Express Yourself, explore and discover the depth of desires in Justify My Love. Theseus (King of Athens) is engaged Hippolyta (Queen of the Amazons) as  King and Queen they live a world of duty but their secret lives as Titania and Oberon unfold in the underground night club, “The Woods.” It is as elegant as it is erotic, as sophisticated as it is sensual, and as timeless as it is tempting.  Crowds gather to Get Into the Groove as DJ Puck spins Madonna classics well into the night. The Deeper and Deeper one goes into “The Woods,” it is a place where the experienced can feel Like a Virgin and lovers and Materiel Girls can Open Your Heart. After a night in “The Woods” it’s possible that the ,“bourgeoisie and the rebel come together.”



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Before Madonna headlines 10 nights at The Wiltern, take a look back at some of her biggest tour stops in Southern California

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

Tickets: All of the dates are sold-out, however there are some resale tickets available and going for anywhere between $200-$1,500 via LiveNation.com and Stubhub.com.

More at DailyNews

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REVIEW: Madonna bathes in the noise at San Francisco ‘Madame X’ finale

Madonna performs on the Madame X tour in this undated photo. Courtesy: Stufish.

SAN FRANCISCO — “Who is Madame X?” Madonna asked halfway into her two-and-a-half hour show Tuesday at Golden Gate Theatre, the final concert of a three-date residency. The show was just as much a performance art piece and a revue as a music concert. While Madonna has toured arenas and stadiums for years (and hasn’t played smaller clubs since 1985), The Madame X tour was an extremely more intimate affair. But intimate didn’t mean scaled back. If anything, it showed Madonna thinks outside the box.

The answer to the question was the crux of the show, and it was one she answered over and over again. Madame X, a persona the 61-year-old took on after moving to Lisbon, Portugal several years ago, is everything all at once. She’s a sinner, a saint, a head of state and a whore.

“But so are all of you,” Madonna said.

While the concept wasn’t always cleanly communicated, and some may have left scratching their heads, it showed that Madonna wasn’t done messing with people’s heads. And that was made clear at the outset when the words of novelist James Baldwin were projected surf onto the stage: “Artists are here to disturb the peace.”

Madonna did plenty of disturbing, and was usually pretty blunt about it, even when it came to calling out her fans. The Madame X tour is camera-free and the ringleader took that seriously, twice announcing she thought someone in the audience had a camera, when she was annoyed by a fan’s lit-up hat and demanded he turn it off, or that an exit door was opening and closing frequently. There were moments of levity as well, such as when she asked for someone to bring her a drink. A fan in the front row named Brad, an Army drill sergeant from Kansas City, brought her a beer, which she immediately deemed warm. She poked some fun at him, but it made her seem more approachable. This sort of interaction wouldn’t have worked at an arena show.

Madonna took the stage at 11 p.m. and played until 1:30 a.m. The concert was broken up into five acts, the first of which kicked off with “God Control,” the first of 12 cuts from the Madame X album. In fact, only a handful of older songs made the set, and most of those were shortened or reimagined.

Madonna and a handful of dancers were dressed in 18th-century-style military uniforms, complete with a hat she could have borrowed from the local production of “Hamilton.” She appeared behind a translucent screen showing a tattered U.S. flag that morphed into the interior of a cathedral. Eventually riot police showed up while the video screen showed footage of civil unrest. At the back of the stage stood a double staircase that reached nearly to the ceiling and was composed of pieces that would be moved around throughout the show to form other backdrops.

Every available surface was used as a projection mapping screen, and the show production was amazing. It pushed the performance from concert territory and closer to a Broadway play. Appreciating that was probably important to fully appreciate the show as a whole. If you came expecting to hear the hits faithfully recreated, this show wasn’t for you. If you came expecting Madonna to theorize about the length and girth of Frank Sinatra’s penis and make some other crude genitalia jokes, well, you probably left happy.

After the opening song ended with projections of bullets raining down and Madonna demanding that everyone “WAKE UP,” a steady stream of new material followed.

