Madonna Kicks Off World Tour With Rarities

Madonna exceeded expectations opening night at the O2 in London during the first of four sold out nights of her Celebration Tour.

The pop icon who turned 65 in August hit the stage Saturday, October 14, after having to delay the kick off of the world tour due to a serious bacterial infection in June.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it, neither did my doctors. That’s why I woke up with all of my all of my children sitting around me,” she told the crowd about her mysterious illness that kneecapped her "crazy year."

Madonna told the Brits the thing that pulled her through were her family.

“If you want to know my secret, and you want to know how I pulled through and how I survive, I thought, ‘I’ve got to be there for my children. I have to survive for them,’” she said to cheers.

It was a family affair in London, and hopefully throughout the 78-date tour that will span 15 countries.

Mercy James providing the piano for her mom, Madonna, on "Bad Girl" on opening night of the Celebration Tour.

Her 17-year old daughter Mercy James tickled the ivories on “Bad Girl.”

Her three other daughters, Lourdes Leon and twins Stella and Estere, participated on the highly entertaining “Vogue” segment where dancers busted the famous moves on what looked like a three-tier wedding cake.

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Madonna split her two-hour performance into five acts which spanned her entire five-decade career.

None of her 14 studio albums were represented live with more than three songs each.

Her self titled debut, Erotica, Ray of Light and True Blue each had three tunes in the show. American Life and Bedtime Stories each had two tune plucked from them and placed in the spotlight. Nine other albums saw one tune performed and there were three cover songs.

Upon looking at this 28 track setlist of Madonna's does anything seem to be missing? Look at the last Act, the part where ones biggest songs might be.

Madonna, ever the rebel, did not perform "Like A Virgin" opening night. The title track of her breakthrough sophomore album, proved she was no flash in the pan but a force to be reckoned with for decades to come.

Tours were often highlighted by the performance of that titular tune, so to speak. But in London it was part of a video/silhouette tribute to Michael Jackson, her date to the Oscars back in the day.

“There was a period of time when we hung out," Madonna told Rolling Stone in 2009 about her relationship with the King of Pop in 1991. "He wanted to work with me, I think he wanted to get to know me, and I wanted to do the same. So that’s what we were doing: watching movies, having dinner, hanging out, going to the Oscars, being silly, seeing if we could work."

No music was ever made between the pair, so perhaps this little video segment of the video king and queen was appropo for the Celebration.

Opening night was a historic one for several songs which hadn't been performed live this century.

"Nothing Really Matters," "Justify My Love," "Bad Girl," "Little Star," "Bedtime Story," and "Rain" hadn't been heard in front of audiences since the '90s.

Meanwhile, "Mother and Father" and "Die Another Day" hadn't been performed since 2004's Re-Invention Tour.

The tour has several interesting statistics, according to its press release. Of note are:

8th Tour partnering with director Jamie King.
13th Culture shaping tour.
24 Onstage performers.
800 Square ft. of stage, the largest for any Madonna tour. Inspired by the grid of Manhattan with Uptown, Downtown, Midtown, East and West stages.
8 Humidifiers in Madonna’s dressing room.
3 Traveling mobile gyms.
3 Layered circular stage where the traditional main stage would be, inspired by the wedding cake of Madonna’s original VMA performance.
3 Physical therapists.
5 Family members on stage.

40 Pairs of boxing gloves.
230 Ft. of combined length of catwalk that gets Madonna 105ft far into the venue.
14 Spotlights for Madonna and over 600 intelligent lights to light the stage and arena with over 8800 lighting cues.
17 Archived costumes recreated.
4 Rehearsal venues.
80 Tons of production equipment.
200+ Traveling crew – 25 in the costume department alone.

How did the Brits like it? They seemed to love it.

You probably shouldn't miss this tour. Some nights are already sold out so now that the opening night has received rave reviews, you might want to get your tickets before it's too late. You can get them through Madonna's website.


