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Madame X Tour Opening Night: "The Show Isn't Finished"


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Well, we all know that the tour didn't change whatsoever show to show in the end. However, on opening night she clearly stated that the show was still very much work in progress and not done.

Does anyone have inside scoop on what was going on? Always felt the show came across as very...clunky. 

It seems a lot likely contributed to an "unfinished" show:

  • Production challenges with the venues, implying that there may have been additional staging elements removed and / or modified
  • Her injury which clearly started during rehearsals
  • Her ability to sing some of the songs (it was said on another forum that she couldn't do the talking part of Rescue Me on time)

As this was certainly a....unique....Madonna show, I'd kill to see what was the full concept on her end and whether or not the show actually manifested that. It seems both the Madame X Tour and Rebel Heart Tour went through similar challenges, and I've always felt like these two tours were the only "un-Madonna" feeling tours in her career. 

Any scoop?

 

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For me it was a "Madonna" show, more than RHT or maybe even Sticky. From what I have seen so far, I love this show and don't get the hate for that but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Also, I don't think there was a bigger concept for that - I assume that was just the talking. If anything, it was possibly related to the injury so she felt she didn't have enough time to rehearse the show. And that's it.

 

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Over the years, I learned not to trust anything that Madonna says in her shows or music related stuff, it feels more like she says things  just to get away with it in the moment, and not always there's a real or solid reason behind because then she contradicts herself or says something totally unrelated, it's the way she thinks and plays the game.

So I don't think they really had anything much else going on with this show other than what we got, which in my opinion felt very poorly executed, rushed, and very very low production budget (ironic for the insane prices they charged us). I also think she's running out of creative juices and tries to make everything and nothing at the same time.

I'm not gonna comment on setlist choices because it's her show (even though it's very disappointing), but the pace of the show did feel weird... the show started and gain momentum with God Control, American Life, Human Nature and everyone were beyond excited with IDSIF (I loved the Dick Tracy-esque performance!) but then it kills the mood with the whole Polaroid thing and it keeps dragging for like 20 minutes making the people lose even more interest (as so far they've heard only 2 old songs). Then it regains momentum with Batuka, kills it with that cover song with the guitar kid and Saudade, and at that time, goes downhill with the extremely long unnecessary Fado Club set (it was also 1 am at this point and people were tired) and on top of that... please everyone sit for the Beer Bitch moment that drags the entire show for 30 more minutes. Frozen and Extreme Occident were amazing. Come Alive was spectacular, especially the ending! <3 People were so excited, but then came Future which felt totally out of place, should not have existed at all. Then the audience lights up again with Crave which was fun, but the transition of it to Like a Prayer is absolutely out of place... I Rise ending was very great!

So you see, that's the uneven rollercoaster of show pace that makes me dislike this show, even though it had its good moments, I feel it was poorly planned. And I even dare to think that once Madonna saw this recorded, she had many doubts and herself didn't like it, hence the whole editing and re-recording.

Production wise... It's an issue since Rebel Heart (recycled backdrops, half-ass stage production, etc.), it just feels cheap. I get it that it's a theatre show, limited space, etc... but I was expecting a somewhat high-end technologic show like Madonna is famously known for, and with a controlled theatre environment, I was expecting an immersive environment setup, 3D projections, backdrop screens... everything which already exists in any Broadway shows (could be smaller given that she had to move cities, but didn't she stayed a month in each place though?), plus didn't she reportedly spent 5 million dollars on a projection technology? But what did we get? One "highly specialized element" = a Projector that kept failing and causing show cancellations lol. All we got was basic video material projected on white walls, not different from a high school production or a DIY cinema at home. I do gotta say that the Fado Club projection was indeed AMAZING and was my favorite stage from Madame X, but sadly it was the only one properly done from the entire show. Also, what's up with the only stage prop being a 2 white stairs, that they didn't even bother to clean the stains and dirt between shows? By the time it hit Miami, it was all covered in hand marks and dirt lmao. And then to find out the stairs were being pushed by people during Extreme Occident rather than having at least some tracking moving technology, was hmmmm disappointing.

And all that summed with the fact that she would get on stage at midnight on a weekday, even many fans were already tired, bored and wanting to go home... how does that reflect on people who aren't die hard fans as us? Well, they just leave... I was so shocked by seeing ENTIRE rows empty, not one... but like 4-5 complete empty rows of people who left just cause it was late and no hits whatsoever...

