Today in Madonna History: July 1, 2019

On July 1 2019, Billboard’s Joe Lynch reported on Madonna’s performance at the World Pride festivities in New York City the previous night:

Madonna opened with her Harlem ballroom scene-indebted smash Vogue and the audience response was deafening. After that, the musical shapeshifter brought out a single it’s safe to say no one expected to hear as part of a limited-length set: American Life. That being said, while it’s not one of her, say, 20 most renowned songs, the message of American Life has only grown more timely in the 16 years since its release, and its strangely compelling melange of squelching synths, strings and folk had the crowd rapt — especially when she dove head-first into the “soy latte” rap (which reals Stans in the crowd parroted back to her perfectly).

Midway through her wind-whipped set, Madge spoke to the historicity of the moment and the significance to her life. “Fifty years, people,” Madonna said. “Fifty years of freedom fighting. Fifty years of putting up with discrimination, hatred and intemperance. Fifty years of blood, sweat and tears. Fifty years of not bowing down to fear. We have been on this journey together, and I am so proud and honored to share this historical evening with you.”

Before returning to performing, she shouted-out her early NYC days. “You really don’t know. Since I came to New York as a wee little girl, I have always been embraced by queer nation. I always felt like an outsider but you made me feel like an insider. You must know how much I love and appreciate everyone here tonight.”

After that, the cops busted in — well, at least the police-themed dancers Madonna employs. They helped her create a visually powerful live performance of her Madame X highlight God Control, replete with detailed choreography and a disco groove that had the crowd gyrating and shimmying. She closed with I Rise, a powerful anthem for both gun control and LGBTQ rights, after which fireworks exploded over Pride Island as starry-eyed attendees headed home.

Source: Billboard.com

 

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. The 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: March 1, 1984

 

On March 1 1984, Madonna performed her massive dance hit Holiday on the German TV show Formel Eins (Formula 1) in Munich.

Do you remember the first time you heard Holiday? 

 

Today in Madonna History: January 26, 1983

On January 26 1983, Madonna performed a track date at the Red Parrot at 617 West 57th St in New York City. Also featured on the bill were Planet Rock and Man Parrish.

While unconfirmed, the setlist likely would have previewed the soon-to-be-released Physical Attraction & Burning Up (which were recorded in November, 1982) along with her then-current club hit, Everybody.

A review of the night’s performances was featured in the February 12 1983 issue of Billboard Magazine (pictured with the show’s flyer above).

It may have been the first but it would be far from the last review in which Madonna’s musical talent would be minimized in retribution for her strong visual presence, among other things. Unlike Elvis or Michael Jackson, female artists are often criticized for flaunting the same qualities that make heros out of their male counterparts; for daring to be more than one-dimensional artists. While Madonna is not the first or the last female artist to break through these barriers – and her mission is indeed still a work in progress – one only needs to flip through the pages of Billboard magazine on both sides of the 1983 cultural divide to witness the scope of her impact on music and popular culture.

Today in Madonna History: October 11, 1992

On October 11 1992, Madonna was interviewed at The Ritz Hotel in Paris for Swedish TV (7 Till 9). The interview was part of the European Erotica promotional tour. During the interview she calls Abba “boring” and Elvis “sexy”.

Today in Madonna History: March 1, 2015

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On March 1 2015, Madonna visited Italian talk show, Che tempo che fa, as part of her promotional tour for the Rebel Heart album.In addition to an interview with host Fabio Fazio, she performed Devil Pray for the first time, along with the album’s second single, Ghosttown.

Madonna’s appearance on the show aired on March 8th.

Today in Madonna History: November 15, 2005

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On November 15 2005, Madonna performed an intimate club show for roughly 1,500 contest winners and guests at KOKO in London’s Camden Town district. The event was held to celebrate the release of her album, Confessions On A Dance Floor.

While roughly 200 fans queued overnight to secure a spot near the stage for the gig, fans around the world were able to enjoy a live stream of the performance online.

VIP guests in attendance included Sir Bob Geldof and his late daughter Peaches, Stella McCartney, Guy Ritchie and Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant.

Madonna’s very first promotional concert in London was held at the same venue – then named Camden Palace – in October of 1983.

Setlist

  • Hung Up
  • Get Together
  • I Love New York
  • Let It Will Be
  • Everybody
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