Pop superstar Madonna kicked off her world tour with a bang on Thursday, brandishing a rifle as she took to the stage in front of 32,000 screaming fans in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Material Girl's first gig on her MDNA trek was a sell-out, and the crowd at the Ramat Gan stadium were treated to an all-singing, all-dancing set, which was heralded by the tolling of a church bell.

madonna

A youthful looking Madonna came on stage dressed as a cheerleader

Madonna appeared on set from behind a church backdrop, and broke through a screen using a rifle - which she then aimed at the audience as she burst into a rendition of her new single Girl Gone Wild, accompanied by dancers dressed as monks.

madonnna

Madonna surrounded by her usual array of half-naked men

Guns were a big theme of the show as she went on to perform Revolver and Gang Bang, which were accompanied by video images of empty bullet casings falling to the ground.

madonna

Madonna was joined by her son Rocco who appeared on stage more than once during the concert

There was another controversial moment after Madonna had performed her hit Give Me All Your Luvin', when the pop superstar combined her classic Express Yourself with Lady Gaga's sound-alike tune Born This Way.

madonna

Madonna showed off her muscular arms during the concert as she played the guitar

Gaga was criticised for her track last year after it was pointed out the tune's melody is almost identical to that of the 53 year old's classic - and Madonna addressed the controversy following her performance, declaring: "She's not me!"

madonna

The Tel Aviv concert wowed the crowds with its over the top backdrops and set design

During the set, Madonna sang several classic tracks, including Like A Virgin, Hung Up and Like A Prayer, and she thrilled the crowd as she performed Vogue wearing her signature conical bra.

She also spoke at length to the audience between her songs, revealing she chose the Holy Land as her debut tour stop to push for peace in the Middle East.



The singer said: "I chose to start my world tour in Israel for a very specific and important reason. You can't be a fan of mine and not want peace in the world. We all bleed the same colour."

"If we can all rise above our egos and our titles and the names of our countries and our religions, and treat everyone around us with dignity and respect, then we are on the road to peace. If there is peace here in the Middle East, there can be peace in the whole world."

Madonna's next stop on the tour is in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Madonna

    U.S pop icon Madonna at the Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, May 31, 2012. Madonna launch her hotly-anticipated MDNA world tour with a show in Tel Aviv, kicking off a roadtrip of more than 30 countries in what will be her longest-ever stint on the road. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 31: Madonna performs on stage during her "MDNA" tour at Ramat Gan Stadium on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

  • US pop icon Madonna (C) performs on stag

    US pop icon Madonna (C) performs on stage during her first MDNA world tour concert in the Ramat Gan Stadium, near Tel Aviv, on May 31, 2012. Madonna's Tel Aviv concert sold 32,000 tickets and it is the first in her world tour spanning 30 countries and 86 concert dates to promote her new MDNA album. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 31: Madonna performs on stage during her "MDNA" tour at Ramat Gan Stadium on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

  • Madonna

    U.S pop icon Madonna performs at the Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, May 31, 2012. Pop music star Madonna is kicking off her new world tour in front of tens of thousands of ecstatic fans in Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • US pop icon Madonna performs on stage du

    US pop icon Madonna performs on stage during her first MDNA world tour concert in the Ramat Gan Stadium, near Tel Aviv, on May 31, 2012. Madonna's Tel Aviv concert sold 32,000 tickets and it is the first in her world tour spanning 30 countries and 86 concert dates to promote her new MDNA album. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Madonna

    U.S pop icon Madonna performs at the Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv, Israel,Thursday, May 31, 2012. Pop music star Madonna is kicking off her new world tour in front of tens of thousands of ecstatic fans in Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • US pop icon Madonna (C) performs on stag

    US pop icon Madonna (C) performs on stage during her first MDNA world tour concert in the Ramat Gan Stadium, near Tel Aviv, on May 31, 2012. Madonna's Tel Aviv concert sold 32,000 tickets and it is the first in her world tour spanning 30 countries and 86 concert dates to promote her new MDNA album. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US pop icon Madonna (C) performs on stag

    US pop icon Madonna (C) performs on stage during her first MDNA world tour concert in the Ramat Gan Stadium, near Tel Aviv, on May 31, 2012. Madonna's Tel Aviv concert sold 32,000 tickets and it is the first in her world tour spanning 30 countries and 86 concert dates to promote her new MDNA album. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US pop icon Madonna performs on stage du

    US pop icon Madonna performs on stage during her first MDNA world tour concert in the Ramat Gan Stadium, near Tel Aviv, on May 31, 2012. Madonna's Tel Aviv concert sold 32,000 tickets and it is the first in her world tour spanning 30 countries and 86 concert dates to promote her new MDNA album. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Madonna "MDNA" World Tour Opener

    TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 31: Madonna performs during the opening concert of her 'MDNA' World Tour at Ramat Gan stadium on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

  • Madonna "MDNA" World Tour Opener

    TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 31: Madonna performs during the opening concert of her 'MDNA' World Tour at Ramat Gan stadium on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

  • Madonna

  • Madonna

    U.S pop icon Madonna performs at the Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv, Israel,Thursday, May 31, 2012. Pop music star Madonna is kicking off her new world tour in front of tens of thousands of ecstatic fans in Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Madonna

    U.S pop icon Madonna at the Ramat Gan stadium nearTel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, May 31, 2012. Madonna launch her hotly-anticipated MDNA world tour with a show in Tel Aviv, kicking off a road trip of more than 30 countries in what will be her longest-ever stint on the road. Pop music star Madonna is kicking off her new world tour in front of tens of thousands of ecstatic fans in Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Madonna

    U.S pop icon Madonna at the Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, May 31, 2012. Madonna launch her hotly-anticipated MDNA world tour with a show in Tel Aviv, kicking off a roadtrip of more than 30 countries in what will be her longest-ever stint on the road. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Israelis dance during a party in a club of Tel Aviv to celebrate the arrival of Madonna in Israel, early Saturday, May 26, 2012. The Madonna 2012 World Tour will start on May 29 in Tel Aviv. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

  • US pop icon Madonna performs on stage du

    US pop icon Madonna performs on stage during her first MDNA world tour concert in the Ramat Gan Stadium, near Tel Aviv, on May 31, 2012. Madonna's Tel Aviv concert sold 32,000 tickets and it is the first in her world tour spanning 30 countries and 86 concert dates to promote her new MDNA album. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US pop icon Madonna performs on stage du

    US pop icon Madonna performs on stage during her first MDNA world tour concert in the Ramat Gan Stadium, near Tel Aviv, on May 31, 2012. Madonna's Tel Aviv concert sold 32,000 tickets and it is the first in her world tour spanning 30 countries and 86 concert dates to promote her new MDNA album. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Madonna "MDNA" World Tour Opener

    TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 31: Madonna performs during the opening concert of her 'MDNA' World Tour at Ramat Gan stadium on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

  • TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 31: Rocco Ritchie and Madonna perform on stage during her 'MDNA' tour at Ramat Gan Stadium on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

  • TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 31: Rocco Ritchie and Madonna perform on stage during her 'MDNA' tour at Ramat Gan Stadium on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

  • TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 31: Rocco Ritchie and Madonna perform on stage during her 'MDNA' tour at Ramat Gan Stadium on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)