Sorry if I sound too much of a hater, but I can't blindly defend Madonna on everything she does, considering we all know what she's capable of (Hello Blond Ambition, RIT, Confessions, even with hit and miss moments in Sticky and MDNA you could appreciate the quality and solid production in them), yet she has been giving us subpar quality material and performances as of late... We also know what's out there being done by other artists and what can be achieved in production, even if you're a small artist or on limited budget. It just seems like either she doesn't care as much about music or her art anymore as she used to, she might have other priorities now or she just feels more insecure about everything nowadays, making her scatter all over the place.

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On 6/11/2021 at 7:39 PM, Winn said:

She forgot to add all the hits that's what's unfinished about it.

Agree in a way but kind of disappointed that the few songs she did include from her back catalogue were Vogue, Like a Prayer, Human Nature and American Life   - all done better on previous tours - better arrangements and staging etc  - think she missed a chance her to do lesser performed hits and fan favourites from the back catalogue  a bit more like she did with Tears of a Clown . 

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23 hours ago, MDNA22 said:

Agree in a way but kind of disappointed that the few songs she did include from her back catalogue were Vogue, Like a Prayer, Human Nature and American Life   - all done better on previous tours - better arrangements and staging etc  - think she missed a chance her to do lesser performed hits and fan favourites from the back catalogue  a bit more like she did with Tears of a Clown . 

I actually thought Human Nature and American Life were the best live versions of these songs. :) 

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On 6/11/2021 at 11:54 AM, anton5000 said:

Over the years, I learned not to trust anything that Madonna says in her shows or music related stuff, it feels more like she says things  just to get away with it in the moment, and not always there's a real or solid reason behind because then she contradicts herself or says something totally unrelated, it's the way she thinks and plays the game.

So I don't think they really had anything much else going on with this show other than what we got, which in my opinion felt very poorly executed, rushed, and very very low production budget (ironic for the insane prices they charged us). I also think she's running out of creative juices and tries to make everything and nothing at the same time.

I'm not gonna comment on setlist choices because it's her show (even though it's very disappointing), but the pace of the show did feel weird... the show started and gain momentum with God Control, American Life, Human Nature and everyone were beyond excited with IDSIF (I loved the Dick Tracy-esque performance!) but then it kills the mood with the whole Polaroid thing and it keeps dragging for like 20 minutes making the people lose even more interest (as so far they've heard only 2 old songs). Then it regains momentum with Batuka, kills it with that cover song with the guitar kid and Saudade, and at that time, goes downhill with the extremely long unnecessary Fado Club set (it was also 1 am at this point and people were tired) and on top of that... please everyone sit for the Beer Bitch moment that drags the entire show for 30 more minutes. Frozen and Extreme Occident were amazing. Come Alive was spectacular, especially the ending! <3 People were so excited, but then came Future which felt totally out of place, should not have existed at all. Then the audience lights up again with Crave which was fun, but the transition of it to Like a Prayer is absolutely out of place... I Rise ending was very great!

So you see, that's the uneven rollercoaster of show pace that makes me dislike this show, even though it had its good moments, I feel it was poorly planned. And I even dare to think that once Madonna saw this recorded, she had many doubts and herself didn't like it, hence the whole editing and re-recording.

Production wise... It's an issue since Rebel Heart (recycled backdrops, half-ass stage production, etc.), it just feels cheap. I get it that it's a theatre show, limited space, etc... but I was expecting a somewhat high-end technologic show like Madonna is famously known for, and with a controlled theatre environment, I was expecting an immersive environment setup, 3D projections, backdrop screens... everything which already exists in any Broadway shows (could be smaller given that she had to move cities, but didn't she stayed a month in each place though?), plus didn't she reportedly spent 5 million dollars on a projection technology? But what did we get? One "highly specialized element" = a Projector that kept failing and causing show cancellations lol. All we got was basic video material projected on white walls, not different from a high school production or a DIY cinema at home. I do gotta say that the Fado Club projection was indeed AMAZING and was my favorite stage from Madame X, but sadly it was the only one properly done from the entire show. Also, what's up with the only stage prop being a 2 white stairs, that they didn't even bother to clean the stains and dirt between shows? By the time it hit Miami, it was all covered in hand marks and dirt lmao. And then to find out the stairs were being pushed by people during Extreme Occident rather than having at least some tracking moving technology, was hmmmm disappointing.

And all that summed with the fact that she would get on stage at midnight on a weekday, even many fans were already tired, bored and wanting to go home... how does that reflect on people who aren't die hard fans as us? Well, they just leave... I was so shocked by seeing ENTIRE rows empty, not one... but like 4-5 complete empty rows of people who left just cause it was late and no hits whatsoever...

