Tuesday, July 18, 2006

All good things must happen again...

...and so I've just committed to going to see Madonna AGAIN this weekend in Miami. Woot!

The show was amazing in Boston. I also had amazing seats, thanks to Brian.

Here's my little quasi-review I sent off to Brian when I came back from Boston:

I arrived at the TD Banknorth Garden at about 7pm and quickly scuttled in to locate my seats – correction – my awesome seats! On the floor, ten seats in from the left of the end-cap of the catwalk/runway. It was rather hot in the arena, so I decided to go wander around a little since I knew that I was all-set with a great view for the show.

Walking around, I saw a tremendously large couple dressed in garb:

Him: Converse high tops, fishnet stockings, sequined baby blue short-shorts, A dark blue satin shirt with the word "Sorry" on the back, and tons of make-up (including false eyelashes) and blonde hair spiking up from his pumpkin head.

Her: Only to be described as Shamu as a "negative" image topped-off by a top hat. She had a "Bride of Frankenstein" motif going on, along with leftover lace from Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart.

After giggling at them, I stood and watched as other Madonnaphiles strutted around to have the proverbial floor yanked out from under them as they saw this delicious couple. More giggles. Jaws dropping.

Later I ran across a girl painted in head-to-toe silver. She had ‘Fever’ scrawled across her rump. It was a fun and freaky thing to see, but considering the 85 degree temperature in the arena, I’d hate to be near her watching her mercury melt.

Saw this cute fag wearing a "Dance Motherfu*ker" t-shirt. I liked that. Considering how Madonna always insists on heavy audience participation (i.e. dancing), this shirt was really appropriate. This dude ended up being an attention whore and sat right behind me. As we were waiting for the show to begin, the crowd would occasionally begin to cheer. This dude would pop up from his seat and put both arms in the air and would proceed to turn to each side of the stadium. I think he thought we were cheering for him, but we weren’t. Maybe I just perceived him incorrectly, because once the show began he was a non-stop energy machine and I had fun watching him.

Never judge a book by its arrogance?

I had a cute young gay bee sitting next to me, and I think he was with his mother. He was really sweet and became my concert companion, as it was our "first time" Madonna experience. He kept looking up at the great big disco ball in the sky, waiting to see her climb inside. I asked him if he was looking for her up there. He said, "Yes." I then told him the theory of how the ball comes down and she climbs inside from under the catwalk. He looked like I killed his dog, but he still remained a loyal companion for the concert. Unfortunately, I never even knew his first name.

After a long wait in the heat, the lights went out and the frenzy ensued. It was 9pm. As soon as the 1.5 ton disco ball lowered from heaven above, my entire row rushed over to the catwalk/runway. Damn! Disco ball looks like it’s going to land on my head. It sits there, music and lights swirl. Madonna and horses fill the screens with beautiful imagery. The anticipation was unbearable. She’s telling us something, but it was inaudible over the screams.

Then, it happened…boom! The disco ball cracked open and revealed that 50-year-ol’ chick inside. I think I peed my pants, but I wasn’t sure if it was pee or sweat running down my leg. I yelled out a "Aw. F*ck!" in the most positive of inflections. There she was. Just out of reach, but close enough to study every toned inch of her. The girl is rock-hard. Make-up perfect. Clothes were amazing. In the words of the ghost-host in the Haunted Mansion, "there’s no turning back now…"

Literally.

This giant steroid guy in the crowd barked that we needed to go back to our seats. Impossible. As we rushed the catwalk, others had followed us. A return to our seats was not going to happen. This guy became a constant annoyance and virtually ruined the show for me, as he was so consumed with where we ended up standing (his seats). He literally wouldn’t even watch the show because he was so concerned about getting everyone to go back to their seats. Everyone ignored him, but I couldn’t. He shared my three feet of personal space and it was terrifying and awkward. I was determined to ignore him and soak up ‘Her Madgesty’ who was RIGHT THERE in front of my face. His friend tried unsuccessfully to get him to "forgeddaboutit." By trying to get the guy to dance. The steroid just couldn’t let it go. Must’ve been his Meth.

