The Confessions Tour


I never expected another tour again in two years time, but it was to be expected due to the success of Confessions on a Dance Floor. Of course the well known stress was around the corner, how much are the tickets, where can I buy them? Where will she perform and will she be coming to Holland?

Monday April 3 the confirmation finally reached us, our website had gone online that weekend and we could exclusively tell our audience that afternoon that the tour was a fact and would be called the ‘Confessions Tour’, and that she would be performing in the Amsterdam ArenA on September 3. I went to Kimmy the same evening and was told there that ICON would be organizing a pre-sale, and that it would start the next morning. But I was surprised to find out we could only buy two tickets for the entire tour! Disbelief was our first reaction, I mean you pay quite a lot of money to become a member and this is what you get in return? I used my pre-sale the next day for the first two shows in Paris. Friday I would be sleeping in front of the postoffice for the Amsterdam tickets.

The sale went great and the tickets for Paris and Germany were bought online very soon. Still we were undecided whether we would go to London. Cardiff was ruled out, too far away and not easy to do. Until Kimmy told me she could get great tickets for August 12 in London, row 4 of Block A2 so we bought these. Then of course we had to buy tickets for August 13 (we bought these soon, but the tickets turned out to be different from the ones advertised). This person sold us tickets in Block S2 row A, but sent us Block D3 row 15! Unfortunately we couldn’t file a claim with paypal and ebay as the 60 day rule limit had been exceeded. So we filed a complaint with our local police and the seller’s local police. The police were a great help and managed to sort out the case with the seller. He refunded most of the money and got to keep the tickets. We would be selling these while at Wembley Arena and buy new ones ourselves (which were a lot better then the original S2 tickets). This was going to be our confirmed dates for the tour, until we learned that Madonna would be performing on her birthday. So of course it goes without saying that we had to attend, and since we were there on the 15th we bought tickets for that date as well. 12 shows, and that was it. Now we could book our hotels and trips.

London, August 12

Today is the day, after picking Kimmy up yesterday, my alarm went off at 4.45am so we could catch the 5.15am train to Amsterdam Central, where our train to Brussels would be ready. From Brussels we would take the Eurostar to Waterloo London. We left early due to the terrorist threats surrounding London that time. Our trip went smoothly and we arrived at 1.30pm. Once in our hotel we dumped our stuff, went shopping, found an internet café and got ready for the show that evening. After a good meal we went to Wembley Arena, when we arrived it was crowded already, we walked around for a bit and then went inside. Before we went in I was asked if I carried any bottles with me, of course the typical honest Dutchy that I am answered ‘Yes’ and of course had to hand in my bottle of water. It was great when we walked in seeing our seats in row 4. There were already people lining up at the catwalk so we joined them. We stood there for a while until security found it necessary to show us back to our seats. We just pretended and just stood around for a while, we kept on standing in the corner right by the first row, nobody said anything about it.

Finally the light went out and we were right at the front! Wow, the show started, unfortunately we saw Future Lovers from the back, because she starts this on the beginning of the catwalk. But there she was and started ‘Get Together’, she sang this one on the main stage and then she looked at us with a look of approval (yes we were jumping and singing along). There is just too much going on, during Like A Virgin we see the x-ray pictures of her broken bones of a year ago when she fell off her horse. During Jump the dancers literally flew by. Then the moment lots of people have spoken about ‘Live To Tell’ Madonna on the cross. This is beautiful and know for sure that her intention is only positive and not an insult. This becomes even more clear when she starts ‘Forbidden Love’ (let’s just accept everybody whether you are green, yellow or purple and whatever you believe in, it would certainly make the world a better place). Like it or not and Isaac are perfection, everybody joins in and sings along. During Sorry everybody cheers, Madonna gives us the middle finger during the song ‘Talk is cheap!’

ILNY is truly Madonna at her best as a rock chick absolutely going nuts with her guitar. And we join in by jumping up and down. She then comes our way and I try to make a picture, she sticks out her tongue at me but because my camera doesn’t fully cooperate, she sticks out her tongue just as long as it takes the camera to make it’s picture. AAAAAAH!!! Ray of light is the song Madonna demands us to jump on and her wish is our command. You could see that Madonna was really enjoying this and was smiling non stop. When Let It Will Be stars she sticks her hand in her pants and then licks her finger right in front of us! After LIWB the first resting moment arrives in the show. She speaks to her audience, while sipping some water, then she says that she has hurt her elbow. She was sooooo close by and it was amazing to experience this. She then sings Drowned World and everybody sings a long.

After ‘Paradise’ that she sings together with Isaac in a nice acoustic version, the disco section of the show started. There she was Madonna Travolta all in white, it’s extremely hot but nobody gives up and everybody’s jumping. Then we get ‘You Thrill Me/Erotica’ what an amazing version! With a big wink to ABBA we now get La Isla Bonita, Monte is near us and we try to get his attention and succeed. Lucky Star is a song I hadn’t heard much about so was very anxious to find out how it was performed. With her cape with lights in it she performs the song with an ABBA beat playing. Donna and Nicky now finally come to the front of the stage, so we try to get Donna’s attention. ‘Do You wanna hear some more?’ YEAH!. Madonna then sings the first few lines of Hung Up, we know this is the last song so we go crazy and sing along. She walks down the catwalk and performs her sexy move on the radio.

Halfway through the song balloons fall down from the ceiling (and of course not anywhere near us) Madonna walks back to the mainstage and wants us to sing a long. ‘Time goes by so slowly!’, she isn’t pleased with our sing a long so demands us to sing it again. So this time I scream the line and Madonna gives me a surprised look and says ‘OKAY?!’. The show ends and Kimmy and I are staring at the stage in disbelief, but for us too it is time to head back to the subway. I see two women in front of me carrying a lot of balloons so I ask if I can have two, and they do! On our way back we are discussing the show, viewing our pics in the subway isn’t really comfortable. So after we finished a bottle of fanta in our hotelroom we view our pics (and they rock!) Then very tired but very pleased of tonight’s show we fall asleep.

