Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Atlantic City Doesn't Deserve Madonna

In fact, I think she should change her tour next year and come to Kansas City instead. That town would be too polite to ever SIT DOWN during a Madonna concert.

I'll start off by saying that this was my favorite Madonna concert, having seen the Drowned World Tour and the Re-Invention Tour previously. I'm not sure if I liked this one better because it was better, because let's face it, she's 50 and dancing less than she used to, so you'd think that would be upsetting, or if it's because I actually had people shell out the money and attend the concert with me. I think it's likely the latter. And I'm sure I wouldn't have seen her this year if I didn't have friends to go with.

That being said, the people in Atlantic City ruined this concert for me. Madonna was brilliant. Amazing. But, c'mon people... what is your major malfunction? If you wanted to see a concert, you should be happy to be there. You should not spend $150 on a ticket and then expect to sit in your seat.

While we were sitting waiting for the concert to start, a DJ came out to basically 'open' for Madonna. I thought that was kinda weird because no one has ever opened for her before, but since I knew that she'd make us wait, I was happy to have something to entertain me. Meanwhile, the people behind us started talking about how they were happy they got the seats that they did rather than the ones on the floor (could these people afford floor seats!?) because they we're going to have to stand the whole concert. At this, I laughed. Sure they were. Everyone would be standing the entire concert. Haven't they ever seen Madonna? I certainly knew better. They would be disappointed; they were sitting behind me.

At 8:55 (for an 8:00 concert) she finally started. People stood up and cheered and then everyone in my section (214) SAT DOWN. I looked at Brenda and was flabbergasted. "People are sitting!? I'm not sitting!" And we didn't. Carolyn did, however. She said she felt too guilty standing because there was a young kid behind her. (Side note: who brings a kid to a Madonna concert? Don't they realize that she'll likely do something... inappropriate?)

She opened with Candy Shop which actually has the words "get up out of your seat" in it. In the second song, The Beat Goes On, she sang, "Get down, beep beep, gotta get up outta your seat." I was standing this whole time even though no one around me was besides Brenda. I kinda felt guilty about it especially since Brenda leaned over and said, "They want us to sit down." Apparently someone behind her had asked. I refused. Yes, I defy you crazy people behind me, sitting at a Madonna concert. I defy you!

Human Nature began and I sang really loudly, "And I'm not sorry!" Okay, maybe I'm an asshole, but the whole thing blew my mind. Who were these people? Besides, had they been sitting in any other section, they would be standing. People to the left and right of us were still standing. If everyone stood up, we'd all be able to see! (Don't worry, no one could hear me singing that I wasn't sorry. The concert was very loud. I couldn't even hear me, which is why it was okay to sing the whole time.)

Fourth song: Vogue. Let your body groove to the music, people. The video screens were pretty during this, there were eyes with cool makeup and lace and niftiness. I started to forget about the people behind me and enjoy the show.

Then she sang Die Another Day. Okay, that's a lie, she didn't sing it, there was a video thing and the music and she was off changing a costume or something. Brenda loves this song. I know because every single time it came on in the car during the trip, she stopped whatever she was doing and said, "I love this song!" So, we were just a bit sad that she wasn't actually singing it... but then, this dude behind me got our attention and asked us to sit down. Carolyn expected a throwdown. She pretended she didn't know us.

"Can you sit down? We can't see."
"Stand up! It's a concert!"
"I'm 6'4", if I stand up, no one behind me will be able to see."
"That's not my problem."

Yes, that actually happened. No, I didn't sit down. Yes, I am a big fat jerk. No, I do not care if I ruined the concert for them because the feeling is pretty much mutual. Madonna does not want you to sit at her concerts. I know. Trust me. You cannot persuade me to sit down with your faulty tall man logic.

The next song was Get Into the Groove. Madonna sings, "Get up on your feet, let's dance to the beat," and I screamed along with her, adding in my own, "Yeah people! Get up!" along with it. Have they never heard her music? Have they never been to her concerts?

The next song was Heartbeat, from her new album. I think this songs is really beautiful, but it's slower and my standing comrades in the sections adjacent to mine started sitting. I was loosing people. The video screens, which could move by the way, were showing graphics I really enjoyed. It would be a cool tattoo design, if I ever thought that I wanted a tattoo.

Then she brought out her black guitar, the one that made me love the song Candy Perfume Girl (Before the Drowned World Tour and seeing her perform that song live, I absolutely hated that song. It was the guitar that made it awesome.) So, she's there with my guitar, and she starts singing a rock version of Borderline. Her vocals were lower, thankfully, and it was a really awesome version of this song.

The next song, She's Not Me, was my favorite part of the concert. On the video screens there were old 'versions' of Madonna, and then her dancers came up from under the stage dressed as her during different periods: Like a Virgin, Blonde Ambition, Material Girl, and Open Your Heart. She ran around and took off a piece of their clothing, a shoe, a veil, etc, and threw them. She kissed the Like a Virgin bride a la Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and it was super fabulous. I loved this so much, especially knowing that her divorce was finalized the day before. I heard it took eight minutes. I was hoping it would only take four.

The next song was Music,and I mostly thought about how different this crowd was than when I saw her perform it in Washington, DC. She closed the show with it for the Re-Invention Tour and it was so great to have the crowd on their feet and singing along together. Music didn't bring the people together Saturday night. Atlantic City sucks. The bourgeois behind me would not join the rebels (me and Brenda). I mean, people were happy for the song and screamed and stuff, but some were still seated - namely those in my section. I kept thinking, "Get up, people. Madonna is 50 and sweating her ass off, the least you could do is stand up."

