Madonna Draws Celebrity Audience, Mixed Reviews with London Concert

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The star played her first gig in years in the British capital and avoided running afoul of the Hyde Park noise curfew that had tripped up Bruce Springsteen.

LONDON - Madonna played her first London concert since 2009 Tuesday night in front of an audience that included big celebrities in Hyde Park where Bruce Springsteen had on Saturday run afoul of a 10:30pm noise curfew.

But reviewers criticized the show as too quiet and lacking many of the 53-year-old music star's hit songs.

Madonna's audience included such celebrities as Gwyneth Paltrow, George Michael, Kylie Minogue, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, U2's Adam Clayton, Valentino and even ex-husband Guy Ritchie, the Evening Standard reported.

But the paper's reviewer didn't like her stage show too much. "Not Crazy For You Madonna!" the review's headline said. "Hyde Park crowds confused and bored by dreary set and low volume."

"There were cheeky flourishes, such as a snippet of Madonna wannabe Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" during "Express Yourself" and the appearance of her son Rocco, but, disappointingly, she dipped into one of popular music's great back catalogs occasionally and begrudgingly," the reviewer also wrote. "To the crowd's audible displeasure, "Holiday," "Lucky Star," "4 Minutes" and "Ray Of Light" existed only as five-second teasers."

The concert failed to sell out, and the singer's current album "MDNA" has topped the British charts, but has still been her weakest seller here, the Evening Standard highlighted. It also mentioned that seats remained available for upcoming shows in Birmingham and Edinburgh.

On a positive note, Madonna finished her show in time for the 10:30pm curfew, the paper pointed out.

Others were more positive in their reviews.

The Huffington Post said that "Madonna gave it her all to her fans."

"Last night's show was not lacking in punch," the Independent said. "Seeing Madonna live is a privilege."

But it, too, highlighted: "While the most loyal fans in the crowd thrilled to Madonna's newly bolshy electro style, the audience for the main part came alive for some of the older hits," such as "Papa Don't Preach", "Express Yourself" and a piano ballad version of "Like a Virgin."


Twitter: @georgszalai

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