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Dive into Madonna’s 2023 Celebration Tour: Behold the Top 5 Crown Jewels! Glamour, Glitz, and Unforgettable Moments Await. Experience Royalty in Every Note!
Madonna, who is regarded as the Queen of Pop, displayed her crown jewels on the first night of her Celebration World Tour.
Ray of Light, Like A Prayer, and Holiday, among other era-defining anthems, were among the star’s more than 40 successes.
The infection that almost killed her this summer was another topic she addressed, telling fans: “I didn’t think I would make it – and my doctors didn’t either.”
She also voiced her grief about the circumstances in Gaza and Israel.
It hurts so much to see, she remarked. “It makes my heart ache to witness young people, adults, and the elderly suffer. I know you concur.
The show was advertised as Madonna’s first-ever greatest hits set, and it did not dissapoint in that regard.
She time-traveled through a career that saw her go from broke wannabe to musical icon, underlining her influence on popular culture, with the use of vintage costumes and archival film.
She began with the Ray Of Light song Nothing Really Matters, whose line “I’ll never be the same because of you” was written specifically for the audience.
She had a solo performance while being illuminated by a big circle lighting setup, and she was wearing a black version of the kimono that Gaultier created for the song’s music video.
Aural or visual Easter eggs were hidden in every song that night, setting the tone for the entire evening. I once counted 18 Madonnas performing on stage, each wearing a distinctive outfit, ranging from the pink Hung Up leotard to the dominatrix costumes of Erotica.
Even the circular stage’s three tiers were made to resemble the “wedding cake” she sang Like A Virgin from at the 1984 MTV Awards.
For the fans, it was a trip down memory lane through a groundbreaking, taboo-busting pop career. It was typically a family affair for Madonna.
Madonna’s tour in numbers
- 47 hits played in part or in full
- 17 archive costumes recreated
- 78 shows in 15 countries
- 4,400 square ft of stage
- 4 of Madonna’s children on stage
- More than 600 lights, including 14 spotlights on Madonna
- 80 tons of production equipment
- 3 travelling mobile gyms
- 40 pairs of boxing gloves
- 8 humidifiers in Madonna’s dressing room
The show’s first act was devoted to Madonna’s early years in New York, when she struggled to make it in the music industry while residing in squalor.
She remembered her first position as a member of the band The Breakfast Club.
“I played the drums [but] I didn’t like being the drummer,” she stated. “I genuinely desired to be in the lead.
She continued, “So they let me play one song, one night,” before putting on a guitar and starting to play Burning Up, one of her first singles.
But when the song ended, the performance came to an end.
Madonna had over ten minutes to fill since the sound system had to be “rebooted” due to technical gremlins.
“This is exactly what you don’t want to happen on your opening night,” she said.
She entertained the audience with tales about her scavenging New York days rather than taking the easy way out and exiting the stage, as many performers did.
She said at one point, “I lived in the rehearsal room where my band practiced, and I had no way to take a bath.”
“As a result, I would date guys who had bathrooms and showers.
“Those were the days, and that is the truth.”
It was one of many unplanned instances of humanity in the militarily staged performance.
A moving rendition of Live To Tell was performed while images of the friends Madonna lost to AIDS were displayed, including Martin Burgoyne, who oversaw her first club tour; choreographer Alvin Ailey; Queen actor Freddie Mercury; and many others. Burgoyne also hired Madonna for his dance company in the 1970s.
That was followed by a furious rendition of “Like A Prayer,” implying that the Aids pandemic had caused the celebrity to experience a spiritual crisis in the late 1980s.
Her later use of religious imagery frequently incensed the Church. Even Pope John Paul II urged Christians to abstain from her 1990 Blond Ambition tour, calling it “one of the most satanic shows in the history of humanity”.
Madonna performed the sexually graphic routine for Like A Virgin on stage at the O2 in London, mockingly adding the strings to “Papa Don’t Preach” as a finale.
She always has the final say.
Other standouts included a thunderous performance of Vogue, a Crazy For You chorus with 20,000 people, and Hung Up’s club mastery (which featured excessive amounts of nudity from her dancers).
The interactions between Madonna and her kids were, however, what others found most moving.
While performing amazing melodic runs up and down the keyboard while accompanying her mother on the piano during the song Bad Girl, Stella, 11, joined in on the choreography for the cowboy-themed song Don’t Tell Me.
In the 2003 song Mother And Father, about the passing of Madonna’s mother, also known as Madonna, when the singer was only five years old, her adopted son David also played guitar.
Images of Madonna Sr. and Marita, David’s birth mother, were shown on the video screens as the music started, recognizing how losing a parent has an effect that lasts a lifetime regardless of the situation.
When the lyrics “I got to let it go / Find someone that I can care for” were sung, Madonna and David gently went closer to one another.
When Madonna talked about the bacterial sickness that required her to postpone this trip by three months, the strength of their relationship was once again underscored.
“I woke up [in hospital] with all of my children around me,” she said. “I forgot about five of my life’s days, or my demise. I’m not sure exactly where I was.
“However, angels were watching over me. And if you want to know my survival strategy, I decided that I had to be there for my kids. I must remain alive for them.
The singer then performed Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive on acoustic guitar. When the song got to the line, “Did you think I’d lay down and die,” she paused and asked the crowd, “Well, did you think that?”
Not all of the time was as successful. Did we really need a second rendition of Justify My Love when songs like Express Yourself and Frozen were cut as snippets? The Bjork-penned Bedtime Stories also seemed unnecessary.
