Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Israel - on the concert circuit

From Associated Press, 2/9/09, by KARIN LAUB:

TEL AVIV, Israel — Madonna brought her mix of provocative music and spirituality to the Holy Land with a concert Tuesday in front of 50,000 fans who had endured a 16-year wait since the pop icon's last gig in Israel.

..."I shouldn't have stayed so long away," she told the adoring crowd midway through the show, as she broke away from the script to express her affection for the country.

...Madonna's fans are happy she's in Israel. Her first show sold out quickly, and a second was added.

After years of concerns over political tensions and violence, more world artists are performing to Israel.

Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney performed a year ago...

David Brinn, a music critic for The Jerusalem Post, said Madonna's performances are a sign that Israel is becoming more attractive as a concert venue. The Pet Shop Boys played Israel in July, pop sensation Lady Gaga was here last month, the rock band Faith No More is playing Tel Aviv on Tuesday night, and the iconic songwriter Leonard Cohen is to perform later this month.

"For a long time, it was security-related, and artists and managers didn't want to take a chance," he said of the dry spell in concerts. "They realized it is safe in comparison to other countries, and it is viable for artists to come here."
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