Madonna kicks off ‘Madame X Tour’ but this time in a very intimate set-up

Madonna’s Madame X Tour kick-started with the BAM concert in New York.

Madonna has always been associated with grandeur. Fans were accustomed to seeing her larger-than-life live singing persona in colossal stadiums and arenas till this tour, where Madonna made a significant change. From cosmic areas, she chose the intimate Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House, which can accommodate only 2000+ people, to kick-start her ‘Madame X Tour’ this Tuesday.

The small capacity of the place didn’t stop fans from ushering into the theatre to witness the greatness of live Madonna. Based on the fans’ accounts, the house was completely packed. Fans were requested to arrive by 8:30 while following the tradition, Madonna was expected to arrive by 9:30, which got delayed by an hour, keeping with the tradition, the icon arrived on stage, not before 10:45 PM. But that didn’t deter the spirit of fans, who were waiting for the Queen of Pop to set the stage on fire.

And Madonna sure did, the 61-year-old icon greeted the crowd with her anti-gun anthem from her Madame X Album, ‘God Control’ throwing everyone in frenzy.

The concert followed a strict no-cellphone/recording policy. With the entry into the premises, fans were handed pouches to seal their phones in it and to be used only after the show or at assigned phone stations outside the theatre.

The choice of venue wasn’t just a creative move, but a calculative move as Madonna is not her younger self now who could indulge in the intense choreography and movements that large arena stages require.

Amidst, singing ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ to the crowd, entertaining it with her wit and changing costumes, she exclaimed about the cozy venue that she has had never done it before in her entire career. Dark Ballet, Express Yourself, Vogue, American Life, Come Alive, and Like A Prayer, were some of the songs that Madonna performed for the crowd.

The Tour that began in Brooklyn will visit Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, and Miami, and conclude the North American run on December 22.

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A Look at Madonna’s Too Faced Makeup Kits

Madonna — aka Madame X — has collaborated with Too Faced on a limited-edition makeup collection.

The line is already sold out on the Too Faced website — but it is available through today at the Madame X / Live Nation pop-up shop at 430 W 15 Street, and on Madonna’s website, while supplies last.

The makeup line’s launch coincided with the start of Madonna’s Madame X tour on September 17, and includes two kits — sold for $75 each.  

Too Faced founder, Jerrod Blandino posted on Instagram, “Madonna & I created 2 box sets based on the looks she’s wearing on stage!” 

I Rise collection includes an exclusive eyeshadow & blush palette, Better Than Sex Mascara, Melted Matte In “sell out nude”, and a chocolate brow defining brow pencil. 

The Medellin collection includes an exclusive eyeshadow & highlighter palette, Damn Girl! Mascara, Melted Matte In “Lady Balls red”, and Better Than Sex liquid eyeliner.

Both palettes are paperboard, and are decorated with images of Madonna.

Photos above are from the pop-up shop. 


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Madame X Tour Credits (as published on

Created and directed by Madonna
Jamie King – Creative Producer
Megan Lawson – Co-Director and Lead Choreographer
Damien Jalet – Creative Advisor
Luigi Murenu & Iango Henzi – Creative Consultants
Carla Kama – Associate Creative Producer
Tiffany Olson – Associate Creative Producer
Stephanie Roos – Associate Creative Producer
Al Gurdon – Lighting Designer
Stufish Entertainment Architects – Set Design

Kevin Antunes – Musical Director
Monte Pittman – Guitar
Gaspar Goncalves – Guitar
Rickey Pageot – Piano, Accordion & Percussion
Jessica Pina – Trumpet & Background Vocalist
Ademiro “Miroca” Paris – Percussion & Guitar
Carlos Mil-Homens – Percussion
Francesca Dardani – Violin
Celia Hatton – Viola
Mariko Muranaka – Cello
Andrea “Munchie” Lanz – Background Vocalist
Dana “Yazarah” Williams – Background Vocalist

Ahlamalik Williams – Dancer
Marvin Gofin – Dancer
Mccall Olsen – Dancer
Baylie Olsen – Dancer
Allaune Blegbo – Dancer
Sasha Mallory – Dancer
Loic Mabanza – Dancer
Daniele Sibili – Dancer
Sierra Herrera-Grey – Dancer
Chaz Buzan – Dancer
Nicolas Huchard – Dancer
Ai Shimatsu – M Stand In