London, August 13

After a good night rest and not too great a breakfast we go out into town. The weather isn’t great and it doesn’t take too long before it starts to rain. Kimmy wants to show me where Madonna lives, we walk in the right direction and suddenly see Madonna enter her house. We just walk on by as we don’t want to invade their privacy. We filled our day by having great dinner and lunch, shopping and finding out what subways we had to take as it’s Sunday. We find out that the last subway we can take from Wembley back to our hotel departs at 11pm, which means we probably can’t see the entire show. We still have to sell our ebay tickets. But when we arrive at Wembley we know it’s fairly impossible to sell them as they are such worse seats. At the end we do sell them but for very little money. We see the dancers Steve en Norman standing around and ask if we can take a picture with them. They say it’s OK as long as they can photograph our tattoos. We then ask a steward where we can find ‘the hands of Madonna?’, he answers ‘well I hope they’re still attached to her body’. We eventually find the handprints. Kimmy this time wraps our bottle of water up in her jacket and so we enter. Kimmy then hands me her jacket and suddenly a bit of the bottle sticks out, there goes bottle number two.

Inside the venue we are sitting Block B3 row 4 in front of the catwalk instead of Block D 3 row 15. For security reasons we are not able to stand against the barrier, we must stay on our spot, no problem so far but next to me there is a French man. He is completely drunk and is annoying me, Kimmy has got more luck two people next to her that keep walking to the beer stand and come back with beer. The French man is walking away and comes back in a while with a hot dog and loads of ketchup, and then spills the ketchup all over the lady in front of him and she wasn’t amused.

When the show begins (unfortunately Madonna started at 9pm so we had to leave earlier to catch our tube), it’s really awesome to see the show in front of the catwalk WOW! The show rocks like never before and she comes to our side during Jump and she swings on the horizontal bars, then she disappears in the stage. Unfortunately there are still people not paying any attention to the show and keep walking for beer, and have to pass you by over and over again. Unbelievable?! that people pay 160GBP for a ticket and the only thing they’re doing is walking for beer and food, “please go sit in the back”. Also Madonna has a tough crowd, because there are still people left that must smoke there cigarettes. She asked: “Why are you guys not having fun? Free Tickets? Yes I could see! It looks like you guys are here for a snack bar, for ordering a hot dog! I want to see HAPPY PEOPLE! Please stop smoking this is bad for my throat” Good move Madonna.

The show continues and we enjoy every bit of it, time flies like crazy, and then during Hung Up Kimmy said ‘let’s go we must go’. I doubt because it is almost finished, but decided to go with her to the tube, we are walking fast and when we are in the tube first thing we said ‘unbelievable that we were sitting next to people that think that beer and food is more important than the show’. We look at the pictures that we took and were again very proud that we saw the show that close by. Tomorrow we don’t have a show so it will be day of shopping.

London, August 14

No show today so we went to the internet cafe, left our story for the website and went shopping, going to Harrods and get a donut ( I have to admit these are G R E A T!) Had our lunch at the ‘Green Man’ (the wraps were really awesome). Met the guys from Madonnatribe and before you noticed hours passed, when we were talking Steve (dancer) was passing by with I think some family. In the evening we met with Sharon and Heather (she comes from L.A. and already saw a few shows and her last show was the Birthday show) Got some dinner in the best pizza place in London, after dinner we went to a club for just another drink and talked and laughed a lot, it was fun!

London, August 15

Tonight will be the first night that will be filmed for the NBC special that will be broadcast in November. We got tickets for block B3 row 10 (yes, not that bad) but we hope that the audience will stay in their seat during the show. The whole day we were relaxing, the sun was shining, what more do you want. We got earlier to Wembley Arena and talked to Sharon, James, Tony and Heather. Heather walked into the box office and came out and was whispering to us. “I just bought a front row ticket!”. Kimmy and I got both a very weird feeling inside our stomach and said to each other “shall we also try?” so we went inside and when we asked the lady of the box office if there were still front row tickets left, she said “YES there are still tickets left” and before we knew it, there was the credit card and the lady gave us the two FRONT ROW TICKETS!!

Our other tickets we had to sell, but you could leave that to Kimmy, she is very good in selling and setting a price. The ticket broker asked witch tickets they were and named his price, where Kimmy said ‘no’ and named her price. Now the ticket broker started to laugh and said ‘you will never get that for these tickets’ when a second ticket broker walked up and said that he also wants to see the show with our tickets. Now it was the time for Kimmy to laugh and said ‘yeah sure, when I’m selling you guys these tickets you will sell them right away, listen these are not my tickets that I’m selling’ Kimmy started walking to go to another ticket broker, but these two men said ‘wait, you will get your price’ so Kimmy won and the ticket brokers said she was a tough lady to deal with (yes that’s Madonna too).

Let’s go inside. For the third time we put our bottle with water in our jacket and went to the east side to get in. They asked us if we got cigarettes with us, no was our answer because we don’t smoke, so Kimmy asked if this was a request of Madonna. ‘Yes’ said the security. It’s was our lucky day, because they didn’t find our bottle so we got it in! We walked a bit and went to our places, when we passed the security steward he said ‘Lucky you, front row’.

And yes we were VERY lucky and after several text messages to the people at home and some telephone calls, we were so happy as two little children in a candy store, and we were sitting very relaxed. In front of us we had the camera crew that were very busy to check everything, because nothing could go wrong. A guy was sitting next to us, he saw Kimmy and me talking about the show (she will do this and this at our side) so the guy was asking me if we already saw the show? My answer was that this was the third time and we were very lucky today and told him the story. He said that he was only the driver for his girlfriend that was sitting Block D3 and he didn’t got a ticket and went just with pure luck into the box office and see here he got a front row ticket for tonight’s show! It was the last front row ticket, but how are you going to tell your girlfriend that you are sitting front row?

