Madonna’s free concert delighted a huge crowd at Copacabana –

Hits (a lot), sex (a lot too), religious symbols, incessant outfit changes, skillful choreography: Madonna enchanted Rio de Janeiro on Saturday evening during a monumental and free concert on the legendary Copacabana beach.

It was his only concert in South America and it was free. It’s difficult to have an exact number counting the crowd who attended the biggest show of Madonna’s career. Probably a million and a half or at least hundreds of thousands of people. The immense beach was packed with people and the crowds were fervent. Dozens of boats had approached the shore to enjoy a breathtaking view.

Shortly before 11 p.m. (4 a.m. Sunday in Switzerland), the “queen of pop”, dressed all in black, appeared on stage performing “Nothing Really Matters”, an anthem to resilience.

Madonna during the last concert of her “Celebration Tour” on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, May 4, 2024. [KEYSTONE – Silvia Izquierdo]

“Here we are, Rio, the most beautiful place in the world!”: the diva delighted the Brazilian public for more than two hours.

With this concert announced for days as “historic”, the 65-year-old American popstar closed “The Celebration Tour” in style, toured to the glory of her 40-year career, inventions, brilliance and scandals .

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On a gigantic stage of more than 800 square meters, she reviewed her heyday and the bewildering series of her musical and sartorial metamorphoses, from pop to electronic music including moments of cabaret inspiration.

Madonna’s children and various people invited on stage

Flanked by several of her children, accompanying her for music or dance, Madonna was also honored by distinguished guests, against a backdrop of the Brazilian flag.

When she performed her hit “Vogue”, she was joined on stage by Brazilian singer Anitta, the one who introduced carioca funk – the soundtrack of Rio’s favelas – to the rest of the world. Drag queen Pabllo Vittar, a Brazilian pop star, and a troupe of children playing percussion in the city’s famous samba schools were also there.

In the audience, fans from different generations talked about Madonna’s place in their lives. Alba and Roxy Rueda, two Argentine sisters aged 48 and 46, bought their plane tickets as soon as word of the concert emerged a few months ago: “When I turned nine, my older sister, who is who died last year, gave me my first walkman with the cassette of Like a Virgin”, the hit that launched Madonna. “Since then we haven’t stopped listening to it. For this reason, coming here is linked for us to our relationship between sisters,” rejoices Alba.

After 80 concerts in Europe, North America and Mexico, the Rio show was the finale of Madonna’s tour. [AFP – Pablo Porciunclua]

To build up the pressure before the concert, several DJs, including Diplo, an American turntable ace, took turns at nightfall to bring joy to “the biggest dance floor in the world”.

Then the time came for the queen to leave her palace, or rather her palace: the legendary Copacabana Palace, a haven of peace and luxury for Hollywood and pop stars for decades, where she has established her family quarters since the beginning of the week. Madonna walked along a catwalk installed for the occasion, which took her directly to the stage.

For the event, the police were present in force, almost in every street in a neighborhood accustomed to delinquency, but also in the air with helicopters and drones.




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