Sticky & Sweet Tour

The Sticky & Sweet Tour was the eighth concert tour by American singer Madonna. Staged to promote her eleventh studio album, Hard Candy (2008), it began in August 2008 and was her first tour under a new recording and business deal with Live Nation. The tour was announced in February 2008, with dates for European and North American venues revealed. Though initially planned, the tour did not visit Australia due to financial problems and the financial recession. Costume designer Arianne Phillips designed the costumes, supported by a number of famous designers and brands. The stage for the main show was planned similarly to that of her previous 2006 Confessions Tour. After the tour concluded in 2008, Madonna announced plans of playing a second European leg in 2009 to play in territories she either had never been to or had not played for a long time.

Sticky & Sweet Tour
Tour by Madonna
Madonna - Sticky and Sweet Tour (poster).png
Promotional poster for the tour
Associated albumHard Candy
Start dateAugust 23, 2008 (2008-08-23)
End dateSeptember 2, 2009 (2009-09-02)
No. of shows
  • 42 in Europe
  • 30 in North America
  • 11 in South America
  • 2 in Asia
  • 85 Total
Box officeBillboard: US $408 million ($492.17 million in 2020 dollars)[1] Pollstar: US $411 million ($495.79 million in 2020 dollars)[1]
Madonna concert chronology

In all, the tour started in Cardiff on August 23, 2008, and ended in Tel Aviv on September 2, 2009. The 2008 legs also marked Madonna's thirteen-year return to Mexico and the continent of South America, and the 2009 legs marked her first shows in Sweden in sixteen years and Israel in fourteen years.

The tour was described as a "rock driven dancetastic journey". It was divided into four acts: Pimp, where S&M was the main theme; Retro, where Madonna's classic songs were performed while displaying work of deceased artist Keith Haring; Gypsy, a fusion of Romani folk music and dance with the performances ranging from melancholic to joyous; and Rave, where high-energy uptempo songs were performed. The last section of the show included a special 'request song', to which the audience was invited to sing-along. Some changes were made to the set list during the second European leg of the tour in 2009, including a dance tribute to deceased singer Michael Jackson.

Besides generating positive reviews from critics, the Sticky & Sweet Tour broke many records in terms of its ticket sales, commercial gross and audience attendance. After the first leg, it became the highest-grossing tour by a solo artist, earning US$282 million ($338.97 in 2020 dollars[1]), breaking the previous record Madonna herself held with her Confessions Tour. According to Billboard, Madonna performed to over 3.5 million fans in 32 countries, grossing a total of US$408 million ($492.17 in 2020 dollars[1]), making it the second highest-grossing tour of all time, behind only the Rolling Stones's A Bigger Bang Tour. Pollstar later reported that the Sticky & Sweet Tour grossed a total of US$411 million ($495.79 in 2020 dollars[1]).[2] It still remains the highest-grossing tour by a female artist and the tenth highest-grossing tour of all time. At the 2009 Billboard Touring Awards, the Sticky & Sweet Tour won the Top Tour and Top Draw prizes, which acknowledge the highest-grossing and highest-attended tours of the year, respectively. Madonna's manager Guy Oseary won the Top Manager award.

While on tour, a number of statements by Madonna against 2008 American Republican Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates John McCain and Sarah Palin respectively, faced strong opposition from the Republican Party. While performing in Romania in 2009, Madonna's statement about Romani discrimination in Eastern European countries was also received negatively. During the second leg, two workers constructing her stage at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille were killed when the roof of the stage collapsed. The Sticky & Sweet Tour has been broadcast on a number of private channels and a CD-DVD and Blu-ray version of the concert was released in March 2010, along with a live album.


View of the stadium in Athens, Greece. The stage was flanked by two giant letters 'M'.

The world tour was officially confirmed on May 8, 2008, by Guy Oseary, Madonna's manager, and Arthur Fogel, Live Nation's Global Touring CEO and Global Music Chairman. Billboard confirmed that the tour was to begin on August 23, 2008 in Cardiff, Wales, with performances throughout the rest of the year. It was titled Sticky & Sweet Tour and planned to visit three continents on 50–60 dates.[3] The tour was produced globally by Live Nation and promoted Madonna's studio album Hard Candy (2008).[3] Billboard also confirmed performances in Europe until the end of September, arenas and stadiums in sixteen markets of North America in October and November, followed by stadiums of Mexico and South America in late November and early December.[3] The tour was described as a "rock driven dancetastic journey". The show featured four acts: Pimp, a homage to 1920s deco and modern-day gangsta pimp, Old School, portraying early '80s downtown New York City dance roots with works of deceased artist Keith Haring and the dance culture vibe of that time, including the birth of rap – Gypsy, consisting of Romani folk music and dance, and lastly Rave, consisting of eastern influences.[4]

On January 30, 2009, it was announced that Madonna had decided to resume the tour in the summer of 2009, with around twenty-five more shows in Europe. The second leg of the tour was to start from London at The O2 on July 4, wrapping up two months later in Tel Aviv, Israel. The rest of the dates included stadiums and parks in European markets Madonna had either never played or did not play in several years, according to Fogel.[5] He said, "It absolutely has not happened in the four tours I've been involved with, [...] There has been talk [of extending] during each one, but it has never come to be. But with this one, she loves the show, she's had a great time and she's excited about playing new markets. [...] We went to quite a few markets she has never played or hasn't been to in 15-plus years. This [extension] is really a continuation of that in the sense of playing new and different markets."[5]

Originally, Live Nation reported that the tour would make stops in America and Europe. Music promoter and manager Michael Chugg stated that an Australian leg "will happen" and that local promoters were working hard to make it fruitful. Madonna had apologized to her Australian fans during the 2006 Confessions Tour, saying that she tried to work Australia into her schedule but ultimately could not. Her last tour in Australia was The Girlie Show World Tour in 1993.[6][7] In October 2008, the Australian TV show Sunrise reported that Madonna will tour Australia in January 2009. She had agreed for performances in Sydney and Melbourne, but they were eventually cancelled. Local promoter Michael Coppel stated,

"Madonna was coming to Australia, the dates were resolved, then economics got in the way [...] It's unknown territory at the moment. A lot of tours went on sale before the dollar crashed. We are only starting to see the effect of the economy on the tour industry. [...] Everyone is feeling their way, the risk level has gone up substantially."[8]

With the announcement of the 2009 extension, the Herald Sun reported that Madonna planned to tour Australia in September 2009, with one show in Melbourne to be held at the Telstra Dome.[9] It was later reported that the rumored date was false. Fogel stated, "[...] there is no validity to the reports."[10]


Madonna and her dancers opening the show with "Candy Shop"

Costume designer Arianne Phillips designed the main costumes for the tour. According to her, Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci contributed two outfits, Tom Ford made bespoke suit for the band, Miu Miu created the shoes, Stella McCartney provided the thigh-high boots and Moschino made the sunglasses.[11] Other designers involved in creating the clothes included Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli, and Jeremy Scott. Givenchy's creations were selected for the first and third acts of the tour, while Scott's designs were selected for the second act.[11] Philips commented on the different sections, saying,

"[First section] It's a theme that runs throughout her career. [...] She's not afraid of being hard. [Second section] He [Keith Harring] and Madonna were friends. If he were alive, it would be his 50th birthday as well. So I thought, 'What if we revisited that?' Riccardo's a new young talent. If you look at Madonna's history with fashion, that makes him an obvious choice. [Madonna] always wants to push the envelope. There are no vanity considerations based on her age."[12]

NME reported that the tour would comprise 250 travelling workers, 69 guitars, 12 trampolines and 100 pairs of kneepads.[13] The stage's layout was similar to the Confessions Tour stage.[14] It had two giant textile panels that defined the proscenium arch, supporting two giant M-shaped structures, lit from within. The lighting beams and structures were rigged from the ceiling. There were four different clusters of loudspeakers in the back of the stage, providing sound to the rear tiers.[14] The main stage was accompanied by a catwalk which was shorter than the Confessions Tour one, and a satellite stage at the end of the runway. There was a set of screens on the main stage – which moved and changed shape and layout, from the shape of a cube at the beginning of the show. Also present were two semi-transparent, cylinder-shaped screens, above the satellite stage.[14] Other structures included a number of smaller platforms, ramps, and conveyor belts, which usually were kept beneath the main stage, but were brought out during some of the performances. The catwalks were shaped as a ramp at the very beginning but was transformed into a flat runway eventually.[14] The tour was the first to use a pair of DiGiCo SD7 digital mixing consoles at the sound production's core audio.[15] Tim Colvard, who previously presided as the sound consultant of the 2006 Confessions Tour, decided to use the SD7 technology after researching it.[16] Madonna and her background vocalists used Sennheiser SKM 5200 wireless microphones with the highly directional ME 5005 super-cardioid heads, and Sennheiser in-ear monitors. Monitor engineer Matt Napier commented that he chose "the Evolution systems for backline, as their RF is rock-solid, the transmitter units are small and reliable and they are very competitively priced. [...] And I couldn't imagine giving Madonna another monitor system, she has become so accustomed and comfortable with the IEM G2."[17]

Concert synopsisEdit

For the performance of "Beat Goes On" Pharrell Williams and Kanye West appeared on the backdrops

