NYC1: Drama and Triumph opening night
A special thank you to our friend DyeAnotherDay for bringing the fans “with him” inside the Madison Square Garden last night for a show of drama and glory that will not be easy to forget.
Here’s an excerpt of the updates he posted in the M-Tribe Forum.
“There was an absolute mob scene out front. I’ve never seen so many people outside the Garden. It was getting rather large, impatient. It was unpleasant standing there so long, starting to really crush. At about 7:30, I said, “This is weird. Something’s happening.”
They opened the doors at 7:45 and there was a mad dash, even though we had reserved seats. I guess everyone really wanted to get in, find their seats, start drinking.
The energy inside was kind of weird and intense, so I just sat down.
There was no music playing, which was strange. The crew still seemed to be doing things onstage until 8:30. Like, this guy got onstage with a giant grey card to do color tests for the monitor. At 8:30.
Angela Becker was standing near me. I couldn’t resist – I put on a pleasant smile and said, “Hi Angela!” She gave me a huge smile and said, “Hi!” She really seemed like a lovely, lovely person.
Jamie King raced past me and he did not look happy. There were crew members dashing all over the place. Security was pacing around everywhere, uttering things into their walkie-talkies.
I did not see Cowboy Man. The first time I haven’t seen him at a Madonna concert this tour.
Rosie O’Donnell was front row, again, very serious about taking pictures.
At 9:05 someone stepped up to the microphone. He said:
“Ladies and gentlemen. Ladies and gentleme, please.” A hush took over the room.
“Due to technical difficulties, tonight’s concert cannot be performed as it was conceived. Madonna apologizes for this.
The show will begin in 15 minutes. Madonna asks that you understand the concert will be performed with imperfections. Thank you.”
The lights dimmed at 9:20.
I don’t know if this was added since I saw the show in L.A., but a deafening sound of horses galloping fills the arena during the gorgeous, Steven Klein video.
As the disco ball began its descent, I knew I would be seeing something unforgettable tonight, June 28 2006, Madonna’s 18th performance at the Garden, the opening nite of Confessions – a night that began over an hour late and has “technical difficulties.”
At this point, I must say, I don’t know what the fuck a bad crowd is. All I can say is that crowd exploded with cheers and applause. Personally, I don’t know how an artist could ask more from an audience, especially one that has been sitting there for two hours.
We love Madonna. We showed it.
Thankfully, I had a seat parallel to the center stage and I, finally, on my fourth Confessions concert, got to see that amazing ball open and see Madonna standing there, bathed in purple light.
As New York must be considered one of the capitals of leather, kink, and S&M, Madonna and Company delivered an opening number that virtually melted down with intensity. Madonna was camping up every minute, and her dancers seemed to be the only ones not having any difficulties whatsover.
They were so great. I will never get that trot to the stage out of my mind as Madonna breaks in “I Feel Love,” in the city where that song was born.
Personally, I thought the first act was utterly superb. I thought Madonna was spot on. She absolutely connected with the entire catwalk and the people up front. “Like A Virgin” was everything you want from Madonna. “Get Together” really rocked the house. “Jump” was absolutely great.
Up to that point, I thought the show was absolute dynamite.
As expected, Madonna rises out of the stage on the cross.
I noticed that she wasn’t acting during this song. In L.A., she was really acting, hanging her head in pain, like it was a movie like “Passion of the Christ.”
But I was riveted by her face tonight. Once again, I am floored by this woman’s eyes — no one has eyes like Madonna. I thought the arrangement of this song was beautiful — I think Stuart has done a beautiful job with it. I love the key change when she is lowered from the cross.
Since she has obviously been talking about this number, I think she really began owning it. It’s more about her now — and she looked defiant and triumphant during it.
It was the last perfect moment of the show.
I actually loved “Forbidden Love.”
But I could tell that the stage was starting to crumble in a state of dissaray.
One video screen seemed to be sort of squeezed aside. I peeked backstage and it was pandemonium. People were rushing around in circles.
The cross, the “Sorry” cage, the drum kit, Stuart’s keyboards – everything looked like it was jammed into a storage area. I like watchind Madonna confer with Stuart, and they both had faces of stone tonight. They actually didn’t talk about anything. She just kept looking over at him. He handed her her water once — it was actually very sweet.
I thought Madonna really let it rip during “Isaac.” She was great. I thought it represented her best dancing of the night.
The crowd rose off the floor for “Sorry,” which Madonna lip-syncs. She kisses the female dancers, peels on a chocolate leather jacket and gives an explosive number.
I can’t put my finger on what was wrong, but visually the stage looked out of order and there wasn’t much beautiful to look at.
By this time, I thought Madonna was going to knock ’em dead during “Like it Or Not.” But she looked on autopilot. She wasn’t smiling at all and this particular song was extremely uninspired — I was surprised. It was great in L.A. At the end, I saw her throw her stool at a roadie near the stage and shot glares of hell at someone up front. She vanished for a quick touch-up while the Sorry interlude took over the room.
This was the moment I was waiting for — “I Love New York.”
I couldn’t tell what was wrong, but Madonna was stone-faced. I could not believe that she didn’t say, “Hey New York!” Or something. I also, at this point, took note that she had not spoken during the concert. The only thing she said was before “Jump.” She said, “Welcome to our little show. The evening has just begun.” And she barely spoke after that.
