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?
On November 13 2001, Madonna’s Drowned World Tour 2001 was released on home video and DVD.
The DVD/VHS release included the concert that was broadcast live on HBO from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan on August 26, 2001.
A photo gallery was included as a bonus feature. Like the original airing of the show, the DVD received very good reviews. The photographs used on the DVD packaging were taken by Rosie O’Donnell.
Were you able to see the Drowned World Tour live in person?
On August 26 2001, Madonna Live! Drowned World Tour 2001 was broadcast live on HBO and The Movie Network in Canada from The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI. It was seen by 5.7 million viewers – the network’s third highest rated prime-time concert special since 1997.
The broadcast marked the second time Madonna had selected her hometown as a location to record one of her shows, the first being The Virgin Tour home video/laserdisc release, filmed in 1985 at Cobo Arena in Detroit.
With the Drowned World Tour itinerary not including any dates in Canada, many Canadian fans who purchased tickets for one of the two shows in Detroit were pleasantly surprised when it was announced that the second show would be broadcast live in both countries. Madonna’s previous HBO specials for the Blond Ambition and Girlie Show tours did not receive a live broadcast in Canada, although the latter did air on MuchMusic at a later date.