On “Dark Ballet,” she was joined by string trio dressed as nuns and a pianist wearing a gas mask. The riot police dancers showed up again and this time carried a combative Madonna across the stage. “Human Nature,” from 1994’s Bedtime Stories, got a jazzy treatment and and ended with Madonna leading the audience in an a cappella verse from “Express Yourself.”

Between the first and second acts there was a bit where Madonna changed outfits while standing behind a a screen that had been wheeled on stage. Now dressed in a black trench coat and clad in black sunglasses, she perfectly matched nearly a dozen dancers, who also had blond hair. On “Vogue,” the group climbed up and down the reconfigured stair structures. There was also a part where Madonna was captured by fedora-wearing agents and questioned in a room with a swinging lightbulb during “I Don’t Search I Find.”

In another segment, she pulled out a Polaroid camera and took a picture. She then pretended to sell the picture—we presume it was part of the act—to a fan in the front row for $4,000 cash. Either “Alan who draws comic books” was in on the bit or he’s freshly out of some dough but has a good story to tell.

Madonna sang just one verse of “Papa Don’t Preach” before halting the song to make a statement.

“What did you think of me not keeping the baby?” she asked before going into a talk about reproductive rights. That segment ended with “American Life,” on which she was accompanied by a guitarist and dancer, both dressed in commando uniforms.

The third act was the most interesting. Following an on-stage reenactment of a Navy funeral procession and a mock fight between two of the seamen carrying a casket, the video transitioned to crashing waves. Women dressed in African folk garments marched down the aisles from the back of the room to the stage singing and clapping. This was the Batukadeiras Orchestra, a group of musicians from an island nation off the coast of northwest Africa called Cape Verde. The country was central to the slave trade and the visuals during “Batuka” underscored the heartbreak of the subject matter.

Over the next several songs she sang in Portuguese and in Cape Verdean Creole.

Madonna then explained how moving to Portugal broke her out of a creative funk.

“I moved to Lisbon to be a soccer mom,” she said. “But I met people. I learned Portuguese.”

She spoke of meeting fado singer Celeste Rodrigues and being introduced to that type of music. Rodrigues passed away recently, but Madonna played a bit of one of her songs with Rodrigues’ 16-year-old grandson, who played a stringed instrument similar to a Turkish saz. Other highlights during this segment included the poppy “Crazy” and “Medellín,” which included a group cha-cha dance while a the song’s featured artist, “Maluma,” appeared on video.

The staging for this segment was also top-notch, with a colorful villa, archways and all, set against a starry nighttime sky. On “Extreme Occident,” several of the smaller stage pieces spun around in circles as if they were animated appliances from The Beast’s castle (from “Beauty and the Beast”).

The penultimate act was highlighted by a fully realized version of “Frozen,” from 1998’s Ray of Light. Set behind a projection of her daughter Lourdes doing an interpretive dance, Madonna was alone on stage, this time letting her voice shine by itself. Following several other songs that saw projections of a ruined metropolis, she brought the show with “Like a Prayer” wearing a black robe bedazzled with crosses, leading a choir stationed on the rebuilt staircases to form an “X,” and Madame X cut “I Rise.”

While the performance didn’t change the common perception of Madame X as a disorganized album, Madonna seemed to relish in the noise of it all. She’s using her art to highlight injustice, show love and express herself. She’s doing it in the way she knows best: through contradiction.

“There’s so many paradoxes in this world,” Madonna said Tuesday, both as an observation and a summary of the Madame X Tour.

More at Riffmagazine.com

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Review: Madonna, battling a cold and bad knee, brings fury to late night Madame X concert

It’s a wonder Madonna was ever able to play in vast arenas and stadiums.

At the Golden Gate Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 5, performing the final date of her three-night Madame X tour residency in San Francisco, the 61-year-old singer seemed to take note of every little distraction in the room: the light-up flower crown someone was wearing in the 18th row; the exit door on the left side of the building that opened and closed a few times when a couple people dared go to the restroom; even the murmurs coming from the darkest corners of the balcony.