Jussara Spencer
Anastacia Carvalho
Edna Oliveira
Jessica Eliane Tavares
Irina Paula Carvalho
Darlene Barreto
Catia Ramos
Antonia Tavares
Keila Cabral
Ellah Barbosa
Iara Xavier Santos
Jacira Duarte
Etelvina “Bianina” Tavares
Idilsa Tavares

Megan Lawson
Matt Cady
Marvin Gofin
Damien Jalet
Nicolas Huchard
Baylie Olsen
Mccall Olsen
Ahlamalik Williams
Derrell Bullock

Nicolas Huchard
Amilios Arapoglou
Sierra Herrera
Allaune Blegbo

Eyob Yohannes – Costume Designer
Taryn Shumway – Assistant Costume Designer
Timothy Chernyaev – Assistant Costume Designer
Mae Heidenreich – Assistant Costume Designer
Aliyah Christmas – Assistant Costume Designer
Amanda Kai – Costume Department Coordinator
Samuel Ososki – Tailor
Michael Velasquez – Tailor
Anthony Garcia – Tailor
Kenberly Pierre-Paul – Costume Assistant
Raquel Castellanos – Assistant
Joya Cleveland – Costume Accounts
Robert Christie – Costume Sketcher
Lisa Krizner-George – Cutter
Thayne Whitney – Stitcher/Patternmaker
Ke Cindy – Seamstress
Teri Lloyd – Seamstress
Sandra Nieto – Seamstress
Ivanova Mariano – Seamstress
Mallory Rinker – Seamstress
Olga Kim – Tailoring
Izabella Litvak – Tailoring
Aris Bordo – Tailoring
Noelle Rasco – Stitching
Arielle Crawford – Stitching
Anna Kate Reep – Stitching
Brandon Brinkley – Shopper
Alexa O’neil – Shopper
Toni Grant – Shopper
Lucy Gaston – Shopper
Lauren Lau – Shopper
Aran Simi – Costume Intern
Geraldine Henriques – Costume Intern
Toni Grant – Costume Intern
Luis Fereira – Costume Intern
Catherine Goba – Costume Intern

Arthur Fogel – Tour Promoter and Producer
Gerry Barad – Associate Promoter
Tres Thomas – Tour Director
Rick Sobkowiak – Tour Accountant and Operations
Colleen Cozart – Production Accountant
Tiffany Hilliard – Assistant to Arthur Fogel
Staci Saari – Ticketing
Cynthia Oknaian – Ticketing
Sherine Sherman – VIP Program Coordinator
Brian Samuelson – VIP Program Coordinator

Andy Lecompte – Hair Stylist for Madonna
Aaron Henrikson – Make-Up Artist for Madonna
Jean-Michel Ete – Nutritionist
Tarin Graham – Esthetician
Marlyn Ortiz – Madonna’s Trainer
Hind Abdul Jabbar, Rita Melssen – Assistants to Madonna
Jill McCutchan – Tour Manager
Tori Fillat – Assistant Tour Manager
Travis Dorsey – Chef
Natalia Dyduch – Housekeeper
Ricardo Gomes – Social Media
Jeremy Childs – Road Manager
Tony Villanueva – Head Dresser
Diogo Goncalves – Assistant
Corvett Hunt – Hair Stylist
Kamilah Gerestant – Braider
Justin Heslop – Makeup Artist

Jason “JD” Danter – Production Manager
Brian Wares – Stage Manager
Mike Morobitto – Theatrical Stage Manager
Emma Cederblad – Production Coordinator
Justin Mcquown – Director of Security
Carla Vagland – Venue Security
Harry Forster – Lighting Director
Oli James – Lighting Crew Cheif
James Jones III – Lighting Tech
Mike Rothwell – Lighting Tech
Dave Baxter – Lighting Tech
Matt Levine – Lighting Tech
Jason “Lew Lew” Lewis – Rigger
Sean Mullarkey – Automation
Rod “Rawd” Van Egmond – Head Carpenter
Allen “A.J.” Haley – Carpenter
Eric Cardoza – Props/Carpenter
Tim Colvard – FOH Engineer
Demetrius Moore – M Audio Tech
Sean Spuehler – Vocal Mix Engineer
Lauren D’elia – Vocal Mix Engineer
Matt Napier – Monitor Engineer
Alistair “Ali” Viles – RF/Audio Engineer
Lee Fox-Furnell – Monitor Tech
Arno Voortman – Audio System Engineer
Robert “Bongo” Longo – Head Backline Tech (Keys)
Tommy Simpson – Backline Tech (Strings)
Iain “Robbo” Robertson – Backline Tech (Drums/Percussion)
Dan Roe – Programmer
Gemma Daly – Ambiance
Allison Sulock – Video Server Tech
Dany Lambert – Video Projectionist
Heken “Mel” Dykes – Wardrobe Supervisor
Candice Lawrence – Wardrobe
Noriko Kakihara – Wardrobe
Michael Velasquez – Tailor
John Spink – Merchandise

