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by JD Urban (check out his website):
Stefan the Unapologetic Bitch: The Night I Danced with Madonna
Last night in my hometown of Philadelphia, a lifelong dream of mine came true: I danced with Madonna onstage.
I’m still overwhelmed with joy and love and emotion, but here is an account of how my dream became a reality.
It was during the end of the fourth-to-last song (Material Girl) that I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was a woman with a headset and walkie-talkie and a crew shirt and she said “Would you come with me?”
She walked me towards the back of the floor section where a co-worker was waiting. The two of them basically drilled me, asking if I was DEFINITELY going to dance and how I HAVE to dance really hard and Madonna is happier when the person dances a lot and how the girl at the last show didn’t do anything and how I MUST dance my ass off. I looked at her point-blank and said “I’ve been waiting my entire life to do this. Trust me. I will dance.”
They introduced me to the security guard, Lou, who was going to hold my stuff and escort me to and from the stage.
I stood there looking out at Madonna who was singing “La Vie En Rose” and suddenly the realization hit me that I’d be joining her up there in mere moments. A twinge of anxiety rushed through my body. What if I passed out?! What if I froze?!
But then I realized that this is something I’ve always wanted to do. That I’ve been dancing to Madonna for 30-years! I knew I could do this, a calm washed all over me.
The opening notes to “Unapologetic Bitch” began and Lou said it was time to go. I followed him from the back of the floor section around the crowd over to the left hand side of the catwalk by the heart-shaped stage. I was told to stand there and when the dancer comes over and gestures for me, to go up the stairs.
The dancer who accompanied me told me to watch my head since the stage is very low. I tried to take in as much of my surroundings as possible. To get a peak behind the curtain, to see backstage at a Madonna show is something I’ve never been able to see. It flew by me so quickly. And then there was Lou, standing with my bag and he escorted me back to the floor.
I didn’t even know what had happened and suddenly everyone recognized me and began hugging me and telling me what a great job I had done.
Read more at Stefan with an “F”
Madonna gave her seal of approval to Pope Francis I during a gig in Philadelphia last night, making several references to him throughout the evening – including “I’ve been excommunicated from the Catholic Church three times. It shows the Vatican really cares” and joking that the Pope was “stalking” her, as he has been in New York at the same time as her recently, and was planning a trip to Philadelphia. “”Either he’s a copycat or he’s secretly in love with me,” she said.
She then dedicated a ukulele-led version of Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie en Rose’ to the pontiff, saying…
Since Popey-wopey is on his way over here, I want to dedicate this song to him because it’s a love song, and I firmly believe that love does make the world go ’round.
Honestly, I don’t think there’s that much difference between me and the Pope.
by D Jacob Miller:
by Qu4ttro Tube:
by Steve Vitalidol:
by markit aneight:
Madonna brought her Rebel Heart tour to a not-quite-sold-out Wells Fargo Center crowd on Thursday night, with the 57-year-old dance pop superstar attracting a largely female crowd, mainly in her demographic range, that skewed younger and more multicultural among gay male fans.
The show opened with the new album’s overbearing and strained “Iconic,” with a filmed intro in which Madonna copped to “an insatiable desire to be noticed.” Prerecorded video segments featured Mike Tyson and Chance the Rapper, and ill-conceived costuming positioned our heroine as half ninja warrior, half Joan of Arc.
That set the stage for a night of self-mythologizing, which included the new album’s “Bitch I’m Madonna” and “Unapologetic Bitch” – clearly currently her favorite word, often used as a term of endearment to express love for her fans.
The show got better and somewhat less heavy-handed from there. But Madonna is never one for subtlety in her theatrical presentation. She surrounded herself with video screen flames in “Burning Up” – an oldie but goodie from her 1983 debut album, played early in the set – and acted out the double entendres of “Body Shop” while writhing on the hood of a classic hot rod onstage.
The segment most designed to make Pope Francis blush was the early combo of the Kanye West-produced “Holy Water” mashed up with “Vogue.” The oral sex metaphor that asked supplicants to “bless yourself and genuflect” featured Madge and a barely dressed female dancer in nun habits spinning around on combination stripper pole/crucifixes before acting out a bacchanal on an onstage altar scene modeled after Leonardo’s Last Supper. Forgive her, Father, for she has sinned.