“Don’t talk while I’m talking,” she snapped. Adding for good measure, “Don’t talk while I’m not talking.”

To be fair, she is Madonna – a pop icon, cultural shape-shifter, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, mother, hero, survivor and so much more. She’s someone whose perennial desire for control has carried her farther than any of her peers, making her the highest-charting female musician and highest-grossing female touring musician in history.

On Tuesday at the 2,297-capacity Golden Gate Theatre (the concert was originally scheduled for Oct. 31 but delayed due to production issues), Madonna was battling a cold, suffering from a torn ligament and had a bad knee (“and no hours of sleep,” she said), but she still put on a spectacular show.

It was rife with bawdy humor, attitude, sex, loads of swear words and references to her private parts — basically everything you want from a Madonna concert. She demanded the same level of effort from her audience, despite inexplicably sweltering temperatures inside the theatre.

“You’re kind of lazy — just putting that out there,” Madonna said, midway through the show. “It’s OK. Because I’m not.”

Scenes from Madonna’s Madame X tour.Photo: Stufish

Madonna didn’t need to wear a bedazzled patch over her left eye and cloak herself as Madame X. She didn’t need to play a late show on a school night at a small, overheated theater on a dreggy corner off Market Street. She didn’t need to run through a two-hour-plus set crammed with songs from a new album that nobody truly loves.

But Madonna is hardly one to do things the easy way. Rather than book huge tour stacked with hits, which is what most fans who grew up with her music would have most likely preferred, she is slogging her way across the country performing long residencies in small venues in select cities, focusing almost entirely on material from her 14th studio recording, the dark and disorienting “Madame X.”

“I have wanted to have this intimate experience with my audience for three decades,” she said on Tuesday.

Despite the close-up environment, fans got the full Madonna spectacle, complete with 41 musicians, singers and dancers; several costume changes and video vignettes; and a lone typewriter used to clack away epitaphs for the crowd (“Artists are here to disturb the peace,” read a recurring quote from James Baldwin).

The songs on “Madame X,” are all over the place, bouncing between trap, hip-hop, reggaeton, Latin pop and electronic dance music without quite falling, erm, into the groove. Thematically, the record is wide-reaching too – touching on the personal, political, spiritual, sensual and everything in between.

But on stage she brought it all together, highlighting infectious new songs like “Crazy” and “I Don’t Search I Find,” alongside few choice classics such as a faithful rendition of “Vogue,” a capella singalong of “Express Yourself” and a thunderous set-closing “Like A Prayer.”

Scenes from Madonna’s Madame X tour.Photo: Stufish

As she glided across the stage to the retro house groove of the recent single “Crave,” featuring Swae Lee, it become clear where Katy, Miley, Britney, Gaga and Gwen all got their moves and gumption.

For all her defiance, Madonna remains a devoted artist, who elevated each tune with a completely original production revolving around her touring ensemble and theatrical show built around a pair of movable staircases and variety of projections.

Madonna highlighted her family at every turn, featuring oldest daughter Lourdes, 23, dancing in a dramatic video clip accompanying “Frozen;” and employing 13-year-old Mercy and 7-year-old twins Stelle and Estere as part of her live dance crew (maybe a little bit past their appropriate bed times).

She exerted her sense of control to the audience experience, taking the stage a little after 11 p.m. and prohibiting the use of cell phones, smart watches and photography (including press, instead supplying a pair of blurry shots of the stage).

Since its release in June, “Madame X” has sold only 90,000 copies in the US, less than half its predecessor, 2015’s “Rebel Heart,” which moved nearly 250,000 copies (and roughly 9,910,000 fewer copies than her best-seller, 1984’s “Like a Virgin”).

This tour feels like Madonna’s attempt to reestablish herself from the ground up.