The show was divided into four sections: Pimp, Old-school, Gypsy and Rave. It began with "The Sweet Machine", a 3D animation video displaying candy being manufactured and used as a Pinball.[18] As the video ended, "Candy Shop" began with Madonna appearing on a M-shaped throne in the Givenchy-designed dress, sitting with her legs spread apart and holding a staff in her hands.[19] She was accompanied by her dancers in bondage themed costumes.[19] "Beat Goes On" featured Madonna and her dancers on a 1935 Auburn Speedster while Pharrell Williams and Kanye West appeared on the backdrops.[20] Madonna then played the electric guitar for "Human Nature"; the performance featured a video of Britney Spears trapped in an elevator, who sang along with some of the verses in the song.[21] A modernized "Vogue", featuring the hook of "4 Minutes",[22] was the final song for this section. It led to a video interlude for "Die Another Day", featuring Madonna as a boxer on screen, while her dancers performed a faux boxing match.[18] The next section, inspired by the style and culture of early 1980s New York, began with Madonna skipping on stage for "Into the Groove".[19] This performance was a mashup with "Toop Toop" by Cassius and featured the artwork of friend Keith Haring.[20] She then performed a double Dutch dance interlude which led to "Heartbeat".[23] During that song, Madonna's dance movements were controlled by her back-up dancers as if they were puppeteers.[18] She performed "Borderline" in a rock version, on electric guitar.[20] "She's Not Me" followed, where Madonna made fun of her various incarnations and styles, from the music videos of "Open Your Heart", "Material Girl", "Vogue" and "Like a Virgin".[18] The section ended with "Music" which contained elements of "Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit" and excerpts from "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life".[22] A short video was played featuring a tagged subway train. The doors of the train then closed to take in Madonna and her dancers.[19] The "Rain" video interlude was played on the video screens; it featured an animated pixie finding shade under a petal during a rainstorm. This version contained musical elements from "Here Comes the Rain Again" by Eurythmics.[22]

Madonna jumping rope during the performance of "Into the Groove".

In the next section, the song "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You" featured Madonna atop a piano, cloaked in a black shroud. She was surrounded by a circular video screen which showed imagery of waves splashing and rainfall.[18] Madonna then performed "Spanish Lesson", featuring a flamenco-influenced dance solo by Vadim Kolpakov. She played the guitar once again for "Miles Away". "La Isla Bonita" featured the Ukrainian-gypsy group, Kolpakov Trio, incorporating the gypsy wedding song, "Lela Pala Tute".[22] At the end of the song, Madonna marched ahead with a band of violin players to the front of the stage and then sat aside with her dancers for a solo performance from Kolpakov Trio, who performed the traditional song "Doli Doli". She returned to the stage for "You Must Love Me", the Academy Award winning song from, Evita.[19][20] The act ended with "Get Stupid", a video interlude portraying global warming, famine and other global issues, while juxtaposing John McCain with Hitler and Barack Obama with Gandhi. In the final act, Madonna appeared on stage for a duet of the song "4 Minutes" with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, both of them appearing on screens. A remix of "Like a Prayer" followed, featuring elements from "Feels Like Home" and video screens depicting messages from the Bible, the Quran, the Torah and the Talmud.[20] The electric guitar was played by Madonna for the performance of "Ray of Light".[18] She then sought audience participation, asking them to request for "an oldie but goodie".[24] Madonna sang the first verse and chorus of the requested song, before moving onto a rock version of "Hung Up".[19][20] After a brief video featuring a modern take on classic arcade games was played, Madonna returned on stage for the finale performance, "Give It 2 Me", ending the song with a sing-a-long of the chorus.[24] The show ended with the words "Game Over" appearing on the video screens.[20][22]

2009 revisionsEdit

After the 2009 extension of the tour was announced, some changes were made to the setlist. "Candy Shop" had a new video backdrop by artist Marilyn Minter, featuring imagery of a giant tongue licking and spitting out neon-colored icing.[25] Madonna also wore new opening outfit designed by Riccardo Tisci.[26] "Heartbeat" was replaced by "Holiday" and incorporated elements of her then latest single "Celebration", and her first single "Everybody". After Michael Jackson's death, it was modified to include a medley of three of Jackson's songs, as an homage to the recently deceased singer. The performance featured Madonna's dancer Kento, who danced in similar clothing and dancing style as Jackson.[27] Madonna's 1985 single "Dress You Up" replaced the rock version of "Borderline". It featured elements of rock songs like "My Sharona" by The Knack and "God Save The Queen" by the Sex Pistols. "Hung Up" was removed and replaced by an upbeat version of "Frozen" with interpolations from "Open Your Heart", which was set between "Like a Prayer" and "Ray of Light".[22] The video backdrop for "Frozen" used video outtakes from the song's music video, directed by Chris Cunningham. "Ray of Light" was also slightly edited for selected performances with the lyrics "If you wanna make the world a better place... Take a look at yourself, and then make a change" from Jackson's song "Man in the Mirror" appearing on the screens before the beginning of the song.[28]

Critical responseEdit

Madonna and her dancers performing "Music" during the show

The show received positive reviews from critics. Jon Pareles from The New York Times compared the concert with aerobics and said that the concert was more of a workout than being erotic.[20] Isabel Albiston from The Daily Telegraph compared the tour with the 2006 Confessions Tour and said that "two years later, Madonna's biceps are no smaller and, with the news that 100 pairs of fishnet pantyhose have been procured from eBay for the artist, her costumes no less raunchy. [...] Madonna seemed to have a point to prove."[19] Another review by Helen Brown from the same publication said that "Sticky Sweet's highlights include a fresh, crunchy and gipsied-up 'La Isla Bonita' (complete with fiddles, flamenco and a spliced-in Romani folk tune) and a raved-up 'Like a Prayer'."[29] Sarah Liss from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation commented that "something about witnessing the 50-year-old crow's feet and wrinkles on Madonna's face, projected a hundred times larger than life, as she works her ass off (to paraphrase part of her stage banter) for a crowd of almost 20,000 feels more awe-inspiring than any of her old-school shock tactics."[18]