Danny Tull – Video Content Director
Nuno Xico – Editor
Russ Senzatimore – Editor
Tom Watson – Editor
Jerry Chia – Editor
Ryan Drake – Editor
Hamish Lyons – Editor

Guy Oseary – Manager
Sara Zambreno – Manager
Danielle Doll – Mgmt. Coordinator
Maria Jose Gutierrez Reyes – Mgmt. Coordinator
Rachel Gordh – Assistant to Guy Oseary
Johann Delebarre – Webmaster

Bruce Fingeret
Alyssa Tobias
Pete Weber
Ben Rawling

Anya Lange

Ricardo Gomes
Steven Klein

Elizabeth Manuel, Prada, Miu Miu, Burberry, Versace, Paula Rowan (Gloves), Mugler, Agent Provocateur

London Fog, Doc Martens, Zana Bayne, Levi’s, Ray Bans, Dsquared, Converse, Adidas, Starter, Arel Studios, John Kristiansen, Mio Design NYC, A Perdifiato


Taken from MADONNA.COM

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Madonna Enlists Her Kids — and Rosie O’Donnell! — for Madame X Tour Kickoff in Brooklyn

Madonna made the kickoff to her intimate Madame X theater tour a family affair.

For the first of her 17 shows Brooklyn’s BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, the singer, 61, had three of her children — Mercy James, 13, and twin daughters Estere and Stelle, 6 — appear onstage to lead the sold-out crowd into a sing-a-long of Madonna’s 1989 anthem “Express Yourself.”

And during her performance of her 1997 classic “Frozen,” the Material Girl was joined by her eldest child, 22-year-old daughter Lourdes, who appeared digitally via a video projection, dancing to the song.

Also in the room were Madonna’s good friends Rosie O’DonnellAnderson Cooper, Spike Lee and Debi Mazar. O’Donnell even factored into the show: When Madonna took a selfie with a Polaroid camera and offered it to the highest bidder in the room, the actress and comedian walked onstage to offer her cash.

For her Madame X tour debut, Madonna enforced a strict no-cellphone policy that had attendees seal away their devices in pouches that were unlocked at the end of the performance.

The only two photos from the tour that have been released were posted by the singer herself on her Instagram page. “Madame X thanks you for coming,” she captioned the shots showing her in a dark wig. “So Happy to finally have an audience!”

Madonna’s longtime manager Guy Oseary posted a backstage photo after the show, showing Madonna alongside filmmaker JR, O’Donnell, Mazar, Lee and Cooper. “The show was so good!! Congrats to the incredible Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone,” he captioned the pic. “You were amazing!!!”


The setlist leaned heavily on tracks from her latest album, but also included classics like “Human Nature,” “Vogue” and “Like a Prayer.”

The tour includes multiple shows at the BAM throughout September and October, plus a short residency at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago in October, then another at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theater in November.

Dates at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston, the Met Philadelphia, and the Jackie Gleason Theatre at the Fillmore Miami Beach will also stretch through December.

Come January, Madonna will head to Europe for shows in Lisbon, Portugal, London, and Paris.

Madame X, her first album since 2015, sees the Grammy winner shedding her famous persona in favor of an alter ego, which she has described as a “secret agent traveling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom, bringing light to dark places” in a promotional Instagram video.

The “Like a Virgin” singer has so far dropped the singles “Medellín,” with Colombian reggaeton star Maluma, “Crave,” and “I Rise.”

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Madonna clear vinyl Rhino re-issues pre-order (links available)

The upcoming clear vinyl re-issues are now also up for pre-order through Click on the product of your choice below to order.

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Madonna Is Still Taking Chances – Live Review by The New York Post

“I’m not here to be popular. I’m here to be free,” Madonna declared to a packed, adoring audience on Tuesday night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. It was the premiere of her Madame X tour, named after the album she released in June that she has said was influenced by the music in Lisbon, her adopted home. The show follows her decades of arena spectacles by scaling the same kind of razzle-dazzle — dancers! costumes! video! choir! — for a theater stage.

