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Madonna's 9 Tours: Ranked


4. The Girlie Show (1993) We had a hunch a world tour in support of Erotica would be a sexy affair and the carnival-themed Girlie Show more than delivered. Plenty of burlesque, cabaret and dominatrix segments allowed Madonna to further explore her favorite subject. We also got to meet the Marlene Dietrich-inspired Madonna character "Dita" in the flesh. The set itself raised the bar with a runway extending from the main stage, as well as an elevated platform and several smaller balconies off the main stage. Standout performance: "Justify My Love"
 


3. Confessions Tour (2006) The first of three Madonna tours in a row that broke her own sales records. This world tour in support of 2005's Confessions On A Dance Floor found the singer once again condemned by the Catholic church. The cause? Madonna singing her classic ballad "Live To Tell" while hanging on a humongous mirrored cross wearing a crown of thorns. (She's never been subtle.) The whole show from start to finish was lavish with a spectacular set that featured three elevators, two runways, a turntable-shaped platform, and moving LED screens. The disco ball alone cost $2 million dollars. Standout performance: "Erotica"
 


2. The Re-Invention World Tour (2004) Studio album number nine American Life may have been mediocre, but this tour in support of it was top-notch. We got to see Madonna re-interpret some looks from past tours with the help of costume designer Arianne Phillips. Together the two gave new spins to the French Revolution, as well as the military and cabaret looks Madonna had previously sported in live shows. Twirling rifles, singing atop television sets, grooving with bagpipes — is there anything the Queen do during this dizzying show? If you guessed singing one number in an electric chair — you're wrong. She did that too. Standout performance: "Nobody Knows Me"
 
 
1. The Blond Ambition World Tour (1990) The Gaultier-designed bullet bra. The faux ponytail. The elaborate set. The breathtaking choreography. Madonna exploring sexuality, Catholicism, and other lifelong fascinations live on stage. (Remember what a stir that masturbatory "Like A Virgin" performance caused?) Madonna’s third concert tour easily steals the number one spot. Frankly, until the Blond Ambition came along, we had no idea what a live concert could be. This live show created the template for the modern-day Madonna concert. It marked the first time she broke her stage show into themed segments (in this case, Metropolis, Religious, Dick Tracy, Art Deco and Encore), which is how she's constructed her shows ever since, shaping each "act" according to her current interests and aesthetics. Standout performance: "Express Yourself"
 
How will the Rebel Heart Tour line up?

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