Rebel Heart Tour

Rebel Heart Tour
Tour by Madonna
Madonna with her eyes closed in a warrior's dress, holding a sword close to her heart
Promotional poster for the tour
Associated album Rebel Heart
Start date September 9, 2015 (2015-09-09)
End date March 20, 2016 (2016-03-20)
Legs 5
No. of shows
  • 36 in North America
  • 25 in Europe
  • 13 in Asia
  • 8 in Oceania
  • 82 total
Attendance 1.045 million
Box office $169.8 million
Madonna concert chronology

The Rebel Heart Tour was the tenth concert tour by American singer Madonna, and was staged in support of her thirteenth studio album, Rebel Heart. Comprising 82 shows, the tour visited North America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. It began on September 9, 2015, in Montreal, Canada, at the Bell Centre and concluded on March 20, 2016, in Sydney, Australia at Allphones Arena. It was officially announced on March 1, 2015, through Madonna's website and was led by Live Nation Entertainment's Global Touring Division, helmed by Arthur Fogel; this was the fifth collaboration between Madonna and Live Nation as well her third tour to be promoted by the company. An all- arena tour, the Rebel Heart Tour visited cities where the singer has not performed before, and was her first to visit Australia since The Girlie Show World Tour (1993) more than 20 years prior.

Rehearsals for the tour started soon after its announcement and lasted 10–12 hours per day, with involvement from Madonna's team of creative directors, producers, designers and choreographers. Inspired by shows like Cirque du Soleil and Chinese New Year, as well films like 300 and Grease, the Rebel Heart Tour enlisted Jamie King as the creative director, and Megan Lawson and Jason Yong as choreographers. It featured Moschino, Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci and Swarovski costumes, an elevated stage with a runway and a heart-shaped front. Multimedia was created by Moment Factory, while sound and light were produced by Clay Paky and DiGiCo, respectively.

The central theme of the show was love and romance and consisted of four segments, each of which were inspired by different topics: the first one was inspired by the cover art of Rebel Heart and Joan of Arc; the second had Tokyo influences and was based on rock and roll; the third section had Latin inspirations; and the fourth was party-themed. The set list had more than 20 songs from across Madonna's career, a decision that according to the singer was made to "satisfy all fans". Critics gave the tour generally positive reviews, praising Madonna's stage presence and noting the focus on performances and imagery. The set list received mixed-to-positive reviews, with some praising the old songs and others criticizing the inclusion of Rebel Heart tracks.

The tour generated a number of controversies, but was a commercial success. Every show sold out, generating an attendance of over 1.05 million people. The tour grossed $169.8 million, extending Madonna's record as the highest-grossing solo touring artist to $1.131 billion, beginning with the Blond Ambition Tour in 1990. This ranked her third all-time on the top-grossing Billboard Boxscore list, only behind the Rolling Stones and U2. The shows of March 19–20, 2016, performed at the Allphones Arena, were filmed by Danny Tull and Nathan Rissman for the film Madonna: The Rebel Heart Tour. It premiered on December 9, 2016, on American cable channel Showtime while a live CD/DVD and Blu-ray was released on September 15, 2017.

Background

To promote her twelfth studio album, MDNA, Madonna embarked on The MDNA Tour, [1] which visited the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, but did not go to Australia or eastern Asia. [2] The tour was a commercial success with a total gross was $305.2 million ($318.38 million in 2016 dollars) [3] from 88 sold-out shows, becoming the tenth highest-grossing tour of all time. [4] After the MDNA era, Madonna worked on her thirteenth studio album, Rebel Heart, throughout 2014. Before the official release of the album, hackers leaked many songs to the internet. [5] Numerous news outlets started reporting about the supporting concert tour for the album. [6] [7] [8]

Exterior of Bell Center, Montreal, Canada.
Exterior of Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia.
Rebel Heart Tour began in Montreal, Canada at the Bell Centre (left) and ended in Sydney, Australia at Allphones Arena (right).

The tour was formally announced on March 1, 2015 on Madonna's official website. Titled Rebel Heart Tour, it was initially scheduled to begin on August 29, 2015, from Miami and continue throughout Europe and end on December 20, 2015, in Glasgow, Scotland. [9] [10] Rebel Heart Tour was led by Live Nation Entertainment's Global Touring Division, helmed by Arthur Fogel. It was Madonna's fifth collaboration with Live Nation. Fogel commented that the leak had helped in bring more attention to Madonna's music and it was a positive scenario for the world tour. "It's kind of strange how it all came about, but it certainly hasn't been a negative in terms of getting people engaged with the new music. Anything that helps put it out there is good, even if it happens in a weird way", he concluded. [11]

On May 21, 2015, Madonna rescheduled the first five dates of the tour and moved them to January 20, 23, 24, 27 and 28 in 2016. The singer confirmed that arrangement logistics was the cause of the postponement. She released a statement saying, "As my fans already know, the show has to be perfect. Assembling all the elements will require more time than we realized. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause my fans." [12] According to Billboard, Rebel Heart is an all- arena tour, and would visit cities where Madonna has not performed before. The tour visited Australia and New Zealand in early 2016, [11] and was the singer's first visit to Australia in more than 20 years, having last toured there with The Girlie Show World Tour in 1993, and her first time in New Zealand. [13] [14] Philippines was added to the tour itinerary, for two performances at SM Mall of Asia in February 2016. [15]

After the tour started, Madonna revealed another 16 dates in Asia and North America. They included first ever concerts in Taipei, Bangkok, Louisville, San Antonio, Tulsa and Nashville as well as her first concerts in Tokyo in a decade and additional dates in Mexico City and Houston. [16] Singapore was added to the itinerary for February 28, 2016, however the concert was rated as "adults only" by the Media Development Authority (MDA) of the country. [17] Before arriving in Australia, Madonna announced an extra show on March 10, 2016, at Melbourne's Forum Theatre. The show was billed as an intimate gig, and was described by the singer as a fusion of music, art and comedy. It was titled as the Madonna: Tears of a Clown show and was created for Madonna's Australian fans, who had waited for the singer to perform there for many years. [18]

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