”A fine appreciation for New York”
Here’s another great report from another great Madonna night. M-Tribe friend and Community member DyeAnother Day shares his thoughts and feelings as he just got home from Madonna’s fifth “Confessions” night at the Madison Square Garden.
“Before I say anything (like OMG, the best concert I’ve ever seen… which is true), I would like to say that I am truly humbled. I had no idea how lucky I’d been on this tour to just (basically) effortlessly get great seats by just playing “chicken” until the last minute and buying them on Ticketmaster.
This engagement was a whole different story — I am here to tell you that this show was SOLD OUT and I consider myself extremely lucky to have gotten me there.
To whoever has been watching over me on this marvelous tour and getting me through the door and approving my credit card charges and putting me next to such wonderful people — “Thank you.”
I knew all systems were Go when the first person I saw in Madison Square Garden was Cowboy Man.
He looked me dead in the eye — I’ve worn the same thing every night so people will recognize me. Believe me, the ushers have been really nice to me and no one even looked at my ticket after I got through the door. But I’m really polite.
My next sign that this was going to be a great night was seeing Guy Oseary — and he was up to something.
He was walking around with someone who looked exactly like Bono. At first I thought it was Bono. The man had a blonde female with him who appeared to be an assistant. They were making sketches, taking notes.
The man got inside the catwalk, stepped onto the stage. A couple of cameras came out and walked around him a couple of times.
Chris Lamb was present — they all seeemed to be taking measurements and sizing up the situation.
The music was totally different tonight. No Gorillaz! It actually went off a couple of times, which was kind of odd.
I went to my seat and sat there — when Guy bumped into me (twice) and ended up standing a few feet from me, I knew tonight was going to be awesome! It was like being near a lucky charm. I love his presence.
The first act was smoking hot. Everyone puts so much into the opening number and makes it look so easy. Especially the dancers — who know that all eyes are on Madonna. But they are all so generous with each other and make you feel lucky to be there.
I could tell Madonna was having a GREAT night during “Get Together.” She seemed to put some extra oomph into every move.
From where I was sitting, it appeared that the entire Madonna Fan Club had planted themselves in the front row to her left — I was in the 13th row on non-LAV side. She spotted them immediately and played to them the entire night.
Before “Like A Virgin2, Madonna seemed ready to roar. She said, “Are you ready? I said ARE YOU READY. I SAID ARE YOU READYYYYY?” She put so much into everything tonight. I never once saw her flip into autopilot. Not for a second.
Before “Jump,” she said, “Ladies and Gentlemen — and I use the term loosely — (LOL) welcome to our little show. The night is young, and the show has just begun.”
This of course gets the crowd on their feet and “Jump” begins. Every time I see this show, it feels totally fresh. Depending on where you’re sitting, every number will look totally different.
I cannot even count the number of times the dancers either leapt ONTO of off OF the stage. It is truly eye-popping.
This is one of my TEN favorite numbers in this spectacular show, and Madonna, of course, commands every moment. She vanishes. Again, the first act seems to evaporate in about 30 seconds.
She rises out of the stage on the cross and tonight she is radiant. I felt she was really belting out “Live to Tell” — I was actually taken back a number of times at the strength of her voice and the passion in this song.
The lighting changes on her face are so delicate and detailed and artistic. Of course, you don’t notice a thing, but the light never stops moving on her.
When the stage erupts into flames, I know every person in that room felt something.
The whole second act is pure Madonna.
“Forbidden Love” rocked along nicely. Madonna has always said she wanted to combine thinking and dancing, and I think there’s a certain advantage to hitting your late 40s. I feel she has mastered this. I know the whole room was bopping to this, but it had a great message for those who cared.
I know I’ve said this in every write-up, but “Isaac” is a show-stopper. It takes up about three of the five stages and it’s all blended together so artfully. I promise you, it will come as a surprise. (Oh gosh, half of you have already seen the show, right?)
“Sorry” was tight tonight! Despite some minor problems getting her jacket zipped up correctly, I saw that there is a real method to the madness in this song — it’s not all mayhem. Of course, it never is with Madonna. It’s a tightly run machine, and Madonna is just riveting.
“Like it Or Not” was the best I’ve seen on this tour. Honestly. Madonna means business with this song, but she can look pretty hot at the same time, right? She works this stool like it was a feather, and has the crowd in the palm of her hand.
She is very approachable tonight — reaching out and touching lots of people, pausing to smile or wink at virtually anyone around her. To my eyes, she seemed to be having the best, best time. Of course, it’s all subjective — and it can depend on your seat.
The “Sorry” interlude is really growing on me, but it’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen and, I have to admit, it’s no “Hollywood.” But the dancers do a really amazingly choreographed fight. Everyone is just giving and giving and giving tonight. She brings everyone to top form.
When her silhouette emerged for “I Love New York,” it shot through me for the first time — and this was my eighth show. She just looked perfect, had the most flawless attitude. Somehow it really came together and she looked like a rock and roll goddess.
She said, “Other cities… make me feel like a dork…” She paused for a second, and said, “Actually that’s true.” When Madonna is good, she is great. She was so spontaneous tonight — every word out of her mouth seemed directed straight at US, right at that moment. The audience erupted at this, and she rocked the house with her guitar solo.
On cue, Madonna said, “Okay, I think I see a few people sitting.” But she clearly has just gotten used to saying this, because NO ONE was sitting. As expected, she said, “So this is your chance to redeem yourself. I want to see everyone jumping up and down.”
