Madonna’s Madame X world tour is officially underway. Here’s what happened in the opening night

Madonna as Madame X, standing against a wall

Madonna, the queen of pop, kicked off her Madame X Tour by keeping her fans waiting for nearly two hours in New York.

But she delivered a voracious setlist that blended back-catalogue hits with new material from the number one album, Madame X. Her ninth chart-topper, it gave her more hits than any female artist not named Barbra Streisand.

And it ended with an encore performance that featured a giant LGBT+ Pride flag.

Fans weren’t allowed to use their phones, cameras, or smart watches at the concert.

All fans were asked by concert organisers to lock their phones in an airtight Yondr pouch before the show to stop them from filming the gig. There were designated mobile phone areas in the arena for fans to make calls or respond to texts.

Madonna teamed up with Ticketmaster to make the gigs a “phone free experience”, which also stretched to smart watches, cameras and recording devices.

The singer performed at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, a turn-of-the-century beaux arts theatre transformed into the “Madame X theatre” for the night.

Although, the 61-year-old was scheduled to strut onto the stage at 9:30pm, she didn’t show up until 10:45pm, according to concert-goers, and the show ended up wrapping at 1am.

The audience didn’t seem to mind, though, as the star punctuated her performance with fan interactions from selfies to fist-bumps.

And, according to some fans, she wrapped up the show in the most fabulous way humanly conceivable – a gigantic LGBT+ Pride flag.

A large black scree that displayed graphics throughout the show transformed into the flag during her encore performance of ‘I Rise’, a single commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Moreover, just two snaps from the show are known to exist so far, and they’re from the queen herself.

What did Madonna play?

Setlists are practically religious scripture in the world of music, and Madonna’s proved to be the word of the Gospel as fans eagerly pieced it together post-show.

Many songs had their first live debuts at the concert, such as ‘Crazy’ or ‘Crave’.

According to, a setlist compiler, the setlist was:

‘God Control’

‘Dark Ballet’

‘Human Nature’

‘Express Yourself’


‘I Don’t Search I Find’

‘Papa Don’t Preach’ (First verse and chorus)

‘American Life’

‘Coffin’ (video interlude)


‘Fado Pechincha’ (Isabel De Oliveira cover) (First verse)

‘Killers Who Are Partying’


‘Welcome to My Fado Club’ (Improvised song)

‘La Isla Bonita’

‘Sodade’ (Cesária Évora cover)


‘Extreme Occident’

‘Rescue Me’ (video interlude)


‘Come Alive’


‘Crave’ (Tracy Young Mix)

‘Like a Prayer’


‘I Rise’

However, she did reportedly confirm to the crowd that she show “isn’t done yet”, meaning that the setlist might change as her tourbus goes into gear.

What next?

Madonna is set for another 16 nights in New York before jetting to Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and Miami to finish its North American run by 22 December.

By 2020, she’ll head into the European leg of her tour.

She’ll be stopping by Lisbon, Portugal; London, England and Paris, France.

All were pitched as “rare and intimate performance” in theatres that some hold as few as 2,000 people in.