Some people have negative things to say about Madonna, but when faced with that information, it's important to keep in mind that some people are also very stupid.
When I first heard about Madonna's NY dates for her MDNA tour going on sale, I mentally brushed aside the fact that I haven't had to pay for music or concert tickets for the past ten years, and whipped out my debit card. Tickets to see Madge are literally more expensive than a blood transfusion, and I even went so far as to buy a pre-sale code in an effort to not have to sit across the street from the venue, or on a cloud in the sky. When all was said and done, I was set back over $300, but I gave nary a care, because I'm an actual crazy person.
Because this is my life, it was sunny every single day from the moment I purchased the tickets, up to the morning of the show, where it then turned pitch black, rained forever, and two tornados touched down in Brooklyn - which isn't even a thing.
I've never been to the Yankee Stadium, where the show was being held, and had previously only ever been to the Bronx once, and that was to go to the zoo. My friend Jen and I took a car there on VICE's dime, and the driver kept trying to roll the windows down, even though he could clearly notice us rolling them right back up because, hello, our hairdos. Once we finally got there, I had to sit on a concrete bench and smoke a cigarette before we walked in and found our seats. I was overstimulated and felt like I was gonna have a nervous breakdown, but I also feel this way sometimes just going to the grocery store. Really though, I couldn't believe that I was finally about to see my childhood diva icon, 'ol Madge. What would she sing? What would her butt look like? We were about to find out.
When you go to a big stadium show, it's quite possible that you won't be able to afford anything there. I didn't ask my friend to pay for the ticket I gave her, but she did buy me a beer in a blue plastic souvenir Yankees cup, which I drank in three seconds and wanted to remember to bring home, but of course didn't. Wrapped head to toe in $5 ponchos that we bought in the parking lot, we settled into our seats and waited for Madonna. Here's a view from our seats:
I was hoping that I'd never have to go to the bathroom, because I could only imagine the horrors that would be waiting for me there, but my one beer went straight to my peeps hole and I had to make my way to the potty zone. While waiting in line, a woman in front of me kept turning around and making this weird face that at first I thought meant she thought I was cute, but then I realized she was pissed about the women behind me illegally smoking cigarettes inside Yankee Stadium like some manner of assholes. The women who were smoking caught on that she was upset, and said something to the effect of "what's your problem?" The woman making the face explained that she had cancer, and had just had surgery, to which the women responded with "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" At first I thought they meant it like "you're not serious," but then I realized that they were actually telling a woman with cancer to shut the fuck up about them illegally smoking in her face, and I felt a strange wave of fear wash over me. If they were insane enough to yell at cancer lady, God only knows what else they were capable of.
Madonna didn't have an opening band, but after waiting for a couple of hours, the house lights went off and a DJ played some booty shaking hits that made all the weird hetero dates stand up and awkwardly dance, while craning around to make sure that everyone was seeing them. My Dad once taught me that any man who wears jewelry is a homo (oh, Dads), well, I wonder what he'd say about guys who fake tan and carry a man purse.
Once the DJ stopped making me want to die, I became THRILLED at the knowledge the the next booty to shake on that stage would be Madonna's. I meditated for a bit so I wouldn't pass out, and then lights started shooting all over the place and Madonna was heard on the loud speaker saying "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD," over and over. I have to say, as a former Catholic School girl turned lesbo, her love for religious iconography really gets me soggy in the pants.
Say what you will about Madonna, but she still completely has it. Her dancers were flipping her all over the place, and she went through about 20 costume changes, and slipped/slided all over the stage, in the rain. I was impressed. Highlights included me crying hot tears and feeling a million emotions during "Like a Prayer," and when she had her little son Rocco running out and making rapper arms during a few songs. The only lowlight I could think of is when she'd come out with a random guitar and pantomime playing it by just flapping her elbows up and down.
Oh, and during one song she broke into a snippet of Lady Gaga's "Born this Way" and made a joke by pulling up her skirt to show her pubic mound, which I assumed was a jab at Gaga maybe having a penis.
Screw buying a $50 t-shirt when you can get the same thing for $10 out by the pay phones.
Photos taken by: Myself, Jen Hazen and SarahB