On May 21 2001, the U.S. leg of Madonna’s Drowned World Tour continued to sell out performances in the final seven markets that went on sale the previous weekend. A press release stated that the tour, promoted by SFX, promised to be the most extravagant stage spectacle of Madonna’s career thus far. The last batch of cities announced for the tour included sold-out dates in New York, New Jersey, Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It was also announced that due to overwhelming demand, an additional three shows in New York and two in Los Angeles had been added to the itinerary, with tickets to go on sale May 30th.
On March 30 2001, Madonna’s Drowned World Tour was confirmed via this announcement:
For the first time in eight years since The Girlie Show, Madonna promises to take the stage live in a extensive international concert tour this summer. The exhilarating itinerary promises to take her in a series of shows in Europe beginning in June and all across America starting in July. The tour will be promoted by SFX. A complete schedule of these landmark events will be announced within weeks. Madonna is expected to perform material from her smash hit electrifying Cowboy Punk album Music as well as signature songs spanning the length of her incredible stunning career in a cutting edge concert setting that will continue the tradition of trend setting innovation that Madonna is famous and known for on the stage!
On September 11 2001, Madonna postponed a scheduled Drowned World Tour concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California due to terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The concert was re-scheduled for September 15.
“Violence begets violence,” Madonna told the Staples Center crowd of nearly 20,000 fans on September 14th, “and I don’t know about you, but I want to live a long and happy life. I want my kids to live a long and happy life.”
“What happened was horrible, but I’d like to think of it as a wake-up call. There’s terrorism every day all over the world.”
“Last night, we had a minute of prayer for everybody who died on Tuesday. Tonight I’d like to say a prayer for peace.”
“I said it last night and I’ll say it again: If you want to change the world, change yourself.”
Madonna pledged that proceeds from the final shows on the tour would go to relief funds for victims of the attacks and their families.
On July 21 2001, Madonna kicked off the U.S. leg of her Drowned World Tour with the first of two sold-out concerts at the First Union Centre (now the Wells Fargo Centre) in Philadelphia.
For the first time in her career, Madonna altered one of her tour set lists by performing You’ll See in the place Gone at select shows during the U.S. leg of the tour. You’ll See made its live debut at the July 21st show in Philadelphia and was performed again the following night. The decision to alter the set list was rumoured to have been made in response to European reviews of the tour, which despite being generally favorable, often lamented the show’s overabundance of new material and lack of hits.
Personally, we were pleased that the Ray Of Light and Music albums were the primary focus of the Drowned World Tour. If she had instead focused on hits, it is likely that these two essential Madonna albums would have been treated similarly to Bedtime Stories–an album from which she has yet to perform anything other than its four released singles.
Were you disappointed at the time by the lack of hits and the focus on recent album cuts during the Drowned World Tour? Have your views shifted at all in retrospect?
On June 25 2001, Madonna was featured on the cover of People Magazine.
Kicking off her latest tour, the Material Mom shows Barcelona she hasn’t lost a step – or her nerve.
She strutted across the stage at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi stadium as a snarling punk rocker. Then she became a shotgun-wielding geisha; next, a cowgirl gyrating on a mechanical bull. Clearly, marriage and motherhood haven’t mellowed Madonna. As nannies minded daughter Lourdes, 4, and son Rocco, 10 months, at a nearby villa, husband Guy Ritchie, 32, watched from the sound-board as the 42-year-old queen of pop mesmerized 18,000 fans on June 9, opening night of her 14-week Drowned World Tour—her first since 1993. Reports backup singer Niki Haris at a postconcert party: “Madonna was very, very happy. And tired.”
Did you see Madonna live during the Drowned World Tour? Where did you see her?