• Madonna's 1985 Virgin Tour Debut In Seattle

    By: Michael Fox


    Madonna's "Virgin Tour” 1985 – the debut concert tour by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee – kicked off at Seattle's Paramount Theatre with the Beastie Boys as her opening act.

    The KIRO 7 web team dug deep into the treasure trove of archived tape to find a snippet of Madonna's performance from 1985 – a clip that hasn't been broadcast since the night of Aug. 10, 1985. It shows nearly a minute of "Dress You Up," which was the first song she performed that night.

    The clip from that night and the news story from that historic Seattle event are available only on KIROtv.com.

    Before the Seattle debut of The Virgin Tour, Madonna played New York clubs and performed with Prince in Los Angeles. But that first performance in 1985 on a Wednesday night in Seattle was the start of her major concert dates.

    According to Internet reviews of The Virgin Tour Wikipedia page, Madonna took to the triangular stage, surrounded by four giant screens, backed by two dancers and performing for the first time with a live band.

    During a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna reminisced about that starting point of what became a star-studded career.

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    "That whole tour was crazy, because I went from playing CBGB and the Mudd Club to playing sporting arenas," she told the magazine. "I played a small theater in Seattle, and the girls had flap skirts on and the tights cut off below their knees and lace gloves and rosaries and bows in their hair and big hoop earrings. I was like, 'This is insane!' After Seattle, all of the shows were moved to arenas."

    Madonna had three shows in Seattle – April 10, 12 and 13 – and all three were sellouts by the time she took the stage that first night. The Beastie Boys weren't well received by the pro-Madonna crowd. The show was a year before "Licensed to Ill" was released

    Their 30-minute set got off to a bad start when one of the Beastie Boys declared himself King of the Paramount, and generally made the pro-Madonna audience feel like a swarm of hillbillies, P-I pop music critic Gene Stout wrote in his review.

    "Dressed in what looked like a Boy George outfit, she looked reluctant, almost scared, and kept her eyes on the ground as she and her small entourage swept past a modest gathering of fans," Stout wrote.

    Madonna started the show with "Dress You Up," followed with "Holiday," and performed "Borderline" for the first time live as her seventh song. Madonna ended by debuting "Material Girl" as her encore. Click here to see a copy of her 1985 Seattle setlist.

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