Friday, October 31, 2008

Spotted: Madonna in Vancouver
Madonna + Canada = Madonna-da!

Yup, I spotted her alright... and so did 60,000 other fans who sold out BC Place Stadium for Madonna's FIRST EVER Vancouver concert. The Sticky and Sweet Tour finally came to town 5 months after tickets first went on sale near the end of last May.


I’ve waited years ... decades, really ... to see a Madonna concert and WOW was it ever fantastic, amazing, fun and just so totally good and great. And hot to boot!

Seriously, I’ve been SO geeked about this concert for such a long time now ... I felt like a dog with a full bladder who's been teased with a leash and the promise of 'walkeez'. The actual coming to fruition of something so desperately anticipated was nearly overwhelming!

My excitement grew even more once Danny and I were in our seats, waiting for the show to start. I actually started to believe that my bladder really was full.

I knew it was just nerves, but what did I do anyway? I went to the men’s room and to my surprise found a line up of women waiting to get in!

Turns out, there were so many ladies in the hiz last night, and their washrooms were so busy, that they just threw out all conventions and - in behaviour I have no doubt was inspired by Madonna’s eternal gender-fuck attitude - lined up to do their thang in the men’s room.

Ha! I love it! In fact I loved it so much that I took a photo. The lovely ladies didn’t seem to mind one bit (neither did the guy doing up his fly at the left of the image).

I got back to my seat and waved at my sister, brother and Mom in their seats about five sections away from where I was seated.

Actually, there were tons of people I know also seated very close to me including former co-workers, current co-workers, a former house mate, and even Danny's gorgeous cousins happened to be only four rows in front of us. That was really quite surprising to be surrounded by so many familiar faces in our immediate area.

As for some of the other faces in the crowd, I've now heard on local news reports that some folks with floor seats paid up to $2700 for a ticket! Hmmm... we really are living in a material world, aren't we?

FINALLY, at 9:25pm the lights went down and Madonna came out! Sister was REALLY late starting her show, but... I forgive.

The show opened with Candy Shop - when I looked at the ginormous video screen beside the stage and took note of Madge’s thighs and ass, I was amazed at how ridiculously fit she is! Dare I say that I was thisclose to being turned on by her musculature ... haha.

I also loved all the candy imagery on screens behind the dancers and musicians, especially the huge spinning candy corns which is one of my all-time favourite candies.

In 'Candy Shop', there was something special about the conviction she lent to singing the line “my sugar is raw” - it was like, "MY sugar is RAW!"

Early in the show Madonna ventured out to the runway portion of her massive stage and upon arrival there she likely became aware of the presence of tobacco or marijuana because on microphone she said 'please don't smoke around the stage, thank you'.

Since it's now rare in Vancouver to come across cigarette smokers in action outside their own homes or cars, I'm guessing she was picking up some second-hand smoke from some B.C. bud - little might she know that shit is known to be so strong that by the time she may have inhaled any smoke from someone else, she was probably already higher than her own red stiletto heels.

The first set also included a couple of ol’ faves - ‘Human Nature’ which as you might know is the portion of the show including a Britney Spears video 'appearance'. In the video she wears a hoodie in an elevator and mouths the 'Human Nature' lyrics “express yourself, don’t repress yourself”.

Back to Madonna, she also played quite an interesting version of 'Vogue' which incorporated music elements of ‘4 Minutes’. Honestly, I would have preferred a more traditional performance of Vogue simply because it is such a classic with it's bouncy piano and familiar house-y drum beat. But we all know that Madge is quite literally the queen of reinvention, so that in itself makes it fascinating to be exposed to her latest take on older material.

I felt kind of the same way with ‘Into the Groove’ which was presented with a complete restructure of the original recording. But soon after that she freaking rocked out on a totally-guitared-to-the-max rendition of ‘Borderline’. The moment she began playing it, and as it played out note by note, I just thought it was brilliant and a terrific and fresh sound on a quarter-century old song.

‘She’s Not Me’ was pure megalomaniacal fun – as Madonna dedicated the tune to all the ladies in the house, she performed it surrounded by four ‘versions’ of her ‘self’ on stage with her.

Four dancers were costumed as: the bridal Boy Toy of yore from ‘Like a Virgin’, the insert-a-coin-and-watch-me-dance Madonna from the ‘Open Your Heart’ video, the cone-bra wonder of the early ‘90s and the pink-gowned Marilyn Monroe tribute from ‘Material Girl’.

While self-promoting, it was also a somewhat self-deprecating interpretation. Not to mention just plain fun to watch. Here's a pic from the start of Madonna's performance of "She's Not Me":

‘Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You’ was a beautiful performance with Madge somewhere within a roomy black cloak as she sang the song off the top surface of a piano, all of which was inside a rounded transparent screen featuring layered video imagery of water droplets and other natural elements in a slow moving kind of serenity.

Here is what the round screen looked like. And the second pic below shows the transparency of the screen with Madonna visible inside:

After this set, we saw the brilliant ‘Get Stupid’ video interlude featuring the likes of Obama, Oprah and the Dalai Lama. Very political, very timely, very important to say the least.

Next, she cracked open a bit of spontaneity and took a request from some lucky girls in the front row. Of course, the request was for ‘Like a Virgin’. With that, Madonna got 60,000 fans in Vancouver to sing the entire song at her prompting. It was really quite cool and toooooooootally fun. Here's my short video of that sing along.

'Like A Virgin' was soon followed by ‘Like A Prayer’ which certainly brought the house right down.

So did ‘Hung Up’. Here's a video of that:

I think Madonna said it best on her latest album when she said, "See my booty get down!" And that, my friends, is exactly what I was doing.

She also played (and I thank goddess for this) one of my personal faves, ‘Ray of Light’ which again had Madge displaying her bony and witchy-looking fingers across the strings of her electric-guitar. Good times, indeed!

Madonna didn't engage herself in too much chit-chat with us, but nearing the end of the show she mentioned the enormous digital clock inside the stadium, way up high near the roof, positioned directly opposite her stage. She must have finally had enough of watching the clock because between songs she gave us a 'time check' (it was 11:02pm) and mentioned 'that fucking clock has been staring back at me all night'. If anything, it got a decent chuckle out of most of the concert-goers.

I bought a tour shirt with a pic of Madonna on the chest. To me, this particular image is very reminiscent of Liz Phair on the cover of Exile in Guyville. Seriously!

Okay, here's an image of the Madonna T-shirt I bought (except this one is the baby-tee for the girls... mine is NOT a baby-tee, but the image of her face is identical)

And now here is the cover of Liz Phair's 'Exile in Guyville' album ... to me, the two are very similar!

Anyhoo, luckily Danny and I managed to get our picture taken with Madonna last night. She's the slightly smaller figure in the background:

And to round out today's Madge-errific post, here's a couple more concert pics:

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