Pop diva Madonna kicked off her Confessions tour 45 minutes late at The Forum on Sunday, but fans said they’d wait another two hours if they had to for the colorful dance music icon.
The show, the first of four Los Angeles dates by the singer, was packed to the rafters as fans turned up early to party in the parking lot to await the return of the Material Mom for her first L.A. show in years. Madonna hits boomed through the overcast skies outdoors from car stereos before doors finally opened.
Once inside, fans lined up to buy T-shirts, wristbands, keychains and other items on one of the most-anticipated opening nights of the year.
“She’s nasty and sexy and has no regrets,” summed up actor Marc Imme, 23, of Toluca Lake, a Madonna fan who came to the show with several friends. “What I like about her is she’s an innovator who breaks all the rules. Her music is always ahead of its time.”
The show was set to start at 8 p.m. but opening night glitches and mind-boggling traffic snarls caused the delay. Fans cheered celebrity sightings of Rosie O’Donnell, Salma Hayek, Nicole Richie and others seated among the well-dressed crowd.
A spectacular opening in which Madonna was lowered onto the catwalk from the ceiling hidden in a giant disco ball drew roars. When the orb landed on stage, it opened like a blooming flower and the 47-year-old singer stepped down, wearing a tight equestrian-style outfit and snapping a riding crop to the beat of the first number, Future Lovers.
“As I grew up, Madonna symbolized female empowerment,” said Andrea Holt, 27, a marriage and family counselor from Fort Collins, Colo., who flew in to catch the tour-opener at The Forum. “She tested limits and I liked that. And she went through phases in her life. Now, she’s focused on her family and a lot of us can relate to that.”
Madonna’s “Confessions” trek, which continues Tuesday and Wednesday at The Forum and then returns June 3 to Staples Center, will be moving throughout North America until the end of July before heading to Europe and Asia.
Even at ticket prices topping $350, seats sold out rapidly at most venues and continue to be available at outrageous rates over the Internet.
Madonna’s most recent disco-themed album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, has been a huge hit, topping the charts in 40 different countries since its November 2005 release.
“I love that she went back to her dance roots,” said Christy Boric, 27, a social worker from Phoenix. “She always reinvents herself she’s always one step ahead.”
The 22-song concert was broken into four sections, covering hits including Like A Virgin, Ray Of Light, Lucky Star and the recent Hung Up.
Sitting halfway up in the stalls, nightclub host Sergio De La Vega, 28, of Los Angeles wasn’t worried that Madonna was a bit late coming to work.
“It’s Madonna I’d wait two hours if I had to,” De La Vega, wearing a Madonna hoodie, said. “I’ve been a fan since I was 7.”
Elsewhere in the audience, customer service rep Antonio Briseno, 26, of Buena Park said he’d spent $200 on Madonna merchandise at The Forum and had no regrets.
“The thing about Madonna is, she puts you in a good mood when you’re down,” he said. “She’s a woman of power. Her attitude, her style it’s just right. And that’s why I’m a fan.”