Madonna, you're tardy. Habitually.
Starting your 8:30 p.m. concert after 10 p.m. — sometimes as late as 10:50 without an opening act — is not acceptable.
We can't send you to the principal's office, but two fans have done the adult equivalent: taken you to court.
Madonna, tour promoter Live Nation and Barclays Center in Brooklyn were accused in a lawsuit on Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court of Eastern New York of "unconscionable, unfair, and/or deceptive trade practices" for the delayed start of 10:50 p.m., which the plaintiffs argue constitutes a breach of contract and "a wanton exercise in false advertising."
Like someone who is tardy, Madonna responded with a note from her parents, er, promoter Live Nation, that there were technical problems that caused the late start.
Since the lawsuit was filed, the queen of pop has been a little more diligent, starting at 9:40 in New York City, 9:55 in Montreal and 10:05 in Philadelphia, to cite a few. Prior to the lawsuit, Madonna launches included 10:25 in Toronto, 10:30 in Detroit and 10:40 in Washington D.C., according to setlist.fm.
Clearly, Madonna's Celebration Tour doesn't run like clockwork. That was the case on her previous two visits to the Twin Cities, in 2015 and '12. She doesn't hit the stage apparently until all her chakras are aligned.
What time will the Material Girl take the stage in St. Paul on Tuesday? Let's set 9:45 as the over/under number. How do you bet?
Madonna is not the only artist with a history of tardiness. Here's a look at other concert delinquents.
Guns N' Roses
Axl Rose is the king of the tardy rockers. Well, he used to be. Let's review the start times for GNR concerts in the Twin Cities in this century (usually scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.):
2002 — 10:40 p.m.; 2006 — 11:45 (finished at 2:10 a.m.); 2011 — 11:15 (finished at 2 a.m.); 2017 — 8:30; 2021 — 8 p.m.
Why was he late? Rumors of strippers in his dressing room back in the day. In one city, he admitted to watching an entire Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie backstage. He simply must get in the right frame of mind, according to Craig Duswalt, Rose's personal assistant during the Use Your Illusion Tour, 1991-93.
The assistant told Forbes in 2014: "Axl would warm up for an hour in the shower doing vocal exercises. He would get a massage; he would get adjusted by a chiropractor. He would tape up his ankles because he ran around so much. He prepared for 2½ to three hours before a show. And then after each show he would go back into the shower and warm down his voice for a half-hour."
On the other hand, with all these late, late finishes, GNR had to pay considerable amounts of overtime for union stagehands, which typically kicks in at midnight. At some point, Axl got the message and learned to be more punctual.
Worth the wait? Usually. Performance grade: B
If Axl Rose is the king, Lauryn Hill will battle Madonna for the queen of tardiness.
The reclusive Hill, who hasn't released an album of new material for 25 years, has been a sporadic concert performer who is consistently late to the stage. Sometimes it comes back to bite her.
In 2016, after she commenced two hours late in Atlanta, her microphone was cut off less than an hour into her performance, because of the venue's curfew.
"I don't show up late to shows because I don't care," Hill said in a Facebook post at the time.
She's been on tour since last fall celebrating the silver anniversary of 1999′s "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."
In Chicago in October, her 8 p.m. concert started at 9:30 one night, 10:40 the next. When she performed at Mystic Lake Casino amphitheater in Prior Lake in September, her opening act, DJ Reborn, took the stage at 9:08 and Hill finally arrived at 9:55 p.m. Well, actually, there were a couple of false starts where the band began to play but the singer did not appear.
Hill hears the complaints. At a Los Angeles concert in November, she offered this enigmatic explanation: "Yo, y'all lucky I make it on this blood ras stage every night. I don't do it because they let me do it. I do it because I stand here in the name of God and I do it. God is the one who allows me to do it."
Worth waiting for? Yes. Performance grade: B
Sly and the Family Stone
Back in the day when concerts were seemingly more about freedom than professionalism, Sly Stone was the original rock 'n' roll delinquent. After the opening acts finished, there was often an interminable gap of more than an hour (or two) before it was Sly time. Sometimes the opening act was asked to play another set while the promoters searched for the headliner. Where was Sly? Why was he late? Was it drugs? Was it sex? Or was it simply rock 'n' roll?
In a 1970 interview with the Associated Press, the elusive superstar said: "I think about 90 percent of our lateness was because of our road organization and about 10 percent is because I don't want to get up. I'm sleepy. It's a hang-up but I'm trying to get over it."
Worth the wait? Sometimes but too often Sly played short shows like at Milwaukee's Summerfest in 1970, when he spent 50 minutes onstage but about 20 of them tinkering with sound equipment, according to the Journal Sentinel. Performance grade: C-plus
The 1970s king of country music may have found more companionship with alcohol and cocaine than he did with any of his wives, including Tammy Wynette. His addictions coupled with his independent streak caused him to show up late to his concerts or skip them altogether. In 1979 alone, he missed 54 shows.
Jones owned up to his failings. In a 1992 interview with the New York Times, he confessed: "You can see pictures in your mind of little old ladies in the country walking down dirt roads, saving for two months to get enough money to see your shows. And then they get there, and you don't show up. Those things bother me quite a bit."
It affected him enough to write "No Show Jones," a wry 1982 duet with Merle Haggard giving himself a slap on both the wrist and the back at the same time — as well as a new playful moniker. Later in his career, he opened his concerts with "No Show Jones."
Worth the wait? If he made it, yes. Grade: B.
Prince was king of the after-shows. Not those last-minute, late-night get-togethers at Paisley Park when he might perform or merely spin records. No, his club gigs after scheduled arena and theater performances. Sometimes after-shows were ticketed events, sometimes just word of mouth.
When he had his Club 3121 in Las Vegas (where his midnight show usually lasted a mere 90 minutes), he invariably played an after-show at the adjacent 3121 Jazz Cuisine restaurant. The night I went in 2007, he got onstage at 3:10 a.m. and played until 5:10.
In Chicago in 2012, after he performed at United Center, he was slated for a midnight concert at House of Blues. Following a DJ set, Prince stuck his head out of the curtain onstage at 2 a.m. An hour later, his new protégé, Andy Allo, entertained for a half-hour backed by a truncated version of Prince's band (and without Prince).
At 3:45 a.m., the Purple One emerged and told the fans who'd paid $100, "I was ready to stay all night. The owner says we gotta go. It's up to them. I'm here. If they say yes, I'll stay. Peace." He didn't perform, but all concertgoers were given free tickets for the next night's after-show, which started promptly at 1 a.m.
Worth the wait? Usually, if you could hang that late. Performance grade: A
The tickets for last year's Renaissance Tour said 8 p.m. There was no opening act for these stadium shows. And there was no Beyoncé for quite a while. Was she waiting for the sun to go down so concertgoers could appreciate the fabulous lighting in her fabulous staging? In Kansas City and Landover, Md., she didn't hit the stage until 10 p.m. In her hometown of Houston, she appeared at 9:40 p.m. The earliest start? Minneapolis at 8:45. Weren't we lucky?
Worth the wait? Ab-so-lute-ly. Grade: A-plus
When: 8:30 p.m. Tue.
Where: Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.
Tickets: $110-$1,800, ticketmaster.com.