Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Here comes Her Madgesty

Madonna will rock about 20,000 fans at Auckland's Vector Arena next weekend as part of her 81-date  Rebel Heart  world tour. Photo / AP
Madonna will rock about 20,000 fans at Auckland's Vector Arena next weekend as part of her 81-date Rebel Heart world tour. Photo / AP

Pop queen Madonna will arrive in regal style when she sweeps in with a 200-strong entourage for her debut New Zealand concerts next Saturday and Sunday.

Her Madgesty is set to arrive in Auckland by private jet, accompanied by three Boeing 747s full of stage equipment - and a brand new throne waiting in her dressing room.

Among her backstage requirements, the superstar demands a new lavatory seat for every venue. Previous tour essentials have included 20 international phone lines in her dressing room and bunches of lilies and roses with stems trimmed to exactly six inches.

Madonna's team reportedly includes 30 bodyguards, an acupuncturist, a yoga instructor, a dry cleaner and a number of chefs.

The Material Girl singer's hotel suite demands are believed to be just as extravagant. She reportedly has all room furnishings replaced by her own pieces, so she can feel at home.

Madonna will rock about 20,000 fans at Auckland's Vector Arena next weekend as part of her 81-date Rebel Heart world tour.

Concert-goers will be treated to a live spectacular that includes:

• A crucifix-shaped stage with a runway extending into the crowd.

• 2.5 million Swarovski crystals on Madonna's costumes.

• 500 pairs of custom-made shoes for the star and her 20 dancers.

• Eight looks for Madonna and 10 costume changes for the dancers.

According to tour insiders, the 57-year-old American is meticulous in preparing for her performances.

"She has a regimen she follows very rigidly," her former makeup artist Gina Brooke told The Nation in Thailand ahead of Madonna's recent gig in Bangkok.

"When she asks a question, you want to make sure you give her the answer right away, because if you take a minute away from her it could cost you your job."

Brooke added Madonna shows up hours before each concert to go through all the songs, making sure the sound and lighting are right.

"She can remember every single detail of what happened ... and knows how it needs to be fixed. She's a real perfectionist."

Superfans dress to catch Madonna's eye

Chris Watts and Dion Mellsop try out a matador look to wear to Madonna's shows next weekend. Photo / Doug Sherring
Chris Watts and Dion Mellsop try out a matador look to wear to Madonna's shows next weekend. Photo / Doug Sherring

Two Kiwi superfans will dress up in outrageous DIY costumes to try and get on stage with their pop idol Madonna.

Chris Watts and Dion Mellsop paid $2600 each for premium tickets to both of the pop queen's Auckland concerts next weekend.

They have each set aside another $1000 to splash out on Madonna merchandise.

Watts, 45, a landscape gardener from New Lynn, has followed the Material Girl since he was a teenager.

He previously travelled to her concerts in Melbourne and New York, where he attended three nights in a row at Madison Square Garden.

Watts is still deciding whether to wear a version of a famous outfit Madonna has worn on previous tours - or to go decked out as one of her male dancers.

The idea is to catch the singer's eye and be invited on stage during one of her songs.

Watts has even enlisted a fashion designer friend to help piece together a "Madonna-inspired" ensemble.

"On the other dates on her tour she has been inviting either famous people to join her or has plucked a fan from the audience who catches her eye because of what they are wearing," he said.

"It would be my ultimate dream to meet Madonna and I have two chances of doing it so I'm going to go all out to try and make it happen."

Watts met Mellsop, 42, who works at SkyCity Casino, on a plane to Melbourne on the way to a Madonna concert in 1993.

"I had never flown before," Mellsop said, "and I really wanted a window seat so I asked Chris if he would swap with me because I noticed he had a Madonna T-shirt on. It turned out we are both Madonna fanatics and we have been good mates ever since."

Mellsop has also travelled overseas a number of times to see his idol - to Australia, New York and Los Angeles.

He can't wait to see the star perform on Kiwi soil.

"I have waited 33 years for this," he said. "It is going to be something really special."

Both superfans will also join hundreds of others attending pre- and after-show parties at Provedor at Princes Wharf.

- Herald on Sunday

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