Among the many traits for which Madonna is known—musicality; versatility; accents, even when she shouldn’t—“listening to rules and regulations” has never really been among them. (After all, it’s Truth Or Dare, not Truth Or Respect Local Zoning Ordinances.) And so a potentially tense situation came to a fairly predictable end this week, when a concert venue in London reminded the world-famous singer that it really needed her to be done with the latest show on her Madame X tour by 11, a deadline that Madonna and company proceeded to blow right past. (To be fair, they did their best; the performance was reportedly just one song from completion when the deadline struck.) Still: Curfews is curfews, and so the London Palladium dutifully shut off the lights and music mid-show, and dropped the literal curtain on the performance.
At which point, Madonna and her dancers stormed back on to the stage and performed the final song a capella, with most of the crowd singing along. In an Instagram post about this plucky, come-from-behind victory for one of the planet’s most recognizable and successful performers, Madonna dubbed the Palladium’s decision to pull the plug on her as “censorship,” even though it seems a lot more like, “Jeeze, c’mon lady, we’d really like to sleep tonight.” (Per the BBC, some of Madonna’s Madame X dates in the U.S. have run several hours late, schedules be damned.) Still, this particular incident has to be summed up as a fairly happy ending: The music got played, the audience got a story about watching their hero speak truth to the power of a dropping red curtain, and Madonna even (in an earlier performance) performed a public apology for that weird British accent she used to do when she and Guy Ritchie were together. “I didn’t know what anyone was talking about until I heard old interviews of myself,” she said on stage. “And then I was horrified and flabbergasted. Why did you let me do that to myself? I’m from Michigan!”