Once a wise-cracking pair of eyebrows inseparable from the attitude and energy of New York City, she has spent the past few years dividing her time between her manor in London and a mansion in the village of Sintra, Portugal, where her teenage son David Banda attends a prestigious soccer academy.

At one point in the concert she recreated (with a smidge of cultural appropriation) a Portuguese nightclub on the stage, for a segment that found her playing musical tourist through “Killers Who Are Partying,” a fado flavored cut from the “Madame X” album; a cover of “Sodade,” a song made famous by Cesaria Evora; and the harder-edged “Batuka,” which found her backed by an ensemble of batuque drummers and singers called Orquestra Batukadeiras.

“You won’t see this anywhere else, no siree,” she said.

For the encore song, “I Rise,” the screen behind her came alive with recent news footage of protests and marches in solidarity with the resist movement, but as Madonna sang the verses it became apparent that the song was as much about her as current events: “I managed to survive/ Freedom’s what you choose to do with what’s been done to you.”

The last standing icon from pop’s halcyon days (her closest contemporaries, Michael Jackson, Prince and George Michael each died young) Madonna not only remains alive but she is embracing every moment of her existence.

“Nobody is anybody’s bitch,” she said. “I can’t spell it out any clearer than that.”

She meant it.

More at SFChronicle.com

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Mega Record & CD Fair | Jaarbeurs Utrecht, The Netherlands November 16 & 17, 2019 (DISCOUNT AVAILABLE)

Are you ready for world’s largest record fair at the Jaarbeurshallen in Utrecht on November 16 & 17? For our visitors we have a special discount code available, but is very limited so be quick: GRTS000455RXP

Buy your tickets and use the code through THIS LINK 

Make sure to check your spam box if your tickets haven’t been delivered to your inbox within seconds. 

Dear Crate Diggers,

Only one weeks to go before the 52nd Mega Record & Cd Fair will take place at Jaarbeurs Utrecht on Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of November. At this fair cratediggers, vinyl lovers, musicians and over 600 dealers from all over the globe come together to buy records, attend the Omega vinyl auction and several book presentations, watch live performances by George ‘Little Green Bag’ Baker and Robert Jan Stips and visit exhibitions in the field of music. This Autumn, the fair will show a major photo exhibition with pictures made by photographer Frits van Swoll.

Buy your tickets in advance online and save money & time not standing in the queue. Look for all information and the dealers list on our website or join us on Facebook and Instagram.

We are looking forward to meet you all at the unbeatable Mega Record & CD Fair in Utrecht!

Kind regards, the ARC Team


Many thanks to ARC

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Madonna disturbs the peace, enthralls with Madame X Tour (REVIEW)

Madonna, in the midst of her Madame X theater tour, continues to follow fellow trailblazer James Baldwin’s philosophy that “artists are here to disturb the peace.”

In fact, the pop icon opens her 11-city extravaganza — which this writer experienced Oct. 6 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House in New York City— with a passage from the activist/ novelist/playwright containing said quotation.

No stranger to disturbing the peace, Madonna has fueled cultural conversations on age, gender, race, religion and sexuality, among other social mores, over the last 35-plus years. She’s still pushing buttons with her latest live outing, which kicked off Sept. 17 in Brooklyn. Per Billboard Boxscore, the run of 16 sold-out shows at BAM grossed a robust $9.6 million.

Madonna’s previous 10 tours — filling mainly arenas and stadiums — grossed in excess of $1.3 billion, a record among female acts. The superstar will have played 50-odd Madame X shows in eight U.S. cities by year’s end, including four dates at The Met Philadelphia in December. In early 2020, the singer-songwriter heads to Portugal, England and France.

Over the course of her impressive two-hours-plus production, the Queen of Pop invites fans into the world of Madame X, the everywoman persona she adopted for her like-titled 15th album of all-new material. The “master of reinvention,” eager to stand out as a renegade early on, earned the Madame X nickname from Martha Graham while a student at the legend’s dance school.

