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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Madonna's Russia Tour (1 Gig) Ends in Disastrous, Humiliating Failure for Russia

The Daily Mirror reports that Madonna's fans were scared off by outrageous ticket prices and those who showed up at her first-ever Moscow concert were too scared to dance, making the concert a total failure and blinding humiliation for Russia. Chechens 1, Putin 0.

MADONNA played the most incredible concert ever in Moscow - with 10,000 soldiers and riot police armed to the teeth in the audience.

Following mafia kidnap fears and warnings of Chechen terrorist attacks thousands of police and army cadets were out in force, bristling with weaponry, at her Russian gig. So it was little wonder her fans found it hard to get in the party mood - many punters said they found the huge police presence menacing and intimidating.

One fan told us: "There was very little atmosphere or dancing and Madonna was really struggling to get the crowd going Most events have a security presence but this did seem to be extraordinary.

"I was at the G8 summit and the security was comparable. Everywhere you looked there was a ring of security guards. It did make it hard to dance when you're standing beside a guy in a uniform."

Madonna was playing the Luzhniki Stadium, and it must have been odd looking out into the crowd and seeing nearly as many police as punters.

The concert began with the 48-year-old descending from the roof in riding gear shouting: "Hello Russia! Ladies and gentlemen, thanks for coming."

The 55,000 capacity venue wasn't full - partly because tickets for the Confessions tour cost up to £500, nearly two and a half times a monthly Muscovite wage.

And at least a third of the seats were empty.

Sniffer dogs, explosives experts and soldiers from the Dzerzhinsky special task force were on hand while helicopters circled the stadium on Tuesday night.

Queues grew as every guest had to go through a metal detector and have their bags checked.

The world's biggest-selling female artist was scheduled to perform in a park close to Moscow State University and more than 35,000 tickets were sold within days of becoming available.

But police demanded a change of venue two weeks ago amid fears that as many as 200,000 people could gatecrash one of the biggest showbiz events in Russia this year.

Madge has also had criticism from church chiefs and Russian Orthodox leaders demanded she ditch religious imagery from her act.

One fan moaned later: "It was closer to a Lionel Richie concert than a satanic orgy."

Maybe Russia's new song should be, sung to the tune of "New York, New York" something like "If you can't fail there, you can't fail anywhere . . ."

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