Heather saw us and was so happy for us that we also bought new tickets, we took a picture together. Then it is 9pm SHOWTIME, funny part is that we are sitting opposite the same side as last Saturday and have a great view for the Like A Virgin part. We screamed that loud that Madonna had to pay attention to us! We were very relaxed and we were only busy with dancing and singing and JUMPING!! During ‘I Love New York’ Madonna is standing in front of us playing really her ass off for us, we were screaming jumping and dancing for her that she was playing much wilder. When Ray Of Light is almost over she walked to our side and threw her guitar pick in the audience, unfortunately too far for us so that the person behind me found the plectrum and put it in her bag. You could see that Madonna is having fun performing her show and gives her everything during ‘Let it Will Be!’. During her speech she says that she is proud that there are so much different countries at her show in harmony. We are already in the last part of the show, this is going to fast, DISCO INFERNO! Monte is walking to our side during La Isla Bonita and when we are screaming and jumping for him he smiles and also throws his guitar pick to us (and once again too far) the chairs are our problem for that and before we notice also this guitar pick was gone!

When Hung Up starts is it time to scream again ‘Time goes by so slowly’, back in the tube we couldn’t imagine what had happened to us, but when we saw our ticket again and the photo’s we said to each other that we will wake up soon and that the show has to begin and we are sitting row 10 B3. Gladly is was TRUE, this was the best show so far together with the first, but that wasn’t hard as this was only our third show so far.

London, August 16

When we woke up the first thing we said to each other was HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADONNA!! and that tonight may be very special for you and us! It was the first time that Madonna gave a concert on her birthday. After breakfast and our daily visit at the internet cafe and share our memory of last night’s show, the news was that Donna De Lory performed a concert in Fame Music in Amsterdam, and that we were going to see her because we are also a big fans of her. We will see Donna already in Paris, so this was a very nice surprise for us. Back to Harrods and bought a box of Donuts (for at Home). When we had our last diner at Leicester Square I almost forgot my bag with my photo camera (nervous?) Well it is going to be a special night and we don’t know what will happen on stage?!

We went to the Wembley Arena, very quickly we went inside the venue and also with our famous bottle of water in the hope to take it with us, but no luck this time so must give it to the security guard. We did walk around the venue and saw the birthday t-shirt for 30GBP and I thought it wasn’t worth that much, because the print looked very cheap. On the front the text ‘Happy Birthday” and on the back Spank Me. Bought a soda and we decided to go to our seats in Block A2 row 10, but when we looked there were no places with our seats numbers, (because of the film crew some places had to move) so we went to the security guard and said we had to go to the box office in the main hall and they reschedule our seats. So first of all we were confused about it, and we did ask again in the main hall at a security guard what to do, she said that we had to go outside and take place in the very long queue!. So we went outside and get stressed and a bit pissed, because this will take hours to get in. But gladly some other security guard saw me standing with the tickets in my hand and asked ‘your seats doesn’t exist?’ I said that’s true ‘oh you may go to the small queue at the box office, because you guys were already in the venue’ so we were really relieved about it and went to the small queue and there we got another steward who said that we had to go back to the long queue. So we got a bit pissed and said to him that we were already in the venue but our seats do not exist! So we may walk further and finally the lady gave us our other tickets. Yes we got a new tickets and we are now sitting A2 row 8’, two rows closer. So we want to go inside again but there was another problem. ‘Stop! Drinks Are Not Allowed inside!’ a lady tells us ‘What?! we bought this drink inside the venue’ and there we go again with our story ‘No you didn’t come to me in the first place’ she tells us, HOW MUST WE KNOW?! but we are getting really confused about it, so Kimmy got angry with this lady, and told the story once again but with a louder voice. Well to make this discussion not much longer, we may go inside with the drink but without the plastic cap on it! How pathetic can you be?

Back in the venue and really pissed we found our seats and got lucky we got catwalk seats, but serval people were already standing in our places so sorry for them but they had to leave right away! So we took our seats and tried to forget this moment. Gladly we saw Sharon, Tony and James and there was the first smile on our faces.

But also the people that push the crowd one of them was a lady next to me and needs no introduction for lots of fans anymore, and unfortunately I had the honour, Kimmy wished me luck with this person and said that I had to stand in my shoes to beat her. Where she came from nobody knows, but she didn’t got block A2 tickets that’s for sure! But when everyone was stuck to the barrier (Kimmy was next to me) this lady used her elbows to stand next to me, and she did put her elbow into the left side of my body, that Hurts! After asking several times to stop with that she said “Relax we all come for the same thing” Yes to take my spot! Well sorry lady but I’m not giving up! Before the show started I stood behind Kimmy to give Kimmy more space, but she got a very big guy next to her, that didn’t give any room to her, and there was problem number 2. A Brazilian girl found it necessary to put her hand on the barrier and put her elbow several times in the right side of Kimmy. Kimmy did also say several times to this girl that she was hurting her, but nothing worked, so it became for a short moment some pushing and hitting.

Well the show hadn’t started yet, and it was already one battlefield. Then behind me there were two girls that started moaning about that I was too tall so they couldn’t see a thing! WELL I”M VERY SORRY THAT I’M TALL AND NO I’M STAYING ON THIS SPOT!

Finally the show begins. During Like A Virgin, Kimmy asked me if I want to change our spot, I will and Kimmy is right behind me. The Brazillian girl thinks to put her hand next to me and pushed this will gain her more space, WRONG! When she notices this is not going to work she is working her elbow into my body. I asked her just once to stop with it, she is saying “But I’m only leaning if I’m not leaning then I’m falling down”. ‘you don’t need to use your elbow when you’re leaning though!’ I’m still pissed of the first lady of using her elbow, well the Brazilian is trying a new weapon: pinching me, well I began angry now and gave her a big push so that she is almost flying over the chairs. Doesn’t have any effect on her because there is she again!

During Isaac someone ticked me on my shoulder, a tour staff member asked me if I want to make place for someone with a cowboy hat, and will get my spot back after Let it Will Be (looks good for the DVD), okay tried to make the best of it. When Madonna is running over the catwalk during Let It Will Be. She is not taking the cowboy hat of the guy in front of me, but from the other side! (Typical Madonna). After Let it Will Be everyone was singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Donna and Nicki take the song over from us, Madonna gets emotional and said to her loving fans that she is feeling MUCH better then last year when she was in the hospital with several bone fractures. Again she said that she is really proud that so many different cultures are in one room and having fun (Are you sure Madonna??)

