Madonna prohibits mobile phones during her concerts in Lisbon

Madonna prohibits mobile phones at the concerts of her new European tour, “Madame X Tour”, which has just started in Lisbon. The three-hour show at the Colosseum will last for eight nights in a row and will be the closest opportunity for Spanish fans as she will not perform in Madrid or Barcelona.

When the fans arrive at the gates of the emblematic stage of the Portuguese capital, they are surprised that they are handed a case to store the device, with the result that it is locked. The mobile remains at all times in the hands of its owner, but cannot be used. If for urgent reasons it should be turned on, then there is only the option of going to one of the areas indicated in the enclosure for this purpose.

The “queen of pop” wants to banish the usual stamp of hundreds of people more concerned with capturing images with the phone than following the performance. So she has made such determination decisively.

Madonna has preferred to start her tour of Europe in the city where she resides, since she has rented two consecutive properties in front of the Santa Catarina viewpoint. After premiering the “Madame X Tour” this Sunday, January 12, the evenings of days 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22 and 23 are ahead of her at the Lisbon Colosseum, before disembarking at the Palladium in London for 15 staging (January 27, 29 and 30, as well as 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16 February) and at the Grand Rex in Paris to 14 other dates: 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27 and 29 February, in addition to 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10 and 11 March.

It is still possible to get a ticket to see the American singer in Lisbon, with a payment of between 75 and 400 euros, the only prices available.

The event is divided into four acts, with great prominence of the songs inspired by her Portuguese stay: «God control», «Dark ballet», «Killers who are partying», «Extreme Occident». But, of course, you could not miss several hits, like “Express yourself”, “Papa don’t preach”, “Vogue” or “Like a prayer”.

There is also a lack of versions of pieces that have marked the diva on those nights of the Alfama in which it was soaked in the essence of fado and the rhythms of the old Portuguese colonies, especially in Cape Verde and Brazil. That is why she reinterprets “Fado Pechincha”, by Isabel de Oliveira, or “Sodade”, the imperishable hymn of Cesária Évora. The scenery includes a recreation of the interior of a fado house, an aesthetic that he loves and that is very characteristic of the city where his adopted son David Banda plays in the lower categories of Benfica.

And no, she has not forgotten to summon several local guests, such as the child prodigy of the Portuguese guitar, Gaspar Varela (grandson of Amália Rodrigues’ grandson), the Batucadeiras Orchestra of Cape Verde or the emerging Miroca Paris, former collaborator of Cesária Évora presto to offer his own repertoire on January 17 at the Lisbon Capitol.

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TCM Big Screen Classics Presents: ‘A League of Their Own’ back in theaters!

With the ranks of professional baseball depleted by players going off to war, in 1943 minor leagues were closing down and it was feared the majors might do the same. Thus, was born the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Tom Hanks stars as washed-up ballplayer Jimmy Dugan, who is hired to coach a team of athletic and driven young women including Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis), the “baseball Dollie” with the Babe Ruth swing, her younger sister Kit Keller (Lori Petty), and teammates Mae Mordabito (Madonna) and Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell). A League of Their Own is a comic look at the true story of these amazing young women who left their homes to become part of the league and revel in a skill they might once have been ashamed of and made history in the process.

Join the members of the All-American League (from cities near and far) at this special event includes exclusive insights from Turner Classic Movies.

April 26 – 27 – 29

Click HERE for tickets

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Madonna back in the Adamastor

Today, the American singer gives the first of eight concerts scheduled for the Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon.

Madonna landed in Lisbon this week and returned to the house near Largo de Adamastor, which, although the singer has gone on tour, is still leased to the American star. And this time, it’s literally back to work: starting tomorrow, the Madame X tour, the result of the self-titled album she released last year, starts her stage on European soil. The place chosen was precisely the same place where Madonna cooked Madame X – Lisbon.

Today, the singer then gives the first of eight concerts on Portuguese soil, all scheduled for the Coliseu dos Recreios. The 15-track album features collaborations with names such as Dino d’Santiago, Anitta or Gaspar Varela, Celeste Rodrigues’ young great-grandson guitarist, as well as some members of the Batukadeiras de Portugal Orchestra. Madame X is the result of a cultural melting pot in which Madonna says she emerged when, shortly before her 60th birthday, she moved to Lisbon, where she joins pop with Latin and African sounds as well as the fado tones she has been listening to. Alfama

The accompanying musicians on this tour have signed a confidentiality agreement, but SOL knows that Gaspar Varela will share the stage with the artist. Likely is also the presence of Dino´Santiago, who in Lisbon, judging by what was being shared by the artist on social networks, was a kind of musical cicerone of Madonna and a bridge of contact with Cape Verdean culture. It was even Dino who presented the project of the Batukadeiras Orchestra, which he sponsored in 2017, to the American singer.

