The entertainer kicked off her first U.S. tour in eight years Saturday at Philadelphia's First Union Center, where anxious Madonna-bes waiting for the show to start sat mesmerized by its extravagant stage sets and costumes.
Calling her Drowned World Tour a theatrical representation of her music, Madonna used inspiration from the martial arts, flamenco, country and western, punk, rock and roll, and the circus.
Over the course of the evening, fans got to see the five faces of Madonna--the punk stylist, geisha avenger, electric cowgirl, Latin songbird and queen pimp.
This show, however, is darker than her previous performances, with images of rape, references to murder and sounds of gunfire.
During "Nobody's Perfect," a geisha-garbed Madonna appeared vulnerable as an angry lover stared angrily at her and held a sword to her neck. Another song was accompanied by a video of a battered Madonna before she emerged firing a gun. At one point the singer showed her black-comic side, telling a joke about a father being killed and barbecued later.
If this all sounds like it crossed the line, it probably did-and her fans didn't seem to mind one bit.
"She could just stand there and I would be happy," fan Theresa Svengart, who flew from Sweden to see the performance, told MTV News Online.
For her encore Madonna performed a Spanish rendition of her tune "What It Feels Like for a Girl." She also picked up a guitar and joined musicians for a flamenco take on "La Isla Bonita."
But that is as much old-school Madonna as fans would get-apparently the star had no desire to relive the past. Most of her songs were taken from her most recent albums, Ray of Light and Music. Hits like "Material Girl," "Vogue," and "Express Yourself" were absent.