RECAP: Madonna in Philly

She gets booed, then stuns the crowd. By Victor Fiorillo

The showtime posted on the tickets for last night’s Madonna show in Philadelphia—the kickoff date of her North American MDNA Tour—was 8 p.m., although some people thought it was supposed to start as early as 7 p.m. So it’s no surprise that with no sign of the enduring 54-year-old pop star by 9:30 p.m., fans are starting to get restless.

At 9:35 p.m., the follow spot operators get into position, strapped into their pods high above the stage, seemingly an indication that things are about to begin. 9:50 p.m., a gentleman emerges to test a wireless microphone, walking the perimeter of the triangular catwalk that jutted out into the capacity crowd of 20,000. 9:52 p.m., another mic test. And another. And then another. And another. No, seriously. Another. He took his microphone testing stroll, and quite the relaxed stroll it was, as many as 10 times. Still no Madonna.

With the time at 10:15 p.m. on a weeknight, the first “bull-shit” chants ring out. Bull. Shit. Bull. Shit. Bull. Shit. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” says the guy behind me. “She has until 10:30, and then we’re out of here.” The subject of refunds emerges on Twitter. At 10:23 p.m., the full-on “boos” begin while the neighbor to my right shows me her ticket and points out, “$355 per ticket,” with her companion adding that this was after paying to join the fan club just to gain access to the pre-sale. “She forgot she’s in Philly. They boo Santa Claus here.” The boos roar.

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