Today in Madonna History: July 26, 2012

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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.”

Set list:

  • Turn Up The Radio
  • Open Your Heart
  • Masterpiece
  • Justify My Love (interlude)
  • Vogue
  • Candy Shop
  • Human Nature
  • Beautiful Killer (featuring elements from Die Another Day)
  • Je t’aime…moi non plus

Today in Madonna History: May 7, 2003

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On May 7 2003, Madonna performed a small club show at La Cantine Du Faubourg in Paris, France as part of her American Life promo tour. The seven-song set list was broadcast live on French radio station NRJ, the show’s sponsor. Its audience consisted mainly of contest winners selected by NRJ, along with VIP guests which included Madonna collaborators Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Jean Paul Gauthier.

Set list:

  • American Life
  • Hollywood
  • Nothing Fails
  • X-Static Process
  • Mother and Father
  • Like A Virgin
  • Don’t Tell Me

Today in Madonna History: November 9, 1990

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On November 9 1990, Madonna began filming the Justify My Love video at the Royal Monceau Hotel in Paris, France, directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

During a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) segment in September 2013, Madonna told her fans that she considers Justify My Love to be her favourite Madonna music video.

Is Justify My Love the steamiest music video that you’ve ever seen?

Today in Madonna History: August 31, 2006

Confessions Tour

On August 31 2006, Madonna played the fourth of four sold-out dates at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy-Paris during her Confessions Tour. The show played to nearly 68,000 fans at the venue during its tour run.

Madonna has become quite familiar with the Palais Omnisports over the years, having played a combined total of 19 sold-out concerts at the venue between 1990 and 2009 for roughly 320,000 fans.

The venue was also used to film two of her shows – 1990’s Blond Ambition Tour and 2004’s Re-Invention Tour. Ironically, both films were used as part of documentaries – Truth or Dare and I’m Going To Tell You A Secret respectively. Since both documentaries focused equally on behind-the-scenes and on-stage content, only select performances could be featured in each. The complete shows for both tours filmed at the venue remain unreleased, much to the bewilderment of fans.