Madonna held a secret 'Madame X' gig in New York on Friday night (October 8) and ended it by taking the show to the streets of Harlem.
The original concert took place at the Manhattan neighbourhood's Ginny's Supper Club and celebrated the release of the film version of Madame X.
Beginning after midnight, the pop star told W Magazine that she "wanted to pay homage to Harlem with an intimate performance". "Harlem is the birthplace of James Baldwin, my eternal muse and a great source of inspiration for my film,"" she added. "I wanted to perform in a historical location to share my music and connect to the many great artists that have lived and shared their dreams here.""
"I felt the energy from all the musical giants that have left their footprint in this sacred part of the world. Ginny's Supper Club at the Red Rooster was the perfect home for Madame X."
Madonna on the streets of Harlem singing Like A Prayer pic.twitter.com/NrpMBW1Sq8— MLVCpodcast (@mlvcpodcast) October 9, 2021
not Madonna leading an entire secret show audience out of the venue in Harlem toward an actual church while singing “Like A Prayer” pic.twitter.com/knKGgsKFjX— Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) October 9, 2021
I just marched through the streets of Harlem with Madonna singing Like a Prayer. What else am I supposed to live for in life after that? pic.twitter.com/7TTyKDGFUx— kyle (@Munzenrieder) October 9, 2021
W reports that Madonna performed at the club with a band led by Jon Batiste and a quartet of backing vocalists, before leading the group and audience out onto the street and down one block of 126th Street while singing Like A Prayer through a megaphone. The parade ended in front of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Watch fan-shot footage above now.
Madame X was released on Friday and aired on MTV in the UK, while it is available to stream on Paramount+ in the US.
In a four-star review, NME said: "Though Madame X is billed as a "documentary film" and a "concert documentary", it's really a concert film – albeit a highly stylised and beautifully executed one.
"If you're expecting backstage footage of Madonna grappling with the knee injury that sometimes interrupted 2019-2020's Madame X tour, you'll be disappointed. But if you want to see the pop queen reinvent her live show with an even more devil-may-care attitude, it definitely delivers."
On Friday night in New York City, Madonna, joined by Jon Batiste, his band and a small group of fans, gave an intimate cabaret performance in the basement of Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant Red Rooster, before spilling out into the Harlem streets for a 2 a.m. parade set to Like a Prayer.
The midnight cabaret turned New Orleans-style street party rang in Friday’s release of “Madame X,” a documentary concert film of Madonna’s 2019 tour, released by Paramount Plus.
“Obviously, Madame X has been born,” Madonna said to the basement crowd, dressed in a black cocktail dress, lace gloves and long blonde wig. “She was always here. She’s always been by your side, encouraging you, pushing you, inspiring you, I hope.”
Taking the stage in the dimly lit supper club just after 1:40 a.m., Madonna, who laid on top of Batiste’s piano like Marilyn Monroe and climbed up the basements’ columns to grind up and down the wall, sang lounge renditions of Dark Ballet, La Isla Bonita and the Portuguese Saudade.
“Do you feel like something is missing from your life?” she asked the crowd, softly into the microphone while Batiste played beneath her. “So, what’s our job? What’s our destiny? To go out and find it,” she said. “I was talking to Jon on the way here, and we said to each other: Here’s the big question: How bad do you want it?”
The evening was almost impossibly intimate, attended by a crowd that looked to be about 100-200 friends, family and fans, who sank into the club’s plush banquets awaiting her arrival.
During the performance, after falling to her knees in a contemplative adaptation of “Like a Prayer,” Madonna grabbed a nearby megaphone, gestured to the musicians to pick up their instruments, and told the crowd to take to the streets. Obliging blindly, the partygoers climbed up the basement stairs — propelled by the rhythm of Batiste’s band and the sheer thrill of unpredictability — and filed onto 126th street.
Tambourine in hand, Madonna led Batiste and a modest group of the party’s attendees through the early-morning streets of Harlem, joining together as the group sang an anthemic “Like a Prayer” into the night sky.