Jim Farber from the New York Daily News wrote that "[Madonna] may have just sailed past the half-century mark, but that didn't stop [her] from dancing hard and fast in skimpy clothes for two hours nonstop at the opening show of her Sticky and Sweet tour. [..] No slack in the star's sexuality or energy was apparent at the icon's show."[30] Joey Guerra from the Houston Chronicle commented that "most surprising about Madonna's impeccably choreographed, frequently fantastic show was her willingness to show fans the flip side. She was still larger-than-life — and astonishingly fit for 50 — but Hard Candy's toot-toot disco beats have softened her edges."[24] Greg Kot from the Chicago Tribune commented that "Smiles don't come easy for Madonna. Instead, there are usually smirks, sneers, pouts, leers and thin-lipped, tough-as-nails displays of contempt for anyone who would dare mess with her. Madonna, she's one tough dominatrix, and she's got better developed biceps than just about any of the fans who filled the United Center on Sunday for the first of two concerts."[31]

"Vogue" was presented in a modernised style, with elements from contemporary R&B music

Nekesa Mumbi Moody from USA Today wrote: "Even the superstar's most cynical critics couldn't walk away from her two-hour extravaganza at the Izod Center on Saturday night without being thoroughly wowed. It was not only the spectacle of the concert, but the performer herself, as she reasserted her musical relevance and dominance in her 25th year in the spotlight. [...] Madonna is not the world's most gifted singer or dancer or even musician, but she may be its greatest performer."[21] Caryn Ganz from Rolling Stone noted that "Madonna may have toyed with dominance and submission on [2008's] Hard Candy, but there was no question who was carrying the cane at the first New York City date on her Sticky & Sweet Tour last night (the trek's second stop in the States). Emerging on a throne to the thumpy sound of 'Candy Shop', the 50-year-old singer kicked off a tightly choreographed two-hour set designed to accentuate her physical and musical strength and flexibility."[32] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine commented: "Like a sex instructor, Madonna rules over her audience and tells them when they're allowed to get off (at one point mock-masturbating over someone's head). And when the words 'Game Over' flash on the screen at the end of the show, you're just happy to have played along."[23]

Commercial receptionEdit

Madonna appearing from behind a veil after the performance of "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You"

The Sticky & Sweet Tour broke many records in terms of its ticket sales, commercial gross and audience attendance. On September 11, 2008, Madonna performed to a sell-out crowd of over 74,000 fans and grossed over US$12 million, surpassing all previous grosses at both the old and the new Wembley Stadiums.[33] Since that date U2 with their 360° Tour has broken the attendance record at Wembley Stadium with a crowd of 88,000 people.[34] This performance followed the Zurich performance, which was in front of 72,000 people, the largest audience ever for a concert in Switzerland.[33] The September 20, 2008, concert at the Stade de France sold 80,000 tickets in less than ten days, prompting Live Nation to announce a second and final show at the venue.[35] 50,000 tickets for Madonna's Vancouver concert at BC Place Stadium were sold in 29 minutes.[35] Due to instant sellouts in Toronto at Air Canada Centre on October 18 and Montreal at the Bell Centre on October 22, second shows in both markets were added on October 19 in Toronto, at the Air Canada Centre, and October 23, at Montreal's Bell Centre.[35] The two shows in Mexico City sold out in less than three hours.[35] Madonna's show in Montenegro was performed to almost 70,000, the biggest-ever event held in the small Adriatic republic.[36] In New York City, Madonna's four sell-outs at Madison Square Garden shows added up to a record breaking 23 sold out performances since 2001 at that venue – a record for most appearances for a single artist in this decade.[37] Madonna's performances at Stade de France, Wembley Stadium, Madison Square Garden and Military Airfield ranked at numbers 3, 13, 15 and 20 on Billboard's Top 25 Boxscores of 2008, respectively.[38] The tour ranked third in Billboard's "Top 25 Tours", with a gross of over U.S. $162 million ($194.73 in 2020 dollars[1]) by mid-November 2008.[39] Pollstar ranked the tour the leading North American grosser for 2008 at $105.3 million ($126.57 in 2020 dollars[1]).[40] In December 2008, Live Nation announced that the U.S. leg of the tour sold 550,000 tickets and grossed $91.5 million ($109.98 in 2020 dollars[1]). Together with the European and Mexican dates, the tour grossed a total of $282 million ($338.97 in 2020 dollars[1]), making it the highest-grossing tour of 2008. It also became the biggest selling tour by a solo artist, breaking the record previously held by her own Confessions Tour in 2006.[5][41][42]