Sorry if I sound too much of a hater, but I can't blindly defend Madonna on everything she does, considering we all know what she's capable of (Hello Blond Ambition, RIT, Confessions, even with hit and miss moments in Sticky and MDNA you could appreciate the quality and solid production in them), yet she has been giving us subpar quality material and performances as of late... We also know what's out there being done by other artists and what can be achieved in production, even if you're a small artist or on limited budget. It just seems like either she doesn't care as much about music or her art anymore as she used to, she might have other priorities now or she just feels more insecure about everything nowadays, making her scatter all over the place.

You absolutely nailed it. 👏🏼 👏🏼 👏🏼 

I can only echo what you said, especially regarding the cheapness in production, running out of ideas and recycling many elements, the weird pacing of the set list, the cringe Polaroid and beer moments, the tardiness, the lack of technologically advanced gadgets, the uninspired outfits, the overly long Fado section and how the songs hardly fit together, not to mention the mediocre interludes.

I had a good time because I saw my favorite artist ever once again and so close, but as a show? It was nothing like the extravaganza she made with every tour where she brought the most incredible tech and talents immediately as they come up, and man theater shows did far better and had far more technologically advanced equipments than she did.

I see no excuses for the show to be this mediocre, especially for the prices they made people pay where you’d expect something that actually lives up to that price tag. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/11/2021 at 4:54 PM, anton5000 said:

Over the years, I learned not to trust anything that Madonna says in her shows or music related stuff, it feels more like she says things  just to get away with it in the moment, and not always there's a real or solid reason behind because then she contradicts herself or says something totally unrelated, it's the way she thinks and plays the game.

So I don't think they really had anything much else going on with this show other than what we got, which in my opinion felt very poorly executed, rushed, and very very low production budget (ironic for the insane prices they charged us). I also think she's running out of creative juices and tries to make everything and nothing at the same time.

I'm not gonna comment on setlist choices because it's her show (even though it's very disappointing), but the pace of the show did feel weird... the show started and gain momentum with God Control, American Life, Human Nature and everyone were beyond excited with IDSIF (I loved the Dick Tracy-esque performance!) but then it kills the mood with the whole Polaroid thing and it keeps dragging for like 20 minutes making the people lose even more interest (as so far they've heard only 2 old songs). Then it regains momentum with Batuka, kills it with that cover song with the guitar kid and Saudade, and at that time, goes downhill with the extremely long unnecessary Fado Club set (it was also 1 am at this point and people were tired) and on top of that... please everyone sit for the Beer Bitch moment that drags the entire show for 30 more minutes. Frozen and Extreme Occident were amazing. Come Alive was spectacular, especially the ending! <3 People were so excited, but then came Future which felt totally out of place, should not have existed at all. Then the audience lights up again with Crave which was fun, but the transition of it to Like a Prayer is absolutely out of place... I Rise ending was very great!

So you see, that's the uneven rollercoaster of show pace that makes me dislike this show, even though it had its good moments, I feel it was poorly planned. And I even dare to think that once Madonna saw this recorded, she had many doubts and herself didn't like it, hence the whole editing and re-recording.

Production wise... It's an issue since Rebel Heart (recycled backdrops, half-ass stage production, etc.), it just feels cheap. I get it that it's a theatre show, limited space, etc... but I was expecting a somewhat high-end technologic show like Madonna is famously known for, and with a controlled theatre environment, I was expecting an immersive environment setup, 3D projections, backdrop screens... everything which already exists in any Broadway shows (could be smaller given that she had to move cities, but didn't she stayed a month in each place though?), plus didn't she reportedly spent 5 million dollars on a projection technology? But what did we get? One "highly specialized element" = a Projector that kept failing and causing show cancellations lol. All we got was basic video material projected on white walls, not different from a high school production or a DIY cinema at home. I do gotta say that the Fado Club projection was indeed AMAZING and was my favorite stage from Madame X, but sadly it was the only one properly done from the entire show. Also, what's up with the only stage prop being a 2 white stairs, that they didn't even bother to clean the stains and dirt between shows? By the time it hit Miami, it was all covered in hand marks and dirt lmao. And then to find out the stairs were being pushed by people during Extreme Occident rather than having at least some tracking moving technology, was hmmmm disappointing.

