Madonna, Amy Schumer Stay On Top Of Their Game During ‘Rebel Heart Tour’ Stop in New York City
"I can't think of anyone better to open for Madonna...other than absolutely any band," Amy Schumer deadpanned to a sea of Rebel Heart Tour merchandise-clad fans awaiting the arrival of the Queen of Pop.
The stadium erupted in laughter and roared back with playful cheers, but really, if any #UnapologeticBitch was meant to open for Madge, it was in fact Amy. (And it wouldn't be the first time she'd appear on the stage that night, either.)
The Trainwreck star thoroughly nailed her hour-long opening slot for Madonna's first night at Madison Square Garden on the Rebel Heart Tour last night (September 16).
Like the lady of the evening, Schumer kept the crowd gasping with pearl-clutching subject matter and cutting social commentary, rattling through everything from meeting (and dreaming of dating) Bradley Cooper, to her newfound friendship with Jenner Lawrence (she subscribes to Drake's "No New Friends" policy — until meeting Lawrence, after which she decided "Okay, maybe one new friend"), to her explanation of rare sex positions and a bold declaration of appreciation for, uh, ejaculation. What a time for women in Hollywood! (That's a running joke.)
And even though the setting was a bit unusual — most people would raise an eyebrow at the idea of a comedian kicking off a concert (as did Amy herself for months, which she admitted during her set) — the fearless, often crass and always self-mocking set by the ever-refreshing Schumer proved to be a perfect warm-up to what is undoubtedly Madonna's most lighthearted tour outing in years.
After successfully winning over the crowd (and getting briefly emotional because of the crowd's overwhelming enthusiasm — really, how often do you see an opening act get a standing ovation afterward?), Amy cleared the stage with her boyfriend — a bottle of wine! — to make way for the Queen, who eventually descended (from the heavens, presumably) in her cage with her appropriately regal, soldier-filled "Iconic" introduction, setting off without a hitch for the rest of the night. (If you haven't yet, check out our review of opening night in Montreal last week.)
From "Into The Groove" to "True Blue" to "Bitch I'm Madonna," the 30+ year industry veteran squeezed in dozens of her beloved classics in amid more recent Rebel Heart album cuts to a sold out arena (which included Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande and Andy Cohen as onlookers), fearlessly pole dancing on top of dancers on crosses, hair-flipping on her knees across catwalks, flamenco dancing and clinging off the top of a tall spiral staircase. Yet even while playing the part of the larger-than-life entertainer on stage she's been for decades, Madonna has never looked more like a girl simply having the time of her life.
"I'm feeling nostalgic tonight," she told the crowd several times throughout the night, reminding fans that she played the very same venue 30 years ago.
At one point, she spotted a man in the crowd with a 1985 Virgin Tour tee. "Were you there?!" she delightfully shrieked, pausing the show to kneel down and grasp his hand and thank him. And that was the theme of the night — and the whole show, really: Gratitude.
Toward the end, Madonna brought Amy out as her "Unapologetic Bitch" of the evening. And, in what was a surprise to approximately no one, it was a largely hilarious affair, with Amy happily skipping and hair-flipping around the stage with all her might. Her fandom was showing — and that's not all she exposed. At one point, Amy bent over to reveal some lacy black underwear, which Madonna greatly enjoyed, showing her appreciation in the form of a spanking-turned-dry-humping session. Amy was later gifted with not only an arm sock (Sock Bitch — lucky!), but a banana, which...well, both Amy and Madge knew a few things she could do with that.
"You're going to Hell," M told Amy. "It's okay. I'm in there too with you."
The seasoned superstar never faltered throughout the night, effortlessly cycling through intricate hand fan choreography with "Bitch I'm Madonna" to voguing her way through "Living For Love" to delivering yet another stunning rendition of "La vie en rose" all by herself with a tiny guitar, proving for the umpteenth time why the crown lays firmly on her head.
"It's like they say, it's lonely at the top," she told the crowd at one point, "But it ain't crowded either."
Check out our exclusive gallery of photos from Madonna's first night at Madison Square Garden up top, courtesy of photographer Taylor Miller.
Watch footage from Madonna's Opening Night in Montreal:
Amy Schumer's Most Outrageous Characters