As Madonna kicks off the European leg of her Re-Invention World Tour at the MEN Arena and comes back to Manchester years after her performance at The Hacienda, her fans get ready to sing "Happy Birthday" to their Queen. The Tribe Team was there and tells you all about it.


The Re-Invention World Tour debuted in Europe in Manchester on August 14.
The Tribe gang was there to witness the event but while some of us were patiently waiting at the box officice of the MEN Arena to get our Icon tickets something weird happened and for a moment we feared the show was going to be cancelled.

It all happened in a matter of seconds.
An announcement asked people to leave the premises while 3 trucks of the fire brigade arrived on the back entrance of the venue where a bunch of Madonna fans were watching the scene a bit puzzled.

We were actually a bit scared but it was just a matter of minutes.

So, after queing (again) to get our tickets at the box office we finally went in.
We were fourth row centre and it seemed so incredible to be that close to the stage, we didn't know then we would have the chance to see re-Invention even closer from the dance pit in Wembley.

A girl front row, Dita'sLittleLamb was wearing her Tribers do it better t-shirt. We spotted other people wearing the T-shirt both in Manchester and in London and it made us very proud.

When the show started we were so overwhelmed that we didn't even see that during Vogue Madonna was wearing her new lilac corset.

Both corsets look really different live, no picture of video can give a proper idea of all the shining and the glittering, and under the stage lights we just asked ourselves, "is this a new one or not?".


When you're so close to the stage you get an incredible view of Madonna herself, but at the same time you're so close that you almost miss what's happening around. When the giant screens are closed, you can't even look at them in their entirety without moving your yes left and right, up and down.

Everyone was taking pictures like mad that night, it was like everybody were so excited to be there, they wanted to go back home with a tangible proof they actually saw Madonna live. And this probably was something unexpected and too much flashes probably caused some troubles on stage.

That first night the show was great and we all had such a wonderful time. For us it was the first time we were seeing live something we almost know everything about since many days.


We decided not to remain spoiler free as this year we really had no choice. We were somehow convinced that the live show would have been something different anyway, no matter how many pictures we had been seeing before, or how many times we had been listening to the live recordings of the show of watching footage from inside the venues.
And I'm happy to say we were right. Months of spoilers disappeared in a blink of an eye as soon as a pale skinned Madonna was elevated from the stage floor up in the air an started doing her Vogue routines.



It was also the night we finally met in person a lot of the friends we had on Tribe forum like the one and only Sharon, Gareth and Tonybecks.
Such wonderful guys who were actually very busy preparing the special surprise for Madonna for the second show.
Gareth came up with the idea of singing Happy Birthday to Madonna on September 15 show, the day before her birthday.

He had put a post on MadonnaTribe forums weeks before and created a special mailing list to inform people and study the best way to do preparate the secret plan on how to get an arena of thousands to sing to Madonna the happy birthday song.


While Sharon crafted the Happy Birthday letters all by herself, Dita'sLittleLamb had thousands of flyers printed that were later handed out by Tribers on the door as people were heading to their seats and then once again in the sections.
The flyers asked the audience to sing Happy Birthday 3 times in between "Papa don't Preach" and "Crazy for You".

A letter the night before was passed to the sound engineer that gave it to musical director Stuart Price to involve the band too. All expressed their interest and indicated that it was a great idea.

Before the show Sharon and Gareth handed the letters to people on the fifth row (I was holding a H).
Thank God it worked.

As Madonna started speaking after Papa Don't Preach, backsinger Siedah Garrett interupted and in that exact moment the crowd came together as one and sang Happy Birthday, the band and the dancers joined in.

Our Queen of Pop was overtaken by emotion.


She thanked the fans reminding us that she had a guardian angel looking over her and how we all each had our own guardian angel. And then dedicated "Crazy for You" to all of us.

It was such a great moment and I would like to thank our friends AussieG, Wannabe, Gogobillyboy, Tonybecks, Impressive_Manchester, Jamesy, Dita'sLittleLamb, rayoliteuk, AndyUK and everyone who helped making that moment coming true.


As Tribers finally knew after the second Lisbon show, the concert didn't really changed much from venue to venue.

No change at all in the set list, some funny jokes going on in Arnhem and some cold and rain (and a fix catwalk) at Slane Castle.

But something different actually happened in Manchester, and that's not only the Birthday thing.

During the Bags and Pipes interlude, there was a new face in the players brigade.
It was Steven Kilbride, the guy who taught the dancers the classic pipers routines, who was on stage to replace one injured dancer.

If you there there you may remember him for the different costume he was wearing, and also from some loud shots by captain dancer Zach Woodlee who was giving some special instructions to the team.

We later had the chance to talk to Stevie and he said he really had a great time during the tour, and that Madonna has some awesome fans.
We can say, she has awesome bagpipers, too!

It was finally time to move to London.
We knew that our luck had already played at its best since in no other venue we had managed to get such great seats as those in the MEN Arena.


But at the same time we were curious to see the show in different cities and venues, with different crowds, and also to have a chance to see the concert from a more distant point of view to enjoy everything in a different way, too.

We just didn't know that we were going to see Queen Esther - as her guitar picks read - even more close. But that's another story, and another Triber will let you know about that.

Click on the photo album below to browse MadonnaTribe's collection of souvenir cards from the Re-Invention Tour's European premiere in Manchester with exclusive pictures.


Copyright 2004 MadonnaTribe