I switch again with Kimmy and the Brazilian girl is not leaning anymore and is jumping on the songs (then what does she mean with I had to lean? I had to take your spot was her intention). The show continues and when music starts some idiot throws a balloon on the stage and one of the dancers got it just in time otherwise he surely would’ve fallen down! Then Finally the show was over, and when we are in the tube going back to the hotel, we were talking about the most horrible show ever. Well let me say this right Madonna gave a show that was FANTASTIC but for me it wasn’t a favourite, thanks to the French and Brazilian Ladies.

London, August 17

Got up early to go home (Unfortunately) In the train from London to Brussels, looking back from a week of lots of fun in London and talked about the show of last night, that nothing special happened on stage after the Happy Birthday singing and the too expensive t-shirt that looked cheap. When we are in the train back to Amsterdam I got a call on my mobile phone, it is the biggest newspaper of the Netherlands ‘De Telegraaf’ what we thought of all the commotion around the cross scene during Live to tell, that some political party (SGP) tries to cancel the concerts in Amsterdam. We don’t get this whole discussion, because we were in London, but it is really insane that they try to cancel the Amsterdam shows and it is typical Dutch to judge before you see something.

There must also be a photo, Kimmy couldn’t make it that day and this article has to be in the paper the next morning, I ask if it is possible to make the photo in my own shop (I was going to the shop) Around 5pm the photographer was there and took my picture. At home I took a shower and fell down on the coats!

Dusseldorf, August 19

After two days of working hard it is time to leave again and around 7pm we jump on the train going to Dusseldorf. Simon is seeing his first show tomorrow. After a journey of 2 hours we are in central Dusseldorf and after a small walk we are in our hotel and on the fourth floor is our room. Did some sightseeing at night and later on we went to bed to get up early to go to the LTU Arena

Dusseldorf, August 20

After a good night’s rest and a very good breakfast we are going to the LTU Arena, but the sky is very cloudy and we know that it will rain soon so first we bought a few umbrellas. At the LTU Arena there are some people already queuing and we are almost sure of the golden circle! The day is going by smoothly and very relaxing, with some rain and sunshine but it is okay! The line is marketed by red/white lint, Kimmy said that this will not be holding a bunch of people, so we hope that everyone is ok before we get in.

Simon & Kimmy are going to the toilets when some idiot is standing and the whole crowd is moving, I’m calling Kimmy and said that they must hurry back quickly. Thank God the German Security has everything under control and force the people to get back to their spot where they were standing in the first place! And people got back to their spot (WOW this is great!) but the lint is already broken so there are no longer marked places anymore. Gladly Kimmy & Simon are back and they had predicted the rush and see the lint broken also at the crowd behind us, so we hope everyone is staying on their spot and won’t be jumping the queue. Then to make the disaster complete we got a big shower of rain and we all stand together under our umbrella but the pressure is also getting heavier and the atmosphere is stressful, and I don’t feel very comfortable with all these pushing people.

What happened the next minutes is a blank for me, but the gates are open now (the police forced to open the gates before someone got injured). Pushing, yelling and lots of screaming and not of excitement but out of fear. Then I see Kimmy jumping the fence and I do the same thing, one of the security tries to push me back in the crowd, I’m screaming that this is going out of hand so please let me through! Then he sees the situation and pulls me to him, only my arm is still behind an umbrella or arm, or whatever but I hurt my arm. The security guard loses control over the crowd, this was a really scary moment!

I’m still a bit dizzy of what was happing and wait with Kimmy on Simon, gladly we found him very quickly and run inside the stadium and on our way to get in, I was saying that this was not worth it and I will never do this again! When you think inside the hell is over?? No it starts again when we get in the golden circle. We must walk in a very small path and this again pushing fighting and screaming!! Then we finally made it on the side of where Like A virgin is performed. Everybody tries to get back to reality after what we’ve been through the last 20 minutes! When I’m looking around I see the disco ball on stage open with all the light on, and saw some crew member working on it. Then I see on stage Monte and Donna only later I see a very tiny lady on stage walking over the catwalk. The fans are screaming for MADONNA! Only Madonna is not amused about it and “SHUT UP OR FUCK OFF” This is not the show! And says that it was not her decision to get us in, if she was in charge we were still standing outside, but the police said that we must get in.

After the rehearse of Future Lovers and Get Together she left the stage still a bit pissed! The opinion of the crowd of how she reacted on the crowd was mixed, first place I think she was right for yelling to us about the difficulty of dancing and she must concentrate for it, but hey we were waiting outside for you and when we were still outside there were people getting hurt, did she want that? But seeing the rehearsal for the first time in my life was a dream come true, so because of that I have mixed feelings of this moment.

Waiting was very good and we got some food, Simon was being interviewed, then the support act (Paul Oakenfold) was starting and this was a pleasant support act! Very good!!

When it is showtime, you could see that Madonna is working on the automatic pilot and she is doing her thing, but the enthusiasm is what we are missing in the show, so now and then she smiles a bit and during Like A Virgin it is our time to go wild and when she smiles at us you can see that she means it, and looks at us with an impression like “Hey Do I Know You Guys??”. During her speech she is really the Madonna we know from the past cynical. She asked if we want to sing a song for her, but there comes no reaction from the crowd, then she asks again if we like to sing a soccer song for her! Again no reaction! Now Madonna stands up and says “DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH???” hahaha that’s our girl! The show is still good and during La Isla Bonita, Monte is right in front of us and throws his guitar pick to us, this time I’m faster than the girl behind me, so I got the pick! (YES!!)

When the show is over and we walk to the exit we say to each other that we are first going to see how everything is in Hannover and when we see this red and white lint again we are NOT queuing.

What a day what a weird day!!!

Hannover, August 21

After again a very delicious breakfast we are leaving and going to the train station and buying some newspapers. The journey is going well and around the clock of 3pm we are in Hannover, when we are in the hotel we got a very nice room! Then we go into the city and explore Hannover, there is the first H&M stores that already selling the track suits, lots of posters and lots of billboards in Hannover, but also lots of magazines and newspapers! Hannover knows they will get MADONNA! Unfortunately it starts to rain again, this will be the holiday with too much rain. In the evening we drink a wonderful cocktail and then off to bed.