The story started to ramble as well. Later passages were challenging to understand after the opening act’s strong autobiographical framework.
With the final medley of Bitch, I’m Madonna, and Celebration seemingly concluding that, after 40 years, her primary achievement is the very act of being Madonna, Madonna’s reckonings with fame, sexism, and ageism were alluded to but left unresolved.
She said, in a reprise of her remarks at the 2016 Billboard Women In Music Awards, “You will be crucified, you will be vilified, because to age is to sin.”
“I think the most controversial thing I’ve done is to stick around.”
It’s a true statement, but it strangely ignores her contribution to music, which is the ongoing recontextualization of pop and what it may mean.
Madonna’s early music was party music. These same songs can now serve as anthems of liberation, allyship, self-discovery, and dissent.
That is a truly radical legacy, one that deserves to be honored.
How did fans feel?
Madonna’s opening night was met with varied reactions outside the O2 Arena.
Jaclyn, a Scottish supporter, stated, “It was fantastic.” “I enjoyed the passages where the sound sounded a little off and I truly thought I was speaking with Madonna. That won me over.
Italian fan Alessia Petralia claimed Madonna had “made the world better for women and the gay community.” “Obviously, it’s hard to put 40 years into two hours, but I think she did a good job,” Petralia added.
Lauren Barker concurred, calling her “a true inspiration.” “Many of the ladies there want to be like Madonna. And she’s definitely the main factor in my success as a businesswoman.
One concertgoer, who declined to be identified, stated that it was “a waste of time.” “Everything was mimed. Very dissatisfied. She did not sing at all.
It was disappointing, another person added. There weren’t enough bangers and there were too many interludes. The audience had taken their places. The atmosphere was nonexistent.
Johnny, who arrived by plane from New York, had a different opinion: “Madonna is a perfectionist. She always offers you more when it comes to concerts. All in all, ten out of ten.
She consistently exceeds my expectations, said Haitian Laurent Sassine. “Live to Tell made me cry because I’ve also lost friends to AIDS,” the listener said. I was deeply moved by that.
A set list
- It’s a Celebration (video intro)
- Nothing Really Matters
- Into the Groove
- Burning Up
- Open Your Heart
- In This Life (intermission)
- Live to Tell
- Like a Prayer (including elements of Girl Gone Wild, Act of Contrition, Unholy and Let’s Go Crazy)
- Blond Ambition interlude (including elements of Living for Love, Fever, Erotica and Justify My Love)
- Justify My Love
- Hung Up (including elements of Fever, Hung Up on Tokischa and Gangsta)
- Bad Girl
- Ballroom interlude (includes elements of Up Down Suite, Break My Soul (Queens Remix), and Vogue)
- Human Nature
- Crazy for You
- The Beast Within
- Die Another Day
- Don’t Tell Me
- Mother and Father
- Little Star (a capella)
- I Will Survive
- La Isla Bonita
- Don’t Cry for Me Argentina
- I Don’t Search I Find (intermission)
- Bedtime Story
- Ray of Light
- Like a Virgin (includes elements of Billie Jean, The Way You Make Me Feel and Angel)
- Bitch I’m Madonna
- Celebration / Music
Unveiling Her Top 5 Crown Jewels
In 2023, Madonna, the reigning queen of pop, embarked on a tour that left audiences worldwide in awe. Her “Spectacular Celebration Tour” was a testament to her enduring influence and artistic prowess. Among the glittering gems of this tour, here are the top five moments that shone the brightest:
- Iconic Opening Act: “Vogue” Extravaganza Madonna kicked off the tour with an electrifying performance of her timeless hit “Vogue.” The stage was transformed into a glamorous ballroom, complete with a troupe of voguing dancers. Madonna herself emerged in a jaw-dropping ensemble, exuding confidence and charisma that only the Queen of Pop could command.
- Reinventing Classics: “Like a Prayer” Revival A highlight of the tour was Madonna’s reimagination of her iconic ballad “Like a Prayer.” The stage was set with ethereal visuals, and Madonna’s vocals soared to new heights, leaving the audience captivated and moved. It was a masterful blend of nostalgia and reinvention, showcasing her enduring ability to captivate hearts.
- Intimate Acoustic Set: Unplugged Magic In a surprising twist, Madonna took a break from the high-energy dance beats to deliver an intimate acoustic set. Stripped-down versions of hits like “La Isla Bonita” and “Crazy for You” revealed a different side of her artistry, highlighting her raw talent and emotional depth.
- Empowering Anthem: “Express Yourself” Resurgence The tour wouldn’t be complete without a powerful rendition of “Express Yourself.” Madonna’s performance was a celebration of self-empowerment, with a visually stunning display of strength and defiance. The stage pulsated with energy, leaving no doubt that Madonna remains a beacon of liberation and self-expression.
- Epic Finale: “Into the Groove” Dance Party As the tour reached its crescendo, Madonna unleashed an explosive finale with the infectious beats of “Into the Groove.” The stage transformed into a neon-lit dance floor, and the audience joined in a euphoric celebration of music and movement. It was a testament to Madonna’s unparalleled ability to create a sense of unity and joy.
Madonna’s Spectacular Celebration Tour 2023 will be remembered as a triumphant return to the stage for the indomitable Queen of Pop. Each moment was a testament to her enduring influence on music and culture, leaving audiences around the world in awe of her unparalleled artistry. This tour solidified Madonna’s status as a true crown jewel of the music industry.