After the announcement of the 2009 extension of the tour, tickets were sold-out immediately. Second shows were confirmed for July 5 in London and July 8 in Manchester, marking Madonna's final UK dates in 2009. The Oslo (July 30), Tallinn (August 4), Helsinki (August 6) and Gothenburg (August 9) concerts all sold out on the same day tickets went on sale. In Helsinki, the August 6 performance was the biggest show by one artist ever organized in Finland.[43] In Oslo, all 40,000 tickets available for the July 30 concert were sold in 34 minutes, prompting Live Nation to announce an extra concert on July 29.[44] In Tallinn, all 70,300 tickets available for Madonna's concert at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds were purchased in just over 24 hours, a record for Estonia. The record previously belonged to Metallica, who sold all of the tickets available for their concert at the same venue in three days.[45] In Tel Aviv, all 50,000 tickets available for the first date were sold out in a few days, causing Live Nation to add a second and final date to wrap up the tour.[46] As expected, after the final show, Sticky & Sweet became the highest-grossing tour by a solo artist, earning US$408 million ($492.17 in 2020 dollars[1]) from 85 shows in 52 countries, with an attendance of 3.5 million. It is the second highest-grossing tour of all time, behind The Rolling Stones' 2005–07 A Bigger Bang Tour which earned $558 million ($696.45 in 2020 dollars[1]).[43] At the 2009 Billboard Touring Awards, the Sticky & Sweet Tour won the Top Tour and Top Draw prizes, which acknowledge the highest-grossing and highest-attended tours of the year, respectively. Madonna's manager Guy Oseary won the Top Manager award.[47] Additionally, in 2009 Billboard magazine announced that Madonna placed second (behind U2) in the "Top 25 Tours of 2009" with a gross of $222 million ($266.85 in 2020 dollars[1]).[48][49]

In March 2020, Pollstar confirmed that the Sticky & Sweet Tour grossed a total of US$411 million ($495.79 in 2020 dollars[1]) before inflation in its "Live's Leading Ladies: Top Female Tours 2000-2020" special report.[2]

Madonna's statementsEdit

Performing "You Must Love Me" accompanied by Russian Romani guitarists Alexander and Vadim Kolpakov

During the tour, a number of statements made by Madonna faced strong opposition from socio-political leaders. The "Get Stupid" video interlude featured images of disasters throughout the ages along with images of Adolf Hitler, Robert Mugabe, and John McCain. Images of John Lennon, Mahatma Gandhi, Al Gore and Barack Obama are featured towards the end of the video. The video caused an uproar in the political world, especially in McCain's camp. Tucker Bounds, McCain's spokesperson, stated:

"The comparisons are outrageous, unacceptable and crudely divisive all at the same time [...] It clearly shows that when it comes to supporting Barack Obama, his fellow worldwide celebrities refuse to consider any smear or attack off limits."[50]

At the conclusion of the presidential election, the image of McCain was removed from the video. During her performance at Petco Park, Madonna congratulated Barack Obama, on his historic win for presidency of the United States. Madonna stated, "This is a historical evening. This is a motherfucking important evening and we are lucky to be sharing it with the World [...] This is the beginning of a whole new world. Are you ready?! Are you fucking ready?!" The video screens displayed images of Obama along with the message, "We Won".[51] Madonna also publicly voiced her opposition for Republican Vice Presidential candidate for 2008, Sarah Palin. While performing on the tour, Madonna shouted "Sarah Palin can't come to my party. Sarah Palin can't come to my show. It's nothing personal. [...] Here's the sound of Sarah Palin's husband's snowmobile when it won't start. (followed by a loud screeching noise)."[52] While performing "I Love New York" during the request section, the line "Get off my street" was replaced by Madonna screaming "You know who can get off of my street? Sarah Palin! I'm gonna kick her ass if she don't get off of my street." Then she mocked Palin's accent and told the crowd that she loves her.[53]

During her show at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, Madonna dedicated her song "Like a Virgin" to Pope Benedict XVI. She stated, "I'm gonna dedicate this song to the Pope, because, I know he loves me. I am a child of God! And you know what else?...[begins to sing first verse of Like a Virgin]." Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera called the dedication a surprising provocation.[54] During the 2009 leg, at the Bucharest concert in Romania, Madonna began talking about Romani discrimination in Eastern European countries. She said that "It has been brought to my attention ... that there is a lot of discrimination against Romanies and Gypsies in general in Eastern Europe. [...] It made me feel very sad." Immediately boos and jeers resounded from the audience prompting the singer to add that "[w]e don't believe in discrimination [...] we believe in freedom and equal rights for everyone." Madonna's publicist Liz Rosenberg issued a statement saying that "Madonna has been touring with a phenomenal troupe of Roma musicians who made her aware of the discrimination toward them in several countries so she felt compelled to make a brief statement. She will not be issuing a further statement."[55]

Marseille accidentEdit

Madonna performing "Frozen" during the 2009 leg of the tour

On July 16, 2009, as workers were assembling Madonna's stage at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille for her July 19 concert, the stage collapsed, injuring eight workers and killing two. The accident caused city officials to cancel the concert.[56] Charles Criscenzo, a 53-year-old French worker, was killed outright in the accident, which took place at around 17:15 GMT. The other worker Charles Prow, a 23-year-old from Headingley in Leeds, died overnight at a hospital in Marseille. Firefighters said the accident occurred when the roof of the stage became unbalanced as it was being lifted by four cranes, toppling one of them. Marseille city councillor Maurice de Nocera said that the roof started shaking and then collapsed gradually. This allowed the other workers to get out in time.[57]

