On August 27 2012, Madonna released a statement through her website in response to the controversy that had been sparked by some members of the American press who opposed her use of fake artillery as props in the MDNA Tour. The obvious irony being that the United States was potentially the only country her tour visited where real handguns are legally accessible to the general public.
Is a journey.
The journey of a soul from darkness to light
It is part cinematic musical theatre.
Part spectacle and sometimes intimate Performance art.
But above all its a journey
From darkness to light
From anger to love
from chaos to order.
It’s true there is a lot of violence in the beginning of the show and sometimes the use of fake guns – but they are used as metaphors.
I do not condone violence or the use of guns.
Rather they are symbols of wanting to appear strong and wanting to find a way to stop feelings that I find hurtful or damaging. In my case it’s wanting to stop the lies and hypocrisy of the church, the intolerance of many narrow-minded cultures and societies I have experienced throughout my life and in some cases the pain I have felt from having my heart broken.
Ultimately as we follow through the journey of my story, the audience can see quite clearly what I see –
That the enemy is within and the only way to survive Disappointment Disapproval Judgment Heartbreak Jealousy Envy And Hatred Is with Love – not with revenge – not with guns and not with violence.
In spite of all the chaos and darkness and intolerance we seem to be encountering more and more in the world,
We cannot allow our anger or bitterness to swallow us up.
We come to understand that
There is an innate and pure love inside us all and we have to find a way to tap into it.
And we can’t do it by being victims or placing the blame or pointing the finger at others.
But by recognizing that the enemy is within
And when we come to terms with it
And accept it
And struggle to change ourselves,
Then we can change the world without hurting anyone and we can inspire others to do the same.
When you watch a film there are usually good guys and bad guys to help illustrate this point, Sometimes I play both.
I enjoy acting out this journey.
For none of us are perfect and we all have our own journey of growth to go on.
I know people can relate to it.
It’s very important to me as an artist that my show not be taken out of context.
It must be watched with an open heart from beginning to end. I am sure if it is viewed this way, the viewer will walk away feeling inspired, Invigorated and will want to make the world a better place.
And this of course was always my intention.”
On August 8 2013, Live Nation and Interscope Records announced that Madonna’s MDNA World Tour concert film would be released September 10 on DVD, Blu-ray and as a digital album.
Directed by Danny B. Tull and Stephane Sennour and produced by Madonna, the two hour non-stop performance includes songs from Madonna’s MDNA album such as “Girl Gone Wild” and “Gang Bang,” as well as fan favorites including exhilarating versions of “Hung Up,” “Express Yourself,” “Vogue,” “Open Your Heart,” “Like A Prayer” and “Celebration.”
The MDNA World Tour was released in Australia and Germany on September 6, France and the United Kingdom on September 9, North America on September 10, Mexico on September 13 and Brazil on September 25.
On July 26 2012, Madonna performed at the historic Olympia music hall in Paris, France.
The one-off mini show – performed during her MDNA Tour but not part of the tour proper – featured a selection of performances from the standard set list, plus two additional songs: a Beautiful Killer/Die Another Day mash-up (with choreography adapted from the tour performance of Revolver) and a cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s Je t’aime…moi non plus. A live webcast of the show streamed on YouTube.
The show was not without controversy, although the exact nature of the controversy depends on who you believe. According to some, a small group of hecklers in attendance decided to cause a commotion after the show had ended, booing and throwing bottles on the stage. Others suggested there may have been political motivations behind the heckling due to Madonna’s opposition to the platform of National Front party leader Marine Le Pen. Much of the local media claimed that some fans were upset over the short length of the show (45 minutes), as it had not been explicitly promoted as a mini concert, despite the fact that it was likely the lengthiest of any club show Madonna had performed at the time.
Madonna responded to the kerfuffle with the following statement:
Playing the Olympia was a magical moment for me and it was a real treat to do this special show for my fans and be so close to them. Unfortunately at the end of the show – after I left the stage – a few thugs who were not my fans rushed the stage and started throwing plastic bottles pretending to be angry fans. The press reports have focused on this and not the joyous aspect of the evening. But nothing can take away or ruin this very special evening for me and my fans. When I looked out in the audience, everyone I saw had a smile on their face. I look forward to having this wonderful experience again.”
- Turn Up The Radio
- Open Your Heart
- Justify My Love (interlude)
- Candy Shop
- Human Nature
- Beautiful Killer (featuring elements from Die Another Day)
- Je t’aime…moi non plus
On May 19 2013, Madonna received the Top Touring Artist Award at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Madonna told the audience:
“They say that it takes a village to raise a child, it took several international villages to put my show together.”
The 88-show MDNA World Tour grossed $305 million, according to Billboard Boxscore.
On September 1 2012, Madonna performed her MDNA Tour on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. A sold out crowd of 72,000 fans attended the outdoor event.
On August 20 2012, a law suit was filed by nine Russians who were offended that Madonna had asked fans to raise their hands to show their support for the Russian LGBT community during a concert stop in St. Petersburg, Russia—where it is illegal to promote homosexuality to minors.
In her speech during the concert, Madonna called for members of Russia’s LGBT community to be “treated with dignity, with respect, with compassion, with love,” and took the country to task for crackdowns on those who expressed opposition against the country’s oppressive laws.
“I feel people are becoming more and more afraid of people who are different; people are becoming more intolerant,” she said. “It’s a very scary time, but we can make a difference. We can change this. We have the power. And we don’t have to do it with violence; we just have to do it with love.”
Although the suit did make it to trial in November 2012, it was promptly dismissed by the presiding judge after briefly questioning the plaintiffs about the arbitrary nature of the case given the volume of contemporary entertainment which contains “positive references to homosexuality.” The suit had sought damages of approximately $10.5 million from Madonna, the organizer of her concert, and the hall where it was held.