Don’t go for second best, baby! During Madonna‘s performance at Boston’s TD Garden Monday night, the singer performed her beloved single “Express Yourself” for the first time on her Celebration Tour.
Before performing the song, Madonna held up a beer bottle and saluted the new year, saying she’d start the year with “gratitude” before she picked up an acoustic guitar. The singer thanked her kids who join her during the shows, describing them as “beautiful, talented, intelligent, opinionated” children.
She joked that she wished her “other two” would be with her too, but “they’ve moved on.”
“I’m very grateful, because while they may need me as a mother, I must admit that I need them,” she said during her set. “And I need you, and we need each other, ’cause family isn’t just what you’re born into. Family is the family that you create.”
After the speech, she sang a verse from the classic “This Little Light of Mine” before singing the second verse of “Express Yourself.”
“While I’m telling you right now what I need, I also wanna tell you what I don’t need,” she added before performing the song: “You don’t need diamond rings or 18-karat gold/Fancy cars that go very fast, you know they never last, no, no.”
The acoustic rendition — which included the chorus and third verse — replaced a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” that’s typically a part of Madonna’s recent set list.
“Her voice is still as strong as ever, and she won’t be able to make out with dozens of dancers onstage forever, so now is the perfect time for her celebration,” read a Rolling Stone review of the show.
Madonna commenced the U.S. leg of her tour in New York City in mid-December. She’s set to perform in Toronto later this week. She’ll return to Madison Square Garden in late January.