Following the tragedy, Madonna visited some of the other workers injured in the accident and went to pay her respects at the family of the deceased ones as well.[58] She also issued the following statement: "I am devastated to have just received this tragic news. My prayers go out to those who were injured and their families along with my deepest sympathy to all those affected by this heartbreaking news." At her concert in Italy Madonna made an emotional tribute for the deceased technicians by saying: "I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and pay tribute to two people who lost their lives today, [...] It's a great tragedy to me, I feel so devastated to be in any way associated with anyone's suffering. [...] Let's all just take a moment to say a prayer for Charles Criscenzo and Charlie Prow. Our hearts go out to their family and loved ones."[57]

Broadcast and recordingsEdit

The final performance of the show, "Give It 2 Me", with Madonna and her dancers jumping along to the song

According to the Argentine newspaper La Nación, the tour DVD was filmed during the performances at River Plate Stadium. Production director Chris Lamb stated that Madonna chose the Argentine audience because of the strong emotional bond they shared. However, at the time of Lamb's comments, no release date for the DVD had been announced, despite a trailer showing highlights of the Argentine performance on Madonna's official website.[59] Sky1 acquired the rights to broadcast the Sticky & Sweet Tour, and was broadcast on July 4, 2009.[60] The "Sweet Machine" video was shortened, and the request song in Argentina, "Like a Virgin", was not aired. Latin American channel Cityvibe broadcast the show exclusively for Argentina, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela on September 19, 2009.[61] Unlike Sky1, the channel aired Madonna: Sticky & Sweet without any commercial block; additionally, both "The Sweet Machine" and the requested song were uncut. On October 30, 2009 the show was made available to watch on the Epix television channel, video-on-demand and the website, for those that have a subscription.[62]

On January 12, 2010 Madonna's official website confirmed the video release of the tour. Titled Sticky & Sweet Tour, the live album was released by Live Nation on March 30, 2010 and distributed by Madonna's former record company, Warner Bros. (her final release for the label) It was available on DVD, Blu-ray and CD,[63] accompanied by a picture book by Madonna's manager Guy Oseary, titled Madonna: Sticky & Sweet.[64] Madonna commented that she had not been able to focus on the release of the DVD as she was involved with the development of her directorial venture, titled W.E.[65] Upon its release, Sticky & Sweet Tour received mixed reviews from critics, who panned it for being lifeless, but also praised the album for the performances, with "Into the Groove" being listed as a highlight of the tour.[66][67] It became Madonna's 19th top-ten album on the Billboard 200, while reached the top of the charts in Greece, Hungary, Mexico and Portugal.[68] The album also reached the top-ten in the charts of Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland, but had failed to reach the top-ten in Germany and the United Kingdom.[69]

Set listEdit

Set list and samples adapted per Madonna's official website and the notes and track listing of Sticky & Sweet Tour.[70][71]

Act 1: Pimp

  1. "The Sweet Machine" (Video Introduction) (contains elements of "Manipulated Living", "4 Minutes", "Human Nature" and "Give It 2 Me")
  2. "Candy Shop" (contains elements of "4 Minutes" and "Beat Goes On")
  3. "Beat Goes On" (contains elements of "And the Beat Goes On")
  4. "Human Nature" (contains elements of "Gimme More" and "What You Need")
  5. "Vogue" (contains elements of "4 Minutes" and "Give It to Me")

Act 2: Old-School

  1. "Die Another Day" (Remix Interlude) (contains elements of "Do You Wanna Get Funky", "Planet Rock", "Looking for the Perfect Beat" and "Mortal Kombat")
  2. "Into the Groove" (contains elements of "Back in the Day", "Toop Toop", "Body Work", "Jump", "Apache", "It's like That" and "Double Dutch Bus")
  3. "Heartbeat"
  4. "Borderline"
  5. "She's Not Me"
  6. "Music" (contains elements of "Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit", along with excerpts from "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life")

Act 3: Gypsy

  1. "Rain" (Remix Interlude) (contains elements of "Here Comes the Rain Again" and "4 Minutes")
  2. "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You"
  3. "Spanish Lesson"
  4. "Miles Away"
  5. "La Isla Bonita" (contains elements of "Lela Pala Tute", "Doli Doli", and "Me Darava")
  6. "You Must Love Me"

