waiting?”, while another called Andrew Gauld wrote: “9.37. Still no Madonna in Glasgow.”

Doors to the show opened around 8pm, and support was provided by DJ Mary Mack.


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20 Best Pop Albums of 2015

# 6 Madonna, “Rebel Heart”

How did it take this long for Madonna to write herself a theme song titled “Unapologetic Bitch”? No apologies offered or needed – Rebel Heart was the queen’s finest album in a decade, picking up the disco-stick baton of her 2005 Confessions on a Dance Floor as Madonna voyages back into the groove and reflects on where she’s been lately. “Ghosttown,” “Devil Pray” and “Living My Life” offer state-of-the-art radio beats with producers like Diplo and Avicii, while she testifies about endurance in the aftermath of divorce. Yet she’s even stronger when she gets further out, as in the Nicki Minaj-seasoned “Bitch I’m Madonna,” or her conspiracy-minded Kanye collabo “Illuminati,” which comes on like a “Vogue” for the New World Order. She also throws down with rappers from the new school (Chance The Rapper), the old school (Nas), and the non-school (Mike Tyson). Of course she goes too far – this is a Madonna album, capisce? – with “S.E.X.” (“Perfume, switchblade, absinthe, Novocaine / Chopsticks, underwear, bar of soap, dental chair”) and “Holy Water,” where she chants, “Yeezus loves my pussy best.” Bitch, get off her pole.

( Read more HERE


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Madonna S’pore concert up in the air – for now

SINGAPORE — Madonna fans all over Singapore have have to wait a bit longer to buy the hottest ticket of the music calendar next year. If it happens.

It was reported last month that local concert promoter IMC Live was in talks to bring the Queen of Pop’s Rebel Heart tour to Singapore.

 And yesterday (Dec 16), the Madonna fan club newsletter sent out an email informing fans of her concert here. “Madonna is taking her Rebel Heart to the Lion City when she brings her successful world tour to Singapore National Stadium on February 28!” the email stated.

However, earlier today (Dec 17), the fan club sent another email apologising to its members, saying that the information was inaccurate and that details on this show would be forthcoming. It also offered refunds to those who had already purhcased the Icon Live Pass (in order to enjoy a presale offer) and thanked members for their support.

On the tour page of Madonna’s official website, the Singapore date was removed. If the concert actually comes to pass, it will be the 57-year-old singer’s first time here. In 1993, she was banned from bringing her controversial Girlie Show World Tour to Singapore.

The local organiser has declined to give any comment; although the police have confirmed that the application for a public entertainment licence is “currently under assessment”.


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Rolling Stone Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Songs of 2015 (Ghosttown takes the top spot)

readers poll
(Kevin Mazur/Getty)

The music industry has had a historic 12 months as the streaming wars heated up and album sales reached record-breaking highs thanks to Adele after years of diminishing returns. As the business itself faced incredible changes, breaking artists and veteran musicians alike experimented with their sounds, doing everything from throwing back to the Seventies to getting everyone to cha-cha. As 2015 comes to an end, we asked our readers to vote for their favorite songs of the year. Here are the results.

1. Madonna, “Ghosttown”


Even in a great year for pop music, Madonna is still the queen. The power ballad off her March album Rebel Heart was a more classic pop turn for the singer after the house hit “Living for Love” and trap digression of “Bitch I’m Madonna.” On the massive, romantic track, the singer tackles both world issues and a reflection of self. Even though the single didn’t crack the Billboard Hot 100, it still topped the dance charts and showcased one of the singer’s strongest vocal performances.

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Madonna at Barclaycard Arena was provocative as ever ****

Madonna performing on stage at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on her Rebel Heart Tour

What could be more Christmassy than pole-dancing nuns and lewd acts on the table of The Last Supper?

Oh, and ear-chomping boxer turned rapist Mike Tyson?

It could only mean one thing – singing superstar Madonna was in town and as provocative as ever, even at the age of 57.

A snarling Tyson appeared on a giant screen during the introduction to opening song Iconic, controversially declaring: ‘‘I’m somebody… I am beautiful.’’

Then lapsed Catholic Madonna began exploring the juxtaposition of sexuality and religion, which has been a familiar theme throughout her long career.

During the X-rated Holy Water, dancers in nuns’ habits and white frilly knickers gyrated on giant crucifixes, with Madonna defying her age by also giving us a twirl.