Beyond the guests, possible is also an evocation to Celeste Rodrigues, for whom Madonna never hid the affection. In December 2017, during a Lisbon meeting, the two shared the interpretation of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love and at the end of this month Celeste Rodrigues, who died in August 2018 at the age of 95, flew at the invitation of Madonna to New York, where she spent the year.

All at home

From what the SOL learned, Madonna spent the last few days surrounded by the whole family at Adamastor’s house, with the exception of her eldest daughter, Lourdes, 23. The house, where the singer moved from after having lived in Ramaquê Palace, on Rua das Janelas Verdes, is located on the same street where Portuguese banker Horta Osório also maintains a residence and is owned by a businessman from Lisbon and Porto at night. .

The troupe was also joined by 61-year-old artist Ahlamalik Williams’s latest boyfriend. The model, choreographer and dancer, born in April 1994, is 25 years old. The 36 years that separate them have been surpassed after working together on the international Rebel Heart Tour in 2015 and 2016. Williams is also part of the cast of Madame X and, as such, will go up with his girlfriend to the playground.

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Madonna starts a concert marathon in Lisbon this Sunday

An event: Eight concerts by one of the biggest pop stars ever in the Portuguese capital is an unprecedented feat. Madonna takes this Sunday to the stage of the Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon, and brings with it the inspiration of the experience of recent years lived in Portugal, materialized in the album “Madame X”. You’ll also remember the high points of a 40-year career in a four-act show that fans can’t document on their mobile phones.

Madonna arrives in Europe via Portugal after an intense journey through several major US cities: the world tour began last September 17 in New York City, which the artist adopted as a home in the late 1970s, then moved on. Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami. The Coliseum of the Portuguese capital is ready: the American singer will perform there on January 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22 and 23, accompanied by Portuguese musicians, such as the Lisbon Batukadeiras Orchestra and the guitarist. Gaspar Varela.

It was in Lisbon that the artist drew inspiration for her 14th original album. Driven by friend Dino D’Santiago, Madonna immersed herself in Cape Verdean fado and music, translating these influences into her pop language in songs such as ‘Batuka’, recorded with the collaboration of the Batukadeiras Orchestra, ‘Killers Who Are Partying’ or, of course, Blaya’s version of ‘Faz Gostoso’, which sings socks with Brazilian Anitta. It is, therefore, a Madonna a little more Portuguese the one who, this time, will take the stage of the Colosseum.

THE MUSICIANS
According to one of the first reports of the Los Angeles Times tour, “the show focuses on Madonna’s life in Lisbon”, with one of the scenarios replicating in detail the houses where she began “listening to the dramatic Portuguese fado singers”. and music from the former island colony of Cape Verde ”. Madonna performs on stage surrounded by a battalion of dancers and a band with several musicians she met in Portugal.

“It was a life lesson and a production lesson, to accompany the production of this show,” Diogo Varela Silva, Portuguese director, grandson of fado singer Celeste Rodrigo and father of Gaspar Varela, 16-year-old guitarist chosen by Madonna to accompany her, told Expresso. on Madame X Tour.

In addition to Varela, on the Portuguese guitar, and more than a dozen Batukadeiras, there are also Madonna, Portuguese percussionist Carlos Mil-Homem, Portuguese trumpeter Jéssica Pina and Cape Verdean Miroca Paris, former collaborator of Cesária Évora.

A SETLIST

Ato I

God Control
Human Nature
Express Yourself

Ato II

Vogue
I Don’t Search I Find
Papa Don’t Preach
American Life

Ato III

Batuka
Fado Pechincha
Killers Who Are Partying
Crazy
La Isla Bonita
Medellín
Extreme Occident

Ato IV

Frozen
Come Alive
Future
Crave
Like a Prayer

Encore

I Rise

‘PROHIBITED’ VIDEOS
This is, we said, a more Portuguese but also more exclusive Madonna. Madonna forbids image capturing at concerts, requiring the public to lock cell phones and other electronic equipment in bags that will not open until the end of the show. A largely successful measure of secrecy, as there have been few recordings of shows popping up on social networks. There are, however, exceptions.

