«The Re-Invention World Tour» was Madonna’s sixth concert tour in support of her ninth studio album «American Life».
In 2003, Madonna collaborated with photographer Steven Klein for an art installation project called «X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS». The installation portrayed Madonna in different incarnations of her spiritual practices – from yogi, prophet, queen to freak and pole dancer. The publication was a worldwide success, leading to a number of exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Düsseldorf, Berlin and Florence. After the exhibition was over, Madonna was inspired by the images from the exhibitions and decided to incorporate them into her then unplanned tour and asked Klein to help her with the task.
The main intention of the tour was to transform Madonna’s old hits musically and display her capacity for transformation and self-reflection. The tour was initially known as the «Whore of Babylon World Tour». The idea was to portray Madonna as the «Whore of Babylon», the figure of evil as mentioned in the «Book of Revelation». However it was later changed to the «Re-Invention World Tour», to make it a self-confident dig at all the critics and people who have expressed their views about Madonna re-inventing her image over the years.
The central theme of the show was unity versus violence. It was divided into five acts with different themes: French Baroque Marie-Antoinette Revival, Military-Army, Circus-Cabaret, Acoustic and Scotish-Tribal segments.
It began with «The Beast Within», an ominous recitation from the «Book Of Revelation» by Arabic singer Fairuz and the screens displaying Madonna’s «X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS» installations. Once the introduction had finished, Madonna appeared onstage on a rising platform in a corset, striking yoga poses to perform «Vogue». It was followed by the energetically performed «Nobody Knows Me» on a conveyor belt with some of the words to the song appearing on the screens, then «Frozen», during which a video of a naked male and a naked female wrestling, caressing and intertwining in water, their faces and genitals darkened by shadows so as to preserve their androgyny, were displayed on the backdrops.
The military segment started with the sound of a helicopter in the background as Madonna’s backup dancers, dressed as soldiers, crawled on their bellies as though in the middle of battle, then hugged each other as if saying goodbye. Madonna appeared onstage in camouflage pants, an olive army jacket and black beret. She started performing «American Life» as war footage of death and destruction flashed on screens behind her (at the end of the song, it showed a George W. Bush look-alike lovingly resting his head on the shoulder of a Saddam Hussein look-alike, as though the pair were waiting for a marriage license). During the performance Madonna ran down a lengthy V-shaped catwalk that descended from the ceiling and allowed her to reach the middle of the stadium. She also twirled army rifles during a march-like «Express Yourself» before strapping on a guitar for rock versions of «Burning Up» and «Material Girl». During the latter’s performances, the backdrops displayed mathematical equations along with DNA helixes rushing through the screens.
A remix interlude of «Hollywood» featured a breakdancer, a firedancer, a bellydancer, a tapdancer and a skateboarder. The screens displayed animations of tarot cards.
The interlude was followed by a Cabaret-like performance of «Hanky Panky», which started the Circus act. Next a jazz version of «Deeper & Deeper» was performed with her two female back-up dancers. Then followed «Die Another Day», with Madonna and her dancers in a Tango-like choreography and backdrops displayed an old man in his deathbed. After that, she was strapped into an electric chair as she started singing «Lament» from the soundtrack of the film «Evita» and the platform rises with her to the top. Madonna commented later that «Lament» was her «favorite part, [...] I like the idea of being restrained. I’m singing about all the things I could have had, but my ego got in the way and I destroyed all my happiness».
A remix/video interlude of «Bedtime Story» was performed as dancers swung on trapezes.
An acoustic-style segment started with «Nothing Fails», with the guitar being played by Madonna herself. After that, she sang «Don’t Tell Me», recreating the choreography from the song’s video with her dancers. The next song played was «Like A Prayer» where symbols of the 72 names of God were displayed on the backdrops. During the performance of the combined «Mother and Father/Intervention», Catholic images along with Madonna’s Mother were displayed on the backdrops. Madonna then performed John Lennon’s pro-peace song «Imagine» when photo montages of war-ravaged children, bombed-out villages and artillery were displayed in the backdrops. Asked why she chose to cover this song Madonna simply said: «I wanted to make a statement with the ultimate peace song».
The final segment started with Scottish bagpiper players parading around the stage in kilts and playing drums and pipes. Madonna appeared onstage in similar long kilts and a white sleeveless t-shirt to perform «Into The Groove» with Scottish bagpiper Lorne Cousin. A video simulation of the rapper Missy Elliott is played during the performance; later on, Madonna started singing «Papa Don’t Preach» Madonna wore black t-shirts with the line «Kabbalists Do It Better» printed on them. Other lines printed on the t-shirts for various other shows included «Midwesterners Do It Better», «Italians Do It Better», «Irish Do It Better» and «Brits Do It Better». «Papa Don’t Preach» is performed with Madonna whirling on the raised platform and then singing the song. During the end-segment while performing that song and «Crazy For You», Which she Dedicates to all her fans for «Sticking by me for the last 20 years!». The last two performances consisted of «Music» and the show closer, «Holiday» which was backed by a montage of morphing flags on the backdrops.
The show ended with cannon shots of confetti and the phrase «Reinvent Yourself» appearing onscreen.