SINGAPORE, Feb 27 — The year was 1985. Pop star Madonna was then on her debut concert tour, dubbed The Virgin Tour, after her smash hit, Like A Virgin.
Her tour was underway when her managers, promoters and Madonna herself realised that the venues they were playing in would not be able to sustain the demand for her live shows. That was when she drastically switched from playing at small clubs to huge sporting arenas mid-way through the tour, as her phenomenal rise to fame shot through the roof.
Since then, the “mid-western girl with a bustier” has never ever done any “small” concert; and the current 82-show Rebel Heart Tour, the pop icon’s 10th world tour, is no exception. Since it kicked off in Montreal, Canada on September 9, 2015, audiences worldwide have been mesmerised by the extravagant stage show with its stunning sets, sizzling dance numbers, glitzy costumes and, of course, by the scintillating Queen of Pop herself.
As the S$14 million (RM42 million) show rolls into Singapore for the very first time, the 74th stop of her tour, tomorrow, we dish out the numbers on what makes a juggernaut show of this size tick.
180: Approximately the number of people who work and travel on this tour depending on the location.
4: Cargo planes required to carry all the tour equipment and other items to the first Asian stop of the tour: Taipei. The stage in Singapore will have to be set up in a little less than a day.
6.3: Tonnes of lights, sound and video equipment used each night; with 2.5 tonnes of that weight being the moveable stage ramp, specially constructed for the main stage.
2,150,400: LEDs lighting up the rear screens on the Rebel Heart stage; and 22 videos are played on the rear screens during the concert. One of the videos — Rebel Heart — consists entirely of digital artwork submitted by fans.
500: Pairs of shoes — custom-made for the entire troupe of performers, including musicians, back-up vocalists and dancers. More than 1,000 costumes were also designed and made for all of them
20: Hand-picked dancers who spent three months putting in 14-hour days, six days a week, to prepare for the show.
2,500,000: Swarovski crystals used on Madonna’s various costumes; Madonna makes at least eight costume changes during the two-hour. Speaking of costumes, Madonna would have worn more than 200 pair of fishnets by the time the tour wraps in Sydney, Australia on March 20.
17: Make-up brushes used to get Madonna’s face ready every night. The Material Girl also goes through five powder puffs a night.
2: The number of times Madonna plays the ukulele (yes, she does!). 25 string instruments are also featured during the show.
1: Stage designed to “flow through the audience” and actually comprises a main stage, with an extended catwalk that has a circular stage in the centre and a heart-shaped stage at the end. — TODAY