After that, Madonna provoked the Vatican some more in a sinful re-enactment of The Last Supper with 12 of her dancers, in which she appeared to be the dessert course.

Fans paid up to £200 for face value tickets for the sold-out show and got closer to their idol than ever before thanks to a runway shaped like a bow firing a heart-tipped arrow.

They had an anxious wait after a technical fault delayed the start of Madonna’s Manchester show on Monday by an hour, with the star having to cut her two-hour long set short.

Thankfully, the undisputed world champion of pop was on time in Brum and made a typically dramatic entrance, descending from the arena’s rooftop in a medieval spiked cage.

Madonna performing on stage at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on her Rebel Heart Tour

Strumming an electric guitar on her knees, Madonna turned back the clock for a rock version of Burning Up, her second single from before she was famous 32 years ago.

The stage was transformed into a garage for Body Shop and Madonna played the ukulele for a charming True Blue and a cover of Edith Piaf’s La Vie En Rose.

In a jaw-dropping climax to Heart Break City, a jilted Madonna pushed her undeserving lover off the top of a spiral staircase. ‘‘Nobody f***s with the queen,’’ she yelled.

For fan favourite Music, Madonna turned flapper in a 1920s routine which featured a topless female dancer, while for Unapologetic Bitch she danced with a young friend of her son – and spanked him.

The loudest cheer of the night came during Living for Love when Madonna managed to unclip her cape, unlike at this year’s Brits when she was yanked down some steps.

Madonna performing on stage at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on her Rebel Heart Tour

She was showcasing her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, which explores her romantic and her rebellious sides in an array of genres including house, reggae, rap and gospel.

It’s Madonna’s least successful album and, unlucky for some in the arena, she chose to perform nine of its tracks, while another three were played during video interludes.

But Madonna kept fairweather fans happy with refreshed versions of a bunch of her biggest hits from the 80s, including La Isla Bonita, Material Girl and a joyous Like A Prayer.

There was an over-reliance on backing tracks for some of the more elaborately staged numbers, but when they pace was slowed Madonna proved how underrated she is as a singer.

Madonna performing on stage at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on her Rebel Heart Tour

Wrapped in a Union Flag, she ended the show with an energetic rendition of Holiday before being whisked away on a circus trapeze with barely enough time to wave goodbye.

It was a crowd-pleasing end to a dazzling show – and much more appropriate for the holiday season than some of her routines earlier in the evening.

Whatever you think of Madonna, you can’t deny that she’s worked tirelessly for her success and is the consummate professional, always putting on one hell of a show.

Indeed, perhaps the biggest ‘wow’ moment came when several dancers were strapped to the top of tall poles which swayed and bent at unfathomable angles above the audience.

But for all the theatrics, Madonna was most captivating when she was alone on the runway, singing Like A Virgin and Rebel Heart, two songs from opposite ends of her career.

And on this evidence, it’s a career that’s far from over.



Bitch I’m Madonna

Burning Up

Holy Water / Vogue

Devil Pray

Body Shop

True Blue

Deeper and Deeper

Heart Break City / Love Don’t Live Here Anymore

Like a Virgin

Living for Love

La Isla Bonita

Dress You Up / Into the Groove / Lucky Star

Like A Prayer

Rebel Heart


Candy Shop

Material Girl

La Vie En Rose

Unapologetic Bitch


Read more at BirminghamMail

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Madonna to perform in Singapore on February 28

According to her official website, Madonna is bringing her Rebel Heart Tour to Singapore’s National Stadium on February 28.

According to her official website, Madonna is bringing her Rebel Heart Tour to Singapore’s National Stadium on February 28.

SINGAPORE, Dec 16 — Malaysian fans who didn’t manage to secure tickets for the Asian stops on Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour have one last chance to see her.

According to her official website, the Queen of Pop is bringing her Rebel Heart Tour to Singapore’s National Stadium on February 28.

The New Paper said concert pre-sale starts tomorrow at 10am, exclusively for fans who have purchased the Icon Live Pass for S$20 (RM61).

The pass includes membership to the official Madonna worldwide fan club ICON and access to the ticket pre-sale tomorrow (limited to four tickets per person), among others.

Ticket sales open on December 22.

However, the newspaper added that despite the official announcement on Madonna’s website, the concert’s local organisers have yet to confirm the date of the concert.