Unlike jukebox musicals or “Springsteen on Broadway,” Madame X is a concert focusing on new songs and the present moment. In other words, Madonna is still taking chances. She will reach arena-size attendance in only a handful of venues on the eight-city tour, but with much longer engagements; the Gilman Opera House holds 2,098, and she booked 17 shows there, through Oct. 12. Onstage, “selling” a selfie Polaroid to an audience member who happened to be Rosie O’Donnell, she claimed, “I’m not making a dime on this show.”

Concertgoers arrived to what was billed as a phone-free experience. Cellphones and smart watches were locked into bags at the door, though quickly unlocked afterward. It helped prevent online spoilers; it certainly removed the distractions of waving screens. (No photography was permitted, including press.)


Yes, she is 61, but her music remains determinedly contemporary, with the drum-machine sounds of trap, collaborations with hip-hop vocalists (Quavo and Swae Lee, shown on video) and the bilingual, reggaeton-flavored Latin pop sometimes called urbano (with the Colombian singer Maluma, also shown on video). The concert, with most of its music drawn from the “Madame X” album, was packed with pronouncements, symbols and enigmatic vignettes to frame the songs. Madonna often wore an eye patch with an X on it, no doubt a challenge to her depth perception as a dancer.

By the time Madonna had completed just the first two songs, she had already presented an epigraph from James Baldwin — “Artists are here to disturb the peace” — that was knocked out onstage by one of the concert’s recurring figures, a woman (sometimes Madonna herself) at a typewriter.

Gunshots introduced “God Control,” which moves from bitter mourning about gun deaths to happy memories of string-laden 1970s disco, while Madonna and dancers appeared in glittery versions of Revolutionary War finery, complete with feathered tricorn hats, only to be confronted by police with riot shields. “Dark Ballet” had Joan of Arc references, a montage of gothic cathedrals and scary priests, a synthesizer excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” and Madonna grappling with masked dancers, until cops pulled her off the piano she had been perched on. The signifiers were already piling up.

And there were more. Film-noir detectives pursued and interrogated Madonna in another disco-tinged song, “I Don’t Search I Find”; “Crave,” which warns, “My cravings get dangerous,” flaunted a full-sized disco ball. A pair of robotic but sinuous dancers, with red lights for eyes, flanked Madonna as she sat at a piano for the ominous “Future,” while the video screen filled with images of urban and environmental destruction. She surrounded herself with a choir of brightly robed women and geometric Arabic designs in “Come Alive,” which used the metal castanets and triplet rhythm of Moroccan gnawa music to back her as, once again, Madonna’s lyrics rejected unwanted opinions and restrictions.

The songs Madonna chose from her past were mostly exhortations and pushbacks, sometimes coupled with direct political statements. She sang part of “Papa Don’t Preach,” reversing its decision to “keep my baby,” then spoke directly about supporting abortion rights. Dancing while surrounded by video imagery of pointing fingers, she revived “Human Nature,” which already testified — a full 25 years ago — to Madonna’s tenacity and determination to express herself uncensored. When it ended, her daughters Mercy James, Estere and Stella were onstage, and the singers and a full-throated audience shared an a cappella “Express Yourself.”

The concert’s unquestioned showstopper was “Frozen,” a somber ballad from the 1998 album “Ray of Light” that offers healing: “If I could melt your heart, we’d never be apart.” Madonna appeared as a tiny figure onstage, surrounded by giant video projections of a dancer moving from a self-protective clutch to a tentative, then joyful unfurling and back. It was her oldest daughter, Lourdes, affirming the family connection in movement.

Since 2017 Madonna has lived in Lisbon, where her son David plays soccer, and she spoke about savoring the city’s music: the Portuguese tradition of fado and music from Portugal’s former empire, particularly from the Cape Verde Islands near Senegal. One of the show’s most elaborate backdrops simulated a club in Lisbon.

But appreciation doesn’t equal mastery. Madonna was backed by the Portuguese guitarra player Gaspar Varela, the grandson of the fado singer Celeste Rodrigues, in an earnest, awkward fado-rooted song, “Killers Who Are Partying” from the “Madame X” album; she also performed a Cape Verdean classic, “Sodade,” made famous by Cesária Évora.

Reminding the audience that she had sung in Cape Verdean Creole and other languages, Madonna boasted, “This is a girl who gets around. This is a girl who does her homework.” But in the songs themselves, she only sounded like a well-meaning tourist.