Last Thursday, Madonna posted on social media a video where she makes a “guided tour” of the Recreational Coliseum. “I’m here to inspect the room, dressed in civilian dress,” she says at one point. You can already see the audience’s chairs set up, as well as a big ‘X’ on red background on the stage, allusive to their latest album, “Madame X”.

THE TICKETS
Concerts will start at 9:30 pm, opening doors an hour earlier. With prices between 75 and 400 euros, there are still tickets available for almost every show (at the time we wrote this news, only the 18th and 21st shows are sold out.

Prices:

Orchestra Chairs: 400 €
1st Audience: 300 €
2nd Audience: 200 €
Central Counter: 125 €
Side Counter: 90 €
First Front Staterooms *: 200 €
First Side Cabins *: 125 €
2nd Front Staterooms *: 200 €
2nd Side Cabins *: 90 €
Ribbon: 125 €
Gallery: 75 €

This will be Madonna’s sixth coming to Portugal after her debut (in double dose) at the then-called Atlantic Pavilion (in Lisbon) in 2004, a performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards (also in the capital) in 2005, a concert of in the Parque da Bela Vista (again in Lisbon) in 2008, and a visit to Coimbra for the first and only stadium concert between us in 2012.

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Madonna kicks off her European ‘Madame X Tour’ in Lisbon today

American singer Madonna begins the European tour “Madame X” with the first of eight concerts at the Lisbon Coliseum, the city that inspired her for the latest album.

The ‘Madame X’ tour arrives in Europe, with 37 concerts in Lisbon, London and Paris scheduled until the end of March, after having gone through stages in the United States, where there were start-up production issues and late cancellations due to injury.

According to the lineup of the US tour, Madonna’s show will be divided into four acts, the scenic production will include the reinvention of a fado house and the interpretation of “Bargain Fado” with guitarist Gaspar Varela.

In addition to the young Portuguese guitarist, great-grandson of Celeste Rodrigues – fado singer whom the American artist is admiring -, the tour also includes Portuguese trumpeter Jessica Pina, percussionists Carlos Mil-Homem and Miroca Paris and the Cape Verdean female group. Batukadeiras.

Both the new album and this tour are admittedly influenced, creatively, by Madonna’s experience in Lisbon in recent years, where she got in touch with Lusophone and Latin culture.

Made in collaboration with French producer Mirwais, the album ‘Madame X’ includes collaborations with Brazilian singer Anitta and Colombian musician Maluma.

At ‘Madame X’ concerts, which take place in smaller, more intimate venues, Madonna drew an alignment that includes some new themes, such as’ God Control ‘and’ I Rise ‘, but also old material with’ Express Yourself ‘, performed’ capella ‘,’ American Life ‘and’ Papa don’t preach ‘.

In addition to today’s concert, Madonna, 61, will be at the Lisbon Coliseum on 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22 and 23.

Madonna first performed in Portugal in 2004, when she closed the Re-Invention Tour in Lisbon. The following year he performed in Lisbon at the MTV European Music Awards ceremony, returning to the capital in 2008. In 2012 he performed at the Cidade de Coimbra Stadium.

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Madonna at Colosseum: “It’s a beautiful tribute to Lisbon”

Director Diogo Varela Silva accompanied the first part of Madonna’s US tour and knows all about the show that Madonna brings to Lisbon. In addition to authoring documentaries about Zé Pedro or Celeste Rodrigues, who is a grandson, he is the father of the youngest Portuguese guitar prodigy, Gaspar Varela, who at the age of 16 debuted as an escort for the American singer on the tour “Madame X” – the show that from sunday will occupy the Coliseum dos Recreios for eight nights

“It was a life lesson and a production lesson, to accompany the assembly of this show.” The statement comes from Diogo Varela Silva, Portuguese director, grandson of fado singer Celeste Rodrigo and father of Gaspar Varela, 16-year-old guitarist chosen by Madonna to accompany her on the “Madame X Tour”. The pop queen’s new tour arrives this Sunday at the Lisbon Coliseum – extending until the 23rd, in a total of eight concerts – and Expresso spoke with the filmmaker about what the Portuguese public will be able to see on stage. Recognizing that she attended almost half a hundred concerts on US soil between September 17 and December 21 last year, Varela Silva, who had never seen Madonna live before, says the artist “made no concessions, nor has given up any of the ideas he had “for the new show,” had an exhausting job. She’s a workaholic. ”

After moving arms and luggage to the Portuguese capital in 2017, Madonna fell in love with fado when she heard Celeste Rodrigues, who died in the meantime, and got in touch with her. “She was asked to choose the best place to meet and they ended up meeting at [Fado House] Mesa de Frades” in the Alfama neighborhood: “They spent a very nice night there and then they became friends. She invited us to spend her New Year’s Eve this year in New York, and that’s when things started. ” When the director’s grandmother, sister of Amália Rodrigues, died on August 1, 2018, the American artist left a loving message on social networks: “I’m very lucky to have met and sung with this absolute fado legend. Rest in peace”.

