Today in Madonna History: July 21, 2001

Madonna performing during the first show in the North American leg of her 'Drowned World Tour 2001' at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pa., 7/21/01. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.

madonna dwt ticket philadelphia july 21 2001

Madonna performing during the first show in the North American leg of her 'Drowned World Tour 2001' at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pa., 7/21/01. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.

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?

Today in Madonna History: May 21, 2001

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.

Today in Madonna History: April 16, 2001

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On April 16 2001, the Drowned World Tour schedule was announced.

This the complete list of Drowned World Tour dates as performed by Madonna:

June 05 – Kölnarena, Cologne, Germany – cancelled (technical difficulties)
June 06 – Kölnarena, Cologne, Germany – cancelled (technical difficulties)
June 09 – Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain
June 10 – Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain
June 14 – Fila Forum, Milan, Italy
June 13 – Fila Forum, Milan, Italy
June 15 – Fila Forum, Milan, Italy
June 19 – Max Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany
June 20 – Max Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany
June 22 – Max Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany
June 23 – Max Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany
June 26 – Palace Omnisports de Paris Bercy, Paris, France
June 27 – Palace Omnisports de Paris Bercy, Paris, France
June 29 – Palace Omnisports de Paris Bercy, Paris, France
June 30 – Palace Omnisports de Paris Bercy, Paris, France
July 04 – Earls Court, London, England
July 06 – Earls Court, London, England
July 07 – Earls Court, London, England
July 09 – Earls Court, London, England
July 10 – Earls Court, London, England
July 12 – Earls Court, London, England
July 21 – First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA
July 22 – First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA
July 25 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
July 26 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
July 28 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
July 30 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
July 31 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
August 02 – Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
August 03 – Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ – cancelled (illness)
August 07 – Fleet Center, Boston, MA
August 08 – Fleet Center, Boston, MA
August 10 – MCI Center, Washington, DC
August 11 – MCI Center, Washington, DC
August 14 – National Car Rental Center, Miami, FL
August 15 – National Car Rental Center, Miami, FL
August 19 – Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
August 20 – Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
August 25 – The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI
August 26 – The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI
August 28 – United Center, Chicago, IL
August 29 – United Center, Chicago, IL
September 01 – MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
September 02 – MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
September 05 – Oakland Arena, Oakland, CA
September 06 – Oakland Arena, Oakland, CA
September 09 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
September 11 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA – rescheduled due to 9/11 attacks
September 13 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
September 14 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
September 15 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

Quite simply the musical event of the year” – The Sun.

Simply sensational” – Daily Telegraph.

Madonna Shoots to thrill” – Daily Mail.

Today in Madonna History: September 13, 2001

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On September 13 2001, Madonna resumed the final string of dates on her Drowned World Tour after having postponed the September 11th show due to the terrorist attacks in New York. She donated the proceeds from her second Los Angeles concert on the 13th to benefit children who were orphaned following the tragic attacks that killed thousands of parents.

Several changes were made to soften some of the show’s violent theatrics for the final three shows: at the end of the Geisha segment she was lowered from the stage with her arm around the dancer’s shoulder instead of shooting him; her kilt in the opening section was changed to an American flag design; she did not perform The Funny Song but instead took the opportunity to share some more serious thoughts with the audience.

Madonna told the crowd at the Staples Center:

“Any of you who purchased a ticket to the show tonight will be contributing to a fund that will be for children orphaned by this tragedy, so thank you all. Now on a personal note I think that each and every one of us should look inside our own hearts and examine our own personal acts of terrorism, hatred, intolerance, negativity, the list goes on and on, we’re all responsible. If you are homophobic or racist or hate, you contributed to this disaster. It’s not just Bin Laden, it’s all of us, we’ve all contributed to hatred in the world today. And I would like to have one minute of silence to say a prayer for those who have died; to say a prayer for the friends and families of those who have died; to say a prayer for the rescuers who have worked night and day to rescue people from the rubble. And most of all say a prayer for anyone who thinks that it is right to kill in the name of God. Where there is violence, there is no God. Let’s have a moment of silence. Hold hands with those around you. Or stay still and reflect.”

A minute of silence followed before Madonna launched into Secret, which she prefaced by adding:

“One more thing–if you want to change the world, you must first start with yourself!”

Today in Madonna History: June 25, 2001

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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? 

Today in Madonna History: April 16, 2009

Madonna Stands Backstage With Her Back Up Singers

On April 16 2009, Niki Haris dismissed Madonna fallout rumours in Bay Windows, New England’s largest gay newspaper. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Niki, to start: why the fallout? Diva drama?

“Maybe there was some drama, but I didn’t buy into it. We were sisters for years. At the end of the day, really she is a gem and I’m so grateful. She threw my baby shower for me!” Haris gave birth to her daughter in 2003. It was shortly thereafter that Madonna launched her Re-Invention Tour, the first time she staged a show without Haris in over 15 years.

“People can talk all the crap they want, but we both knew by that last tour [Drowned World Tour, 2001],” says Haris. “I had broken my legs, learned how to walk again, how to dance again, and did that tour with really bad injuries. It was okay, but painful. Now, I was 41 and pregnant. … Of course, my ego was involved: ‘Oh, she don’t want me no more!’ But at the end of the day, she gave me the greatest gift. Because of her, I got to spend every freaking day with my kid, doing the music I love to do. I’m close to ‘the family’ still. She knows I love her and she loves me.”

Coincidentally, Madonna’s last two tours have featured similarly named singer Nicki Richards as a backing vocalist. Haris doesn’t mind.

“She can get Niki Two, if she wants to,” she chuckles.