After 14 albums and 11 concert tours, Madonna is still out there living her best life.
The 61-year-old singer-songwriter, mother of six and ever-evolving Queen of Pop is currently out on her all-theater Madame X Tour in support of her latest album of the same title, which was released on June 14. So far, she’s released five singles from “Madame X” including the Latin-infused “Medellín,” the pop-dance track, “Crave,” a soaring balled dubbed, “I Rise,” the reggae/dancehall song “Future” and multi-layered, classical music meets EDM, “Dark Ballet.”
The outing marks the first time since 1985’s The Virgin Tour that Madonna has performed exclusively in small venues. She’s scheduled 10 nights at 1,850-capacity Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles Nov. 13-14; 16-17; 19-21; and 23-25. The first evening of the initial run, Friday, Nov. 12, was abruptly canceled last month. The shows are sold out, however tickets are still available via secondary sellers, but the asking price is anywhere from $200-$1,500 for those desperately seeking to catch Madonna’s performance in an intimate space.
Throughout her career, which has now spanned four decades, Madonna has always made a splash in Southern California.
After rolling around on stage in a wedding dress and singing “Like a Virgin” during the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards Show at Radio City Music Hall in 1984, Madonna hit the road on The Virgin Tour in support of her self-titled and “Like a Virgin” albums. The jaunt hit up SDSU Open Air Theatre in San Diego for two nights before selling out Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa on April 21 and migrating further north to Universal Amphitheatre for three evenings, April 26-18, 1985.
By Madonna’s second tour, her fame had skyrocketed. She released her third album, “True Blue” and had starred in the film “Who’s That Girl,” to which she also contributed the music. With hits such as “Papa Don’t Preach,” “Who’s That Girl,” “Open Your Heart” and “La Isla Bonita,” Madonna headlined Angel Stadium in Anaheim on July 18, 1987.
Three years later, she was back on the road with another new album, “Like a Prayer” and music from the “Dick Tracy” film, in which she starred opposite Warren Beatty. Madonna brought her Blond Ambition Tour to Southern California and played five nights at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on May 11-13 and 15-16, 1990 and performed hits like “Express Yourself” and “Like a Prayer.”
Following her back-to-back albums and lengthy tours, Madonna took a bit of a break before going out on The Girlie Show World Tour in support of her “Erotica” album in 1993. That jaunt didn’t hit Los Angeles, but did play out in in England, Paris, Mexico, Australia and there were just a handful of dates in the U.S. including three nights at Madison Square Garden (Oct. 14,15 and 17) in New York City. It would be eight years before Madonna toured again.
In 1998, she released “Ray of Light” and followed that up with “Music” in 2000 before she set off on the Drowned World Tour in 2001. She sold out four nights at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Sept. 9 and 13-15. In 2003, she dropped “American Life” and went out on the Re-Invention World Tour which kicked off at The Forum in Inglewood on May 24, 2004. She also played May 26-27 at the venue and dipped behind the Orange Curtain to play the Arrowhead Pond (now Honda Center) in Anaheim June 2-3.
Madonna joined animated band Gorillaz for a mashup of their hit “Feel Good Inc.” and her single, “Hung Up,” during the opening of the 48th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 6, 2006 at Staples Center. Two months later, she performed at the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio and then officially embarked on the Confessions Tour in support of her 10th studio album, “Confessions on a Dance Floor.” Once again, the jaunt kicked off at The Forum on May 21. She also sold out the venue May 23-24 as well as Staples Center on June 3.
Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008-2009, in support of the album, “Hard Candy,” broke several ticket sale records and it became the highest-grossing concert tour ever by a female artist, raking in $408 million. She brought the show to Petco Park in San Diego on Nov. 4 and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Nov. 6, 2008. Four years after their infamous kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna and Britney Spears reunited at Dodger Stadium for the song, “Human Nature.”
Her MDNA Tour kicked off on May 31, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel, and skipped all across Europe, bringing in anywhere from $1 million-$7 million per show before she hit the U.S. She played two evenings at Staples Center, Oct. 10-11, and included songs like “Girl Gone Wild,” “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” and “Turn Up the Radio,” off of her “MDNA” album.
Madonna returned to the Grammy stage to perform her single “Living For Love,” for the 57th annual awards ceremony at Staples Center on Feb. 8, 2015. Later that year she released her 13th studio album, “Rebel Heart,” and embarked on an all-arena tour that included sold-out stops at The Forum on Oct. 27 and Valley View Casino Center in San Diego on Oct. 29, 2015.
Now, Madonna returns with the string of shows at The Wiltern. Though its an intimate show, the Madame X Tour is bursting with production, however, fans will have to witness it through their own eyes instead of through their cell phones as Madonna has banned the devices from the performances. Phones will either have to be left at home, in the car or they will be placed in secure pouches ahead of the performance. It’s not only cell phones — all devices including smart watches and smart phone accessories will also not be permitted in the performance space.
Though a majority of these shows are playing off on weeknights, Madonna is not going on until 10:30 p.m. so it will be a late one. She’s got a pretty stacked set list, too. So far, she’s been playing songs from throughout her career including “Vogue,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” “La Isla Bonita,” “Frozen,” “Express Yourself,” “American Life,” “Like a Prayer” and she’s playing a good chunk of the new material as well.
Madonna’s Madame X Tour
When: 10:30 p.m. November 13-14, 16-17, 19-21, 23-25
Where: The Wiltern Theatre, 3790 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
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