And all that summed with the fact that she would get on stage at midnight on a weekday, even many fans were already tired, bored and wanting to go home... how does that reflect on people who aren't die hard fans as us? Well, they just leave... I was so shocked by seeing ENTIRE rows empty, not one... but like 4-5 complete empty rows of people who left just cause it was late and no hits whatsoever...

Sorry if I sound too much of a hater, but I can't blindly defend Madonna on everything she does, considering we all know what she's capable of (Hello Blond Ambition, RIT, Confessions, even with hit and miss moments in Sticky and MDNA you could appreciate the quality and solid production in them), yet she has been giving us subpar quality material and performances as of late... We also know what's out there being done by other artists and what can be achieved in production, even if you're a small artist or on limited budget. It just seems like either she doesn't care as much about music or her art anymore as she used to, she might have other priorities now or she just feels more insecure about everything nowadays, making her scatter all over the place.

Did we see the same show????? Mine was rammed, nobody left, the atmosphere was electric and you wanted 3D projections??? WE DID! the wallls the roof everything had projections??? Dont understand. 4-5 empty rows of people?? Where were you sat? what date?? Maybe you just had a bad one but my experience was quite the opposite of everything youve said. 

She didnt come on late all the time and Madonna fans that pay that sort of money should expect it if she does. Midnight is pushing it. Id love to know the date and other peoples reviews of it. 

S&S MDNA couldve never worked on a smaller stage this was an 'intimate' experience plus those Madonna days have gone. As fans we need to get used to that and buy or not buy. Its our choice.  FML Shes given us everything over the years. Her fans are the worst. 

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Id prefer to be able to make eye contact 10 times, her hearing you, having a laugh than being crushed in a stadium. If you want her being a robot being a dancing queen to celebration going crazy watch an old dvd. They are available on amazon and youtube. 

Shes allowed to have a different vision anytime she wants. 

 

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4 hours ago, scallywally said:

Id prefer to be able to make eye contact 10 times, her hearing you, having a laugh than being crushed in a stadium. If you want her being a robot being a dancing queen to celebration going crazy watch an old dvd. They are available on amazon and youtube. 

Shes allowed to have a different vision anytime she wants. 

 

And fans are allowed to desire something different than what they got. Glad you enjoyed your experience! Some of us didn't.

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On 6/30/2021 at 10:56 AM, scallywally said:

Did we see the same show????? Mine was rammed, nobody left, the atmosphere was electric and you wanted 3D projections??? WE DID! the wallls the roof everything had projections??? Dont understand. 4-5 empty rows of people?? Where were you sat? what date?? Maybe you just had a bad one but my experience was quite the opposite of everything youve said. 

She didnt come on late all the time and Madonna fans that pay that sort of money should expect it if she does. Midnight is pushing it. Id love to know the date and other peoples reviews of it. 

S&S MDNA couldve never worked on a smaller stage this was an 'intimate' experience plus those Madonna days have gone. As fans we need to get used to that and buy or not buy. Its our choice.  FML Shes given us everything over the years. Her fans are the worst. 

I don't know why are you that surprised, almost everywhere in the USA it was like this and there were soooo many reports (especially by fans) about this issue: her coming off extremely late, people pissed and leaving in the middle of the show. I went to 4 shows: two in New York and two in Miami (she cancelled my 3rd show there 1 hour before!), and there was exact the same reaction of the audience... then a few friends went to different cities and while in some cases there was less of this, it wasn't the traditional Madonna concert where everybody was glued to the show and enjoying every second of it. In Las Vegas she came out at 12:30 am!!!

Perhaps you saw her in Europe where people are usually more excited about everything and they indeed appreciate Madonna more, plus she had way fewer dates over there than in USA which might have had effect, still, another friends went to the Paris show and got disappointed with the cut down show (just because she couldn't start the show earlier). While in London she was forced to start early because of the strict curfew hour of the theatre (which I agree, has to be respected), yet she started rambling about how they were "censoring her freedom of speech" and all that victimhood attitude was just cringe.

I agree, MDNA & SS would never work because they were planned as stadium/arena shows, and I was really looking forward to a more intimate setting show, see her up close and personal... singing her lesser known hits (perhaps throw some ballads and b-sides), give a unique warm settings to her sets that wouldn't be possible on a giant arena, etc... And it would've worked amazingly had she done a proper organized structure and production, not the disaster we got (as I described before)... of course her injuries affected even more the whole touring era, but even without it, the show lacks of many elements that would really leave you amazed.

