Madonna performed at Madison Square Garden on Monday night as part of her Celebration Tour, a lavish stage spectacle devoted to her catalog of hits as the Queen of Pop. During “Like a Prayer,” she sang from a spinning carousel filled with jumbo crucifixes and shirtless men. When she performed “Vogue,” she invited Kelly Ripa onto the stage to join her in judging the ballroom moves of her dancers with scorecards.
“I don’t know when I’m going to be back here playing again, but I’m doing this show like it’s my last show,” Madonna, 65, told the crowd. “And I’m doing this show like it’s my first show.”
Before the concert, the scene outside the arena resembled a fashion runway as Madonna fans arrived to serve up style tributes to her. Men emerged from the subway wearing black biker boots and leather jackets. Some women had drawn fake beauty spots onto their upper lips. At a subterranean pregame bar in Penn Station, while hits like “Holiday” and “Papa Don’t Preach” piped from a speaker, Sophy LeMay, a corporate accountant, wore fingerless lace gloves as she nursed a drink.
Fans shared their opinions about the lawsuit filed by two concertgoers against Madonna, who has become known as an unpunctual stage performer, accusing her of false advertising and negligent misrepresentation for going on late at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in December. (Her representatives said that they “intend to defend this case vigorously.”)
“It is what it is,” Julio Alvarez, who wore a bowler hat, said. “She’s Madonna.”
“I’ve traveled all the way from Oklahoma to see her,” added Kevin Smith, who brandished a black riding crop. “I’ll stay awake until 1 a.m. to see her if I need to.”
In the edited interviews below, fans reflected on Madonna’s enduring cultural relevance.