Madonna is arguably the most influential and iconic female pop star to exist to date, and after a 23-year-long absence from Australia, her 'Rebel Heart' tour landed in Brisbane for the first of two shows (16 March).
But not without huge backlash. As an enchantingly diverse crowd of Madge fans shuffled into the Entertainment Centre, excitement built for the star's arrival at 9pm.
Her support act DJ Mary Mac was due to start spinning the decks an hour earlier, but took to the stage at the same time Madonna was scheduled for. “Please be advised that the Madonna performance will begin no earlier than 10:30pm,” an announcement echoed through the arena.
Apart from the slightly audible sighs of disappointment, this didn't seem to bother most of the audience. 10:30pm finally came around, and the Mexican waves began. The arena settled in for a night of high expectations, cheering and buzzing until about 10:45.
Then the clock ticked past 11pm. By this stage, Twitter was blowing up with abuse from none other than fans at the show itself, as a decent-sized group of people left the arena to request refunds at the Box Office, leaving noticeable gaps throughout the venue's stands.
When Madge finally graced the stage at 11:15pm, descending from a suspended cage, the performance she put on was exactly what her die-hard fans expected: more cultural references than ever before, pole-dancing nuns, a simulation of the Last Supper. Your typical mindblowing Madonna show.
The visuals were next-to-none, with beautiful illustrations and films playing throughout the night on the on-stage screens. In one section of the show, Madonna invited a fan – more affectionately known as an 'Unapologetic Bitch' – on stage to join her as she performed the song of the same name.
A ten-year-old girl in the front row also got a bit of love, as Madonna threw her a bouquet of flowers.
Although the show was mostly made up of songs from her newest album, appropriately titled 'Rebel Heart', she kept long-time fans happy with the likes of 'La Isla Bonita', 'Like A Virgin' and 'Material Girl'.
The night didn't end without her weighing in on her own lateness mid-show. “I’m hardly ever late. It’s you people that get here early, that’s the problem. Just come late and I won’t have to come early."
Putting tardiness aside, it's absolutely necessary to applaud the pop superstar for her consistent energy and ability to put on shows that are simply incomparable with anything ever seen before.
The 'Rebel Heart Tour' was yet another deliciously-sublime demonstration of all things Madonna, just when the world thought they'd seen it all. Her energy was at a high all night long, as the audience of super fans were given more than enough compensation for the 23-year-long wait for the return of their idol.
As for the delay of the concert itself, it's truly fascinating to wonder: how much longer will “because she's Madonna” be a decent excuse for rocking up almost two and a half hours late?