Yes, it was a night of controversy. But it was also unexpectedly filled with joy.
Madonna’s tour features half-naked nuns on stripper poles, and her opener Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, raucous Rockville Centre-raised comedian Amy Schumer, star of the summer smash “Trainwreck,” threw in some jokes about the sex lives of the Obamas and the drinking habits of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
However, Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour, which continues Thursday night at Madison Square Garden and Saturday night at Barclays Center, may also be her happiest tour in decades.
The lovely acoustic version of True Blue was a rare bow to romance, the sweetest of Madonna sentiments. “I’m feeling very nostalgic,” she said, adding that she first played the Garden 30 years ago.
Though the two-hour show is her attempt to give her underappreciated album the chance it deserved, it also recasts her older songs in a new light, from Latin versions of Lucky Star to an acoustic take on Who’s That Girl?
Rebel Heart was plagued by a series of leaks that forced Madonna to push up its release several months, but many of its songs find her at her most resilient. The title track was a pretty stripped-down declaration of survival, while the speeded-up remix of Living For Love was dramatic and inspirational.
Schumer talked of her incredible year in her 35-minute set.
“I don’t know why I’ve been labeled a sex comic,” said Schumer, who announced that she will headline the Garden on June 23. “It’s not fair.”
Schumer said she had worried about opening the show for months, joking: “Who better to open for Madonna than me? The answer: literally any band.”
However, Schumer won over the crowd, who gave her a standing ovation at the end. “That is the best feeling I have ever had,” she said.
SETLIST: Iconic / [Expletive] I’m Madonna / Burning Up / Holy Water > Vogue / Devil Pray / Messiah / Body Shop / True Blue / Deeper And Deeper / HeartbreakCity> Love Don’t Live Here Anymore / Like A Virgin / S.E.X. / Living For Love / La Isla Bonita / Dress You Up > Into The Groove > Lucky Star / Who’s That Girl? / Rebel Heart / Illuminati / Music / Candy Shop / Material Girl / La Vie En Rose / Unapologetic [Expletive] / Holiday