The 57-year-old will be making stops in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Macau and Manila as part of the Asian leg of her Rebel Heart Tour.

This will be the first time that Madonna is performing in Singapore. She was slated to bring her Girlie Show World Tour to the island nation in 1993, but authorities banned her concert.

– See more at:

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Live Nation announced that due to scheduling changes, Madonna’s Brisbane concert dates previously scheduled on Saturday, March 26th and Sunday, March 27th will move ahead one week with the revised dates changed respectively to Wednesday, March 16th and Thursday, March 17th. There is no change to the venue which remains the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Tickets for the Brisbane concert previously scheduled on March 26th will be valid at the Wednesday, March 16th event. Tickets for the Brisbane concert previously scheduled March 27th will be valid at the Thursday, March 17th event.

Current tickets are valid for the corresponding rescheduled dates and do not need to be exchanged.

Any ticket holders unable to attend on the new rescheduled dates must contact Ticketek before 5pm on Monday February 1st, 2016, to arrange a full refund (including your ticket insurance premium, if relevant). Visit Ticketek on or call 132 849 for more details.

There are options for fans that have purchased flights with Live Nation partners Qantas and Jetstar with a Qantas Group spokesperson saying, “Qantas and Jetstar are offering Madonna fans the opportunity to change their flights without incurring fees. Changing your booking is quick and easy, ring 13 13 13 for Qantas or 131 538 for Jetstar or your travel agent.”

Vector ArenaAuckland, NZ
Vector ArenaAuckland, NZ
Rod Laver ArenaMelbourne, VIC
Rod Laver ArenaMelbourne, VIC
Brisbane Entertainment CentreBoondall, QLD
Brisbane Entertainment CentreBoondall, QLD
Allphones ArenaSydney Olympic Park, NSW
Allphones ArenaSydney Olympic Park, NSW
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Madonna changes her Brisbane dates to cut her tour down under in March short by six days

Madonna’s still coming, just for not quite such a long visit now.

Cameron AdamsNews Corp Australia Network

MADONNA has changed the routing of her Australian tour next year to cut her time spent down under.

Due to unexplained “scheduling issues” Madonna has moved her Brisbane shows forward by ten days.

It means Madonna will now play six shows in just nine days, ending the tour six days earlier than originally planned.

Her Australian tour starts in Melbourne on March 12 and 13 and the singer will now play Brisbane Entertainment Centre on March 16 and 17 then her entire Rebel Heart world tour ends with shows in Sydney on March 19 and 20.

Those with Brisbane tickets for March 26 must now attend the March 16 show, March 27 tickets are valid for the March 17 show.

Anyone who cannot attend the new dates in Brisbane can get a refund before February 1.

In remarkable news Qantas and Jetstar will waive the change fees for fans flying to Brisbane from interstate who need to change their flights to make the new dates.

The airlines are partners with tour promoter Live Nation.

However it will cause grief for others on different airlines or those with non-refundable accommodation booked when the shows went on sale earlier this year.

The scheduling changes will fuel speculation the superstar’s Australian tour is not selling as well as expected.

The original routing of the tour saw Madonna play the three eastern states over three consecutive weekends, with ten week days off in-between.

Fans in Adelaide and Perth were hoping the blank schedule would be filled with Madonna playing shows in their states. That would have angered those fans who’d already spent a large amount of money buying tickets, flights and accommodation for the shows in the Eastern States.

With no new dates being added, promoters would have had to pay to keep the expensive production on ground in Australia without more shows to offset the cost. The new routing means the staging will have to be shipped around the country immediately after Madonna leaves each venue.

Many are grumbling online about the expensive ticket prices for the Madonna shows, where the majority of seats are priced at either $305 or $510 before fees, with a small amount of $99 tickets selling out instantly.

Also snapped up straight away were $2000 guaranteed front row ticket packages.

Some VIP packages, none of which include a meet and greet but do offer seats closer to the stage, are still available, priced between $300 and $800.

Brisbane is still the place to get the widest range of ticket options, with some seats for around $200 still available as well as a $3000 VIP package which includes a seat alongside the runway as well as merchandise and other items.

Harbour Cruise parties in Sydney will still go ahead.

Madonna will visit New Zealand for the first time on March 5 and 6.

