Madonna kicks off tour with intimate BAM concert

Madonna was like a virgin — shiny and new all over again.

In the first full concert of her sixth decade, the 61-year-old Queen of Pop ventured into unknown terrain, launching her “Madame X” theater tour at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House on Tuesday night. In a 37-year career playing arenas and stadiums, after rising up from the downtown New York club scene, she was still reinventing herself.

This — the first of her 17-night stand at BAM ending Oct. 12 — was indeed uncharted territory for a woman who has done it all. Playing in such an intimate space after all these years, though, the pop diva of all pop divas was adamant about you not sharing videos and pics of her so up close and personal.

Her no-cellphone policy required you to put your device in a pouch that wouldn’t allow you access to it until after the show or at designated phone stations outside of the theater.

The Material Mom of six has gone from “Papa Don’t Preach” to “Mama Don’t Play.” She can still out-diva any opera diva on the planet.

But as fans lined up around Fort Greene’s Ashland Place to get to the opera house entrance on Lafayette Street — no doubt slowed by having to put their phones in those YONDR pouches—it was the kind of New York scene befitting a New York icon. When it was announced that she wouldn’t even go on until 10:30 p.m. — despite the 8:30 start time on the ticket — fans didn’t even blink an eye.

They knew the drill: You wait until Madonna is ready.

When she finally took the stage around 10:45 p.m. to sing “God Control,” her anti-gun anthem from her “Madame X” album, some of her old fans who had been napping on their partners’ shoulders needed to heed the song’s call to “wake up” in a very literal sense.

Fans line up around the block at BAM for the opening night of Madonna's residency Madame X tour.
Fans line up around the block at BAM for the opening night of Madonna’s residency Madame X tour.William C. Lopez

But just as Madonna wanted to keep it old-school with her no-cellphone policy — which was refreshing and relatively painless — the night was also a concession to the fact that she is, well, older now.

That could be felt in her most throwback moment, when she took a Polaroid selfie of herself and sold it to old pal Rosie O’Donnell — her costar in 1992’s “A League of Their Own” — for a thousand dollars.

But it could also be measured in the fact that this theater tour is not just a creative curve in a career where every move has been calculated, but it’s a reimagining of herself as an artist at a time when she can no longer do the choreography-heavy work that arenas and stadiums would demand of her.

Let’s be real: There’s only so far Madonna had to walk from one side of the stage to the other at BAM.

As shrewd of an agent as Madame X — the spy alter ego she adopted for her latest album — is, she had her dancers do the heavy lifting for her. Instead, she emphasized the performance art that has always been a part of her concerts at the expense of the moves that she honed when dance teacher Martha Graham first coined her “Madame X.”

Fans line up around the block at BAM for the opening night of Madonna's residency Madame X tour.
William C. Lopez

The setting and the sensibility turned up the theatrics of “Madame X” songs such as “Dark Ballet,” which, with its nod to Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” came to life in a way that made it dig into your soul more than the recording could. And make no mistake, this is a “Madame X” show. A good 80-85 percent of the two-hour-plus show is dedicated to her new album.

That won’t make this tour the go-to show for the casual Madonna fan, but diehards hardly seemed to mind that she only gave you bits of faves such as “Express Yourself” and “La Isla Bonita” while concentrating on “Madame X” tracks such as “Medellín,” “Crazy” and “Come Alive” — the latter of which did just that with a gospel flourish that set the stage for “Like a Prayer” later.

“Like a Prayer” and “Vogue” were the only two straight-up Madonna classics that she really performed in full. But the highlight was another Madge hit, 1997’s “Frozen,” that she did as her oldest child, 22-year-old daughter Lourdes, did the dancing on video projections to keep it in the family groove.

More at NYPost

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Madonna Surprises With the Launch of Ambitious, Intimate “Madame X” Show, A Sometimes Over Stuffed Attempt at an Avant Garde Broadway Show

It turns out Madonna — the queen of re-invention —  is human. She admitted last night during the first performance of her Madame X show at Brooklyn’s Howard Gilman Opera house: “The one thing I need is sleep. I’m tired.” She added that she could use a nap.

But the 61 year old pop icon didn’t show any signs of weariness last night as she launched this ambitious, complex production. The good news about Madonna’s Madame X show is that there is no bad news. Not really. So everyone can relax. There’s no incentive to throw tomatoes.

Quite the opposite: I was impressed, and I think anyone who stops into the Gilman will be surprised to find Madonna, in a stripped down setting, is actually real and just a celebrity hologram. She’s very endearing in an intimate venue. Also considering that this performance of “Madame X” was the very first, you have to give her credit. She’s producing a Broadway show in progress.

