Last night at The Palladium it was one of the best nights of the tour and certainly one to remember. Here’s why:
The show started just after 9 PM with God Control. There was no beer share moment last night, but instead Madonna performed Don’t Cry for me Argentina with Andrew Lloyd Webber watching her.
Yes, Madonna performed almost the entire song, second verse to the end, with the Evita songwriter watching her.
As Come Alive came to an end she turned to her backing singers and said “go“. This was 10.55pm. During Future she was visibly hurried and said something about not being pulled off stage.
At the end of Like a Prayer she got the entire audience clapping and chanting “I have one more song, I have one more song“.
As the red curtain pulled across when the song end – as it does in every show – she said “keep my mic on. I’m finishing the show. We’re going on”.
The lights went down for I Rise at 11.10 PM and just as the intro started they closed the curtains on her. Bare in mind the final curfew they have agreed to is 11:15 PM.
Madonna started chanting “censorship” – off stage – and the entire audience – with the lights on – chanted too – it was good humoured, in support of her. It was crazy and exciting and positive.
Her sound team through the stage monitor speakers restarted I Rise as the dancers all came on stage along with the band and crew and backing singers in their off stage outfits. With the house mic on and music just audible Madonna performed the whole of the song in front of the curtain.
It was like a gigantic fuck you to the petty London Palladium who shut her down 5 full minutes before curfew.
Venue security were all over the place, whining. Everyone left their seats and crowded the stage shouting and singing I Rise in the best, most amazing atmosphere.
At the end, defiant to the last, Madonna excited through the crowd flanked by her own awesome security full crew dancers and singers. Despite the crowd being out of their seats , they just parted for her safe exit. It was magic.
On the way out the London Palladium security were hanging their heads in shame. Ranging from “Westminster Council pulled the plug” (so a counsellor was on site to pull it 5 minutes early?) to “omg I’m so worried this will be in the papers tomorrow”. One security guard said to me “we’ve seriously fucked up here. She wasn’t late”.
So let’s not start bleating that she was over curfew. She wasn’t. She has until 11.15 PM according to venue security.
It was an absolutely brilliant end. I live for moments like this where I see the brave defiant shit disturber Madonna come to the surface. And in the face of petty over zealous London Palladium security tonight, she won.
And how sad did it look on the London Palladium security as Andrew Lloyd Webber – who owns the venue – watched his security teams create this mess in front of his eyes.
The rest of the run will be very interesting.
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