Previously, this felt like an awkward moment — but tonight the song just came upon her and us like a tsunami. The dancers are in flawless sync tonight — all doing little bits of business, all possessed like demons in a piece of master theater.
Time for Madonna to approach the runway and launch into “Let it Will Be.”
But what’s she doing? She seems sort of focused on approximately the 10th row, walks past it, looks back, walks there again. She thrusts her hand into the crowd — and pulls out a cowboy hat.
So there she is, in the center catwalk, and she is dancing, singing “Let it Will Be,” and she is wearing a cowboy hat.
By this time, the audience is roaring and Madonna has made the ultimate connection with them. That’s what happens — you identify with the person in the audience she’s made the connection with.
She’s soaring — the whole room feels like it elevated about three feet. She spins in circles with the hat, tosses it into the crowd, and a young man named Jason catches it. (More on him later.)
Madonna staggers back to the main stage. She and Stuart have been smiling at each other a lot tonight.
Madonna makes herself comfortable at the foot of the stage. I’m thinking, “Well, she can’t very well admonish the crowd for sitting because we’re on the brink of a volcanic eruption tonight.”
She gulps her water, shuts her eyes and says:
“I’m exhausted. I need to rest.
You know, I have a fine appreciation for New York.”
That was all we needed to hear. SO MUCH better than the “no sitting” blah blah blah.
She continued with this amazing, exceptional moment:
“I came here over 20 years ago, and this city had turned me on and tuned me in. And the Garden has too. There are some very special people in the audience tonight.”
She continued to gulp water and continue with this clearly impromptu moment.
“When I came to this city, a lot of people rejected me. And a lot of people helped me. I want to thank both of them.”
“You guys are really lucky that you get to live here. You are lucky that you get to live.”
“I want to thank all of you for your energy, and I want to thank my front row bitches.”
She then turned her focus on someone up front. She clearly had been flirting with them all night. They might have been wearing an interesting tee-shirt.
I could see her eyes, the determination. I was almost happy I wasn’t the person she was looking at, her stare was so intense.
She looked straight at him/her and said, “You can do whatever you want with your life. Your dreams can come true.”
There appeared to be some small commotion that occured after that — I’m guessing that this individual had a complete nervous breakdown. A good guess, actually.
She then delivered “Drowned World.” And you know what? I got myself a glass of champagne. Me. Drinking alcohol at a Madonna concert. Hey, what the hell. It was a really special night.
She looked INCREDIBLE to the bitter end tonight. She was just phenomenal during “Paradise Not for Me.”
And then — boom — there are the dancers on their skates, in the city where Roller Boogie was born. Those dancers are incredible — Mihran has picked up a really hot move, and Jason just goes completely wild.
Cloud, of course, is the star of this number — and he proves it with his own little entrance, and nails it again. His body is just a work of art.
When Madonna rises in her little white suit, the room is just overjoyed. She is on fire tonight — every movement seems so natural. As she and Tamara and the Asian girl (sorry I don’t know her name) do their routine at the end of the runway, the roof just blows off the place. It’s a complete inspiration, and one of the most exciting things I’ve ever watched.
Again, “Erotica” is just beautiful. Madonna is not holding anything back tonight — when she whips off her suit, her wicked little smile projects out to 20,000 people. She just seems to WANT every person to have the best time. Her dancing is so graceful, so beautiful.
She’s also being very playful tonight — she tosses her vest at Stuart, who is also glowing tonight. I like seeing him have a good night. He looked pretty stressed opening night, but he was groovin’ along with Madonna tonight.
I know everyone is there to see Madonna, but it doesn’t take long to see that this is a group effort, and everyone’s energy is important to Madonna.
“La Isla” and “Lucky Star” were so wonderful. Madonna seemed to be having a terrific time, but she never, ever loses control. She really looks marvelous tonight — the room was NOT hot. I think they had the a/c on because of the New York heat wave. She just looked like a little girl having fun in her room. During “Lucky Star” she came right to the edge of the stage near me, and she gave the most radiant, pure smile out to anyone who could see her. I will never get tired of jumping up and down and trying to get her to look at me, fool that I am.
And then comes the joyous “Hung Up,” which all the ushers and security are now bobbing their heads to. If they didn’t know this song a month ago, they know it now! I must admit, it wasn’t my favorite single, but Madonna is a genius (surrender!) and this song is pure magic in person.
As it wraps up, Madonna seems to have picked up on the way she ended Reinvention. She is now going to each section and getting them to sing along. “Okay, now the right side. Oh come on, the left side was better,” turning it into sort of a contest.
When she was nearest me, I took a long look at her face, her amazing smile and I wasn’t at all surprised that this woman has riveted our attention for 23 years. She’s just a superstar. There is something just supernatural about her. She projects pure energy and all you want to do is smile and sing along with her. She is just simply incredible. There are no words.
The entire troupe is now back on stage and they are being lowered into the stage as “Hung Up” is wrapping up. I am watching the interaction between Cloud and Madonna and wondering what he does to make Madonna laugh. He seems to be giving his all, like he’s on some sort of wonder drug that makes his body move in a superhuman way. He must burn off more calories during “Hung Up” than I do all year.
I’m looking at his face, and I can see him say, “Come on, Mama.” He always manages to make her smile. I didn’t know what people saw in him on Reinvention, but I’m completely wrapped up in him now — he has a major superstar quality.
They are gone. The video screen comes down. “Have you confessed?” And my hands are sore from clapping.
I know I keep saying this, but it really might be my favorite Madonna concert yet.
Thanks to Dye Another Day.