Indeed, if we come back to “Madame X” in a month, it’s going to be even more together, which isn’t to say it’s not a compelling two hour and fifteen minute entertainment now. But right now “Madame X” is like several Broadway shows happening at  once. Most of it works, some of it doesn’t. It needs time to gel. The pieces are good, but they don’t all fit together yet. (The sets are Broadway-level, even better, with terrific lighting. The staging runs from elaborately ornamental to elegantly minimalist. There are excellent video projections, too.)

What we get theme wise are more than a few things: Madonna’s lifelong grappling with Catholicism; her adventures in Lisbon as a “soccer mom,” as she says; her discovery in Portugal of that country’s music and that of Cape Verde, off the coast of Africa; political Madonna, who is advocating for LGBTQ, women’s rights, abortion rights, and gun control. Plus modern dance, jazz and ballet, and even a dance video from Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes. That’s a lot of themes.

A lot of this is set to showcase songs from the “Madame X” album, which didn’t sell well and didn’t come off well when it arrived. Surprisingly, those songs have been made into convincing theatrical pieces. You see, Madonna is not performing her greatest hits. If you’re coming to the Gilman for “Like a Virgin,” you’re in the wrong place. (There are financial reasons, too, for ditching the early hits– she didn’t write them and she’s probably tired of paying those songwriters.)

This doesn’t mean there aren’t nods to the 80s Madonna. Early in the show there’s a lovely a cappella moment of “Express Yourself.” You will also hear “Papa Don’t Preach,” “Frozen,” “La Isla Bonita,” and, very successfully, “Vogue.”

Last night’s show started an hour late, at 10:30pm, but Madonna did apologize and explain that later. There are other details that I’ll explore later this week in a real review. Last night, Rosie O’Donnell and Debi Mazar, her good friends, showed up to give support, and Rosie–who received cheers from the audience– got be part of a little “business.” The audience loved it.

And that audience– a group of people from Asia had flown here, and used Madonna’s lateness for a nap. The woman behind me came from Paris. There was a crowd from Brazil.

(Also be warned: your phone is locked into an airtight container upon arrival. It must be unlocked at the end of the show. No photos, no videos, no social media. Hence, no photo to go with this story.)

By the time you get to the last number, it’s well worth it. “Like a Prayer” finishes the show proper and leaves everyone on a high. But again, I think Madonna is doing some interesting work here. She’s trying pull off something much tougher than her arena or stadium shows, and you can already see the payoffs. She’s making a connection with the audience while ideas are settling in. The fans will love to watch it, and out of this will evolve a butterfly. I’d be first in line to return.

More details on Friday.

More at Showbiz411

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Madame X opening night BAM NY full played setlist

God Control
Dark Ballet
Human Nature
Express Yourself (not in full)
Papa Don’t Preach
Vogue
I Don’t Search I Find
‘selling selfie’ interaction
Papa Don’t Preach (not in full)
American Life
Batuka
Coffin interlude
Fado track
Killers Who Are Partying
Crazy
Welcome to my Fado Club / La Isla Bonita
Sodade
Medellín
audience interaction
Extreme Occident
Rescue Me (interlude)
Frozen
Come Alive
Future (piano)
Crave (Tracy Young Mix)
Like a Prayer
I Rise

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Madame X opening night – live report

Madonna started her opening night at the BAM in New York two hours late, for which she later apologized. The reason for the delay is unknown so we cannot comment on that.

Among the setlist were: Like a Prayer, Human Nature, Papa Don’t Preach, Vogue, American Life, Frozen and most of the new album Madame X. There was a slight twist to the lyrics of ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ as in ‘I Won’t Keep my baby’ a response to the 9 states that have passed bills to limit abortions this year?

Rosie O’Donnell, Anderson Cooper and Debi Mazar were among the audience. Rosie came forward to try and buy a selfie Madonna had just made for 1000 fake Dollar bills.

Daughters Mercy James, Estere and Stella played a part in the production on stage and Lola was seen on screen during the performance of ‘Frozen’. Madonna played the piano during a new version of ‘Future’.

Not that much interaction with the audience but she did sit down next to someone in the front row and spoke to the lucky fella. She seemed very relaxed and in a cheerful mood.

She left the theater through the audience. The end of the show was very unexpected and happened instantly, while the audience seemed to be expecting a few more songs. The show seemed to have a duration of around 2 hours and 20 minutes, time passed by oh so quickly.

The storing your phone in Yondr bags was an easy process. All of the music played was live, it’s an arena show packed into a theater setting. Word has it Madonna rehearsed the entire show quite a number of times before opening night, she goes through it multiple times a day.

The VIP gifts and tourbooks aren’t ready yet.

Many thanks to Tanja and Wendy for sharing their experience!

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Madame X Tour – 2 new Miami shows added!

MADONNA
MADAME X TOUR

BY POPULAR DEMAND
2 MORE MIAMI SHOWS ADDED!