In Madame X’s world, Madonna, in the guise of a secret agent, travels around the globe, changes identities, fights for freedom and brings light to dark places. Stufish Entertainment Architects created the show’s sets, which include mapped video projection, large-scale video images, staircases and other reconfigurable scenic pieces able to move around like a Rubik’s Cube.

Prior to Madonna taking the stage — which occurs between 10:30 and 11 p.m. — members of her band perform delightful instrumental selections, including several of the icon’s hits missing from the Madame X Tour.

Insistent that audiences watch her latest spectacle through their own eyes — cellphones and smartwatches, for instance, get locked in Yondr cases upon venue entry — Madonna ensures an intimate theatrical experience, minus a sea of devices feverishly capturing moments.

‘Wake up’

In the opening segment, a silhouette figure sits at a typewriter, repeatedly pounding Baldwin’s sentiments — such as the aforementioned quote and “Art is here to prove that all safety is an illusion” — into viewers’ heads. Sounds of gunshots fill the theater, with Madonna appearing in front of a distressed-American-flag backdrop.

The star, wearing a Revolutionary War ensemble complete with feathered tricorn hat, starts to sing “God Control,” which tackles the ever-controversial topic of gun control. With her jaw sounding like it’s wired shut, Madonna, despite such constrictions, vents her anger over America’s easy access to firearms and gun brandishers’ God complex.

Glorious cascading disco strings counter the dark subject matter of “God Control,” with Madonna insisting “we need to wake up.” The singer-dancer brings the joy of disco and freedom, which she enjoyed upon moving from Michigan to New York City at age 19, into a world where trigger-happy individuals silence such joy. During the on-stage chaos, Madonna and her fellow freedom fighters tangle with riot-shield-wielding police officers.

Concert goers have little time to digest “God Control” — whose music video depicts a shooting similar to the 2016 Pulse-nightclub massacre in Florida — before Madonna moves on to the bizarrely fascinating “Dark Ballet.” For this track, Madonna drew inspiration from another of history’s fearless females, burned-at the-stake Joan of Arc. Fittingly, with the warrior canonized as a Roman Catholic saint, religious imagery informs the performance.

Now sporting her ubiquitous “X” eye patch, Madonna tangles with ominous-looking characters in gas masks and floral headgear, dancing the “Dark Ballet,” which she says “we’re all dancing right now, in this world.” Also influenced by Stanley Kubrick’s nihilistic “A Clockwork Orange,” the number features a frantic piano break, plus a vocal distortion set to Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Reed Flutes,” from “The Nutcracker.”

Casual fans hoping Madonna lightens the mood with carefree classics such as “Holiday,” “Open Your Heart,” “Music” and “Hung Up,” take note: those hits and more take a time out for Madame X. Though with a staggering 64 different songs reaching the U.S. and/or U.K. top 10 singles charts, even a tour promising “all the big hits” could never live up to such a pledge.

As with her recent tours, Madonna — in fine voice — leans heavily on new material, performing a dozen “Madame X” tracks. Nonetheless, she revisits her back catalog early on with 1994′s “Human Nature.” A response to the “Erotica”-album/“Sex”-book backlash of 1992, the track reaffirms the singer’s express-yourself-don’t-repress-yourself, no-regrets stance. During the performance, she exhibits her athleticism by doing a handstand in a circular hole.

Madonna, a first-year-eligible 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, follows “Human Nature” with an a cappella chorus of her 1989 female-empowerment classic “Express Yourself.” A slew of females join the sing-along, including youngest daughters Mercy James, Stella and Estere.

Following a “Madame X Manifesto” video interlude, look-alike secret-agent blondes in sunglasses and trench coats parade around as Madonna performs 1990′s game-changing “Vogue.” During “I Don’t Search I Find” — which nods to “Vogue” bass line and Madonna’s “Erotica”-era spoken-word vocals — the singer endures an interrogation by film-noir-/“Dick Tracy”-like detectives.