Hannover, August 22

I’ll tell you that when I woke up I was totally not in the mood to go queuing again, lots of excitement for the show, but Dusseldorf was too much in my head of what went wrong. When we are at the AWD Arena we see some people already queuing (think the same as in Dusseldorf) only the entrance looks like you enter a ZOO! And again with the red and white lint for marking the spot! First Simon and I let us seduce ourselves to go queuing because of the less people, but gladly Kimmy said NO I’m not queuing! So we go back to the centre and buy more newspapers. What we don’t miss is the rain that showers down over Hannover. In the afternoon got some great lunch and we went back to the hotel and relaxed a bit, then it is time to go back to the AWD Arena, there are more people now queuing. We just walked around and we didn’t join the queue, I’m not wearing any coat so my Madonna tattoo gets lots of attention from a photographer. He asked me if he may take a photo of my tattoo and if I like to answer some questions for the Hannover Zeitnung which will be in the papers tomorrow morning, so no problem with that

When Madonna is going to do her soundcheck we all know she will not let us in to see it again! We are going in the queue and when there is the rush again and the gates open we are getting in much more smoothly than last Sunday! And again Golden circle access! We hope that it will be dry for the rest of the day (it is an open air concert). We got really good spots right before the platform where she starts off the song Jump.

Then we are getting in contact with Jim (tourstaff member) and we ask what Madonna’s mood is like today. He: “MUCH BETTER THAN THE LAST SHOW!” and also ask what he is doing during the tour? Well he manages the transport and helps building the stage for every city they are playing in. Then one of the security guards tells us the it is not allowed to take photo’s during the concert of Madonna WHAT?! In the whole of Europe you may take pictures only here in Hannover it is not allowed?? He points his finger to the rules, once again DAS IST VERBOTEN! Then on the same moment one of Madonna’s camera men walks by and I asked him the same question and he said “SURE YOU ARE ALLOWED TO TAKE PICTURES!!” Also got my wristband (nice plastic blue one with the name Madonna and not a paper one like they had in Dusseldorf). Paul Oakenfold starts again with his set and sound again WONDERFUL! The space we have is great. Guy Oseary passed by and sees our tattoos and makes some photo’s then continues his way.

SHOWTIME!!! Madonna is back on stage and is doing a great job again and you see the difference with the last show in Dusseldorf! She is happy and smiles all the time and when she is doing Jump and stands in front of us, we got the biggest smile of her. The show is really FUN!! During her speech she says that she’s got a bit of a hangover (LOL) and we notice that, she asks “Are you hot??” YEAAAHH! ‘Are You F*cking Hot?’ YEAAAAH! And then putting on her coat during Drowned World, well that make sense (hahaha). The Show is flying by and when she walks our way during Lucky Star, her smile is still there! When the show is over we had to walk a bit before we are in a tube, tired but fully satisfied we take in the hotel a beer and get upstairs and finally going to bed! I know that when I smell my pillow I’m already sleeping.

Hannover was one of the better shows so far! I have a very happy feeling when I look back on this night.

Hannover, August 23

When we are eating our breakfast we see the newspapers and yes there it is, I was in the Hannover Zeitnung, nice picture and a few lines of the interview. Then it is time to say goodbye to Hannover and jump on the train back to Amsterdam, of course with the newspapers in our bag. The Journey is going well only afterwards the airconditioning in the coupe is not working so it’s getting hotter by the minute. Arrive in Amsterdam Central station and Germany is finished, we are thinking that the whole journey was a great event with a very great show in Hannover. Well first for two days going back to work and then next stop PARIS!

Paris, August 26

Got to leave early today. Peter brought me to Amsterdam central station where Kimmy and Simon were waiting for me. Got some coffee and jump on the train to PARIS!! The journey was okay, only this woman voice that constantly was announcing when we were entering a new station and asking us to welcome new passengers.

Then with no delays we were in Gare Du Nord in Paris, straight to the hotel and then leave right away for the performance of Donna De Lory. Our room wasn’t ready yet so we left our luggage in the locker room and left the hotel and tried to find the Yoga centre where Donna was playing. After in the first place not finding this yoga centre we found it and during the small break we may go inside and take place on the floor. Everybody was quiet and the songs of Donna came straight from her heart and definitely reached mine. Her voice is magical and when the performance was over, we got the time to talk to her and took some pictures and got an autograph. She really turned me upside down with her voice and music, I thought she was really sweet.

Outside it was time for a late lunch, unfortunately the weather didn’t co- operate with us and started to rain (so what else is new)! Back to the hotel, bought some soda and got into our room that was on the 6th floor, that meant walking lots of stairs, just practice for the stairs for the Amsterdam ArenA. Our room was nice and with a short break we went to Bercy just watching how many people were waiting already. Then off to Lucky Records, when you are there you get a bit greedy wanting to buy everything that you see, but just bought the Dancing Queen book and the new spotlight magazine
Got to bed normal time.

Paris, August 27

Today the first show in a row of 4. After our breakfast we went to the tour merchandise stand and bought our Confessions world tour vest, mine is fits perfectly. In the afternoon we went to the hotel of Madonna (the Crillion Hotel)!, but she was already gone for her first soundcheck so she needed to check everything. We are also going to Bercy, but not to go inside yet, just some sightseeing, got some dinner and then into the line through the park. Well the queue was HUGE!! And when we are in last one in the queue it took us more then an hour to get in Bercy. It is the first show on a Sunday which means a lot of people that want to see the show so the crowd is very chaotic and when we are inside Bercy, the support act was already busy playing. Sharon,Tony and James got ticket stress, the plan was to pick up their tickets at Fnac but the shop is closed on Sunday!! And buy tickets on the black market is no option because they are too expensive, I think I would be going crazy if this would happen to me.

The support act (a French DJ) and it is dark and Bercy is full of people so it is impossible to go to the right side of the stage. The DJ (Bob St Clare is playing his hit WORLD HOLD ON and it surprised me that everyone is singing the song. The lights go on when the support act is over and we see that there will be no chance to get closer to the stage so we stay were we are, but it is HOT inside Bercy. When the VIPS are taking there place the whole of Bercy is upside down and when Jean Paul Gaultier takes his place he had to take pics with lots of people, the rest of the VIPs are unknown to me.

