To be honest, I was nervous I wouldn't be able to write a review of Madonna's long-awaited Madame X show last night.
Not because she cancelled – again (this has happened ten times so far, due to an unspecified injury, said to be a dodgy knee and hip) – but because the Queen of Pop has built up a reputation for being ridiculously late on stage during this tour.
Not fashionably late, a whole diva TWO HOURS late, forcing fans to dance into the small hours, on a school night.
But last night at London's Palladium, Madonna remembered her manners. And painful hip and knee be damned, she dazzled, the absolute trouper she is.
Yes, she looked sore and stiff at times, yet the next minute she was performing an impressive handstand and writhing athletically on a grand piano lid. At 61, she's still got it. She can dance.
The Madame X tour comes with a difference. She was intent on it being an intimate, and interactive event, and had hence banned all phones.
Everyone was instructed to place their device in a lockable pouch on arrival, which only security could open, as you left or slipped out to designated phone zones.
Although we had been warned, there were wobbly scenes, reminiscent of the daemon splicing scenes from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, as phones were silenced, muzzled and wrestled away. 'But I neeeeed it…'
It did mean, however, that the usual distracting glow of a thousand photo screens being held aloft was absent which made a refreshing change, and Madonna stressed how wonderful it was 'to look into the audience's eyes', as they fretted about missed calls from the babysitter.
The show opened with a motto from the late American novelist James Baldwin: 'Art is here to prove that all safety is an illusion... Artists are here to disturb the peace,' and finishes with police riot shields, attacking dancers under a video montage of a street riot.