She Loves New York
From DyeAnotherDay (and Madonna’s) second night at The Garden:
“This afternoon, even if a Row A seat appeared on Ticketmaster, I told myself I would not take it.
My feet are over.
I am deaf. I am tired.
I begged for a blah seat in the loge and I got my wish around 2:30.
A faux VIP I was, sitting and pouting in my Section 47 seat.
The guy next to me was super-cute and was wearing a Batman mask! Where do I find these people?
The room filled up pretty quickly and there was a nice, happy energy. Opening nights can be intense and press-oriented. And tonight was a nice, mid-week date with our favorite girl…
M A D O N N A.
I spotted Madiva at his usual spot. I saw him in the exact same seat every single night for Confessions.
Tonight he was in his Old School look: a ratty wig, black hoodie, and red shorts.
As usual, he seemed to be engrossed in conversation with Guy Oseary — who is lookin’ FINE. I must say, he is one sexy young man!!!
Things seemed sort of odd tonight.
The drum set is sitting in the middle of the center stage, as is the DJ booth.
At first I thought nothing of it, just that maybe they were taking their time.
But at 8:15 pm, the lights went BLACK. I thought it was a technical difficulty.
But no, there is an opening act! It was like, Hamutsun Serve and Big Baby or something.
Let me tell you, it’s a good thing that I wasn’t on drugs! These people were just too much — all decked out in silver outfits with neon-colored dreadlocks. For one number — they literally did not move! It was like an exercise in being wax figures.
They cried “Thank you America” and pranced off the stage!!!
This got the crowd warmed up, and another half hour passed while the room continued to fill up. Lots of tee-shirts, programs, beers, hoots and hollers!
Finally, the lights went out after 9:20.
The first two songs are a spectacle from a distance.
From up front, I failed to appreciate the way the video screens begin to separate and break up, revealing Madonna on her throne.
To be honest, I think this is the weakest entrance she has attempted thus far, but you have no pulse if you don’t scream the minute you see Madonna.
She tosses her cane, descends the stairs, and begins her little spectacle.
The opening number is extremely tight, and her sexy dancing really gets the crowd up front screaming. “My sugar is RAW.”
She prances to the center stage, which is much more elaborate than Confessions was. I’m glad I viewed it from above.
There is a much deeper barracade around it, and there are actually about six little ramps that shoot out from all sides. Those around it for Confessions might be a bit disappointed to be held at a distance from their idol.
Out comes the Rolls, and Madonna is all over it — it reminds me so much of the way she crawled all over the disco ball.
As it exits, Madonna leans against the rear and pushes it away… a la the Cadillac from the 4 Minutes video.
She thinks of everything.
Last night I also noticed that Madonna has more of a full bar at the drum set.
She usually has either clear water or tea-colored water, but now she appears to have a full tray of liquids to choose from. I saw clear Poland Springs, as well as a tea-colored Volvic bottle, and a pot that looked like it might contain something warm. Someone poured some into a cup for her last night.
Also, the stage area is absolutely crawling with people in black. They even have black ski masks. I wouldn’t have even noticed them from the loge, you have to be up front. But they are absolutely everywhere.
Madonna stands in the center of the center stage as it rises her up into the air. LADIES WITH AN ATTITUDE. FELLAS THAT WERE IN THE MOOD.
Madonna is now surrounded by her dancers — I cannot take my eyes off Paul. I’m not sure how I feel about “Vogue” — I’d say it pleases the house. Madonna twirls back to the main stage, is lowered into it, while the dancers remain on the center stage to briefly entertain every homo, hetero, and bisexual human being in the house. (I hope I’ve covered it.)
Thus ends the first act.
The video for “Die Another Day” is just SICK. She looks so fucking amazing — the crowd really screams at the first sight of her abs. It is really one of her best. Again, two dancers box it out at the center stage.
Neon-bright Keith Haring animation takes over the video, and Madonna hops onto the stage jumping rope to perform “Into the Groove.” She invites many in the crowd to again sing along with her. I’ve always thought that this is one of her best songs, and I’m happy that she has found a way to continue to perform it 23 years later and keep it feeling contemporary.
She lays down on the stage, while one of those heart monitors goes beep beep beep in the background. Two dancers have rushed to Madonna, who is laying on the stage, and remove (and replace) her shoes.
Madonna slowly starts humping the stage to the beat, and finally comes alive at the first chord of “Hearbeat.” (Think of the way you first saw her move during “Vogue” for RIT, to the sound of the drum.)
I keep my eye on the spot where I sat last night and, like a fool, see she comes over and lays down at the same spot again, and does virtually the same schtick, right down to the hand slapping, the bitch.
But “Heartbeat” is a fabulous number — it works very well indoors. It’s turned into one of my favorite numbers.
And here it comes: one of Madonna’s brightest moments.
Sometimes I think her work can be forced — but sometimes it pays off brilliantly.
Of course the guy next to me in the Batman mask is screaming his hot little head off — (he’s seen every U.S. show so far), but it takes a moment for the crowd to realize that they are hearing “Borderline“.