Madonna was more suited to the harder beat of “Batuka” a song based on the matriarchal, call-and-response Cape Verdean tradition of batuque. Backed by more than a dozen batuque drummers and singers — Orquestra Batukadeiras — and doing some hip-shimmying batuque moves, Madonna conveyed the delight of her discovery, even as the hand-played beat gave way to electronic percussion.

Forty-one musicians, dancers and singers appeared throughout the two-hour-plus show, which came with the same wardrobe changes as any of Madonna’s large-scale extravaganzas (one, before “Vogue,” was executed before the audience, shielded by a dressing table). The singer wasn’t onstage for one of the most powerful dance moments, a break between acts when a row of performers convulsed gracefully at the lip of the stage to irregular breaths, set to a recording of Madonna intoning lyrics from “Rescue Me.”

Madonna spoke to and with the audience repeatedly, taking advantage of the intimacy of the room to tell bawdy jokes, apologize for starting the show late and sip a fan’s beer. But in songs and stage patter, she sometimes conflated self-realization and self-absorption with social progress. Contrasting freedom and slavery after “Come Alive,” she announced that slavery “begins with ourselves,” forgetting that the slave trade was not the same as being “slaves to our phones.”

Yet with Madonna, the spirit is more about sounds and images than literalism. “I Rise,” which ends both the album and the concert, samples a speech by Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. then goes on to some clumsy lyrics. But in a small theater, with a gospelly beat, raised fists, images of protests worldwide, a rainbow flag, and Madonna and her troupe parading up the aisle — close enough for fans to touch — there was no denying the conviction.

Read more at The New York Times

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Madonna Reinvents the Pop Concert with Madame X Tour Kickoff

When Madonna announced the Madame X Tour there was a wave of intrigue that hit fans as we have been accustomed to experiencing the greatness of a live Madonna show in rather large gatherings like stadiums and arenas, but a theater with a 2,109 person capacity? This is unheard of for a star of her caliber.
Tickets went fast with more shows and cities being added to the tour as the weeks went on, the Madame X Tour is set to visit Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and Miami before it finishes its North American run on December 22. I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to cover Madonna’s Madame X Tour kickoff in New York at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on September 17 and I’m here to tell you all about it! And I have to tell you about it because there are no photos or video from the concert to show you as cell phones or recording devices of any kind were not allowed for use inside the theater.
Once you get in line at the venue, a YONDR representative comes around and hands you a ticket and fills it out with your seating location after you show him your mobile ticket. As you head in, you’re handed a YONDR case/pouch where you place your phone and seal it locked, and that’s where your phone stays for the remainder of the show unless you enter a cell use area, there are several of these areas located in the venue. There’s merch aplenty here, so much cool stuff to see including drinking bottles, eyepatches, a tour book, shirts and even a jacket!
We were requested to arrive by 8:30PM as the show was scheduled to begin at 9:30PM but in keeping with tradition, Madge kept us waiting, the superstar icon didn’t hit the stage until 10:45PM and in all honesty, it was absolutely worth the wait. The show began with two performers, one being a woman who was typing away on that Madame X typewriter, you know which one I’m talking about. The line “Art is here to prove that all safety is an illusion” kept repeating on the screen, it was followed by giant gunshots taking aim at the stage before we enter with the tour opener, “God Control.” The politically charged song featured Madonna serving up a patriotic look in a sort of military meets victorian costume that gave me “Vogue” live at the 1990 MTV Awards vibes while some of the dancers yielded police shields. The stage featured giant white staircases and walls behind the stairs that were able to transform with the projectors and lighting, it was a simple yet very effective setup that was able to transform and evolve throughout the show in many ways. A ton of backup singers are displayed as they belt out that gorgeous chorus “we lost control…,” it’s a great opener!
The second song on the setlist was “Dark Ballet,” it opens with Madonna sitting on the stairs, legs spread open in a masculine pose with the lyric “I can dress like a boy” and then reaching for her crotch as she sings “I can dress like a girl.” A couple of performers come out featuring gas masks that are dressed with flowers just like we saw during her Eurovision performance, it’s quite creepy but it’s well done and suits the show perfectly.
A circular shaped hole built into the wall of one of the stage props is revealed and we see Madonna enter it as she performs the third song on the setlist, “Human Nature,” and just like that the crowd goes wild! Giant hand shadows fill up the screen and cover the stage props, dancing around Madonna as she performs in the circular space. While inside this space, Madge gives us a headstand that generates some serious applause. At one point during “Human Nature” a drummer brings out two congas with Madonna helming one as the words “I’m not sorry” fill out the screens. As the giant see-through screen comes down Madonna makes the Madame X Tour a family affair as she dances along and brings out a posse of performers including her twin daughters Estere and Stelle, this is the first of several times we see the young kids take the stage with their mama and it is an absolute delight to witness! After her performance of “Human Nature,” we then hear Madonna tell the crowd “that’s right, have I made myself clear?” as we bow down to the Queen. We then get “Express Yourself” in acapella form and while it’s not the full song, it’s a nice touch to hear the hit performed this way with Madonna’s vocals sounding better than ever!
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Positieve reacties op start wereldtournee Madonna (Dutch news)

