My Who’s That Girl Tour in Rotterdam 1987 experience (28 years ago today) by Caroline Walta

Madonna WTG 1987

Who’s that girl tour 26 Aug 1987 – The Netherlands, Rotterdam De Kuip stadium (by Caroline Walta)

The lights go off, the spotlight is switched on… the first notes of Open Your Heart. When I think about it, it still gives me goose bumps. This is my very first concert. I’m in the seated area and the stage is far away, but what an amazing experience. My idol Madonna in real life. Without a radio or tv-screen in between. There she IS!

She starts in the famous black corset, basic costume for the first part of the show. For True blue it is covered with a sweet light-blue dress and for Papa don’t preach – one of my favorites in the show- a tough black leather jacket. White heat is pure theatre in a golden jacket with black detective hat. Causing a commotion has a choreography with the three backing vocals singers and fades into the ballad Look of Love. Dress you up and Material girl is mainly humor. Both as outfit, with pink toy dress, as show. This sessions ends with Like a virgin. Then there’s a bridge with the Four Tips song I can’t help myself, which shows how all round Madonna is. After celebrating with Where’s the party, the stadium is filled with lights for Live to tell. I am impressed by her voice. After a short break, the party is on with Into the groove. The letters on the outfits of Madonna and dancers form the word ‘dance’. The concert finishes with a Spanish part, that to my joy would return in many future tours. La isla bonita in a beautiful red dress, followed by Who’s that girl and a mind-blowing final with Holiday.

Despite the distance and 30.000 + crowd in the sold out stadium, it feels like the performance was just for me. My mother was with me, because she wouldn’t let me go to the concert alone. After that, I visited many shows by myself. That is how I met many wonderful fans, who I all hope to meet at the Rebel heart tour 2015. And my mum? We will be at the final show in Amsterdam together!

Press Release – Keith Haring The Political Line 20 September to 7 February Kunsthal Rotterdam

p r e s s r e l e a s e

Keith Haring First press release, May 2015
The Political Line
20 September 2015 to 7 February 2016


Keith Haring
Prophets of Rage, acryl on canvas, 304,8 x 457,2 cm, 1988 © Keith Haring Foundation
Collection Keith Haring Foundation

This autumn, the Kunsthal Rotterdam is proud to be presenting a major exhibition on the life and work of influential American artist and activist Keith Haring (1958-1990). ‘Keith Haring. The Political Line’ is the first exhibition in the Netherlands to highlight in detail the social and political aspects of his life’s work. One hundred and twenty artworks reveal an underexposed side of this world-famous artist. To personally experience these imposing artworks is a visual spectacle that has great impact. Twenty-five years after Haring’s death, his art is as influential as ever.

A protégé of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring spawned a revolution in art during the 1980s with his unmistakably unique style. In New York, during the conservatism of the Reagan era, the openly-gay Haring made it his mission to highlight social evils in his work. He took a clear stance against the excesses of capitalism and was committed to nuclear disarmament, environmental protection and equal rights for all, irrespective of ethnicity, skin colour, religion or sexual orientation. Together with diary excerpts and other archival material, the thematic collection of works in ‘The Political Line’ illustrates just how committed Keith Haring was to the socio-political issues of his day.

Inspired by street culture 

Keith Haring held a leading position in the New York ‘downtown’ community of painters,performers and musicians whose creativity took its cues from urban street culture. Keith Haring was inspired by graffiti, comic strips, music, dance, fine art and popular culture. Haring considered art to be a public right. The much-criticised commercialisation of his own work on T-shirts, badges or stickers was an integral part of his philosophy that ‘Art is for Everyone’. Haring had a tremendous influence on his generation, and although his career spanned just over one decade, the effects of his visual vocabulary still reverberate.

Surprising diversity 

Many of the works in ‘The Political Line’ are on loan from the Keith Haring Foundation in New York, supplemented with important works from international museums and private collections. The diversity of Haring’s work ranges from the early chalk drawings created in situ in the New York City subway stations (the ‘subway drawings’), to his large-scale paintings on canvas and vinyl tarpaulins, innumerable works in Sumi ink on paper, unique objects and sculpture. Documentary material from the Haring Foundation’s archival holdings completes the picture of artist and activist Keith Haring. As Kunsthal director Emily Ansenk emphasises, ‘We are delighted that this exhibition is taking place in Rotterdam, the city in which Keith Haring had his very first exhibition outside the USA, in 1982. Throughout his career, Keith Haring pursued his ambition to make his work accessible to everyone, not only to the art world. He shared his work through every channel possible. The Kunsthal Rotterdam is therefore the best place in the Netherlands for this exhibition; we are making his work accessible for a wide and new public audience.’