By this time, the artist was already working on “Madame X”, her 14th album of originals, and a year later came confirmation: Gaspar Varela, great-grandson of Celeste Rodrigues, would take his Portuguese guitar for the promotion tour to disco. “Things are going beautifully,” assumes the young musician’s father, “I’m sure it’s being a super rewarding experience for him. And it’s huge! His first world tour is with Madonna. I tell him, by joke, “If at 16 you are touring with Madonna, at 30 you are at the Artist’s House.”The few available images of the concerts, as it is forbidden to use mobile phones and other electronic devices that allow the capture of video or photography, are shared on the official social networks of the queen of pop, so the surprise factor is an important ingredient in the performances. that are coming closer. It is known from the reports of US publications that there is a strong Portuguese component on stage. “It’s a very rich show and, above all, a beautiful tribute to Lisbon”, assures Varela Silva, “I heard her talk about Lisbon outside, but I am dead to see what she says here, how the show will adapt to Lisbon.

In addition to Gaspar Varela, the Portuguese performers Carlos Mil-Homem (percussion) and Jessica Pina (trumpet), as well as Cape Verdean musicians (the Batukadeiras Orchestra and the singer and multi-instrumentalist Miroca Paris, former collaborator of Cesaria Evora).

After the big stadium tours, Madonna decided this time to present the fans with an “intimate” show. “There is a greater proximity to the public in these kind of shows”, defends the filmmaker, “the way she presents the album, it makes perfect sense to be this format and not in stadiums. Now maybe it’s more tiring, because she does more concerts in one place than it would if it were big arenas. ”

Regarding what this experience will represent for her son in the future, Varela Silva believes that “there are more people curious to see his work” and that his actions in his own name “maybe will work better”. “There are already some invitations, but there were also some dates confirmed abroad before,” he continues, “in fact, a few days before traveling to rehearsals for the New York tour, I was opening for Tomatito at a concert in Spain.” Diogo Varela Silva, who has in his curriculum the documentaries “O Fado da Bia” (2012, about the fado singer Beatriz da Conceição), “Celeste” (2015, about her grandmother) and “Zé Pedro Rock’n’Roll” (2019, about falecid

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MADONNA | LIVE NATION PRESENTS | MADAME X TOUR

As requested by the event promoter, we inform you that:

“Madonna

Madame X Lisbon Coliseum

We’re excited to introduce you to the intimate experience of Madame X at the Lisbon Coliseum.

 

Please note, this event will be a phone-free experience. Use of cellphones, smart watches, smart accessories, cameras or recording devices will not be permitted in the performance space. After the ticket scanning process, all phones and smart watches will be secured in Yondr cases that will be opened at the end of the event. Guests maintain possession of their phones at all times and if needed may access their phones throughout the event at designated Phone Use Areas in the venue. All phones will be re-secured in the storage case before returning to the event space.

Doors will open at 8:30 pm.

 

We appreciate your cooperation in creating a phone-free experience.

Enjoy the show!”

 

 

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From “Motivation” To “Small Talk,” The 55 Best Music Videos Of 2019 (Madonna at 38 and 1!)

38. “Medellín” – Madonna feat. Maluma

Toe sucking and wedding wear. Madonna introduced us to the titular character of her latest album Madame X and got into all sorts of trouble with collaborator Maluma when they linked up to film a rebellious and predictably sexy video for “Medellín.”

1. “God Control” – Madonna

Madonna’s hard-to-watch but utterly vital “God Control” video is an 8-plus minute demand for gun reform. This is the sort of art that proves the Queen of Pop still has her finger on the pulse and is creating work that is both visually striking and capable of speaking to larger cultural issues.