Politics return via a brief rendition of 1986′s “Papa Don’t Preach,” with Madonna altering a key lyric to “I’m not keeping my baby.” Despite the change, the message of bodily autonomy remains firmly intact.

Madonna then straps on a guitar to revisit “American Life,” in which she realizes “nothing is what it seems” when it comes to living the American dream. To her far right, ripped uniforms descend onto a dancer, with clips from the song’s war-themed fashion-show video — pulled from release around the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq — as a backdrop. The act closes with soldiers carrying a flag-draped coffin across the stage.

Going global

For the show’s next section, Madonna — in a brunette wig — spotlights the global influences behind her latest album. Upon its release in June, “Madame X” — the singer’s most adventurous and experimental album in more than a decade — became her ninth No. 1 album and 15th top two title on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Madonna likely was not pondering her next chart feat — or the 300 million-plus albums and singles she’s sold, making her one of history’s most successful recording artists — when she moved to Lisbon, Portugal, in 2017. There to support son David’s soccer career, the Queen of Pop found musical inspiration in the Portuguese capital.

After seeing passionate, not-in-it-for-money musicians perform in living rooms and small clubs, Madonna was intent on turning what she heard upside down, whether fado, morna, funaná or other genres. Aside from Portugal, territories such as Africa, Brazil, India and Spain influenced the musical direction of “Madame X.”

Call-and-response song “Batuka” starts the show’s musical globe-trot, with the dancing, hand-drumming and singing talents of the all-female Orquestra Batukadeiras. Madonna’s “Batuka” music video points out how “Batuque is a style of music created by women that originated in Cape Verde, some say the birth place of slave trade.”

Seeing drumming as an act of rebellion, the church condemned drums and took them away from the slaves. Nonetheless, the women continued singing and dancing, with “Batuka” spotlighting the Batukadeiras’ journey from darkness to light, their souls unbroken. The women also lend their talents to other numbers throughout the evening.

Madonna then opens her fado café, performing a cover of Carlos Zel’s “Fado Pechincha” with Portuguese guitarist Gaspar Varela, great-grandson of late fado singer Celeste Rodrigues. The mood gets more somber with “Killers Who Are Partying.” Here, Madonna pledges to take on the burdens of marginalized individuals, calling out powerful men celebrating and abusing their power, amid minorities’ degradation and suffering.

“Killers,” which tests the devotion of fans wanting the tempo to pick up some, features Portuguese singing in spots, as does “Crazy,” an accordion-infused midtempo love song that brings some classic Madonna pop into the café. A mash-up of non-album track “Welcome to My Fado Club” and the 1986 classic “La Isla Bonita” precedes another fado cover, the 1950s tune “Sodade,” which Cesária Évora popularized in the early 1990s.

Colombian heartthrob Maluma appears via video for festive cha-cha-cha duet “Medellín,” with Madonna then recounting her global identity search in the morna-inspired “Extreme Occident.” The music of India’s Rajasthan, along with tabla music, influenced part of the song.

Rising above

While rehearsing for the Madame X Tour, Madonna teased a possible performance of “Rescue Me,” an oft-forgotten gem from her mega-selling 1990 “Immaculate Collection” compilation. A verse from the song does pop up, albeit as an interlude set to the flailing movements of dancers, before the classic strings of 1998′s “Frozen” fill the BAM venue.

Madonna, wearing a head scarf, remains stationary as she sings the “Ray of Light”-era single, while a mesmerizing giant projection of eldest daughter Lourdes takes over the stage. The pop goddess’ 23-year-old offspring clearly has inherited mom’s spellbinding charisma, presence and gift for performance art.

“Come Alive,” another highlight, contains Madonna-mantra lyrics such as “Stand out, no I don’t wanna blend in, why you want me to?” The music of North Africa’s Gnawa tribe inspired the peace-seeking, see-the-world track, which features an instrument with origins in slavery. Turning darkness into light upon their freedom, slaves transformed the shackles that enslaved them into music — percussion instruments called krakebs.