When the lights go out, Bercy is screaming just for one thing. I missed Madonna and was happy to see here again. But got the feeling that not everything is working great, it looks like that the disco ball takes longer to close than ususal (or did I just imagine that?) Bercy is upside down and is one big sauna, seems that the airco is not working in Bercy. Also Madonna is not in her best of moods and during Ray of light when she is walking to the left side of the stage you could see she is looking (no one is jumping in the front) I said to Kimmy and Simon SHE IS LOOKING FOR US!! Kimmy didn’t see much only somebody’s legs! But she is trying to see a glimpse of the show.

There is one thing I really don’t get, I saw it already in London, that there were so many people walking during the show, you pay lots of money for a ticket and then they’re just walking to get beer or whatever. When the show is over we decided with each other that we are going earlier to Bercy and hopefully get more to the front. Caroline has arrived but skipped the show and she went to the hotel of Madonna and yes she spotted Madonna when she got back to her hotel

Paris, August 28

The weather is still wet and grey and we going to Bercy to see how busy it is, then we are going to the centre of Paris. In the afternoon we are going to the hotel of Madonna and it is still raining very hard ( is this never going to stop?) We are nearly by the entrance, but with all these umbrellas in your view it isn’t a pleasant staying. Strange detail is when Madonna is going outside the rain stopped and there was a bit of sunshine! When she is in the car and is going to Bercy it starts to rain again (HOW BIZARE?!)

After our diner we went to Bercy the queue isn’t that long so when we are inside Bercy we are in the front of the stage where she is playing Jump. Caroline is more in the front and this is her first show since Cardiff. We met Jim again and talk to him and that everything is going by plan, Madonna is satisfied and later on we see Guy Oseary and he is again taking photo’s of us and says ‘great tattoos!’ The Support act is really horrible even more so than last night, again a French DJ with a singer and he could only scream through the songs like”Come On Come On” The audience doesn’t like it at all and everyone is screaming and after 15 minutes they leave the stage. We are very happy with our spot and cool air and in great company of Sharon, Tony and James so this evening is going to be GREAT!

Madonna comes up around 9:15pm and we are already getting wild and during Jump she sees us, she gives again one of her famous smiles. You could imagine that we are going crazy and during Ray Of Light we were Jumping like she asked for. During her speech and after doing the flags thing she asked if we want to repeat her ‘WE ARE ONE , WE WANT PEACH, NO MORE WAR and F*CK George Bush!’ She is satisfied and sings Drowned World. WOW ! this is so beautiful. During Lucky Star when the ladies are walking again to our side we are screaming for Donna and she puts her thumb for us like she is saying HEY I KNOW YOU GUYS!!!!

When the show is over we all agree that this show is much much better then last night. Back at the hotel we are in the garden drinking and talking and seeing our pictures. Then Caroline and I make a decision to queue one night (last show) so she will arrange a tent for the night!

Paris, August 29

No show today, a day of sightseeing, and we like to going to the grave of Jim Morrison, but first we are going to FNAC, Lucky Records. Then having a great lunch at a Chinese restaurant near Lucky records, for € 9,- eat as much as you can, not expensive and it was delicious!

Then over to the Champ d’Elysees (sorry wrong direction guys) and the rain continues and this is no fun anymore. When we left the Virgin Megastore finally the sun comes through and this is what we want. When we are going to the grave of Jim Morrission in the evening you could imagine that the graveyard is closed (typical something for us) Going back to Bercy by bus, and it is fun to see Paris like this, back at Bercy we buy a delicious Crépe Nutella and going back to the hotel. There we are sitting in the breakfast room and talked over the show of tomorrow. Caroline is also joining us and said she found a tent, the rest of the day she went to Versaille.

Paris, August 30

Today the weather is good and very sunny, we went to the graveyard. When we arrived there it is really spooky and saw lots of graves except the one of Jim Morrison (LOL). Then we got a phone call of the Dutch radio station KRO on my mobile for a reaction of the H&M track suit that was released that day in Holland, and who could know more about that then Kimmy (the track suit is only for women). Kimmy did an interview live on the Dutch radio.

In the afternoon we went back to the hotel and it is busier then the last day, and it seems that this has to do with the better weather. Kimmy and I are on the right side where the car has to pass us but I’m not the only one taking pictures, so it is busy. Madonna is on her way to Bercy and we going back to the tube, I look at my pictures but they’re not that great. Back in the hotel we are preparing ourselves for tonight’s show and going to take our dinner at the Italian, the cook is not in the house so no dinner for us. Then we are eating somewhere else because we want to get in Bercy by time. We got in quickly and didn’t take hours and our spot inside is even better (more to the stage) super view! The security gave us water and they spoke to us in English.

The show is great like always, only during Let it Will Be something is not going well when the bass is not there (sounds great) but Madonna is ticked off and tries to save all that is left, but doesn’t really succeed. She gave Stuart a look and Stuart is looking back with his hand in the air like I don’t know what is happening?! (I heard later on that when Madonna left Stuart gave her his middle finger!) but a very great show with great audience! After the show I’m running to the entrance and wait for Caroline, we have about 30 people in front of us and we decided to pick up the tent and spend the night outside. So Caroline walked back to the hotel.
Simon and Kimmy are going to pick up Amon (he comes over for the show tomorrow). They passed by and wished us good luck.

When Caroline is back with the tent and when this is done, I’m going back to the hotel to put on my glasses and take my coat. Simon, Kimmy and Amon are already in bed but awake.
They asked me how busy it is, I said it is okay but it is cold and humid, wished them goodnight and I walked back to Bercy, where Caroline is already in the tent and we both tried to get some sleep.

Paris, August 31

The night passes by with no problem at all, but it was cold so I’m feeling a bit stiff, but for the rest it is okay to hold on. Caroline is the first that is going back to the hotel and have some breakfast, and when she is back I’m going back to the hotel and have my breakfast, I see Kimmy and Simon. They had a very weird night with Amon he was sick after drinking one beer. Then I go back to the room and take a shower and got back to Caroline. The sun is really doing his thing being hot and the atmosphere is great. Behind us it has become much much busier, but we are glad that we are protected by high barriers so no one could jump the queue, because there is security that keeps an eye on us!