While it may have bugged some people a la Hung Up, I have to say it works very, very well. The crowd, to me, seemed to be asbolutely eating it up.
Tonight was one night that I was very aware I was in New York. I thought her recent tours were more international, but tonight felt cozy.
As Madonna and Monte bring the house down with “Borderline” I am absolutely posititive that they sample the Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” or Iggy Pop’s “Raw Power.”
In any event, Madonna looks like a LIGHT BULB. She just seems to be lit from within. Her ability to connect with an audience is just astonishing. There has never, ever been anyone like her! Never will be!
And now those lovely wannabes rise out of the stage.
Last night, they rushed past me with black drapes over their heads and roadies with flashlights. But in the loge, they just magically appear.
They are very graceful and poised…
This is as Madonna says, “Have you ever had a friend who dresses exactly like you? What’s that about.”
I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help be be embarrassed for Madiva. There he was in his little Barbie-twin outfit about three feet from her, while Madonna sings “She’s Not Me.”
Now laying on the ground, she tears off her shorts, rolls around a little (think Like it Or Not), while a real subway has emerged onto the stage.
Well, it sure LOOKS real. It looks fucking INCREDIBLE!!! It’s HUGE!
The entire group gathers for one of Madonna’s signature songs (yes, she has about six), and they give a satisfying version of it.
I must say, however, that while Madonna’s voice is very strong tonight, she flubbed lyrics at least four times.
“Music,” the only number Madonna has chosen to perform in every tour of the 00’s.
After the “Rain” interlude, Madonna is now at the center stage, completely obscured in a deep black cape, performing “Even the Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You” in a crisp, clear voice.
The sound for this segment is flawless. It has to be. There’s no relying on the dancers, Monte, or anyone else. You have to hear Madonna, period.
The circular video that surrounds the center stage is breathtaking! And it, again, is a big development over the Confessions stage.
First, I catch onto the “Rain” connection, as rain first pours down, then turns into a spectacular waterfall. I think everyone really GASPED. Then water erupted like a GEYSER. It covered Madonna completely many times, but was very effective. She continues to find ways to entertain without the camera always being on her face.
Well, the entire next section is so fantastic!
I have to say, “Spanish Lesson” and “Miles Away” were fun to listen to, and Madonna always perks up when she performs her new material.
Of course “La Isla” is much more special that I had expected, and when they all curl up around Lolli Lolli (or whatever), it was a genius way for Madonna to actually JOIN the audience, taking a shot of something out of Paul’s flask.
Tonight, “You Must Love Me” just about stopped the show. At her first pauses, the audience just started roaring and roaring and the whole thing became this singular instant. Loving Madonna. She absolutely soaks it up.
I don’t quite get this character Madonna has chosen for her night at a Rave, but there she is in the Xena outfit, riding along with the pillars, and Justin, and about 50 invisible people making this intricate moment happen with few hitches.
Madonna doesn’t look terribly comfortable, but she loses the top pretty fast, and reveals a cyber-sexy uber-metal boustier for “Like a Prayer.”
Okay, I have to tell you something.
I have been to the Garden many times. Many people have said it does shake. That if 20,000 people make the same motion repeatedly, that this gigantic room will shake.
I feel I have felt it shook a couple of times, but it shook during “Like a Prayer.” It shook. The entire floor, for some reason, are all jumping up and down in time. All the way to the back.
Even the loges were clapping — Batman was going crazy all night, and the chicks in front of me were jumping, and the room honestly shook. It happened. It was a club, with lasers shooting all over the room, and everyone dancing with Madonna. It ends as the center screen circles Madonna and SHOOTS into flames like a volcano!
“Ray of Light” doesn’t really do it for me, but I’m happy that the room continues to rock and shake to this, another signature number. I looked up at the monitor at her, and her cheeks do appear to look slightly different. I don’t know why.
The night gets wilder….
She takes requests, and someone shouts “I Love New York.” I didn’t think she’d grab it, but it was amazing.
They didn’t just sing a few bars — she SANG the song, and so did the audience, and I don’t think I’m going to experience many things in my life like that. Even at the part where “and you can suck George Bush’s dick,” Monte couldn’t resist and let off a chord at “dick.”
It was REALLY GOOD.
This is all I have to say to you lucky guys in London: I saw “You’ll See” and this.
Madonna wraps up the night with “Hung Up.” Last night I said that she has mastered this song, but she didn’t seem to be focused tonight. This is a hard number for her to perform, but she has stuck with it.
It’s time to cut loose with “Give it 2 Me.”
Do you remember the Latin guy who made the Crucifix tee-shirt who went to every show? Then she wore his tee-shirt in London.
He got the mike to his face during “Give it 2 Me,” and, after, twirled into the crowd and I believe he fainted.
She stopped at two hot-looking guys on the runway and they really SANG.
And then she went over and laid down right were she did last night, right where I was.
The dancers gather in two groups on either end. Madonna ascends the stairs and disappears into the video screens while the dancers are lowered.
Game Over: around 11:20.”
Special thanks to DyeAnotherDay.