Here’s the best that I can do for a song-by-song recap:

1. Future Lovers – This is how it all began. I was in full "Oh my God" mode and it’s really a big blur. I do remember hoping she’d look right at me, or at least point her cattle prod at me. (She never did.) When she slid in Donna Summer’s, "I Feel Love" I was singing along and loving it. LOVING it!

2. Get Together – This was the first shot at checking out the dancers. I must confess, I didn’t soak up Madonna’s singing too much here (she went up to the stage). I ended up looking at each dancer as they came down to the end of the catwalk. They are an incredibly talented group. My personal hotness and fav is of course, Cloud. He seemed to be having the most fun of all of them. His skill was stunning. He’d smile at the crowd and made me melt.

3. Like a Virgin – Watching her make her way up the catwalk on the left of the stage, she climbed aboard the saddle for her merry-go-round pole dance. It was at this moment when I realized, "I can’t believe I am watching Madonna sing the song that made her a household name." It was one of those surreal moments that makes life worth living. Screens on the stage projected actual images of her broken bones from when she fell off the pony.

4. Jump – The giant lighting rig above the center runway began to lower. I had no idea what was going to happen here. Once it rested on the stage, there were various platforms and poles. The male dancers began City Jumping/Free Running (or whatever it’s called). This was extreme athletics and they made it look effortless. Madonna strutted down the while the guys were flying past her. She kept the song going by flipping around on the parallel bars WHILST singing. Fun stuff.

5. Live to Tell – The show turns serious. As the disco cross emerges with a beautiful backdrop of warm yellow-orange sunlight. He clothes were gorgeous. A rich blood-red pair of velvet pants, bright-red belt that looked like it alone was about $1500, and lovely peach/rust orange sheer blouse, and a crown of thorns on her head. Above the crucifix, numbers counted upwards. The numbers continued to grow as she sang the song (very well for the most part). Once the numbers got to 12,000,000, words and images began to appear to remind us how many African kids are abandoned each year, due to AIDS. All sorts of reminders about when we can do. Pretty preachy, but very touching.

6. Forbidden Love – Madonna turns the spotlight on the dancers during this one. Two guys stood side-by-side shirtless. Sexy. She’s singing ‘Forbidden Love’ and she makes it obvious that she’s aware of the struggles gay people go through each day. The dancers did this AMAZINGLY choreographed routine with just their arms. Flipping and intertwining their arms, it symbolized how gay couples struggle to hold hands and express their love, but have to quickly pull away for the fear of someone discovering the hand-holding. Very hard to explain, but was a magnificent visual.

7. Isaac – One of my favorite parts of the show. The backdrop was trippy, the song was, too. Lots of fantastic dancing during this one with the whole group (Madonna front and center). My only gripe was that this was mostly on the stage and the runway wasn’t used. Oh, well. Oh, and she introduced us to "Isaac" at the beginning of the song, "Ok everyone, this is my dear friend, Isaac."

8. Sorry – Crowd insane. Energy on high. Plenty of Madonna flipping the middle finger at Bush on the screens. More SOLID dancing.

9. Like It or Not – Why can’t I remember this one? Oh, that’s right. Steroid confronted us again during this one and after he realized there was nothing that could be done, he gave up. But, not after some words were exchanged. It took some time for me to settle back into the show. I can’t believe this asshole jolted me back to reality during the show. I was pissed.

10. Sorry Video Reprise – more images of "the liars". Rice, Cheney, Blair, Hussein, etc. Political and appropriate. I loved this.