Madonna heeft haar langverwachte nieuwe wereldtournee Madame X dinsdag afgetrapt in New York. In het Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn waren zo’n tweeduizend fans getuige van haar comeback.

Beelden van het concert zijn er niet. Madonna had vooraf een telefoonverbod aangekondigd omdat ze wil dat fans de show echt beleven in plaats van door een schermpje. De reacties waren na afloop lovend op sociale media. “Dit was het beste wat ik ooit heb gezien. Mogelijk het artistieke hoogtepunt van Madonna. Ongelooflijk”, twittert een bezoeker. Een ander rept over “de show van de eeuw”. “Ik heb alleen geen plaatjes om het te bewijzen.”

“Bedankt dat jullie er waren. Ik ben zo blij dat we eindelijk publiek hebben”, schrijft Madonna zelf op sociale media. Tijdens haar set bracht ze een mix van oud en nieuw materiaal. Ze stond ook stil bij 50 jaar Gay Pride en ze brak een lans voor strengere wapenwetgeving in Amerika.


De positieve reacties komen na de kritiek op Madonna’s optreden tijdens het Eurovisiesongfestival in mei, wat geen doorslaand succes was. Volgens kijkers zong ze behoorlijk vals en bewerkte haar team na afloop het geluid bij de beelden die de zangeres online deelde.

Tot half oktober geeft Madonna nog eens zestien concerten in het New Yorkse theater. Daarna doet ze theaters in onder meer Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas en Los Angeles aan. In januari maakt Madonna de oversteek naar Europa waar ze eveneens een serie intieme theaterconcerten geeft in Lissabon, Londen en Parijs. De rest van de wereld wordt voorlopig overgeslagen.

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Here’s what went down at Madonna’s first ‘Madame X’ world tour show

Madonna kicked off her world ‘Madame X’ tour in New York last night (September 17).

The singer played a lengthy set which laced tracks from her recent album with classic hits from her backcatalogue at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn.

The singer used the show to hail 50 years of Gay Pride and call for tighter gun control following the recent rise in shootings in the US.

“The biggest problem in America is gun safety and gun control which is disproportionately affecting our marginalised communities,” she told the crowd before launching into anti-gun violence track, ‘God Control’. “So can we please get together and do something about gun safety people, gun control.” You can view footage below.

‘Dark Ballet’
‘Human Nature’
‘I Don’t Search I Find’
‘Papa Don’t Preach’
‘God Control /Rescue Me’ (outro)
‘American Life’
‘Fado Pechincha’
‘Killers Who Are Partying’
‘La Isla Bonita’
‘Extreme Ocident’
‘S.E.X [Interlude]’
‘Rescue Me’
‘Come Alive’
‘Like A Prayer’
‘I Rise’

Last month, Madonna postponed the start of her Madame X Tour as a result of technical setbacks.

Two of the first three dates at Brooklyn’s BAM Howard Gilman Opera House — originally scheduled for September 12 and 14 — were moved back to October 10 and 12.  A further show on September 15 was cancelled.

As well as the US dates, Madonna will play a 15-night residency at the iconic London Palladium in February 2020.

In a four-star review of ‘Madame X’, NME’s El Hunt described the record as “bold, bizarre, self-referential and unlike anything Madonna has ever done before”.
“For the first time since ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’, perhaps, there’s a glint in Madonna’s eye; her visible, un-eyepatched one, at least.  Sonically restless, ‘Madame X’ doesn’t imitate current pop trends as much as it mangles them into new shapes,” our verdict stated.

“A record that grapples with being ‘just way too much’, ultimately, it refuses to tone things down.”

More at NME

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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.

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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.

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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
I Don’t Search I Find
‘selling selfie’ interaction
Papa Don’t Preach (not in full)
American Life
Coffin interlude
Fado track
Killers Who Are Partying
Welcome to my Fado Club / La Isla Bonita
audience interaction
Extreme Occident
Rescue Me (interlude)
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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