The next bit was a costume change, the music was a mix of the Eurythmics, Here Comes the Rain Again and Madonna's Rain. Madonna was no longer on stage and Carolyn somehow convinced me to sit down. So Brenda sat when I sat. I wasn't really happy about it, but figured I'd just stand back up when she came back out. Madonna emerged from under the stage on top of a piano. She sang one of my favorite songs from the new album, The Devil Wouldn't Recognize You. It was slow and pretty and not really energizing enough for me to legitimately stand up again. I had made a grave error. I was sitting. How was I going to justify getting back up now?

Rain and water flowed down all the video screens. I was really happy that I didn't have to pee. Then she sang Spanish Lesson. It was an upbeat song and I thought about getting up, but didn't. It wasn't quite exciting enough to stand. And then, it was like Madonna could hear my inner thoughts and she did the most amazing thing.

"This is not a sitting concert! Get up out of your seats!"

So, I did. And I screamed a whole lot. "Thank you, Madonna! I didn't think it was a sitting concert, either!" Brenda and I were the only people in our section that got up. Surprise.

The next song was Miles Away, followed by La Isla Bonita. I was sure that Carolyn would get up for La Isla Bonita, but she didn't. It's one of her favorite Madonna songs, but if she was happy in her seat, that was okay. I certainly wasn't happy sitting. During this song they weaved in something else Spanish or Greek or something. I'm a cultural moron, so I don't know for sure, but then they took a shot of something alcohol-like on stage and it was pretty sweet.

The next song was You Must Love Me. It was her and this mariachi type band on stage, with some other stringed instruments and whatnot. They showed video from Evita on the screens and it was really beautiful. The best part is that she missed her intro and said, "This is where I'm supposed to start." Then she went on to say, "It's kinda smokey in here. Are you going to continue smoking your cigarettes? That's really annoying." Seriously, Madonna should never go back to Atlantic City. Ever.

Then she sang 4 Minutes (to Save the World). The biggest hit from her most recent album... and you guessed it, people were sitting. During it, they had movable video screens on the floor and had sort of life sized Justin Timberlakes singing with her, which I thought was kinda neat. It was like he was performing with her.

This was followed by Like a Prayer, my second favorite part of the concert (and favorite Madonna song). This was really beautiful, as the screens had different sayings about religions and spirituality, and treating your neighbor as you wish to be treated. It made me happy to be part of the human race, regardless of the fact that the people sitting in front of me were obviously robots. (WALL-E has more heart than they do.)

Then she played the opening bars to Ray of Light and Carolyn screamed, "I didn't know she was singing this!" and she stood up. (I think she was happy to sing that it felt like home, being back in NJ and all... even though Atlantic City obviously sucks.) When she did, the woman next to her stood as well, saying, "None of my friends are dancing, so I'm going to dance with you!" Obviously too many people succumbed to the guilt of standing in front of those sitting behind them. I wonder what that says about me... (I am selfish.) Meanwhile, there were really weird motorcycle helmet wearing dancers on stage with her.

At the end of the song, a single spotlight was on her alone on stage, and she made shadow puppets on the wall who fought each other. I laughed a ton. It was probably my favorite moment, it all its hilariousness and made Madonna more human that the super popstar that imagine her as.

She then talked to the audience again and said she would take a request. She asked a man his name and he screamed, "Everybody!"
"That's an unusual name."
"Amir? Where are you from?"
"New York."
"Really? What do you want to hear?"
"I don't remember all the words to that."

So, she sang one line and had us sing the next, although no one, including me, knew all the words to that song. She wrapped it up by saying, "You sucked, I sucked, we both sucked." I love her. She made us clap forever and kept yelling, "Keep time, people!" The worst part about this was the song that Amir picked. I mean, really? Everybody? Why not pick something better like Don't Tell Me or Cherish or Holiday (which would have been great since she's claimed she'll never sing that song live again) or a ton of other songs that people would have actually been able to since along to? Dumb Amir. Why can't I afford seats in the second row?

She continued to have a conversation with a different man in the audience, asking if she was keeping him awake, if it was past his bedtime, if she was boring him. Which I thought was kinda funny. You could tell she was totally annoyed with people, as I was.

Then she sang Hung Up. There was a chess game in the background. I wished I knew how to play chess. She said something about the Queen, and I think we cheered for the queen, and then she won. I was happy she was singing my ring tone. The next song was the last - Give It 2 Me. It was the big party ending, although there was no confetti like the other concerts. It wasn't quite as exciting as the ending of the other two concerts I've been to, but it was more fun than previously. People were finally standing. It was finally a party, now that it was ending.

All in all, I had a good time. I got over the fact that people weren't standing after awhile and realized that I had the best view I've ever, or will ever, have at a concert because everyone in front of me was sitting down.

So, thanks, Atlantic City, but on the same token, screw you.

End Blog.

(ETA: Check out Brenda's blog about this event. It actually talks about the concert, her thoughts, and things other than people sitting, unlike mine.)

1 comment:

rachel! said...

Sometimes I just do not get other people.

I was at a Tori Amos concert once -- it was in an auditorium with theater-style seats, and we were in the lower section, maybe two-thirds of the way back... Anyway! The people sitting right in front of me had popcorn. Which they ate, loudly, during "Me and a Gun". Which is Tori's very intimate, heart-wrenching song about being raped. During which the people in front of me munched their popcorn.

It has been years, Years!, and I still have not gotten over that.