Traveling a few blocks down the street, the congregation ended outside a nearby church, where Madonna, framed by the ecclesiastical doors behind her, offered an invocation. “The Lord is with all of us,” she said. “Sometimes you just have to say a prayer.”
At Red Rooster, where most partygoers returned after Madonna’s streetside sermon ended, the room grooved far into the morning, voguing down the dance floor as the open vodka bar continued to flow. Nearby, joined by queer icons like Aquaria, the Queen of Pop sank into the same plush banquets and watched from afar as the room danced, high and carried away.
Madame X is… about to premiere on your TV screen! Starting October 8th, the concept film will be available for streaming on Paramount+ in various territories but will also be broadcasted on MTV where Paramount+ is not available. Below is a detailed schedule (all local times) to help you get ready for your own premiere!
Paramount+ Nordics: Friday, 8 October
(Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden)
MTV UK/Ireland: Friday, 8 October at 10:00pm
MTV Music (UK): Friday, 8 October at 9:00pm
MTV Benelux: Saturday, 9 October at 9:30pm
MTV France: Friday, 8 October at 11:20pm
MTV HITS France: Friday, 8 October at 9:00pm
MTV Germany: Sunday, 17 October at 10:35pm
MTV Italy: Friday, 8 October at 9:10pm
MTV Music Italy: Friday, 8 October at 8:00pm
MTV Portugal (MTV Global): Friday, 8 October at 8:00pm
MTV Israel: Friday, 15 October at 9:00pm
MTV Switzerland: Sunday, 17 October at 10:35pm
Paramount+ Canada: Friday, 8 October
Paramount+ USA: Friday, 8 October
Paramount+ Brazil: Friday, 8 October
Paramount+ Latin America: Friday, 8 October
(Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela)
Paramount+ Australia: Friday, 8 October at 9:00pm
MTV Australia: Friday, 8 October at 8:00pm
MTV Classic Australia: Friday, 8 October at 8:00pm
Paramount Network Asia: Sunday, 10 October at 8:00pm
MTV Asia: Friday, 8 October at 8:00pm
MTV Japan: Wednesday, 20 October at 9:00pm
MTV Korea: Tuesday, 12 October at 10:00pm
MTV Russia: Saturday, October 16 at 11:00pm
MTV Southeast Asia: Friday, 8 October at 8:00pm
(Brunei, Cambodia, Cook Islands, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga)
MTV South Korea: Tuesday, 12 October at 10:00pm
MTV Taiwan: Sunday, 10 October at 7:00pm
MTV Vietnam: Friday, 29 October at 9:00pm
MTV Africa: Friday, 8 October at 7:55pm
MTV South Africa: Friday, 8 October at 7:55pm
(Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Corporate Africa, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea, Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia NA, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
Madonna will appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, available on October 12. For the photoshoot and cover story, she reunited with Colombian singer Maluma, who featured on Medellin.
Madonna has announced that there'll also be a live album, with songs from the Madame X Tour.
"Madame X: Music From the Theater Experience" will be available on streaming platforms as from Friday, October 8.
Madame X has been travelling the world with an unprecedented intimate show performed before sold-out theatrical audiences in 2019 and 2020. Captured in Paris and Lisbon, the devoted concept film will premiere on Paramount+ on October 8th!
As a way to thank her freedom fighters for their support, Madame X is launching xclusive fan screenings, which will take place this weekend! For a chance to attend, please email one of the following addresses with your and your guest’s full name before 6p ET on Wednesday, October 6th and confirm that you and your guest have a valid vaccination card where applicable:
PARIS – FRIDAY, OCT 8 – LE GRAND REX – 9P
MIAMI – SATURDAY, OCT 9 – NITE OWL DRIVE-IN – 8P
Drive-in theater, one car per person (6 people max in a car)
LOS ANGELES – SUNDAY, OCT 10 – TCL CHINESE THEATER – 7P
NEW YORK – Stay tuned for a special announcement coming soon!
Please note that invitations are extremely limited and will be given away on a first come/first served basis. If you do qualify, a confirmation email will be sent to you on October 7th along with more detailed instructions.
Good luck and can’t wait to celebrate with you!↑ Back to top of page