Madonna’s musical director previews tour: archival footage and recordings + more than 40 songs


Madonna‘s long-awaited Celebration Tour kicks off October 14 in London. Speaking to BBC, her musical director Stuart Price says the Queen of Pop “looks incredible, sounds incredible, performs incredible” and that the show will feature more than 40 songs, in one form or another.

While this is essentially a “greatest hits” tour, Price explains, “A greatest hit doesn’t have to be a song. It can be a wardrobe, it can be a video, or a statement. Every great moment she’s had, we took a bit of it.”

Price revealed that about 25 songs will be performed in full, with elements of 20 other songs appearing as interpolations or bridges between acts. He explains the set list won’t change because everything is so “highly rehearsed” but adds that Madonna’s “personality is so strong, her interaction with the audience is so strong, that it creates opportunities for variation from night to night.”

According to Price, the show has a compelling storyline that reflects Madonna’s journey, incorporating news footage, classic costumes and music videos. But the big change, he reveals, is that there’s no live band. Instead, Madonna will be performing backed by her original multi-track recordings. 

“There are live musicians that perform at different parts of the show,” says Price. “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.”

“A lot of the powerful moments [in this show] are to do with where the music intersects with something that society was going through, especially something emotional, like the AIDS crisis,” he adds. “Those moments are incredibly powerful.”

Madonna will do four nights at London’s O2 arena before moving on to the rest of Europe.

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