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. The singer's and the tour name are written above the image.
Promotional poster for the tour
Associated albumRebel Heart
Start dateSeptember 9, 2015 (2015-09-09)
End dateMarch 20, 2016 (2016-03-20)
Legs5
No. of shows
  • 36 in North America
  • 25 in Europe
  • 13 in Asia
  • 8 in Oceania
  • 82 total
Attendance1.045 million
Box office$169.8 million
Madonna concert chronology

Rebel Heart Tour was the tenth concert tour by American singer Madonna, staged in support of her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart (2015). 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. The tour 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 as her third tour to be promoted by the company. The all-arena Rebel Heart Tour also visited cities where the singer had not performed before, and was her first to visit Australia since The Girlie Show World Tour (1993).

Rehearsals for the tour commenced following its announcement and lasted 10–12 hours per day, with involvement from Madonna's team of creative directors, producers, designers and choreographers. It was inspired by shows like Cirque du Soleil and Chinese New Year, as well as by films like 300 (2006) and Grease (1978). Madonna enlisted Jamie King as the creative director, and Megan Lawson and Jason Yong as choreographers. The tour featured costumes from Moschino, Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci and Swarovski jewelry, and 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, with each inspired by different topics. Inspirations varied from the cover artwork of Rebel Heart, Joan of Arc and Tokyo to rock and roll, Latin culture and partying. The set list had more than 20 songs picked from Madonna's career along with material from Rebel Heart. Critics gave the tour generally positive reviews, praising Madonna's stage presence, vocals and the imagery presented.

The tour courted a number of controversies, but attained commercial success. It was attended by an audience of over 1.05 million with all the shows being sold out. Rebel Heart Tour grossed $169.8 million, extending Madonna's record as the highest-grossing solo touring artist with total gross of $1.131 billion, beginning with the Blond Ambition Tour (1990). This ranked her in third place on the all-time 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

Interior 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).

To promote her 12th studio album, MDNA (2012), 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] On March 2015, Madonna released her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart; the release was plagued by internet hackers leaking its content previously.[3] Numerous news outlets started reporting about the supporting concert tour for the album,[4][5][6] which 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.[7][8]

The 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.[9]

On May 21, 2015, Madonna rescheduled the first five dates of the tour and moved them to January 2016. The singer confirmed that arrangement logistics was the cause of the postponement and announced that the first date was changed to September 9, 2015, at Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.[10] According to Billboard, Rebel Heart Tour is an all-arena tour, and would visit cities where Madonna had not performed before. The tour visited Australia and New Zealand in early 2016,[9] 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.[11][12] Philippines was added to the tour itinerary, for two performances at SM Mall of Asia in February 2016.[13]

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.[14] Singapore was added to the itinerary for February 28, 2016; the concert was rated as "adults only" by the Media Development Authority (MDA) of the country.[15] 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 specifically for Madonna's Australian fans.[16]

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