The 2015 leg of her Rebel Heart tour ends in Scotland on Sunday before spending January and February on the road in South America, North America and Asia before heading down under for the first time since 1993.

Exclusive: Madonna tells Australian fans she’s definitely coming down under and plans to spank Molly Meldrum on stage.


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Leave Madonna alone: She was well worth the wait.

Madonna performing on stage during her Rebel Heart tour

Oh, Madonna. What have you done? At first I thought I must be hearing things.

But when I realised that people inside Manchester Arena were actually booing the Queen of Pop for being late – I was shocked.

After falling down a set of steps because of a faulty cape, hasn’t Madge she been through enough already this year?

It was explained earlier in the evening that the show would run late because of reasons ‘beyond the artist’s control’. But some fans either didn’t believe her, or have the patience to wait.

There was a time when Madonna used to shock us for far more than keeping us waiting for an hour.

For her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards way back in 1984, she sang Like a Virgin while writhing around on the stage in a wedding dress with a crucifix cut out of the front.

She wore a racy conical bra for her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour and the following year she released her coffee table book Sex, which was crammed full of saucy photos and full-frontal nudity to coincide with the release of her Erotica album.

And the Vatican condemned her controversial 1989 video for the song Like A Prayer which featured burning crosses and statues crying blood.

Madge was causing mayhem long before Lady Gaga was swanning around in a frock made of meat and Rihanna was trilling about S&M. RiRI kept the crowd waiting for longer than Madonna when she performed in Manchester last time out and there was no explanation for her lateness.

And there were no boos for her.

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Madonna hits back at Manchester criticism after show cut short

Madonna calls angry fans ‘diva b*****s’ after crowd booed her for taking to the Manchester Arena stage an HOUR late

Video: Madonna tells fans to ‘shut the f**k up’ after she was booed for arriving late on stage at Manchester Arena show

Madonna: Look how she’s changed over the years

At least Madonna explained, in her own acerbic way, the reason for her tardiness. If Liam Gallagher uttered the same response, nobody would have batted an eyelid.

Yes we have jobs to get to, car parking to pay for, trains to catch and children to tend to.

But we’re talking one night out of the rest of the year to spend an evening with the Material Girl. One of the last of a dying breed of proper pop star.So they had to wait a bit. Did people want Madonna to give them a lift home and tuck them up in bed too?

Sometimes technical hitches happen. We’ve all been prone to failing IT at work, no? Madonna can do many things but fixing a video screen that crashed isn’t one of them.

To be called a “diva b****” by Madonna is actually quite the compliment in my eyes. And we have learned from the master.

Madonna has always been bold and unapologetic. That’s how true pop icons should be – and it’s why we love them.

Read more at Manchester Evening News

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Madonna’s statement on Instagram regarding Manchester

FACTS: its good to have them before you jump to conclusions! The Entire video for my show crashed as I arrived for sound check. The back up file was corrupt. We had no choice but to reboot and pray for a good outcome. The video lights 75 % of my show. We cant play in the dark. We were rebooted and ready by 9:30 even though we planned to go in earlier. I had to make cuts in show before show started. Dress you Up was one of them and my 3rd guitar song. This still brought us past the 11:00 curfew! But we went on and the venue was kind enough to extend till 111:39!! It was there choice not mine to end the show!! always want to finish. So we all missed the last 3 songs! And I’m sorry about that. And i thank all my Rebel Heart fans for understanding! We did our best! And we still had to pay a fine! That life. ?. The ❤️#rebelhearttour goes on

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Review: Madonna @ Manchester Arena ***

She’s the absolute Queen of reinvention, the Queen of pop who influenced a generation to wear ra-ra skirts in the 80s, footless leggings and an arm full of bangles. Well before the likes of Lady Gaga made the rallying cry that she was Born This Way, our Madge was expressing herself in a pointy bra and masculine suit.

And more than 30 years on Her Madgesty Madonna is still going strong, this time with a Rebel Heart. And she proved that she is still quite the rebel by keeping us waiting for an hour.

The crowd were beginning to boo just before – thank goodness – she took to the stage, in a cage, singing the thumping track Iconic from the album Rebel Heart looking like a female warrior in a red cape and fierce black boots, stalking the arrow shaped stage with her troupe of dancers.

She later defiantly blames her lateness on a broken video player, not on diva behaviour, telling the crowd “if you diva b***** want to keep complaining about it don’t come to my show.” Well that’s us told.