Act 4: Rave

  1. "Get Stupid" (Video Interlude) (contains elements of "Beat Goes On", "Give It 2 Me", "4 Minutes" and "Voices")
  2. "4 Minutes"
  3. "Like a Prayer" (contains elements of "Feels Like Home" and "Don't You Want Me")
  4. "Ray of Light"
  5. "Hung Up" (contains elements of "A New Level" and "4 Minutes")
  6. "Give It 2 Me" (Jody Den Broeder Remix) (contains elements of "Fired Up!" (Club 69 Mix))
  • "Like a Virgin" and "Express Yourself" were sung acapella on select dates during 2008.
  • "Dress You Up" was performed during the shows in Valencia, Vienna, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia; and the second shows in Toronto, Chicago, and Rio de Janeiro.
  • "Holiday" was sung acapella during the shows in Berlin and Frankfurt, the first show in Santiago, and the second show in Toronto.
  • During the show in East Rutherford and the second show in Las Vegas, Madonna performed "Open Your Heart".
  • During the second and fourth shows in New York City, "I Love New York" was sung acapella.
  • During the third show in New York City, Madonna dedicated "You Must Love Me" to her daughter, Lourdes, as it was her twelfth birthday. Additionally, Pharrell Williams joined Madonna onstage for both "Beat Goes On" and "Give It 2 Me".[72]
  • During the second shows in Montreal, Las Vegas, and Santiago, and the first show in Mexico City, Madonna performed "Sorry".
  • During the first show in Chicago, "Beautiful Stranger" was sung acapella.
  • During the second show in Oakland, Madonna sang "Burning Up".
  • During the show in Los Angeles, Madonna was joined by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake during the performances of "Human Nature" and "4 Minutes", respectively.[73] Prior to the show, an equipment malfunction caused damage to the top of the stage and some of the lighting. Madonna released a statement, saying "Even though my stage roof was damaged and some lights and effects aren't working, I want to do the show anyway because I don't want to disappoint my fans."[74]
  • During the show in Houston, Madonna performed "Secret".
  • During the shows in Detroit and Miami Gardens, "Material Girl" was performed.
  • "Everybody" was sung acapella during the show in Atlantic City.
  • During shows in Buenos Aires, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" was performed.
  • Starting on July 4, 2009, "Dress You Up" and "Holiday" replaced "Heartbeat" and "Borderline", respectively. Additionally, "Frozen", featuring elements of "Open Your Heart" and Calvin Harris' "I'm Not Alone", was added to the set list, replacing "Hung Up".
  • During the show in Copenhagen, Madonna and the audience sang "Happy Birthday" to her son Rocco, who turned nine that day and was in attendance.[75]