The early parts of the show were weighed down by the heavily choreographed numbers and the need to include songs from the new album that even ardent fans seemed less than thrilled to hear.
But things loosened up in the midsection, with a barrage of playful hits like the delightfully camp, Spanish-tinged “La Isla Bonita” and the disco duo of “Dress You Up” and “Into The Groove.”
After those two, Madonna took a breather at the edge of the extended stage that reached more than halfway across the sports arena floor and addressed her audience. “You know what I think is interesting is the Pope is stalking me,” she said, pointing out that Francis’ visit to New York this week also came a few days after her performance there. “Either that, or he’s secretly in love with me.” During that interlude, she urged her fans to express their love for her, and seemed underwhelmed by their somewhat tepid response.
Later, a Cotton Club-style extended production number included the glitchy Euro disco of “Music” and four-on-the-floor thump of “Candy Shop,” and featured one dancer wearing a half-gown/half-tuxedo outfit. Madonna dedicated a portion of the medley to Il Papa.
As the show wore on, her stage patter – spoken in an oddly high-pitched voice that seemed unfamiliar – got more Pope-centric.
“Rules are for fools, right?” she said.
“That’s why I like the new Pope; he seems really open-minded,” she said, adding that “I’ve been excommunicated by the Catholic Church three times. I’m very proud of that. It shows that the Vatican cares.” Later, after bringing an male audience member up to dance during “Unapologetic Bitch,” she directed him off-stage and playfully said, “Go down and down, straight to hell, where I’ll be waiting for you.”
After that, Madonna still had plenty of hits at her disposal, but opted to finish with a single song encore of “Holiday.” It never became the truly effusive celebration it aimed to be, and as Madonna, dressed in an Uncle Sam outfit, made her red-white-and-blue departure, lifted up to the rafters in a harness, it brought to a close a solidly entertaining two-hour show that never really caught fire.
The best selling female artist of all time is still going strong at age 57 and we were there first hand to witness the spectacle that is Madonna. The Wells Fargo Center was abuzz from the moment we arrived just before 9pm. The anticipation was palpable with fans young and old counting down the minutes until the curtain (adorned with the Rebel Heart album cover) dropped. At 945pm, the wait was over and the stage filled with dancers in exotic, soldier-like costumes, brandishing large metal poles with crosses affixed to the ends.
Opening with ‘Iconic’, the Material Girl, in an aptly iconic moment, descended from the rafters in a steel cage. Once the cage reached stage level, it opened, and released Madonna into the clutches of the ‘armed’ dancers. The crowd went bananas, chanting her name, and snapping photos on the cell phones. She transitioned into her second song ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ flanked by a gaggle of asian dancers.
For her third number, ‘Burning Up’, she dawned an electric guitar and made her way out onto the lengthy runway that ran from the stage out into the floor seats. With flames flashing across the huge digital screens behind her, she rocked the Wells Fargo Center with one of her early hits. The building was electric and would stay that way throughout her 20+ song performance.
The next few hours were filled with hits both old and new, a whirlwind of costume, stage, and dancer changes, and a sea of fans that fully seemed to appreciate that they were in the presence of one of the most well known, talented, envelope pushing female artists of our lifetime. Sure, we’ve been annoyed with some of her antics over the past few years (like when she suddenly developed a British accent or when appeared on stage with Avicii at Ultra Music Festival in 2013 and asked the all ages crowd “have you seen Molly?”, which she later claimed was not a drug reference) but all of that nonsense vacated our thoughts from the moment her captivating performance began.
30 years after her first tour in 1985, she continues to bring the thunder to the stage. She even dedicated a song to Pope Francis (‘La Isla Bonita’) who is scheduled to appear in Philly this weekend. “”Rules are for fools. That’s why I like the new pope. He seems very open-minded.” she told the Philly faithful. We would have loved to see the Pope join her on stage for ‘Like a Prayer’, ‘Like a Virgin’, or ‘Papa Don’t Preach’, but alas it was not meant to be. For lifelong fans of Madonna, not even the Pope himself could have made this a more religious experience. If you have the chance to catch Madonna when she rolls into your city, we highly recommend snagging a ticket and getting into the groove.
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