“Alright Manchester. Are you with me?” she screams, her long blonde hair flying with determination. And the answer is yes as the crowd get their dance moves on to the playful B***ch I’m Madonna as this 57-year-old idol snaps a red geisha fan and kicks out with her pointy heels.

In a nod to her punk roots she gets out an electric guitar for Burning Up and she mixes in the classic Vogue with Holy Water, assisted by pole dancers sliding around large crucifixes wearing nun’s habits and white frilly pants. Then we’re reminded of her controversial Like a Prayer days when she belts out Devil Pray, falling to her knees to sing hallelujah. It’s nice to see she hasn’t ever lost the ability to shock after all these years.

“If you diva b***** want to keep complaining about it don’t come to my show.”

Highlights come from the classic pop Like A Virgin, funked up with Madonna stamping across the stage in shiny black dancing shoes like a female Michael Jackson. La Isla Bonita is also given extra oomph and attitude.

Thank goodness the cape flew off at the right moment this time on Living For Love, to a big cheer.

We were expecting to hear a medley of other classics Dress You Up, Into the Groove and Lucky Star but they were switched for an acapella Open Your Heart that had everyone singing along.

We also didn’t get the encore Holiday and the show ended abruptly three songs early after Material Girl, presumably because of the lateness. The attitude was replaced by Marilyn Monroe-like sweetness as she cooed “I love you all.” And then she was gone.

It’s amazing to realise that this pop icon’s first ever performance in this country was here in Manchester at the Hacienda for a live broadcast of The Tube in January 1984. Now with Rebel Heart she is on her 10th world tour and her blonde ambition is still well intact.

Let’s hope there are no technical hitches next time eh?



B***h I’m Madonna

Burning Up

Holy Water” (contains excerpts from “Vogue”)

Devil Pray

Messiah (video interlude)

Body Shop

True Blue

Deeper and Deeper

HeartBreakCity (contains excerpts from Love Don’t Live Here Anymore)

Like a Virgin (contains elements of Heartbeat and Justify My Love)

S.E.X. (video interlude contains elements of Justify My Love)

Living For Love

La Isla Bonita

Open Your Heart

Dress You Up / Into the Groove/ Everybody/ Lucky Star / Dress You Up (Reprise)

Who’s That Girl

Rebel Heart

Illuminati (video interlude)

Music (contains elements of Give It 2 Me)

Candy Shop

Material Girl

Read more at Manchester Evening News

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Madonna calls angry fans ‘diva b*****s’ after crowd booed her for taking to the Manchester Arena stage an HOUR late

Madonna has hit out at fans who complained about her taking to the stage an HOUR late for her Manchester Arena show calling them “diva b******s”.

The so-called Queen of Pop launched an angry rant at fans who booed her after she was delayed on stage because of a problem with the video system in the arena.

She explained her lateness in a foul mouthed rant at the crowd saying: “The video crashed. We had no video and we had to wait until we could reboot. No selfish diva b**** reason. If you diva b****es want to keep complaining about it don’t come to my show.”.

READ MORE: Review: Madonna @ Manchester Arena

An earlier announcement was made that the show wouldn’t end until 11.30pm, according to reports from irate fans inside the venue.

The situation, according to the announcement, was ‘beyond the artist’s control’. There were reports of loud booing and people walking out.

Fans on Twitter said the star was around an hour late to take to the stage, leading to widespread fears of missed last buses and trains from the venue.

Tim Morton Davies wrote on Twitter: “Over 50mins late at Manchester Arena and no announcements. Not acceptable. People have jobs to go to @Madonna.”

Annabel Smith added: “A lot of very fed up people in Manchester waiting for #Madonna.”

Hilary Moulds added on Twitter: “#Madonna…seriously late…sort it or retire.”

Lois Griffiths said: “What a joke @Madonna an hour late already…. My dad and his wife still waiting.”

Doors at the 22,000-seater venue opened at 6.30pm, with the Eighties icon expected to begin her set at 9pm.

READ MORE: Setlist for the Rebel Heart Tour

However, the artist did not appear to the stage until shortly after 10pm.

The show subsequently ended abruptly with no encore after because of the technical hitch that left her an hour late to the stage.

The gig is Madonna’s only show in the north west of England as part of her Rebel Heart Tour.

Read more at Manchester Evening News

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