Madonna - The Queen of Pop - is back with her Celebration Tour.

After performing four sell our shows at London's O2 Arena, she travelled to Belgium to perform two shows at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp. Once again, both in front of sell-out crowds.

That is where I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the musical icon.

Arriving at the show, you could already see Madonna's popularity - which has seen her become the most successful female artist in UK chart history - with large crowds having already amassed outside the doors waiting to get in and catch a glimpse of the pop queen.

And this was on the second-night mind you - Sunday (October 22), so there had already been more than 18,000 people packed into the Sportpaleis the night before.

Ham & High: Madonna was in Belgium on Sunday (October 22) as part of her The Celebration Tour.Madonna was in Belgium on Sunday (October 22) as part of her The Celebration Tour. (Image: Patrick Glover)

Fans have been waiting nearly four years to see Madonna in concert with her last tour - Madame X - concluding back in 2020. 

And the wait continued on the weekend for fans in Antwerp. From the moment the doors opened on Sunday at 6.30pm, those at the gig had to wait over three and a half hours for Madonna to appear on stage.

Speaking to fans in the crowd who had seen her the night before, she arrived on stage at around 9.45pm.

But she was even later on the Sunday, not hitting the stage until after 10pm.

Special guest for Madonna: The Celebration Tour

RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bob The Drag Queen was the special guest in Antwerp and also appeared at the O2 Arena in London as part of Madonna's The Celebration Tour.

Bob opened proceedings on Sunday night - entering through the crowd, interacting and joking with fans as he made his way to the stage which was laid out like three catwalks extending from a main stage at the top of the arena. 

Wearing a period costume he welcomed Madonna to the stage as she opened the show with Nothing Really Matters.

The drag queen also appeared at various points throughout the show in just as elaborate costumes as the Queen of Pop herself.

Madonna: The Celebration Tour show review

It is at this point that I have to admit that I do not have as broad a knowledge of Madonna's work as others in the arena on Sunday night.

But my eclectic knowledge of music does expand to some Madonna songs (my favourite funnily enough being Celebration).

As someone who is not a die-hard Madonna fan, I have to say, that while it was extremely frustrating to wait around for hours for her, when she did finally appear it was well worth the wait. 

I have found myself on Spotify over the past few days adding Madonna songs to my playlists, she was that good.

She had fans singing and dancing in the aisles and it is clear to see why she has been crowned the Queen of Pop (yes, I'd say she's even better than Beyonce).

The show even showcased the talent her children possessed with Mercy accompanying her mother playing the piano during Bad Girl and Estere performing a number of dance routines alongside Madonna.

The Show had an incredible array of her hit songs including the likes of Vogue, Hung Up and La Isla Bonita.

It also featured a little tribute to Michael Jackson with a silhouette of the late pop star and Madonna dancing together to a mash-up of Billie Jean and Like a Virgin

The show really did have it all, from the costumes and the dance routines to the hit songs and of course the Queen of Pop herself. 

Well worth the wait is all I can say.

Madonna: The Celebration Tour setlist

The Celebration Tour is supposed to be just that - a celebration of all things Madonna as she explained her on stage that the aim of the show was to showcase her life through her smash hit songs and dance routines.

From opening with Nothing Really Matters and closing with Celebration what came between really was a fantastic collection of Madonna songs which showed just why she is one of the biggest female pop artists of all time.

The Celebration Tour setlist (Antwerp)

  • Nothing Really Matters
  • Everybody
  • Into the Groove
  • Burning up
  • Open Your Heart
  • Holiday
  • Live to Tell
  • Like a Prayer
  • Erotica
  • Justify my love
  • Bad Girl
  • Hung Up
  • Vogue
  • Crazy for You
  • Die Another Day
  • Don't Tell Me
  • Mother and Father
  • Ray of Light
  • I Will Survive (cover)
  • La Isla Bonita
  • Don't Cry For Me Argentina
  • Bedtime stories
  • Billie Jean/Like a Virgin mash-up
  • B***h I'm Madonna
  • Celebration

Ham & High: Madonna performed hit songs including Don't Tell Me and Die Another Day during her performance in Antwerp.Madonna performed hit songs including Don't Tell Me and Die Another Day during her performance in Antwerp. (Image: Patrick Glover)

Songs Madonna missed

As this was a celebration tour of Madonna's life it included a number of her major hits including Vogue, Like a Prayer and Into the Groove.

But fans would have been disappointed with the exclusion of the likes of Material Girl, Frozen and Papa Don't Preach.

Madonna and long waiting times

Madonna is infamous for making fans wait and this tour has been no different.

The opening show of her Celebration Tour in London she was an hour late, while in Antwerp she made fans wait over three hours (from the time doors opened) in both her shows at Antwerp's Sportpaleis.

On Sunday (October 22) she said there were technical difficulties backstage and she couldn't get dressed in the dark. There weren't any power outages in the rest of the stadium. Strange.

If you are heading to any of Madonna's upcoming shows and have set seats, I wouldn't bother about rushing to get there for the doors opening - save yourself the wait time.

Madonna: The Celebration Tour upcoming UK shows 

Madonna is currently on the UK and European leg of her The Celebration Tour. 

Her next stop is in Copenhagen before she makes her way across Europe making stops at places including Paris and Barcelona. 

She will visit the UK once more in December as part of the tour, returning to London's O2 Arena again in December. 

The Celebration Tour remaining UK dates

  • December 5 - O2 Arena, London
  • December 6 - O2 Arena, London

Both shows are already sold out.