Sat, Oct 14                          London, UK                        The O2                            
Sun, Oct 15                         London, UK                        The O2                            
Tue, Oct 17                         London, UK                        The O2                            
Wed, Oct 18                       London, UK                        The O2                            
Sat, Oct 21                          Antwerp, BE                      Sportpaleis                   
Sun, Oct 22                         Antwerp, BE                      Sportpaleis
Tue, Oct 25                         Copenhagen, DK               Royal Arena                         
Thu, Oct 26                         Copenhagen, DK               Royal Arena                         
Sat, Oct 28                          Stockholm, SE                   Tele2 Arena                         
Wed, Nov 01                      Barcelona, ES                    Palau Sant Jordi                         
Thu, Nov 02                        Barcelona, ES                    Palau Sant Jordi                         
Mon, Nov 06                      Lisbon, PT                          Altice Arena                         
Tue, Nov 07                        Lisbon, PT                          Altice Arena                         
Sun, Nov 12                        Paris, FR                             Accor Arena                         
Mon, Nov 13                      Paris, FR                             Accor Arena                         
Wed, Nov 15                      Cologne, DE                       Lanxess Arena                         
Tue, Nov. 16                       Cologne, DE                       Lanxess Arena                         
Sun, Nov 19                        Paris, FR                             Accor Arena                         
Mon, Nov 20                      Paris, FR                             Accor Arena                         
Thu, Nov 23                        Milan, IT                             Mediolanum Forum                      
Sat, Nov 25                         Milan, IT                             Mediolanum Forum                     
Tue, Nov 28                        Berlin, DE                           Mercedes-Benz Arena                 
Wed, Nov 29                      Berlin, DE                           Mercedes-Benz Arena 
Fri, Dec 1                             Amsterdam, NL                 Ziggo Dome                
Sat, Dec 2                            Amsterdam, NL                 Ziggo Dome
Tue, Dec 5                           London, U.K.                     The O2                            
Wed, Dec 6                         London, U.K.                     The O2    
Wed, Dec 13                       Brooklyn, NY                     Barclays Center
Thu, Dec 14                        Brooklyn, NY                     Barclays Center
Sat, Dec 16                          Brooklyn, NY                     Barclays Center
Mon, Dec 18                       Washington, US                Capital One Arena
Tue, Dec 19                         Washington, US                Capital One Arena
Mon, Jan 8                          Boston, MA                        TD Garden                                         
Tue, Jan 9                            Boston, MA                        TD Garden          
Thu, Jan 11                       Toronto, CA                       Scotiabank Arena
Fri, Jan 12                          Toronto, CA                       Scotiabank Arena
Mon, Jan 15                        Detroit, US                         Little Caesars Arena
Thu, Jan 18                         Montreal, QC                    Bell Centre
Sat, Jan 20                           Montreal, QC                    Bell Centre
Mon, Jan 22                        New York, NY                    Madison Square Garden
Tue, Jan 23                          New York, NY                    Madison Square Garden
Thu, Jan 25                         Philadelphia, PA               Wells Fargo Center
Mon, Jan 29                        New York, NY                    Madison Square Garden
Thu, Feb 1                           Chicago, IL                          The United Center
Fri, Feb 2                              Chicago, IL                          The United Center
Mon, Feb 5                         Pittsburgh, US                   PPG Paints Arena
Thu, Feb 8                           Cleveland, US                    Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Tue, Feb 13                         Saint Paul, MN                 Xcel Energy Center
Sat, Feb 17                          Seattle, US                         Climate Pledge Arena
Sun, Feb 18                         Seattle, US                         Climate Pledge Arena
Wed, Feb 21                       Vancouver, BC                   Rogers Arena
Sat, Feb 24                          Sacramento, US                Golden 1 Center
Tue, Feb 27                         San Francisco, CA             Chase Center
Wed, Feb 28                       San Francisco, CA             Chase Center
Fri, Mar 1                             Las Vegas, US                     T-Mobile Arena
Sat, Mar 2                            Las Vegas, US                     T-Mobile Arena
Mon, Mar 4                        Los Angeles, CA                 Kia Forum
Tue, Mar 5                          Los Angeles, CA                 Kia Forum
Thu, Mar 7                          Los Angeles, CA                 Kia Forum
Sat, Mar 9                            Los Angeles, CA                 Kia Forum
Mon, Mar 11                       Los Angeles, CA                 Kia Forum
Wed, Mar 13                      Palm Springs, US               Acrisure ArenaS
at, Mar 16                         Phoenix, US                        Footprint Center
Tue, Mar 19                        Denver, US                          Ball Arena
Sun, Mar 24                        Dallas, TX                             American Airlines Center
Mon, Mar 24                      Dallas, TX                             American Airlines Center
Thu, Mar 28                        Houston, TX                        Toyota Centre
Fri, Mar 29                          Houston, TX                        Toyota Centre
Mon, Apr 1                          Atlanta, US                          State Farm Arena
Thu, Apr 4                           Tampa, FL                            Amalie Arena
Sat, Apr 6                             Miami, US                            Miami-Dade Arena
Sun, Apr 7                           Miami, US                            Miami-Dade Arena
Sun, Apr 14                         Austin, TX                            Moody Center
Mon, Apr 15                       Austin, TX                            Moody Center

The Celebration Tour Mexico Dates
Sat, Apr 20                          Mexico City, MX                Palacio De Los Deportes
Sun, Apr 21                         Mexico City, MX                Palacio De Los Deportes
Tue, Apr 23                         Mexico City, MX                Palacio De Los Deportes
Wed, Apr 24                       Mexico City, MX                Palacio De Los Deportes

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Last updated: 27 May 2024, 15:23 Etc/UTC