List of European concerts[76][77][78][79]
Date City Country Venue Opening act Attendance
(Tickets sold / available)
August 23, 2008 Cardiff Wales Millennium Stadium Paul Oakenfold 33,460 / 33,460 $5,279,107
August 26, 2008 Nice France Stade Charles-Ehrmann Robyn 41,483 / 41,483 $4,381,242
August 28, 2008 Berlin Germany Olympiastadion 47,368 / 47,368 $6,048,086
August 30, 2008 Zürich Switzerland Militärflugplatz Dübendorf 70,314 / 70,314 $11,093,631
September 2, 2008 Amsterdam Netherlands Amsterdam Arena 50,588 / 50,588 $6,717,734
September 4, 2008 Düsseldorf Germany LTU Arena 35,014 / 35,014 $4,650,327
September 6, 2008 Rome Italy Stadio Olimpico Benny Benassi 57,690 / 57,690 $5,713,196
September 9, 2008 Frankfurt Germany Commerzbank-Arena Robyn 39,543 / 39,543 $6,020,706
September 11, 2008 London England Wembley Stadium Paul Oakenfold 73,349 / 73,349 $11,796,540
September 14, 2008 Lisbon Portugal Parque da Bela Vista Robyn 75,000 / 75,000 $6,295,068
September 16, 2008 Seville Spain Estadio La Cartuja 47,712 / 59,258 $4,874,380
September 18, 2008 Valencia Circuit Ricardo Tormo 50,143 / 50,143 $4,941,980
September 20, 2008 Paris France Stade de France Bob Sinclar 138,163 / 138,163 $17,583,211
September 21, 2008
September 23, 2008 Vienna Austria Danube Island Robyn 57,002 / 57,002 $8,140,858
September 25, 2008 Budva Montenegro Jaz Beach 47,524 / 47,524 $3,463,063
September 27, 2008 Athens Greece Olympic Stadium 75,637 / 75,637 $9,030,440
List of North American concerts[3][80]
Date City Country Venue Opening act Attendance
(Tickets sold / available)
October 4, 2008 East Rutherford United States Izod Center Paul Oakenfold 16,896 / 16,896 $2,812,250
October 6, 2008 New York City Madison Square Garden 61,586 / 61,586 $11,527,375
October 7, 2008
October 11, 2008
October 12, 2008
October 15, 2008 Boston TD Banknorth Garden 26,611 / 26,611 $3,658,850
October 16, 2008
October 18, 2008 Toronto Canada Air Canada Centre 34,324 / 34,324 $6,356,171
October 19, 2008
October 22, 2008 Montreal Bell Centre 34,301 / 34,301 $5,391,881
October 23, 2008
October 26, 2008 Chicago United States United Center 30,968 / 30,968 $5,777,490
October 27, 2008
October 30, 2008 Vancouver Canada BC Place Stadium 52,712 / 52,712 $5,389,762
November 1, 2008 Oakland United States Oracle Arena 28,198 / 28,198 $4,964,765
November 2, 2008
November 4, 2008 San Diego Petco Park 35,743 / 35,743 $5,097,515
November 6, 2008 Los Angeles Dodger Stadium 43,919 / 43,919 $5,858,730
November 8, 2008 Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena 29,157 / 29,157 $8,397,640
November 9, 2008
November 11, 2008 Denver Pepsi Center 23,501 / 23,501 $4,434,020
November 12, 2008
November 16, 2008 Houston Minute Maid Park 41,498 / 41,498 $5,170,100
November 18, 2008 Detroit Ford Field 30,119 / 30,119 $2,395,900
November 20, 2008 Philadelphia Wachovia Center 13,790 / 13,790 $2,318,530
November 22, 2008 Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall 13,293 / 13,293 $3,321,000
November 24, 2008 Atlanta Philips Arena 14,843 / 14,843 $2,632,952
November 26, 2008 Miami Gardens Dolphin Stadium 47,998 / 47,998 $6,137,030
November 29, 2008 Mexico City Mexico Foro Sol 104,270 / 104,270 $10,428,743
November 30, 2008
List of South American concerts[3][81]
Date City Country Venue Opening act Attendance
(Tickets sold / available)
December 4, 2008 Buenos Aires Argentina River Plate Stadium Paul Oakenfold 263,693 / 263,693 $18,274,292
December 5, 2008[a]
December 7, 2008
December 8, 2008[b]
December 10, 2008 Santiago Chile Estadio Nacional de Chile 146,242 / 146,242 $11,385,499
December 11, 2008
December 14, 2008 Rio de Janeiro Brazil Estádio do Maracanã 107,000 / 107,000 $7,322,269
December 15, 2008
December 18, 2008 São Paulo Estádio do Morumbi 196,656 / 196,656 $15,462,185
December 20, 2008
December 21, 2008
List of European and West Asian concerts (2009)[76][83][84]
Date City Country Venue Opening act Attendance
(Tickets sold / available)
July 4, 2009 London England The O2 Arena Paul Oakenfold 27,464 / 27,464 $5,873,149
July 5, 2009
July 7, 2009 Manchester Manchester Evening News Arena 13,457 / 13,457 $2,827,517
July 9, 2009 Paris France Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy 15,806 / 15,806 $2,306,551
July 11, 2009[c] Werchter Belgium Werchter Festival Park 68,434 / 68,434 $7,190,295
July 14, 2009 Milan Italy San Siro 55,338 / 55,338 $6,507,798
July 16, 2009 Udine Stadio Friuli 28,362 / 28,362 $3,236,277
July 21, 2009 Barcelona Spain Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys 44,811 / 44,811 $5,010,557
July 23, 2009 Madrid Vicente Calderón Stadium 31,941 / 31,941 $4,109,791
July 25, 2009 Zaragoza Recinto de la Feria de Zaragoza 30,940 / 30,940 $2,015,381
July 28, 2009[d] Oslo Norway Valle Hovin 79,409 / 79,409 $10,481,500
July 30, 2009
August 2, 2009 Saint Petersburg Russia Palace Square 27,103 / 27,103 $4,431,805
August 4, 2009 Tallinn Estonia Tallinn Song Festival Grounds 72,067 / 72,067 $5,924,839
August 6, 2009 Helsinki Finland Jätkäsaari 85,354 / 85,354 $12,148,455
August 8, 2009 Gothenburg Sweden Ullevi Stadium 119,709 / 119,709 $14,595,910
August 9, 2009
August 11, 2009 Copenhagen Denmark Parken Stadium 48,064 / 48,064 $6,709,250
August 13, 2009 Prague Czech Republic Chodov Natural Amphitheater 42,682 / 42,682 $3,835,776
August 15, 2009 Warsaw Poland Bemowo Airport 79,343 / 79,343 $6,526,867
August 18, 2009 Munich Germany Olympic Stadium 35,127 / 35,127 $3,655,403
August 22, 2009 Budapest Hungary Kincsem Park 41,045 / 41,045 $3,920,651
August 24, 2009 Belgrade Serbia Ušće Park 39,713 / 39,713 $1,738,139
August 26, 2009 Bucharest Romania Parc Izvor 69,088 / 69,088 $4,659,836
August 29, 2009 Sofia Bulgaria Vasil Levski National Stadium 53,660 / 53,660 $4,896,938
September 1, 2009 Tel Aviv Israel Hayarkon Park 99,674 / 99,674 $14,656,063
September 2, 2009
Total 3,545,899 / 3,557,445 $407,713,266

Cancelled datesEdit

List of cancelled concerts with date, city, country, venue, and reason for cancellation
Date City Country Venue Reason
July 8, 2009 Manchester England Manchester Evening News Arena Unknown[86]
July 19, 2009 Marseille France Stade Vélodrome Stage collapse[87]
July 28, 2009 Hamburg Germany Hamburg Bahrenfeld Trab Arena[88] Unknown[86]
August 20, 2009 Ljubljana Slovenia Hippodrome low ticket sales[89]


  1. ^ The December 5, 2008 concert in Buenos Aires was originally scheduled to take place on December 3, 2008, but was rescheduled due to unforeseen technical difficulties.[82]
  2. ^ The December 8, 2008 concert in Buenos Aires was originally scheduled to take place on December 6, 2008, but was rescheduled.[82]
  3. ^ The July 11, 2009 concert in Werchter was part of Werchter Boutique.[85]
  4. ^ The July 28, 2009 concert in Oslo was originally scheduled to take place on July 29, 2009, but was rescheduled to fill the void left by the cancelled Hamburg show.[86]



See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit