Today in Madonna History: May 27, 1990

On May 27 1990, Madonna played the first of three shows at the Toronto Skydome during her Blond Ambition Tour. The shows were Madonna’s only Canadian dates for the tour.

I was fortunate enough to have attended this show when I was twelve years old. Not only was it my first Madonna live experience, it was my first live concert experience. The morning tickets went on sale my mom was working out-of-town so she let me skip sixth-grade for the morning and I headed downtown to Sunrise Records…I managed to score two 100-level tickets directly facing the stage. I don’t think the word “excited” would sufficiently describe how elated I was to be going to see Madonna. The next two months felt like the longest two months of my life, but I couldn’t have been happier. I watched the Ciao Italia! concert on VHS daily during the lead-up, hoping that the new tour would be equally good. Needless to say it far exceeded my expectations – and my mom’s as well! We had the best time dancing and singing and just being utterly blown away by the spectacle. I couldn’t have asked for a better first concert experience, or for a better memory. Much love to the two M’s for making it possible! – Justin

Today in Madonna History: May 23, 1985

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On May 23 1985, Madonna accepted a Canadian Quadruple Platinum certification award for shipment of over 400,000 copies of her second album, Like A Virgin, within Canada. The award was presented by WEA Canada’s VP of sales Garry Newman to Madonna and Sire Records president Seymour Stein prior to her sold-out Toronto concert at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Like A Virgin was eventually certified (in July, 1992) with the rare Canadian Diamond certification for shipment of over one million copies in Canada. The only other Madonna album to date to receive Diamond certification in Canada is True Blue, which managed to achieve the feat within a year of its release. To date, only eighteen albums in total (by any artist or musical group) have received a Diamond certification in Canada.

Today in Madonna History: February 11, 2014

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On February 11 2014, Madonna personally lead a troupe of select gym-goers through a racy—but not criminally indecent—dancercize routine at the grand opening of Hard Candy Fitness, her new upscale gym in the massive Aura condos at Yonge & Gerrard in downtown Toronto, Canada.

Back in 1990, Toronto cops allegedly threatened to arrest Madge for grabbing her crotch on stage during her Blond Ambition Tour (Madonna refused to capitulate to the “fascist state of Toronto,” and nothing ever came of the threats).

Her attitude toward the city seems to have mellowed since then. While sashaying down the red carpet in fishnets and a black bustier suit from Canadian designers DSquared2, she paused to share her love for the city that snubbed her two decades go. “I think Toronto finally learned to accept me,” she told reporters for the Toronto Star. “I love Toronto.”

Today in Madonna History: October 6, 2015

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On October 6 2015, Madonna had an amazing time on stage with Daniel, her honorary Unapologetic Bitch, during the Rebel Heart Tour stop in Toronto, Canada.

I couldn’t help but share some adorable screen caps of Daniel on stage with Madonna — Enjoy! – Jay

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Today in Madonna History: May 28, 1990

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On May 28 1990, Madonna played the second of a three show run at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada during her Blond Ambition Tour.

As the story goes, the concert on May 28th was attended by a Toronto police detective who became uncomfortable with Madonna’s simulated sexual theatrics. The detective complained to the Crown attorney, who became convinced–based on how it had been described–that the show on the 29th should not be permitted to proceed with similar content.

Supt. Frank Bergen was one of the constables sent to follow up on the complaint on May 29th, which was subsequently captured in Madonna’s film Truth Or Dare. Bergen recalled the events in a recent interview with The Canadian Press:

What I was struggling with was how do you go to the microphone and tell everyone the show is cancelled? My role and my position was we were not going to shut the show down. We were portrayed as being real knobs, if you will [in the documentary]. I don’t think we were…I don’t think we ever got to the (point), nor would we have, where we walked up onto the stage – and onto her bed – and handcuffed her. Then we would’ve been part of a different history.”

It took a year before the officer would hear about his cinematic debut in Truth or Dare, when one afternoon his teenage neighbour excitedly shouted across the backyard that he’d spotted him on the big screen.

Bergen said he respects concerns over obscenity but concedes it would’ve been difficult to satisfy a “loose interpretation of the Criminal Code.”

Today in Madonna History: October 11, 1993

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On October 11 1993, Madonna opened the North American leg of The Girlie Show at the SkyDome in Toronto, Canada.

The original Toronto date was October 12 (Thanksgiving Day in Canada), but due to overwhelming demand, a second show was added on October 11.

Madonna performed for 50,880 fans during the two Toronto shows.

The above two ads are the original Toronto Star ads from my (Jay’s) personal collection. Because the newsprint is so old I had to pump up the contrast on my scans to make them more visible. 

Here is the full itinerary for The Girlie Show:

September 25 – Wembley Stadium, London England
September 26 – Wembley Stadium, London England
September 28 – Bercy, Paris France
September 29 – Bercy, Paris France

October 01 – Bercy, Paris France
October 02 – Festhalle, Frankfurt Germany (cancelled)
October 05 – Park, Tel Aviv Israel
October 07 – Inonu Stadium, Istanbul Turkey
October 11 – Toronto Skydome, Toronto Canada
October 12 – Toronto Skydome, Toronto Canada
October 14 – Madison Square Garden, New York United States
October 15 – Madison Square Garden, New York United States
October 17 – Madison Square Garden, New York United States
October 19 – The Spectrum, Philadelphia United States
October 21 – The Palace, Michigan United States
October 23 – Olympic Stadium, Montreal Canada
October 26 – Juan Ramon Stadium, Bayamon Puerto Rico
October 30 – River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires Argentina
October 31 – River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires Argentina

November 03 – Estadio Do Morumbi, Sao Paulo Brazil
November 06 – Estadio Do Maracana, Rio De Janeiro Brazil
November 10 – Foro Sol (Sun Forum), Mexico City Mexico
November 12 – Foro Sol (Sun Forum), Mexico City Mexico
November 13 – Foro Sol (Sun Forum), Mexico City Mexico
November 19 – Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia
November 24 – Anz Stadium, Brisbane Australia
November 26 – Cricket Ground, Melbourne Australia
November 27 – Cricket Ground, Melbourne Australia
November 29 – Cricket Ground, Melbourne Australia

December 01 – Oval, Adelaide Australia
December 03 – Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia
December 04 – Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia
December 07 – Fukuoka Dome, Fukuoka Japan
December 08 – Fukuoka Dome, Fukuoka Japan
December 09 – Fukuoka Dome, Fukuoka Japan
December 13 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan
December 14 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan
December 16 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan
December 17 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan
December 19 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan

Today in Madonna History: July 18, 2004

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On July 18 2004, Madonna played the first of three sold-out dates at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre during her Re-Invention Tour. Playing to a combined total of over 52,000 fans, the shows were the only Canadian stop on the tour and marked her first concerts in Canada in eleven years.

During the second show Madonna proclaimed to those in attendance that they were the best audience of the tour thus far, while the final Toronto date saw Madonna in an uncharacteristically playful mood. Interrupting the show’s normally swift progression between Papa Don’t Preach and Crazy For You, she joked about the infamous 1990 threats of arrest and whipped the audience into a cheering frenzy with her self-described “unprofessional” behavior.

Clearly the audience (myself included) didn’t mind one bit! 🙂

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