Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Post-Madonna Post

(Note: This is the transcript of an e-mail I sent to a group. I don't have time to compose a brand new blog post. I'll maybe write more about it later bur as of now, I'm dead tired.)

A little bit light-hearted, but I just wanted to let everyone here know that I managed to make it to Washington, D.C. yesterday for Madonna's Re-Invention Tour. Yes, flying out of Iowa to D.C (via Detroit, which was only fitting) to go to a concert did border on insanity, but I figure it's not any different than people paying boatloads of money to go to sporting events all of the place. It was a quick trip--left on Monday, back early today and I think I'll probably be paying for it for days to come, but it was so worth it.

I can't get over how good she sounded and how much fun she seemed to be having. Whether she's faking liking her old songs or not I don't much care--if she is faking it, she's doing a good job of it. I went with my buddy Jeff who has been my partner-in-crime for all things Madonna for almost 20 years now. We went to Madonna's last tour in Chicago in 2001 (my wife was pregnant at the time and the dr. wouldn't allow her to go so she stayed back at the hotel.) This time, she stayed in Iowa with our 2 & 1/2 year old daughter.

All the hits were there--"Vogue", "Into The Groove", "Express Yourself", "Like A Prayer", "Crazy For You", "Material Girl"--such a welcome relief from the last time she toured. I told Jeff that it was totally worth every last cent just to be able to stand in an arena full of Madonna fans and scream (along with everyone else in the arena) "GET UP ON THE DANCE FLOOR!!" The crowd was electric and so excited to be there. A lot of the people that sat around us had been at the show the night before which just killed me because it wasn't like the seats were cheap.

A funny mix of people were there as well. The crowd was definitely an older crowd--meaning not many teenagers. But that's not too surprising as her fan base has aged right along with her. I commented to Jeff that this was probably one of the few places where you could see PTA style moms, grandmas, couples, gay guys, black, white, Asian, whatever. All linked by the common thread of they were there to see Madonna. It was kinda fun. And I'll tell ya one thing, the straight guys at the concert would be wise to follow the lead of the gay guys at the concert and just not think about who might be watching them and just cut loose. They looked like they were having so dang much fun!

The thing that always gets me about Madonna is that when you're listening to her music or watching her videos, you really forget what an excellent dancer she really is. And it showed in this concert. Singing (only a little bit of lip synching that I could tell--the Vogue rap and some of the more vocoder heavy songs like "Die Another Day" sounded a little bit too much like the CD) and dancing combined in a show so intricate and detailed that if anything got off by just a little bit, it could really screw things up. But she was also light hearted and engaged the audience and oddly human. During "Express Yourself" she's all "HELLO WASHINGTON, D.C.!" and then she starts singing to which she says "Oh shit! Boys and girls, do you believe in love? Cuz I got something to say about it." It was very endearing.

All in all, I loved the show. It was fun to spend time with my friend (although he's such an incredible extrovert and I'm actually quite introverted that sometimes he can be a bit tough to handle non-stop--he's *always* on.) and D.C. was not entirely unfamiliar so I felt comfortable there. Truth be told it was probably worth the extra money to fly there rather than having the hassle of driving into Chicago and parking at the United Center which is in a crappy part of the city.

If you've read this far, thanks for reading. It was the closest I'll ever get to seeing Madonna at the top of her game. She's not nearly as relevant as she used to be, but she still puts on one hell of a good show.


Brian said...

I'm glad that you got to see the show and that there were no snags, like, say, performer knee surgery.

I've always had mixed feelings about Madonna's music. She's all over the place, and the older stuff I'm supposed to feel nostalgic for sounds so tinny. Anything she came up with in the late 80s and early 90s, it seemed like I would have to wait a couple of years to catch up to the music.

Shows can be so much fun. I haven't done the arena thing for a long time. Last one may have been seeing Michelle Shocked -- not normally an arena show, I guess, but it was part of a big cultural festival, so anybody that had paid for the festival got in for free.

Scott Niven said...

Hi Dan. Thanks for your comment on my blog ( ). You've got a great blog too. I loved reading about your experience at the Re-Invention Tour. I've been a diehard Madonna fan ever since her first album (I'm 34), and yet I haven't seen her in concert. How backward is that?

I also enjoyed reading about the Mary Chapin Carpenter song based on "The Lovely Bones." I'll have to find a copy of that song, because the book is one of my favorites. By the way, if you enjoy writers who are literary and write beautiful prose AND who can tell a story, you might want to check out Charles Baxter's "The Feast Of Love."

Take care! I'll be reading your blog from now on!