Fortunately, the crowd took over for this number. They loved New York. The song certainly “happened,” but it was completely uneventful. She didn’t move or smile during the number. There was nothing to look at onstage. The New York skyline appeared and seemed to sort of malfunction.
She did come to the edge of the stage and really let loose on the guitar. Boy, did she work. She got down on her knees and gave it her all. It was killer. I noticed that all security guards were craning their necks to get a look at her during this visual highlight.
The dancers came out for “Ray Of Light.” Madonna said, “Okay, you guys have to jump up and down during this! Yes, that means YOU!”
“Ray Of Light” was great. I really enjoyed it. Every time the dancers stepped onstage, the room lit up and the energy was relieved. The dancers were in top form tonight. I think tension can sometimes be good.
“Let it Will Be” was another visual highlight. The crowd near her was certainly going crazy. She goes wild during this number. I kind of felt that whatever problems might be behind her. It was like going over the peak of a mountain. It was a very genuine, pure performance.
After, “Let it Will Be”, she seated herself at the steps onstage and said:
“Okay, I’ve been fucking everything up tonight. I’ve been so nervous. You guys got me all worried and I wanted to impress you. But then, I realized – you don’t care anyway, right?”
It was strange — she seemed lost. I’ve never seen her like that. She kind of rambled and didn’t seem to know where she was going with it.
Then she said, “But I still have an ego that needs stroking, so c’mon, make me feel good.”
She held the mike out to the crowd, which gave her loud cheers. She said, “C’mon, you can do better than that. My ego really needs it.”
Very, very loud cheers.
Then she just sat there for what seemed like a rather long time. She didn’t seem to focus on the front rows as I had seen her do in L.A. Nonetheless, I felt she reigned the evening back in and delivered a very beautiful Drowned World. But she kind of seemed to be singing it to herself.
She pulled up a stool during “Paradise” and I would say she was somewhat detached after introducing “my friend Isaac.” Maybe she was just concentrating, but there wasn’t much glow during this particular number tonight. The center video screen was working but the edges of the stage just didn’t seem finished or connected.
You cannot go wrong with “Music Inferno.” A huge sigh of relief came over the room as the Tramps “Disco Inferno” filled the room. Don’t forget — “Saturday Night Fever” takes place in New York. Everyone enjoyed this, and those dancers… they are so great. They make it look so easy. They really were spotless during this especially Cloud and Mihran and the Asian girl and the girl who’s been on all of M’s tours of the 00’s. (Sorry, I don’t know her name.”
I looked at Cloud prepare for his amazing stunt. He closed his eyes, wiped his face and took off. He did it pretty good. Almost flawless — I dont’ even know how he does it.
The crowd burst into cheers at the sight of Madonna in her little white suit. She strutted to the center stage and was fantastic. She can look like a little girl sometimes. She had a huge smile on her face. The whole room exploded with this great moment. She was fantastic during “Music.”
Her dancing partner looked like he was having a good night and they did their great tango together.
Madonna did seem completely mechanical during this. It requires very perfect dancing and singing and she looked like a little plastic doll.
I think it depends on where you sit — it sounded like “Erotica” to me in my seat. But on one night in L.A. it was distinctly “You Thrill Me.”
Next up is La Isla Bonita — which I think Madonna always enjoys. The crowd certainly did and the dancers were really keeping the show very alive during it. It was really nice.
Madonna has really become comfortable with the cape and “Lucky Star”.
It’s interesting — “Superman” is opening in New York on Friday… and she really looked like Supergirl. She looked like a little superhero spreading her wings. She didn’t seem very involved though.
When she came over to our catwalk, she looked like a complete disaster area. She looked like she had shampooed her hair and then drove around in a convertible with the top down. Her hair had no shape whatsover — and I remember that it was so beautiful in L.A.! But it’s humid here. Her made the last songs of Blond Ambition Nice France look like it had been freshly styled. She couldn’t even keep it out of her face, the poor thing. Bad hair day.
Her makeup had completely melted into her face.
Madonna vanished for the fastest touch up in history. Someone fixed her hair a little. She is wearing the most gigantic glasses in the world, a purple sequined top, and a black leotard. She rose out of the stage — but she didn’t do her little dance. At this point, she seemed kind of over it. That surprised me. In L.A. (and on the Grammies), she kind of did this headbanging thing and really started dancing. But tonight she just stood there, more like posing. It was very hard to see her face by this time, with the glasses, her out of control hair, sweat, makeup, and she wasn’t really looking at or focusing on the audience.
She strutted out to the catwalk and did her little “Time Goes By” thing for a long time. The people around the catwalk were clearly eating it up. Madonna touched a couple of people. I’d say the audience was rocking along with her and it was a nice rousing moment. Again, the dancers are incredible during this and all looked like they were having a blast.
As they were lowered into the stage, Madonna was barely moving. The video screen surrounded them and then… nothing. There were a few minutes of confusion and then… as the crowd started breaking up… the “Have you Confessed?” thing scrawled across it.
Concert over: 11:25.
All in all, I loved it. I like watching Madonna on her toes. You’ll get a few moments of real magic. It was rough during patches — but so what? I like a little variety. I think the crowd was satisfied — they seemed to love it. It was drama from start to finish.
Now I HAVE to see it just ONE more time. I need one perfect New York show!
Thanks for reading this. You guys are the best.”
Dye Another Day.