Though Madonna’s previously performed atop a piano, she takes a seat at the instrument to play “Future,” a Jamaican dancehall track with hip-hop act Quavo about the current state of the world and the future of civilization. Madonna and her troupe then return to the disco for a dance mix of “Crave,” a collaboration with rapper/singer Swae Lee.

For the night’s penultimate number, Madonna, dressed in a black robe, leads a rousing rendition of “Like a Prayer.” Clips from the controversial video, released 30 years ago, surround the singer and her crew, which includes the Batukadeiras choir.

Closing the show, Madonna again champions marginalized individuals. “I Rise,” which she wrote in part to mark the Stonewall uprising’s 50th anniversary, inspires listeners to hope, speak their minds, and stay true to — and love — themselves. Back in June, “I Rise” closed Madonna’s Pride Island set, held during LGBTQ WorldPride NYC festivities.

Madonna and company, fists raised, conclude the night by walking down the center aisle. For a fleeting moment, the icon and fans — in close-enough-to-touch proximity — share a moment of we’ll-rise-above-it-all solidarity.

Such interaction exemplifies the Madame X Tour’s intimacy. Early in the show, Madonna snaps a Polaroid selfie and invites bidders to the front of the stage. She sells the photo to a fan willing to fork over the most cash, a move that may seem very “Material Girl.” However, the philanthropist insists the money — topping $5,000 on occasion — goes to her Raising Malawi charity.

Speaking to the audience more frequently than in past tours, the ever-humorous, chatty Madonna even asks the crowd, “Am I talking too much?” Among other atypical moments, she engages in audience banter and ventures out to dance on one side of the audience.

Madonna’s more personable demeanor, notably, takes nothing away from the levels of showmanship and risk-taking that have defined her storied career. Refusing to play it safe — she easily could mount hits tour after hits tour — Madonna challenges audiences to open their eyes to the world around them, respect her vision and trust that she will deliver her usual powerhouse production.

As Madame X requests in “Medellín,” take a trip with her — she’ll be so good for you.

More at Poconorecord.com

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Madonna Fan Party G-A-Y Late Saturday 25th January 2020

The 2020 Madonna Fan Party event will take place at G-A-Y Late on Saturday 25th January from 3.00pm – the day before Madonna opens her series of shows in London. This will be our 31st event in collaboration with Madonna’s team, and it kicks off three weeks of Madonna Mania as the Queen takes over London.

RSVP here for all the event information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1793343664143175/

Madonna fans from London, the UK and around the world are travelling to London for the opening night of Madonna’s 15-night run. Come and join them all for a non-stop Madonna weekend! With Madonna, her team & dancers in town, you never know who might just pop in….so make sure you’ve got your best Madonna-inspired outfit or Madonna T Shirt on, as we may invite some guests to help us award spot prizes…

Entry as always is free – no ticket is required, however please RSVP as ‘Going’ (not ‘Interested’) on the Facebook Event Page.

Early Entry (aka ‘Queue Jump’) details & Prize Draw details will be published on our Facebook Event Page.

This will be our 2020 event – thanks for all of your continued support over the years. We rely on you making the effort to come to continue these events and to keep them free for everyone.

Madame X is … coming to London. Are you?

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The Best Albums of the 2010s: Madonna’s ‘Madame X’

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Rebel Heart Tour European premiere in Cologne (4 years ago today) photo gallery, video & more

Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour opened in Cologne Germany four years ago today! 

I still remember it like yesterday; it was freezing cold and many fans queued up overnight to secure the best spots in the Lanxess Arena (quite a departure from the reserved seating at Madame X’s theater shows). Madonna started the show late, leading to quite a few people leaving their front row spots early as they were being crushed in the crowd. 

Apart from our compilation live video below we have the following for you to check out:

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Tatler Magazine celebrates its 310th anniversary with retrospective 80s covers of Miss Piggy, Madonna and Kylie Minogue

Tatler Magazine is celebrating its 310th issue by paying homage to one of its best decades: the 1980s.

