Madonna Tour Will Feature Over 40 Songs, But No Live Band
Madonna's upcoming Celebration Tour will feature "over 40 songs" from her back catalogue.
Speaking with BBC News, musical director and collaborator Stuart Price said described the concerts as “a documentary through her vast career.”
Approximately 25 of Madonna's hits will be performed in full, with 20 or so other tracks being interpolated into medleys or used as "bridges" in between.
"That was the big challenge," Price confessed. "In two hours, can you get all of it in? That's hard. But every great moment she's had, we took a bit of it."
Price added that the show will use archive footage and studio recordings from the past four decades, to tell Madonna's story from beginning to present.
"A greatest hit doesn't have to be a song," Price said. "It can be a wardrobe, it can be a video, or a statement."
Madonna won't be joined by a live band on stage, Price confirmed. Instead she will perform to the original multi-track recordings of her songs, marking a first for the singer.
“There are live musicians that perform at different parts of the show,” Price explained. “But what we realized is that the original recordings are our stars. Those things can’t be replicated and can’t be recreated, so we decided just to embrace that. With Madonna, everything is always about recontextualising stuff, finding ways to take strong original messages and see how they resonate in the era that we’re in now."
The delay incurred by Madonna's hospitalization back in June, Price acknowledged, allowed the team behind the tour to get creative and push new ideas through while she was recovering.
"Madonna has very high expectations of how much hard work people will put into something," Price said. "It's very uncompromising - but she's equally as hard on herself. So when she took a break, that pause created an opportunity to further enhance the show. And I'm sure the opportunity [for her] to focus on being 100% well was greatly received as well."
The Celebration Tour kicks off this Saturday (October 14) in London, UK. Madonna will play two shows in Toronto at the Scotiabank Arena on January 11 and 12, followed by Montreal's Bell Centre on January 18 and 20, and then Vancouver's Rogers Arena on February 21.
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