Madonna reinvented herself. Once again. Of course, she did. She's Madonna. Except it's not the kind of reinvention you'd expect.

She presented herself Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center as the Queen of Nostalgia. Who'da thunk that from the forward-thinking, button-pushing, barrier-breaking original?

Over the course of 2¼ hours with 27 songs, three of her children performing and too many dancers to count, Madonna told her story — from a 19-year-old Michigander who arrived in New York City with $35 and blond ambition to the Queen of Pop.

It was exhilarating and exhausting, raw and raunchy, bodacious and banging because, as she sang in her 2015 hit and again last night, "Bitch I'm Madonna." And she gave 12,000 fans one of the most self-referential retrospectives ever staged by a music icon.

In a recap of her 40-year career, fans experienced a series of vintage Madonna looks from the cone-bra vamp to "A League of Their Own" baseballer, hits from "Burning Up" to "Bedtime Story," and spectacles from Madge on a tiered wedding-cake carousel to her Royal Blondness in a regal box flying over the crowd.

What fans didn't get was a live band (instead it was merely tracks, edited by her longtime collaborator Stuart Price), everyone's favorite song (who missed "Borderline," "Material Girl" and "Papa Don't Preach"?) or a concert that ended on the same day it began (tardy to the party, she performed from 10:12 p.m. to 12:24 a.m., preceded by an hour of DJ Mary Mac spinning mostly remixes from the Minneapolis Sound).

Most importantly, what was missing on the Celebration Tour was the horse that Madonna rode in on. Apparently, it had a hitch in its giddy-up because Madonna, 65, the bravura dancer, seemed to be favoring her left leg, which was in a brace. She was often hidden amidst her many dancers, letting their athletic and aggressive moves provide the flash and panache. Still, the show connected on the strength of Madonna's charismatic personality, innovative staging, indelibly catchy pop songs and the dancing, dancing and more dancing of her cast.

Told in seven chapters on a circular stage with four remote stages connected by a serpentine of runways, Madonna's theatrical memoir didn't begin with her origin story but rather at the birth of her first child and 1998′s "Nothing Really Matters," about how motherhood alters one's priorities. "Nothing takes the past away like the future," Madonna sang. "Nothing makes the darkness go like the light." It could have been the theme for the night.

Each chapter had a different theme (motherhood, religion, sex, survival, death, etc.), and every number had a bespoke stage set. For "Erotica," there was a series of boxing rings with the ropes defined by laser lights. For 1998′s "Ray of Light," the meatiest of the musical highlights, Madonna glided over the crowd in an open-faced box with different colored lights blinking around her.

The most remarkable staging came with some religious imagery during "The Ritual," performed by Madonna's dancers before a recording of "Unholy" by Sam Smith and Kim Petras was mashed up with Madonna singing 1989′s "Like a Prayer" as a carousel spun around with her male dancers striking bondage poses behind glass windows.

By contrast, Madonna sometimes kept things simple, by playing electric guitar on a punkish "Burning Up" from '83 and solo acoustic guitar on a slowed down treatment of 1989′s "Express Yourself," which segued into a spontaneous taste of Prince's "Kiss" as she talked about working with him at Paisley Park. Madonna's singing voice, never her forte, was a strong asset on Tuesday (though she was sometimes lip syncing).

An artist whose career was launched on MTV, she used visuals effectively, whether old video clips or giant photos of AIDS victims including Keith Haring and Eazy-E during a somber ending to the joyful "Holiday."

In her first Twin Cities appearance since 2015, the driven Rock & Roll Hall of Famer showed her motherly touch by having her son David, 18, accompany her on guitar on a few numbers, including ripping a rocking solo on a Princely cloud guitar at the end of "Like a Prayer."

Daughter Mercy James, 18, played piano as her mother crooned "Bad Girl." And Estere, 11, performed as DJ and competitive dancer during an extended version of "Vogue," earning perfect 10s from the two judges, Minnesota drag performer Manila Luzon and Madonna.

There were some awkward moments, including occasional masked Madonna doppelgangers who cavorted with her and a misguided mashup of recordings of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and Madonna's "Like a Virgin" (she was offstage at the time).

She, Jackson and Prince were Midwesterners born in 1958 who became 1980s megastars. She talked about how great it was to be from the Midwest. "Wherever I am," she added, "is the greatest place in the universe."

That's Madonna being Madonna. She's in a league of her own.