The luxury society title has released a number of vintage covers from the period kickstarted by legendary editor Tina Brown, which saw stars including Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Miss Piggy and a curiously costumed Vivienne Westwood cover its issues. 

In the December issue the British publication celebrates a rich history, including being on the scene when “Trump tower opened in New York in 1983” as well as its 1982 purchase by publishing powerhouse Conde Nast.

Indisputable 80s icon Madonna also posed for the magazine in an unusual shoot, which saw her draped in towels and a stack of silver bangles with a signature crucifix hanging from her forehead. 

Full article at Standard.co.uk

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If You’re Going to Madonna, She Goes On at 10:30

With the evergreen pop music icon starting her three-show stint at the Golden Gate Theatre tonight, legions of die-hard Madonna devotees are expected to flood the amphitheater for her almost sold-out Madame X Tour stop – albeit very (very) late in the evening.

The postponed SF leg of her latest tour – that, originally, included a single Halloween night show, which was moved back and expanded to include two more weekday appearances – is unlike any concert series she’s done in decades.

(Read: cellphone and camera-free, smaller-scale, longer, more intimate “conversations” with the audience, etc..)

And, for San Francisco, the two-and-a-half-hour performance is also going to be a late one; Mercury News reported the times had been “inexplicably changed” from 8:30 pm to now 10:30 pm for all three nights, with Madonna not musing from the mainstage till perhaps 11 pm or later.

Alas, it looks like showgoers won’t be hailing rideshare till around 1 am – and that’s if everything goes according to plan. Though, you should prepared for an ungodly late 2 am show closing.

And if you want to take BART to and from the show, cross your fingers and burn an effigy to whatever deity you believe in…so that you’ll make the train’s final boarding time.

BART’s final northbound train will pass through Powell Street Station around 12:10 am, the last southbound train following at 1:05 a.m. However, getting to the Golden Gate Theatre when the doors open at 7:30 pm shouldn’t pose that much of an issue. It’s getting back that may cause a headache.

But patient (and highly-caffeinated) ticket holders can look forward to a setlist that includes every single track from her most recent LP Madame X, a celebrated return to form. Below the list of played tracks, per her most recent show at the Chicago Theatre on the 16th of last month, according to setlist.fm:

“God Control”
“Dark Ballet”
“Human Nature”
“Express Yourself”
“Papa Don’t Preach”
“Madame X Manifesto”
“I Don’t Search I Find”
“Papa Don’t Preach”
“American Life”
“Fado Pechincha”
“Killers Who Are Partying”
“La Isla Bonita”
“Extreme Occident”
“Rescue Me”
“Come Alive”
“Like a Prayer”
“I Rise”

Tickets for tonight’s show, as well as those for Monday and Tuesday’s, are still up for grabs, hefty price tags and all. Seats for this evening’s spectacle, available on the San Francisco Theatre’s website, start at a soul-crushing $835, with more affordable – but, still, by no means frugal – tickets starting at $290 for both weekday shows.

And sorry: It looks like you won’t have the chance to meet the Hung Up singer in person, either. Even the VIP packages that top $2K don’t include meet-and-greets, so don’t expect to get up close and personal with the Vogue-ing legend, herself.

Can’t make the show or simply want to delve into the world of Madame X? Check out her released music videos from the album, below:

RelatedMadonna To Bring Madame X Tour To SF’s Golden Gate Theater This Fall

More at Sfist.com

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Nobody Knows Me discography online (promo only release)

Next up in the discography is the promotional only release for ‘Nobody Knows Me’. Though not released as a single, the track was delivered to DJ’s on promotional 12″ for club play. A music video montage with the AVIDDIVA Remix was also released.

Madonna performed the track during her Re-Invention Tour in 2004. She used it again at The MDNA Tour as an interlude backdrop video which was criticised heavily for showing a swastika on Marine Le Pen’s forehead. 

We have collected four items in its discography HERE

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