Then I got a phone call of Kimmy she was in an internet cafe to update the site and she said that we got an email from Warner Holland, that we got permission to take pictures during the last show in Amsterdam. I thought that I was going crazy “WE MAY TAKE PHOTO’S DURING THE SHOW!” A dream that does come true, but must keep the news to myself, I did tell Caroline and she was really stunned about this news. Around the clock of three Caroline took the tent back to hotel, then I heard music, “Hey they already are soundchecking” I heard I Love New York. When Caroline came back they were still soundchecking ILNY, so I said Hmm .. Well they better souncheck “Let It Will Be” that’s the song that didn’t got it right last night. Then around 4.30pm there is the voice of the lady we were all waiting for for hours now!. The security asked us to stand in line before the gates open, but still relaxed and still enjoying the sun. Kimmy, Simon and Amon came by and Amon was doing a bit better now. Kimmy said to me that I had to bring a huge zoom with me for Amsterdam.

It’s six when the gates open and we are getting inside very smoothly and when inside we RUN! We stand on the catwalk side (almost the same position as at the Birthday show) Inside Bercy the heat was there again and Caroline is getting dizzy. An Italian boy next to me gave her some sugar with water and she came back and feeling better! The Security in Bercy was AWESOME! With everyone giving some water and they were very friendly. The support act okay I will say nothing about that, it’s nothing and stays nothing. The excitement and pressure were feeling now. When Guy Oseary walks by again Caroline ticked him on his shoulder and says “HEY DO YOU REMEMBER ME FROM CARDIFF WITH THIS SHIRT?” He recognized Caroline and took a picture of her and shirt, then he passed me and again said I LOVE YOUR TATTOO and for the third time he took a photo of it.

When the show starts you will forget all the pressure pushing and the heat and you enjoy the show. During Get Together when she walked over the catwalk she grabbed my hand (WOW!) and she smiled all the time. I made excellent pictures. I notice that the dancer (were I in London had to switch my spot with) stood next to Caroline and took a picture of him. Yeah he was also a member of the dance crew, but forgot to take a pic of him in London. Then when I Love New York starts we could not believe what we see there is Lenny Kravitz. He is playing the song together with Madonna WOW! This is really the first time that this happening at a Madonna concert. AWESOME to see! That was the reason that they were soundchecking this song that often.

Jumping to Ray Of Light was impossible for us, because we couldn’t move at all. Let It Will Be is very good now and she took the hat of the dancer on our side so could take awesome pics of it. Madonna was sad because it was the last show in Paris but was very happy that there were so many different cultures. So “SHOW ME YOUR FLAGS!” some of the fans lost their flags. She walked to the front of the catwalk and says NO MORE WAR! and we repeat Madonna again NO MORE WAR! When Music starts and the dancers dance by so quickly, you feel the wind they produce and before we notice we are in the last part of the show, IT IS GOING THAT FAST! There is Madonna again with her microphone and tells her audience to sing TIME GOES BY SO SLOWELY’ No didn’t got the mic under my nose, I think then Bercy would’ve been in total shock, LOL! With a balloon in my hand and saying goodbye to a great team of security of good services we are heading outside. Show 10 was a fact, and Paris was over now only 2 shows left!

Outside we see Amon, he saw the show from the first ring (reserved seat) and I got hungry again and bought a crépe Nutella . Caroline is going back to the hotel (she was totally exhausted). Found Sharon, Tony and James and she told me that a seller sells posters of the H&M campaign and there were Simon, Kimmy and Amon. They were on the same spot as last night and talked to Isaac WOW! Sharon had to cry because it was the last show for her and we had to say goodbye and that was tough, also for me! Back in the hotel we made a group photo and then fell asleep. Thank you Paris!

Amsterdam, September 1st

Today we are going back to Amsterdam and then with 2 shows left the tour is almost over for us and. On one show we may take photo’s during the first three songs (management says 4 songs but they also count I feel Love as a song. I’m busy to arrange a big zoom for the show! We must stand at the mixing tables and don’t know how much distance it is to the stage! Called every contact I have for a bigger lens, but the biggest is 300mm, so unfortunately this is the largest I could get.

When we are going to the train we see Caroline (she wants to go to Virgin to buy her copy of COADF with DVD) We are going to ‘Gare Du Nord’ when it is almost time to hop on the train we see the dancers, the band and Guy Oseary on the same platform we had to be, so they are too going by train to Amsterdam. When we are in the train and going to Amsterdam we visit the coupe where they were, but most of them were sleeping, so we didn’t want to disturb them, maybe later.

Caroline phoned us, after we send her several text messages, because she wasn’t in the train with us. She was in the hospital because she fainted at the tube station with her suitcase. She could take the next train to Amsterdam but she had to take things very slowly. Later on we went back to the coupe of the crew, still some of them were sleeping or busy with family. Hypnosis walked by and Kimmy and simon took a picture with him. We didn’t see them at the Central Station in Amsterdam as they took off at Schiphol.

Amsterdam, September 2nd

After a very good night’s sleep, I washed my clothes and prepared myself for the performance of Donna De Lory in Fame Music. With a big bouquet of flowers I went to Amsterdam and met Amon, Kimmy and Simon at Fame. Isabel and friend came by and when we were waiting and talking we see Cloud and Tamara walking by, we said hi to them and the say very friendly also Hi and walk further. At the Entrance of Fame Music there were two people of Finland and they talked to Kimmy and she asked how they knew about this live performance? “Well fansites” Which one?? Madonnaunderground!! Oh well that is my website. ARE YOU MADONNA UNDERGROUND??? so we had to take a picture with them VERY FUNNY!.