Full article at IDOLATOR

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Art duo Pierre et Gilles have spent 40 years creating opulent shrines to pop icons (including Madonna)

Back in the 1990s, Michael Jackson phoned French photographer Pierre Commoy and painter Gilles Blanchard — better known as Pierre et Gilles — to place an order for 70 portraits.
The King of Pop was eager for his own opulent icon, perhaps having seen the duo’s fairytale depictions of Madonna as a flute-toting Japanese divinity or Boy George as the Hindu god Krishna.
But Jackson had failed to understand the labor of love that went into each image, requiring the construction of a three-dimensional theatre set, built from scratch, with details meticulously hand-painted on each photograph after it is printed.
“Like many others, I think he assumed we did everything in Photoshop,” said Blanchard, one half of the partners-in-life-and-art, whose production has never exceeded 20 portraits a year. “So we sadly had to refuse.”
"Legend" (Madonna), 1995 by Pierre et Gilles

 
“Legend” (Madonna), 1995 by Pierre et Gilles Credit: Pierre et Gilles

Full article at CNN

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This artist is turning Madonna’s albums into comic covers and they’re incredible

Liam Alexander / @artofliamalxndr

Madonna’s albums never looked so good.

Artist Liam Alexander is dedicating his latest project to the Queen of Pop by turning all 14 of her major studio records (excluding soundtracks and compilations) into gorgeous comic book covers, and they’re a fan’s dream.

So far, he’s released illustrations for Madonna, Like A Virgin, True Blue, Like A Prayer, Erotica (our personal favourite), Bedtime Stories, Ray Of Light, and just this week Music. We can’t wait to see what Confessions On A Dance Floor will look like.

Each cover features nods to every song on the respective album’s tracklist, ranging from the more obvious ones like a White Heat movie poster on True Blue, to tiny easter eggs like a saloon called The Anchor on Music, referencing lyrics to the song Runaway Lover.

Previous artists who have been given the comic book treatment include Kate Bush, Bjork, FKA Twigs and Tori Amos.

“I’m currently working through a roster of my favourite artists, reimagining their work in this style,” Liam told GAY TIMES.

“It’s my way of paying tribute to each era and I get to combine my love of music and comics. Madonna was high on my list because she’s always been a huge inspiration.”

Check out Liam’s incredible comic covers below or on his Instagram – you can also purchase prints of the artwork here.

Full article by GayTimes HERE

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MADONNA WORSHIP: LISBON EDITION 17.01.2020 (MUSIC BY DJ CHAUNCEY D)

MADONNA WORSHIP:  LISBON EDITION
CORVO – PRINCIPE REAL
17.01.2020
MUSIC BY DJ CHAUNCEY D

New York City’s DJ Chauncey D brings his infamous Madonna Worship Night to Portugal in January 2020.

To coincide with the much anticipated Lisbon leg of her current Madame X theatre tour, Chauncey Dandridge brings his Madonna Worship magick to Portugal for a one night affair at Corvo – Principe Real on Friday, January 17th!  If you’re visiting just to see Madonna live in concert or you call Lisboa your home, this is an event surely not to be missed in the very city her most recent critically acclaimed album was conceived.   We hope you join us for this historical gathering as DJ Chauncey D proudly makes his European debut.

For 11 years DJ Chauncey D has celebrated The Queen of Pop’s birthday each August in NYC with his famous Madonna Worship Night.  Originally concieved at East Village staple Nowhere Bar in 2009, the all Madonna all night dance party now resides at the world famous Stonewall Inn in the heart of The West Village in Manhattan, the very room Madonna herself kicked off the 50th anniversary of The Stonewall Riots last January with a very special surprise appearance and performance.   The night features curated performances by New York nightlife talent and encompasses every inch of her almost forty year career with popular hits, b-sides, rarities and remixes throughout the evening.

🇵🇹🇵🇹🇵🇹🇵🇹🇵🇹
Em Janeiro de 2020, o DJ nova-iorquino “Chauncey D” traz a Portugal o conceituado Madonna Worship Night.

Coincidente com o antecipadíssimo concerto de Lisboa da turnê  Madame X Theatre Tour, Chauncey Dandridge traz à capital portuguesa Madonna Worship Magick para um one night affair no Corvo – Principe Real, na sexta-feira 17 de Janeiro!

Se apenas estás de visita para ver o concerto ao vivo de Madonna ou então se chamas a Lisboa “a tua casa” este é certamente um evento imperdível na cidade onde o seu último e aclamado álbum foi concebido. Esperamos que se junte a nós neste encontro histórico, onde DJ Chauncey D orgulhosamente se estreia na Europa.
Nos últimos 11 anos, DJ Chauncey D celebrou em Nova-Iorque em cada Agosto o aniversário da “Rainha do Pop” com o seu famoso Madonna Worship Night.
Originalmente concedida no Nowhere Bar, em East Village em 2009, a all Madonna all night dance party fica agora no mundialmente afamado Stonewall Inn, no coração de The West Village, em Manhattan, espaço esse que em Janeiro do ano passado, Madonna abriu no 50º aniversário dos motins de Stonewall, com uma performance especial numa aparição surpresa.
A noite apresenta performances seleccionadas pelo talento da vida nocturna de Nova Iorque e abrange toda a sua carreira de quase quarenta anos com hits populares, b-sides, raridades e remixes durante a noite.