DEC. 21 & 22
FILLMORE MIAMI BEACH
JACKIE GLEASON THEATER

ICON Legacy Member Presales Begin
Sept. 18 @ 10 a.m. local time

Attention Lifetime Legacy Icon Members:

The Madame X Tour launches tonight in Brooklyn, and demand continues to build for this special concert production! By popular demand, two additional Miami shows have been added at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, scheduled for December 21 & 22.

Tickets go on sale to the public on Monday, September 23 at 10 a.m. local time, but Icon Lifetime Legacy Members will receive early access beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, September 18.

MADONNA ICON LIFETIME LEGACY MEMBER PRESALE
Madonna Icon Lifetime Legacy Members will receive priority presale access to preferred tickets for these new Madame X performances in Miami! Icon Lifetime Legacy Member presales will begin Wednesday, September 18 @ 10 a.m. local time.

  • All Icon Lifetime Legacy members may participate in these new presales, even if you have purchased tickets to the other Madame X show dates.
  • Your unique presale code is assigned directly to your Madonna.com account (prefix MXF9), and may be found on your logged-in Profile page or the Tour page.
  • Your unique access code is valid for up to four (4) tickets for each show date on sale next week.
  • All sales are final. No refunds.
  • The Icon Legacy Member Presale will close on Friday, September 20 @ 5 p.m. local time.
  • Public on-sales begin the following morning on Monday, September 23 @ 10 a.m. local time.
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SPOILER Madame X Tour rehearsal audio clips

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Are you ready for Madame X?

Tonight is the night that Madonna will be kicking off her Madame X theater tour in New York. No stadiums or arena’s but Madonna will be performing a massive date theater tour that will end (as of now) in Paris next year. Madonna has already said that the show will rely mostly of songs off her current album ‘Madame X’ so do not expect a ‘greatest hits’ theater show. 

Fans have been speculating whether the show will be similar to the ‘Tears of a Clown’ show Madonna performed in Australia and Miami. Which means that there will be ‘stand-up comedy’ mixed with live music. All we do know is that Madonna is a perfectionist and won’t be happy until she’s 100% satisfied with the show’s run-through. 

Since there’s a phone and camera ban we’re not sure if we will be able to post (audience)pictures of tonight’s show but of course we’ll try.

Are you ready for Madame X?

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Madonna’s New Concert-Ticket Strategy: Higher Prices, Smaller Venues

When Madonna kicks off her new tour Tuesday, she’ll also be debuting a new ticket-pricing strategy: Smaller shows at higher prices.

The 61-year-old pop-music pioneer, who holds the record for the highest-grossing concert tour by a woman, is planning her 11th tour around theaters, smaller venues than the arenas that dominated previous tours. And fans will be paying more, especially at the high end.

Long one of the concert industry’s biggest acts, Madonna will open her latest tour, called “Madame X,” at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House, which seats 2,100 people—a fraction of the roughly 20,000 capacity of New York’s Madison Square Garden, where she played two shows four years ago on her last tour.

 

The prices will be higher: Around $300 on average, according to Arthur Fogel, Madonna’s longtime tour promoter and the president of global touring at Live Nation, the world’s biggest concert promoter. That’s up from about $160 for the last tour, according to Pollstar, a concert-industry trade publication.

The rise is due largely to an increase at the higher end. Tickets for “Madame X” start at about $50 for the cheapest seats, not much more than her last tour. But she’s charging roughly $750 for the costliest non-VIP tickets, not including fees—substantially higher than the $350 tickets on her last three tours, according to Mr. Fogel. VIP packages, which can include perks like pre-show receptions and backstage tours, reach as high as about $2,000.

“Madonna’s going to charge you what the market says those tickets are worth—and then, at the same time, she’s keeping her cheap seats,” says Bill Werde, a former editor of Billboard magazine and the director of Syracuse University’s Bandier music-industry program. “I actually think this is a brilliant example of understanding the market.”

Madonna declined a request for an interview.

The “Material Girl” singer’s ticket prices reflect a growing comfort among superstars with charging more-affluent fans what they can bear. While some holdouts like Ed Sheeran are keeping concert prices relatively low, stars from Jay-Z to Taylor Swift have been raising ticket prices in recent years, accentuating a trend that began when profits on recorded music were squeezed by digital forces like piracy, downloads and streaming.

Read full article at The Wall Street Journal
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MADAME X TOUR – NYC – SEPT 17

Iconers!

Madame X is… performing in NYC tomorrow night! If you don’t have tickets to the show but will be in town tomorrow, let Madame X know by e-mailing us at madamex@madonna.com before 4p EST today with your Icon registered email address and a cool selfie of you forming an “X” with your fingers. Also, don’t forget to use “Madame X Tour – NYC – Sept 17” as your email’s subject line.

We will randomly select photos and post them online!

Please note that the submitted picture must be 100KB maximum. One submission per member please.

