How gay am I; a Madonna concert review (BC Place Stadium Oct. 30 2008)

“Don’t let me buy a $40 T-shirt,” I instructed my young concert-going companion. “No matter what I say.”

Ashley and I were passing one of the merchandise displays at last night’s Vancouver Madonna concert. 55,000 people, it was estimated, passed through the doors of B.C. Place Stadium, the bloated carbuncle downtown that hosts football games, car shows and home reno displays.

I’d already successfully scored tickets, and in a way that almost makes me believe in that whole “The Secret” faux-losophy. It happened thus: as the concert date came closer and closer, I got increasingly more desperate. However, I did not want to actually pay for a ticket (on principle, more than anything), so I put the message out to the universe: I loaded up my Facebook page with the request, and wrote a plea in the twice-weekly newspaper I write for. “Please send us to Madonna!!!!!!” I wrote, followed by my offer: the services of various of my colleagues as well as a ride to the airport and a free plug in the paper for a ticket. (Ethical? Hell, yes!)

By some miracle, my plea was heard, or rather, read. Google alerted Viveca M. Woods, who heads an agency out of Connecticut called TicketNetwork.com (www.ticketnetwork.com), to my dilemma. Viveca, who is “a secondary ticket seller,”  pulled a string, and voila! Just a few hours before show time, too.

Maybe at this point you’re wondering, “Why? Why does he want to see Madonna so bad?”

What can I say, except: I can still remember the first time I ever heard or saw her, the “Burnin’ Up” video on a cable-access music video show; I still have my patchouli-scented vinyl copy of Like a Prayer; for a certain demographic, she IS pop culture.

Anyway, to skip ahead to the show… after cleaning and scrubbing myself, and donning a paisley dress shirt I was ready to rock. I met up with my plus one, Ashley (the Texas Twister, worried she would fade like she did at last week’s brilliant Neil Young concert, begged off) at a restaurant not far from B.C. Place. Energy and anticipation in the room was high–the waitresses were dressed in Madonna , or at least ’80s garb, and one dude was going from table-to-table asking if people were going to the show and, regardless of their answer, hugging them.

A wreathe of swarming humanity filled the outer shell of the stadium, lining up for lemonade, Madonna T-shirts and programs, and B.C. Place’s infamous $6 hot dogs. We fought our way through the masses to our section, located parallel to the stage and in the nosebleeds. Suzanne and Curtis, who had driven the 10 or so hours from Calgary, engaged us in conversation, and it wasn’t long before they were telling us how great it is to be parents, blah blah blah. However, their breeder propaganda was offset by the fact that they left half an hour into the show. They claimed it was the vertigo, but I’m sure it had something to do with parenthood.

Anyway, the show… well, it was filled with hits, a few misses (like, we really want to hear “Die Another Day”, Madonna!) and a Spanish interlude with what looked like real musicians with real instruments. But like I say, I was sitting pretty far away, so they might actually have been digital effects. One of the tunes was “La Isla Bonita”, which reminded me of an incident from earlier yesterday, at the office, when a co-worker and I were reading the upcoming concert’s setlist in the Province (aka The Daily Spoiler) newspaper. “La Isla Bonita,” he said, his lip curling in disgust. “I hate that song.”

“I love that song!” exclaimed Sandra, another co-worker, from across the office, at almost the same time. But that’s Madonna for you; the woman inspires extremes. Another low-point of the show was when, during a song, two male dancers came out in boxing outfits. I couldn’t help thinking hey, I didn’t go to all the trouble off offering up the services of my co-workers and putting my cushy media career on the line to watch these two dudes play-fight. One other thing; Madonna’s “serious” songs are like being preached to by the world’s shallowest person.

However, “Borderline”, with the big M. on electric guitar, rocked, and so did “Hangin’ Up”. By the time she reached “Ray of Light” I was busting the moves that have prompted several of the city’s rave promoters to have me banned from their events. On the way out, I couldn’t help myself, and Ashley couldn’t stop me—I loaded up my credit card with a bunch of Madonna crap. Not just a tour T-shirt, but also a concert poster, a shotglass, a fridge magnet, and a cat toy. (Okay, just kidding about the last, but how cool would that be?)

However, upon arriving home my excitement was dampened by the Texas Twister’s lack of enthusiasm, particularly towards the concert T. “I’m going out with a gay man,” she said, shaking her head.

It’s a good thing she didn’t see me during “Ray of Light”…

Next: Halloween as a desperate bachelor vs. Halloween as a smug boyfriend

3 Responses to “How gay am I; a Madonna concert review (BC Place Stadium Oct. 30 2008)”

  1. November 1, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Okay, that is NOT FAIR! I would have stopped you from buying crappy merch IF YOU HADN’T DONE IT WHEN I WAS IN THE BATHROOM! Cheater. Don’t go blaming your gay T-shirt purchases on any fault of mine. That was all you, and yes, your dance moves would get you banned for sure.

  2. 2 Rudy - Orlando FL
    December 1, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Well, I have to say the same.. the boxing thing was a little off but by the time I really paid attention is when they were done and the show when on and on…
    The two M’s at the side of the stage were fierce! If I was Madonna I would have put my R’s on the sides too.
    People need to understand that if you really know her and have followed her career you would understand why we like her so much.
    Some of my gays were bitching because “all the songs were from the new CD” HELLLOOOO smarts!! the tour is called Sticky and sweet tour…. HINT, new CD… and of course they loved the old songs… duh! thats by default.
    Anyhow, we went through hell to get there.. Orlando to Miami usually is 3 hours… and because of trafic (70,000 people) took us 8 hours.
    Parking was $30, we were hungry and annoyed by sitting in the car so long, but you know what? when those lights went down and the BASE kicked in.. it was show time.
    To all my Madonna fans out there and you know who you are.. she kicked ass and she will until the end! be a true fan and support her all the way through!
    You’ll find me in facebook under: rodolfo chacin.
    Shawn, Ashley.. hope you enjoyed the show, I did.

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