You say we got 3D projections, we did not. We got a regular video projected on the white stairs and part of it on the structures of the actual theatre. When I mean that she could've done amazing work with 3D stuff  is this: a fully visual immersive experience with the Madame X world (fado clubs, nighttime streets, whatever) (especially with the 700$ I paid for a 4th row ticket - side note: at least in US, the tickets were sold for 1/3 price on the day of the show! I assume the sale wasn't great for it either). Plus it'd have given an amazing visual twist for her classic songs.

 

Anyway, everyone's entitled for their opinion and I'm happy for you that you enjoyed this show at the same level as with her previous shows, but I think I can safely say that most of the fans didn't had the same experience. And of course Madonna won't ever please everyone, an artist just can't... but there were so many hits and misses in this era that are hard to ignore.

 

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On 6/11/2021 at 9:34 AM, eXtremeOccident said:

Well, we all know that the tour didn't change whatsoever show to show in the end. However, on opening night she clearly stated that the show was still very much work in progress and not done.

Does anyone have inside scoop on what was going on? Always felt the show came across as very...clunky. 

It seems a lot likely contributed to an "unfinished" show:

  • Production challenges with the venues, implying that there may have been additional staging elements removed and / or modified
  • Her injury which clearly started during rehearsals
  • Her ability to sing some of the songs (it was said on another forum that she couldn't do the talking part of Rescue Me on time)

As this was certainly a....unique....Madonna show, I'd kill to see what was the full concept on her end and whether or not the show actually manifested that. It seems both the Madame X Tour and Rebel Heart Tour went through similar challenges, and I've always felt like these two tours were the only "un-Madonna" feeling tours in her career. 

Any scoop?

 

Madonna didn't really tweak much on her end... But the choreography and dancer selections changed quite a bit, mostly during the Batuka intro and Rescue Me interlude (which was 100% pre-recorded). The biggest factor that wasn't 100% thought through was that the projectors couldn't all be stationed at the same spots from theater to theater. Same thing with seating layouts. 

From my understanding she very much wanted to utilize the holograph concept from the Grammys, but the only option to make it work live was to have her behind a screen the entire time, or during performances that utilized it. Theaters don't have hanging screens for viewing, and they didn't want  the audience to not focus on the stage. 

There was definitely some additional mixing and productions added down the road. From what I know the doc will actually show a good amount of pre-production footage. 

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1 hour ago, G_O_N_E said:

Madonna didn't really tweak much on her end... But the choreography and dancer selections changed quite a bit, mostly during the Batuka intro and Rescue Me interlude (which was 100% pre-recorded). The biggest factor that wasn't 100% thought through was that the projectors couldn't all be stationed at the same spots from theater to theater. Same thing with seating layouts. 

From my understanding she very much wanted to utilize the holograph concept from the Grammys, but the only option to make it work live was to have her behind a screen the entire time, or during performances that utilized it. Theaters don't have hanging screens for viewing, and they didn't want  the audience to not focus on the stage. 

There was definitely some additional mixing and productions added down the road. From what I know the doc will actually show a good amount of pre-production footage. 

WAIT YOU HAVE AN INSIDE SCOOP ON THE TOUR FILM?

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On 7/3/2021 at 6:54 PM, Let&#x27;sGetUnconsciousHoney said:

Wait, it's still the whole show, right? 

No, the doc doesn't feature the entire show. Pretty sure a normal release of the entire show is planned though. 

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I thought that was a very odd comment to begin with. Imagine she had said that during the first night of BAT. The thing with Madonna’s shows has always been that no matter whether you liked her, her music or her singing, you could be absolutely certain that you’d get an absolutely professional and very very well rehearsed show. That’s why I’d say she used to be the best performer in the world. 
 

With this tour, you suddenly got a very mixed bag of sloppy ideas, not well enough rehearsed bits and pieces in a show that kinda lacked focus and flow. 
 

Unlike others, I thought that her embarking on a theatre tour meant concerts that were more in the vein of MTV Unplugged gigs from the 90s – i.e. little to no dancers, lots of musicians on stage the entire time, live music, live singing, no pre-recorded stuff, no back drops and some humerus and juicy tidbits about her songs, her career and her experiences. I thought she’d mix the set list up every night as she had started to do so during RHT. Unthought it would be a show full of music and celebration, a show where she appears as the warm hearted grand dame of pop music who shows the world once more why no one is ever gonna take her throne. Sadly, that was not what we got. 

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Just now, Humanfly said:

Face it. The tour was a complete and utter failure. There is zero hate in that and I also love the show too. But the tour was a failure and a slap in the face to every single fan who bought a ticket 

 The ticket raffle was a fucking joke too 

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