It’s time to celebrate Madame X, so let’s join the fun!!

(madonna.com)

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Madame X Tour – 2 new Paris shows added!

MADONNA
MADAME X TOUR

LE GRAND REX • PARIS
TWO NEW SHOWS ADDED!

Legacy Member Presales
Begin Wed. 17 Sept. @ 10:00 CEST

By popular demand, two dates have been added to Madonna’s Madame X Tour in Paris! The new dates are scheduled for 7 & 8 March at Le Grand Rex.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday 20 September at 10:00 CEST, but ICON Lifetime Legacy members receive early access to preferred tickets and VIP Packages.

MADONNA ICON LIFETIME LEGACY MEMBER PRIORITY ACCESS
The Icon Legacy Member presale will begin Tuesday 17 September @ 10:00 CEST. Please review the followding details so you know how to access presales for the Madame X Tour.

IMPORTANT DETAILS:

  • As an Icon Lifetime Legacy member, you will be assigned a unique presale code and you may purchase tickets for these new dates, even if you have purchased tickets for other Madame X shows in Paris.
  • Your unique presale code is assigned directly to your Madonna.com account, found on your logged-in Profile page or Tour page starting prior to 10am CEST on 17 September.
  • Your unique access code is valid for up to four (4) tickets total, and it can be used across multiple shows. EXAMPLE: 4 tickets to one event only, or 2 tickets for one event and 2 tickets for another event and so on.
  • All sales are final. No refunds.
  • The Icon Legacy Member Presale will close on Thursday, 19 September @ 17:00 CEST.
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Madame X pop up shop NYC (pictures)

 

Here are a couple of pictures of the Madame X pop up shop in NYC. The pop up shop is open until September 19, make sure to stop by if you have the chance!

Thanks to Wendy for the pictures!

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Where To Buy The Madonna x Too Faced Makeup Collection To Remake The Singer’s Iconic Beauty Looks

It’s a match made in makeup heaven. Madonna and Too Faced created a makeup collection — but there’s a catch. The collection is comprised of two super exclusive kits that will only be available at a specific location, as revealed by Too Faced co-founder and chief creative officer Jerrod Blandino and Madonna on their individual Instagram feeds on Sept. 12.

The collaboration is inspired by looks that Madonna will actually be wearing on her upcoming tour in support of her latest album Madame XThe Madonna x Too Faced makeup kits will be sold at each tour date.

 

However, the collection is also temporarily available at the NYC Madame X pop-up shop from Sept. 13 through Sept. 19. The pop-up is located at 430 West 15 Street in Manhattan.

Blandino emphasized in the caption of his post that the kits are extremely limited. However, the brand could eventually sell the sets on its website at a later date if the demand is high.

Blandino also shared his signature “sneaky peek” of the products in a series of Instagram stories that he filmed while perusing the pop-up. He posted a picture of the price listing from the mobile store, which shows that the makeup collection costs $75. Overall, these products just might inspire fans to hurry up and nab tickets to the tour.

Jerrod Blandino Instagram Story

Here is all of the intel on the makeup collection, based entirely on Blandino’s big reveal. Each kit can be used on its own or together. Together, they equal a full face kit minus foundation and concealer.

Jerrod Blandino Instagram Story

The I Rise kit, which takes it name from a Madame X song, features a wallet-sized palette with exclusive eyeshadow and blush shades. It also boasts a brow pencil, the best-selling Better Than Sex mascara, and the Melted Matte lipstick in the Sell Out shade. The eye and cheek shades are named after Madonna’s biggest hits, like “Material Girl” and “Dress You Up.” The packaging features Madonna rocking a beret and golden curls.

Jerrod Blandino Instagram

The Medellin collection also shares its name with a Madame X track and boasts a palette with five shades of eyeshadow and a blush — all of which are also named after Madge’s mega hits, such as “Ray of Light” and “Like a Virgin.” It includes the brand’s semi-new Damn Girl! mascara, a Better Than Sex liquid eyeliner for perfecting those cat eye flicks, and a Melted Matte lippie in a burnt red shade. The pop legend and fashion icon has statement lips on the packaging.

Jerrod Blandino Instagram Story

The pop-up shop includes additional merch, such as patches, lapel pins, arm bands, fanny packs, pendant necklaces, scarves, hats, and shirts. It’s a fully immersive Madonna experience. The merch will likely be sold at the tour dates alongside the Too Faced makeup. Bustle reached out to Madonna’s reps for more information.

If you have already bought tickets to Madonna’s tour, which begins with a unique residency in Brooklyn this month, you now have two more reasons to pop over to the merch booths before heading to your seats. These Madonna x Too Faced makeup kits offer you the tools to to replicate the singer’s signature style. They will also inspire you to get creative when drafting up your own unique looks.

More at Bustle.com

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