Greetings my Frothy Folks! Today's entry is simply to gush about attending this past Sunday's Madonna concert, her second night in Toronto as part of her Sticky And Sweet Tour. Let me tell you, getting to that day was a journey in itself! Sometimes very sticky, and definitely not that sweet at times. When tickets went on sale in May, I was determined to get a good floor seat. In the process, I ended up with two single tickets. One, for the Saturday show, was a so-so seat just above the floor level priced at $350. Then, when the second block of tickets went on sale, a sweet pair of pals helped me grab an INCREDIBLE floor seat for the same price. I figured I could sell the first ticket to someone without any problems. After all, it's Madonna, right? Yet, I soon realized not many folks wanted to shell out $350 for a not-so-great single seat. One acquaintance insisted I meet him downtown so he could buy the ticket, and after I trekked all the way down there, he then revealed he couldn't afford it due to an emergency. (How real the emergency was is, at least according to some friends, a tad suspect.) He did, however, make time to drag me into the backroom of an adult video store for a sticky and sweet session of our own. (I guess we were recreating the Erotica era.) It was hard to be angry that a delicious hunky tart wanted to lure me into sex, however, I was still stuck with the ticket. I then attempted to sell it via craigslist and nearly got swindled in an "overpayment" scam that would have bilked me out of $2850. (Not to mention the hilarity of one "Anita Baker" trying to pull the same scam on me via Facebook. Isn't she famous enough to get tickets for free?) Losing that much dough would not have been sweet, and I really didn't knead all that stress. Eventually I sold it to a friend at a loss, but for a very real $250.
The stress, the sticky, and the sour gradually melted into the sweet as I sat in my floor seat Sunday night. My seat was 18th row, seat 41, which was only about 7 or so seats to the right of the MAIN catwalk Madonna would be using during the performance. My legs got jittery and my Heartbeat was palpitating. I met a nice fan who sat beside me and had gone through similar attempts to get a great floor seat. We were both excited about seeing our icon that close. Highlights were many, and the performance was incredible. (I was also thrilled that, unlike her previous tours, there were no restrictions on picture taking during the concert. As a result I've peppered this entry with some of the better shots I got!) But what really solidified itself to me was how much joy came across from Madonna when she performed. When pointing out to the audience during "Like A Prayer" she very well could have been referencing herself and the fans when singing "I hear you call my name, and it feels like home."
No matter what is true about her life off stage, or who gets ordered not to look at her, or how cranktacular she can appear, you just "get it" when you see her live. She thrives on the energy of performance - that temporary, yet completely absorbing connection between the audience and herself. Her banter with the audience was especially cute when she took requests in the middle of the show to sing an old song acapella. A whole group of fans held up homemade signs that read "Causing A Commotion", but instead she chose to do "Dress You Up." (She complained about one song that a fan shouted out, and I couldn't tell whether she was referring to Commotion or another track.) Later on in her final number, "Give It 2 Me", she held the mic up to fans in hopes they'd sing the chorus. More often than not she got "Give it to me....I LOVE YOU MADONNA!!!" To which she snarked "Um, those aren't the lyrics."
The other hightlight was my newly made Madonna buddy pointing out that Avril Lavigne and her Sum41 hubby were there right in front of the catwalk, and I snuck a few "paparazzi" shots of them. (Look closely in the middle of the pic above and you'll see half of Avril in the middle of an Air Canada Centre security guard at left, and a Madonna security guard at right.) That's the clearest shot I got, the rest are harder to make out.
Long story short, as frustrated as I can be with the way I feel Madonna sometimes treats her fans, she is still one of my major icons for a reason. She is an incredible performer and it was an absolute thrill to be able to experience her like this, and I don't even think this blog entry can capture what the moment was like! There are times when it felt surreal to be that close to a woman who has been a part of my life since I was a kid, a woman who has inspired so much in me and millions of others. Maybe this will trigger a series that traces my love of Madonna back to its roots and explores all that I adore in her!
Signing off for now, with a few more pics that I took during the Tour: