Pop icon Madonna rocks Taipei, shows ROC flag on stage (update)

Taipei, Feb. 5 (CNA) “Queen of Pop” Madonna on Thursday rocked fans in Taipei at a lavish concert in which the diva reeled out hits such as “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl,” before ending the night on a high note draped in Taiwan’s national flag.

The concert, Madonna’s first ever concert in Taiwan, opened with dancers appearing on the stage carrying large gold pikes as Madonna descended onto the stage in a large metal cage. The singer wore a black and red Samurai-inspired outfit and sang “Iconic” to rapturous applause.

“Taipei, are you with me?” the American singer-songwriter greeted her electrified fans at the Taipei Arena.

“Hello Taiwan, are you ready?” Madonna again greeted her thousands of fans when performing “Burning Up” with an electric guitar.

She also said “Hello. Thank you,” and yelled “I love you” in Mandarin to the roaring crowd.

The pop diva, known for her catchy tunes and creative and daring shows, also performed songs including “Bitch I’m Madonna,” “Holy Water,” “Body Shop” and “Living For Love.”

She also sang “Take a Bow” for her Taiwan fans, the first time she performed the song on the “Rebel Heart” concert tour.

At the end of the concert, Madonna draped herself in the Republic of China (Taiwan) flag while performing the encore song “Holiday.” At every stop on the tour, she performs “Holiday” with the national flag of the country she is in.

The 140-minute show, the first of two by the singer in Taiwan, did not begin until 10:15 p.m. Thursday. That set a new record at the Taipei Arena, as no concert has ever begun later than 10:15 p.m. at the venue.

Organizers of the concert are expected to pay a large sum of money for overtime – estimated at around NT$3.5 million (US$ 105,901) or above.

Madonna’s second concert will be held Saturday, also at the Taipei Arena.

Forty-two year-old office worker Sam Lin (林聖賢), who has been a fan of Madonna for three decades, said the singer has had a great impact on him.

“Madonna is true to herself and is not afraid to show herself,” said Lin, who wore a bright pink dress and top modeled after a costume Madonna wore during her first concert tour in the 1980s.

August Chen (陳嘉銘), a 43-year-old Indonesian Chinese who has lived in Taiwan for 18 years, was clad in a red bullfighter costume to echo the matador theme of Madonna’s concerts on this tour.

It was his fourth time attending a Madonna concert, Chen told CNA prior to the concert.

(By Sabine Cheng and Christie Chen)

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