Madonna officially opened her tour to promote her latest studio album "MDNA" in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Material Girl stormed the stage at Ramat Gan Stadium with a handful of dancers and wowed the sold-out crowd with fierce performances of songs from her extensive catalog.
Among the tracks the Queen of Pop sang was "Express Yourself" from critically acclaimed album "Like a Prayer". She was previously taped mashing up the track with Lady GaGa's "Born This Way" that bears resemblance to the 1989 hit single, and reportedly performed the reworked version at the live show.
However, Madge took a shot at the Mother Monster during the Thursday, May 31 gig. The "Girl Gone Wild" singer kept her jab short and to the point. "She's not me!" so she shouted at the end of "Express Yourself" performance without mentioning who her target was.
Other sets saw the "W.E." director channeling her inner cheerleader and turning the stage into a church with a confessional theme complete with a huge cross. She was also joined by her son Rocco Ritchie who served as a backing dancer in one of the performances.
In between songs, Madge promoted world peace, saying, "If there is peace here in the Middle East, there can be peace in the whole world." Despite the campaign, she and her dancers delivered grim routines depicting violence and bloody gunmen in one of the sets. She also reportedly broke through a glass window using a rifle, which she then aimed at the concertgoers.
"I chose to start my world tour in Israel for a very specific and important reason," she explained. "You can't be a fan of mine and not want peace in the world, we all bleed the same color,. ... If we can all rise above our egos and our titles and the names of our countries and our religions, and treat everyone around us with dignity and respect, then we are on the road to peace."
She reportedly donated 580 tickets to members of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, but not everyone accepted her gift. One activist Alma Biblash said as quoted by Haaretz Daily Newspaper, "There's nothing in this concert but it being a concert for peace. The concept of peace is empty of any meaning, everyone wants peace without understanding the consequences, without seeing the price involved."
After the Tel Aviv concert, Madge will perform in such big cities as London, Paris, Milan and Berlin before hitting North America beginning August 28 in Philadelphia. She will perform in North America until before Thanksgiving, and continue the trek to Latin America until the holidays. The tour will conclude in Australia in early 2013.