“What are you lookin’ at?”
Well, at Pride Island 2019, the annual queer pier dance in Manhattan in conjunction with New York City Pride, revelers were looking at one of the most beloved, iconic and vociferous LBGTQ icons: Madonna.
Madame X closed out day 2 of Pride Island, which was especially packed considering that New York Pride — already a massive event — was more than doubled thanks to WorldPride taking up residence in NYC this year with June 28 marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, where Black trans women kicked off the modern fight for LGBTQ equality.
Madonna opened with her Harlem ballroom scene-indebted smash “Vogue,” and the audience response was deafening. After that, the musical shapeshifter brought out a single it’s safe to say no one expected to hear as part of a limited-length set: “American Life.” That being said, while it’s not one of her, say, 20 most iconic songs, the message of “American Life” has only grown more timely in the 16 years since its release, and its strangely compelling melange of squelching synths, strings and folk had the crowd rapt — especially when she dove head-first into the “soy latte” rap (which reals Stans in the crowd parroted back to her perfectly).
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