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
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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
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
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.
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