Instagram @djchaunceyd @chaunceydandridge 
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POP REVIEWS: The spectacle has been superb, the music patchy, the time-keeping abysmal: Madonna has powerful charisma on her ‘intimate’ tour

Brooklyn Academy Of Music, New York

Rating: 

Madonna?’ said the immigration officer at JFK. ‘She’s, like, 70, right?’ Well, no – she’s 61, and determined to prove that 61 is the new 31. The drive that propelled her to fame is now pointed towards eternal youth.

This hasn’t stopped the UK singles chart, which she ruled for decades, deciding that she’s past it. Medellín, the Latin-flavoured lead single from her new album Madame X, is stronger than most of her 21st-century hits, yet it peaked at No 87.

On stage Madonna remains a magnet, capable of filling the biggest venues. In fact she began like that: her first full-length London gig, in 1987, was at Wembley Stadium. And she smashed it.

On stage Madonna remains a magnet, capable of filling the biggest venues. In fact she began like that: her first full-length London gig, in 1987, was at Wembley Stadium. And she smashed it

 

On stage Madonna remains a magnet, capable of filling the biggest venues. In fact she began like that: her first full-length London gig, in 1987, was at Wembley Stadium. And she smashed it

Now, on the Madame X tour, she finally gets round to playing theatres. The only thing not shrinking is the price of the tickets. Madonna, who has never liked to see a tout turn a profit, is charging £480 for the best seats. 

Not that the fans seem to mind: after announcing six nights at the London Palladium, the promoters added nine more.

When big names play small halls, they generate a massive buzz. The punters filing into an elegant old opera house in Brooklyn are pumped. Everybody’s phone is impounded in a sealed pouch to stop us posting fuzzy videos on social media. 

It feels officious, but fair enough if the idea is to make the experience theatrical rather than gig-like.

In the theatre, though, things happen on time – and Madonna doesn’t appear till 10.50pm. It’s a dangerous game, especially given the prices, which make for a more mature audience. 

Of my three nearest neighbours, who feel like old friends by the time the curtain rises, two leave well before the end. ‘I don’t care who the f*** you are,’ says one, a true New Yorker. ‘You can’t come on three hours after the time on the ticket.’

After this, the show had better be good. And it does get off to a memorable start. Two figures take the stage, a man dancing and a woman typing, on an actual typewriter. 

IT’S A FACT 

Madonna may be a big noise in the music business, but she suffers from brontophobia: a fear of thunder and lightning. 

The words appear on a big screen above her: ‘Artists are here to disturb the peace – James Baldwin.’

From behind a giant American flag, Madonna makes her entrance. As she sings God Control, more dancers appear, some dressed as cops, confronting the others. It’s intense and compelling. 

As the live action merges with pre-recorded videos, this is a hybrid art form that doesn’t have a name yet: a cocktail of pop, dance, film, politics and design.

After opening with two songs from Madame X, Madonna wisely goes back to the hits for a stripped-down Human Nature and an a capella Express Yourself. She’s joined by a chorus of 11 black women and girls, including three of her six children – Mercy James, who is 13, and the twins Stella and Esther, six. 

Isn’t it past their bedtime?

The middle of the show is visually gorgeous but musically thin. Madonna falls into an old trap, being too much in love with her latest album. She plays 11 tracks from Madame X and only eight from all its predecessors combined. 

The new songs, crunchy as they are, can’t compete with the gleaming pop of VoguePapa Don’t Preach or Like A Prayer.

A sagging middle can be forgiven if it’s followed by a killer ending, but four of the last five numbers are new ones. By now, well past midnight, Madonna is delivering monologues, some in character as Madame X, who is becoming a bit of a bore.

The watchword of the tour is ‘intimate’. And it is, in that you see a superstar with the naked eye and feel her powerful charisma. But Madonna still keeps her distance, even when descending into the stalls for a rather awkward chat with a fan. 

The spectacle has been superb, the music patchy, the time-keeping abysmal.

Madonna is at the London Palladium, January 27 to February 16, madonna.com

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