For months before her arrival, Santiago had been buzzing about Madonna’s first visit to Chile. Every week there seemed to be a new announcement or tour development in the local press, or a wacky antic performed by a crazed fan. Some die-hards even camped outside Santiago’s Estadio Nacional days before her debut performance on December 10.
As much fevered anticipation as there was, the pop icon’s Sticky & Sweet Tour lived up to every bit of the hype.
(itemId=6888 Revolver was on the scene as Chile's rich and famous, including millionaire Leonardo Farkas, took in Madonna's show at Estadio Nacional on December 10, 2008. Photo by Adam Fuller)
The enormous stage, book-ended by gigantic sequined “M’s” on either side, was decorated with mammoth digital screens, moving monitors and all the top-shelf special effects that come with a truly elite musical spectacle.
The venue erupted as the Queen of Pop appeared magically out of the dark on an extravagant throne to get the party started. Lasers and lights flashed purple, silver, pink and green. Stunning special effects, seamless dancing, multiple-themed sets and powerful, piercing songs made the ladies in the audience scream, dance and cry, while their male counterparts smiled and joined in on the fun.
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“It was spectacular,” one crazed female screamed. “It was the best concert I have ever been to.”
The Queen kicked off the night with the “Pimp” act, with blinding bling, a stunning white Rolls Royce, breakdancing boxers and performances of “Candy Shop,” “Human Nature” and “Vogue.”
“Into The Groove,” “Borderline” and “She’s Not Me” followed with an energetic jump-roping dance crew and a hot Madonna that humped just about everything on the stage.
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With "Music," she added fuel to the fire of the blazing crowd as her words, “Music makes the people come together,” reverberated a bit deeper in this South American setting.
Digital daisies and euphoric jungle scenes kept the audience on edge as Madonna captivated the crowd throughout the night, from atop a piano, with a Latin/gypsy band accompaniment and even in sequined shoulder pads.
“Yo te quiero Santiago,” Madonna screamed to the crowd in between songs as they responded with screaming and chanting in their native tongues. The somewhat confused superstar on stage, struggled to understand.
“Yo soy caliente?” she flirted with the crowd, drawing barreling laughter from the hypnotized Chilean audience. There isn't much language barrier with the queen of pop.
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The highlight of the show was her singing of “Like a Prayer” and “Ray of Light” followed by an audience-led a capella version of “Holiday.” The audiovisual extravaganza was capped off by the song “Give It To Me” that left the audience gasping for air at its conclusion.
Even as tickets ran from CP$23,000 to $205,000 (US$35 to $308, some of the most expensive of this tour for her top-selling latest album, Hard Candy), Madonna’s first show in Chile drew a sold-out crowd that left little elbow room in the massive stadium. Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet tour moves on to Brazil to conclude its five-month journey with concerts in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo near the end of December.
Special thanks to Ramey Shippen for her kind hospitality and Anthony Hull, a great friend.