Joanna Hunkin is the Head of Entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Madonna's tears for her son - before pashing Kiwi fan

After making the crowd wait until past 10pm, Madge finally appeared, opening the night with Iconic. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
After making the crowd wait until past 10pm, Madge finally appeared, opening the night with Iconic. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Well, that was strange.

One minute, Madonna was crying over her son, to whom she had just dedicated an acoustic version of La Vie en Rose.

Next minute, she's performing a sex act on a banana and pashing a Kiwi girl called Shaki (" Shakira without the 'ra'..."). Before promptly falling over.

She also ordered a security guard (called Shane) on stage for reasons that remain unclear, other than to ask him if he was aroused by her and Shaki's banana antics.

The final 10 minutes of Madonna's first-ever New Zealand performance were some of the most bizarre ever to grace Vector Arena's stage.

Honestly, I'm still not sure what I witnessed.

Earlier in the night, Madonna had seemed somewhat checked out as she worked her way through her opening set. It was a slow start, with the crowd left waiting until past 10pm before Madge finally appeared, opening the night with Iconic.

Descending from the rafters in a steel cage, she marched alongside an army of Samurai dancers before asking: "Auckland, are you with me?"

It was rote and mechanical. Tension bristled through the crowd - is this as good as it gets?

Launching into another Rebel Heart track, she remained confident as she reminded the room Bitch I'm Madonna.

The first taste of her past hits came in the form of a Vogue remix, accompanied by pole dancing nuns.

Later, she teased fans with a dub-step remix of Like a Virgin. It was just recognisable enough for them to realise what they were missing.

Over the course of two hours, she mixed old with new, went through multiple costume changes and presented one of the most sophisticated stage shows Vector Arena has ever housed.

It was fascinating and theatrical. Her dance crew could legitimately double as acrobats for Cirque du Soleil. But nothing could shake the feeling that Madonna herself wasn't quite present. At least, until the final quarter.

#Madonna #rebelhearttour #vectorarena

A video posted by Spy (@seenbyspy) on

As she high kicked her way through a Gatsby-inspired flapper set, featuring Music and Material Girl, Madonna finally came alive.

It was during this set that she broke down in tears, speaking of her son Rocco and saying: "I hope he sees this somewhere and he knows how much I miss him."

It was a moment of genuine emotion, before another of utter absurdity. And then, before you could ask, "What was that!?" she'd moved on again.

The night ended to the upbeat pop of Holiday, before Her Madgesty swung her way back up to the rafters, leaving fans bewildered by their first royal encounter.

#madonna #rebelhearttour #vectorarena

A video posted by Spy (@seenbyspy) on

- Herald on Sunday

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