11. I Love New York – A little white line began on the left of the stage and started outlining skyscrapers on the back-drop. I knew I was headed to New York. She popped up from the lift on the stage and revealed a new outfit (kind of hard to see), but it consisted of all black and had feathers around her neck. Black guitar strapped to her, she began strumming I love new Yorrrrrrrrk I feel like a dork. She looks so damn ROCK CHICK cool. Boston didn’t get into this song. I hear there’s big rivalry between the two cities. When Madonna said, "I love Boston, TOO!" The crowd erupted. This was the only song during the show that I thought my ears might bleed.

12. Ray of Light – Effortless transition into this song. I knew right away we were headed into this one. More filler than anything, I still enjoy this song. It just keeps on driving. She’s still on the stage giving her best ‘Blondie’ impersonation. Obviously not lip-synched and very top-notch.

13. Let It Will Be – Stripping down to "Roadie" attire of a black t-shirt and black jeans. Hair tousled. Make-up more faint. This performance was really unusual. I can’t explain her dancing during this in any way other than intentionally frantic. It was actually very captivating and freeform. Wasn’t sure what she was going to do next, you know? No dancers on stage here, just her. When she started stumbling down the middle catwalk we were going nuts. This was a fun one. The images on the screen were live camera shots of her, but in "negative" or "reverse" image (see Shamu lady above).
At the end of this song she went to drink out of her water bottle. Someone yelled, "I love you!" and Madonna asked, "you LOVE me? Hmm…would you die for me? You would? How ‘bout that? Someone in Boston would die for me!"

14. Drowned World/Substitute for Love – One of my favorite songs. Where’s my lighter?

15. Paradise (Not for Me) – I think I zoned out on something here. Maybe the steroid-meth "issue" again.

16. Disco Inferno/Music Mashup – BAM!!! This was a frenzy! Rollerskating dancers doing breakdancing. Cloud’s pants had a downward-pointing arrow drawn on the rear of his pants pointing directly at his "hole". Lovely. The mix of music was genius. The energy in the arena shook the floor. She popped out in her whiter-than-white Travolta Saturday Night Fever suit. This was stunning and a huge highlight of the evening.

17. Erotica – One of my favorite moments happened at the opening of this song. Four LED disco balls came down above the stage. The one on the left shot a spotlight down directly on the stage (the rest of the stage was a dimly lit blue). Madonna stepped into that shaft of light and removed her jacket seductively as the notes of Erotica pulsed. Bam. That light went out and the spotlight emitting from the disco ball on the right lit up. She sauntered over and peeled off her shirt, revealing the top portion of that white and blue leotard. Bam. That light went out and the middle two lit up. She stepped into the light and unlike Carol Anne, she pulled her pants off. Erotica indeed. Big dancing with the cast.

18. La Isla Bonita – That same Guitar dude from previous tours started strumming those beautiful notes. She blew with amazing vocals! VERY good. As she came back down the middle catwalk with the dancers, she got us doing that fabulous latino-island-handclap that matches this song. Ta-ta-tada-dada-da-da. Lovely.

19. Lucky Star – At the end of the previous song, she collapses face down front and center on the stage. A white satin cape is held up to show that it reads, "Dancing Queen". It’s draped over her. Then the famous sound of the beginning of Lucky Star kicks up and she stands to open the cape with white lights on the inside lining. Oh so cool. Dancing Dancing Dancing.

20. Hung Up – everything builds to this. She disappeared and the dancers blew us all away. When Madonna reappeared, she was dressed in the purple leotard from the "Hung Up" video. The dancing here was insane and perfect – very similar to the actual video. The giant disco ball lowered and illuminated the entire arena. Madonna came down the each catwalked and shouted at us to sing with her. "I can’t HEAR youuuuu…" Big crescendo in the music and…pow…gold mylar confessions balloons dropped from the sky. Each dancers diappeared into the hole at the end of the catwalk. She said, "Thank you!" The music then cranked down like a vehicle slowing down.

The lights went dark and the video screen asked us, "Have you confessed?"

It was a journey that I will never forget. In my next posting, I will send a brief video clip that is almost identical to the view I had. In fact, it was taken only three rows behind me.

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