Madonna brought her ‘Madame X’ Tour into Philadelphia for a 4-night residency at The Met Philly in celebration of her fourteenth studio album, Madame X. Bringing the album to life with an extraordinary show that we would label as ‘The Ultimate Madonna Experience,’ as she is known to always bring quite the production, but this time it was just something so much more incredible with the intimacy of the venue, which only holds 3,400. Fans of Madonna are accustomed to seeing her in arenas that hold upwards of 40,000 if not more, so this show brought fans much closer to the pop icon. This tour marks her first intimate theater stage performances since 2002 on her West End debut with Up for Grabs.
On this ‘Madame X’ Tour, Madonna requested that fans lock their phones up in Yondr cases which fans can keep with them for the show, while creating a phone-free experience, forcing fans to live in the moment to experience her truly unique, one-of-a-kind, very impressive performance. Transporting fans into her incredibly elaborate and unique world of, Madame X. Madonna graciously thanked her fans for living in the moment throughout the show and for showing up, knowing that they will not be able to use their phones for the duration of her performance.
As no different from a typical Madonna show, She brought along a visually stunning, hand crafted production that included projection screens, breathtakingly beautiful graphics that filled the projection screens perfectly matching each song throughout the show, vibrant lighting and different props including staircases, archways and more to create different sceneries throughout her show which was separated into what felt like different acts which was narrated by Madame X sitting upon a typewriter similar to what you can watch in her “God Control” music video. There wasn’t a single moment that the capacity crowd’s attention wasn’t grasped to the stage as it was a mesmerizing show. As Madonna fans know, she uses the genius, that is her artistic weirdness to craft a unique production for each of her tours which is where she finds her greatest successes, as the tours are always fabulous and this tour especially being a unique and breathtaking experience. Which as Madame X showcased in her typewritten quote from James Baldwin in the opening of the show, Madonna believes “artists are here to disturb the peace” and that is just what she does with this Madame X Tour.
After some “technical difficulties” the show launched at about 11:30pm as the red X-branded curtain opened unveiling Madonna singing her politically charged song “God Control,” from her Madame X album, as she was adorn in a bedazzled George Washington-esque jacket and tricorn hat behind a projection of the American flag and breaking news stories on gun violence throughout the world that needs to stop. This was not the only moment however during the show that Madame X brought a spotlight onto some very controversial topics such as gun violence, equality, women’s rights, bracing imperfections and more. Demanding a wake up call for all of these issues that the world faces everyday while also bringing along a message of inclusion for everyone no matter your gender, race or sexual preference.
“Human Nature” brought a sultry Madonna to the stage, then powering through her a capella version of “Express Yourself.” Madonna then sitting behind a shiny silver vanity as she had some comedic discussions with the crowd, joking with them and making for a very intimate conversation between her and her fans who were lucky enough to score a ticket into this exceptional performance. Madonna even joking that the venue was waiting for her performance and made for her as their are M’s adorn throughout the venues beautiful woodwork. As mentioned earlier, the show was a more intimate show which allowed Madonna to interact directly with fans throughout the evening at one point even auctioning off a self-captured Polaroid to fans in the crowd which one fans bid $3,000 dollars and won the one-of-a-kind Polaroid, in which Madonna told the sold out crowd that she would be donating the money to help children. Chatting with audience between songs, at one point even sitting down in an empty seat in the crowd and making small talk with one of the attendees named Gailand and Brandon.
We must note that throughout the evening Madonna brought out some sparkling outfits throughout the evening that really made her look stunning, from dresses to diamond-encrusted gowns and cloaks and bodysuits alike.
Striking a pose to “Vogue” while several other look-a-like dancers pranced around her in perfect sync making for a creative visual that looked like there was several Madonna’s onstage. Madge then giving a passionate speech about abortion and women’s rights after a brief performance of the first verse and chorus of “Papa Dont’ Preach” which caused a roaring applause supporting the cause that allows women to control their own bodies and rights. Next performing “American Life” which she played guitar during, as torn, bloody military uniforms and an American flag showered down from above onto an empty bed, concluding with a flag-draped coffin being slowly carried across the stage by soldiers before welcoming fans to her own Fado club.
Madonna even brought the ladies of The Batukadeiras Orchestra to perform “Batuka” as they gathered around Madge and pounded away at their drums in hand and flawlessly melodized their vocals together. She respectfully gave the spotlight to the Batukadeiras ladies for most of this songs performance before celebrating with them as the song came to a close.
She even gave fans the story behind her latest album, explaining how her move to Lisbon, Portugal to support her sons passion of being a soccer player found herself bored, lonely and rediscovering her inspiration for music through the Fado clubs of Lisbon. Performing “La Isla Bonita” and “Crazy” before a cover of the late Cesária Évora’s “Sodade.” Joining her onstage during this performance and throughout the evening was Évora’s grandson, Celeste Rodrigues, who even brought out a beer for Madonna as she told the crowd he was brought up correctly with manners.
Madonna’s dancers are top of the line and throughout the night had a perfectly choreographed dance routines for each and every song on the setlist. This was especially noted during the dramatic spoken word and deep breath part of “Rescue Me” where the projection screen unveiled a woman with her hair covering her face, bent all the way over as Madonna appeared behind the projections in which after the woman of the projection screen looked up to unveil that it was Lourdes, the first daughter of Madonna. However, this is not the first time during the show that Madonna included her children as her other three daughters including Mercy James, Estere Ciccone and Stelle Ciccone were present during several of the evenings dance routines.
“Medellín” brought out a cha cha explosion as the crowd was dancing their way through the song while roaring the lyrics along with Madge similar to her 2019 Billboard Music Awards performance production except this time her collaborator Maluma appeared a projection which she followed throughout the stage. After serenading the crowd on piano with “Future” she danced through her performance of the Swae Lee assisted “Crave.” Then appearing on the stage in her sparkling diamond-encrusted crossed filled black cloak with the oversized hood covering her face for the introduction of “Like A Prayer” with a backing choir all complete with church-like robes that had red X’s across the chest. Taking fans to church for an impressive performance of “Like A Prayer,” which ended in a massive sing-a-long that fans craved all night as Madonna was in the center of an X that was created by the staircase she was upon with the choir in the shape of an X. Returning to the stage at 1:45am for the anthemic pride song “I Rise” which completed her amazing performance as a rainbow flag covered the stages background.
Madonna’s ‘Madame X’ tour showcases her at her best, unapologetic self bringing her music to life with breathtaking, stunning visuals and an extraordinary production proving further why she is in fact the Queen of Pop and such the iconic performer that she is. If you get the chance to experience Madonna’s ‘Madame X’ Tour, I would highly recommend you do so cause then you will get to see the iconic performance that Madge created which is a force to be reckoned with from her most unique material yet off of her latest record, Madame X.
For tickets to Madonna’s remaining Madame X Tour, CLICK HERE.