Inside the Fame ( you got access by buying the CD Sky is open) it was really crowded and Donna entered the stage very quickly and started to sing. The same magical voice like in Paris. After the performance she did a signing session, so we were waiting in line and it took a while! Donna saw familiar faces and waved to us. Several times we heard Donna saying “No I’m sorry but I can not give this to Madonna’ We were wondering why people even took the trouble to see Donna, when all they could think about was Madonna. I felt pretty embarrassed about this whole situation. When we were finally there we gave her the flowers and she was really happy with flowers and happy to see us! WOW IS THIS FOR ME? yes they are for you! THANK YOU GUYS!! Kimmy asked if she was tired? Yes she was and gladly we were one of the last people for the signing. Back to the house of Kimmy and prepare ourselves for tomorrow morning when we are going to queue for the first show in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, September 3

Got up very early (5am) and went to the Amsterdam Arena, when we are there it is about 7am. We took place at entrance J there are about 15 people waiting for the same thing in front of us. We are quite certain of making it to the golden circle. Well I could tell you that my mood is getting grumpier by the minute when it begins to rain AGAIN this holiday, and it is not just raining it is absolutely raining cats and dogs. I’m wet and very cold, we got some plastic and umbrellas with us. About 9am Caroline arrives and we made a sort of tent to keep the rain away. Finally after two hours the rain is gone and it gets dry and there is a bit of sunlight also! Caroline told us she brought a flag with her from Tibet (this is from her mother) and when Caroline got the chance she will show this to Madonna.

When it finally stops raining it is time to stretch our legs and walk around a bit. It is Sunday but gladly some shops are open we went into a sports shop and we could take some coffee, or soup or hot chocolate for 20cents each that was very tasteful. Peter arrived with Evelien around 12 o’clock, but they decided first to go see a movie (well I disagreed with that) And as usual there are people that come late to an event like this and think that they still have chance to reach the front row and tried to take place next to us! I’m reaching my point of losing my temper and asked the security to remove these people. Later on this happened again between the gates and our place, these are the people that when the rush starts they are suddenly in front of you.

Madonna is in the house around 4.30, she started her soundcheck and there are still people that already begins to stand up and got their ticket ready and try to reach the beginning of the gate! SIT DOWN PLEASE! the doors won’t be open sooner then 6 so you have to wait for another 90 minutes. Gladly people listen to it and are sitting down again! But some people are ignoring your speech and they are the worst kind, because later on they are in front of you. Got a text message from Peter that he was interviewed by SBS6 Program “Hart van Nederland” (a Dutch news program) Also near Entrance G there were some people protesting against Madonna of the SPG party with messages like “JESUS ALSO LOVES MADONNA!”

Finally it is 6 the gates are open and we got a security guard that found it necessary to search everything. When we got the security check and scanned our ticket we had to take some stairs and after that we had to RUN! Kimmy was exhausted, but Simon was running further, I wait for Kimmy and when we reach the golden circle Simon had already claimed our spot! WE ARE IN THE FRONT! (right side main stage). Perfect view this was our goal! In the front at the Amsterdam Concert! The soundcheck was just finished, because Donna and Nicki were still on stage. So we screamed DONNA!! she saw us and waved to us and asked “Where is Kimmy?” she was sitting on the ground, when she came up Donna and Nicki waved to her. I took a photo of Donna and Nicki on stage. Talked to Jim he gave us later on a bottle of water and a piece of cardboard to use as a fan.

Got my wristband and walked to the mixing table I had to see how far this was from the stage, and the distance is far so fingers crossed if I got a zoom that is big enough for this distance! Saw Peter and Evelien they were near the mixing tables! When I walked back to my spot I saw dancers Steve and Norman. Caroline was near the catwalk (same as last show in Paris but the stage is a bit higher). Paul Oakenfold was again the support act he changed his set, but it was still AWESOME! also the set was longer then in Germany. After Paul it was waiting for MADONNA, but it took a while before she came on stage, instead of 9 she reached the stage by 9.30. When the moment was there and the disco ball was down on the catwalk, the audience went wild and stayed that way the whole show! Especially when Live To Tell came, everyone was screaming and cheering for it and hopefully all the people demonstrating outside the ArenA heard that!

During I Love New York one of the front speakers didn’t work so the sound wasn’t fantastic, Madonna made her intro for Ray Of Light longer by saying that there were some technical problems! But this was solved very quickly and Madonna was already busy to get us jumping and everyone was jumping. After Let it Will Be (what was in front of us when she put her hand in her trousers and licked her finger) Madonna was lying on her stairs! and she says: “Amsterdam finally I’m back! You got a terrible reputation like me! When she got up and want to see the flags she sees an Australian guy standing in the front and she asked How many show is this one? the 11th ?? WOW!! (this also for us our 11th show and afterwards people were asking if she was talking to us?)

Then she walked over the catwalk and in the first place on the side of Caroline no flags, but Caroline is screaming and holding her flag high enough! Finally Madonna sees the flag and asked which country? Huh?! Earplug goes out, Tibet?!! Okay! and walked further, Kimmy, Simon and I look to each other “She Did It!”. The show continues, where two years ago the Dutch audience was very quiet, now the audience were wild and dancing and singing the whole time. You could notice that also on Madonna about here rebel attitude.

After the show we talked to Caroline and she was so happy. We went home and after seeing a lot of pictures we went to bed and tried to sleep a bit, Kimmy and Simon go to the ArenA tomorrow late in the morning

Amsterdam, September 4th

Today it is my BIG day, because today I got permission to make pictures during the last concert of Madonna in Amsterdam. Woke up around 10am and around 11.30 I brought Kimmy and Simon to the Amsterdam ArenA! I had to go home to pick up my camera and my parking card (that I got from Caroline she bought a VIP package for today so she is in the golden circle and I must be in the ArenA at 7.30. Caroline and I will go to the Amstel Hotel to see Madonna leaving to the Amsterdam ArenA. Put the car in the Transferium in the ArenA and did a check to see where Kimmy, Simon and Amon were sitting (entrance J again). Then to the tube station and go to the Amstel Hotel. But didn’t got a travel ticket for it, so wanted ot buy one, but I only have got 50 Euro’s and a pin pass! So took my chance and got on the tube without my ticket, but of course just my luck to be checked when stepping out of the tube. I explained my story and dilemma but the men just said ‘sir, I hear this daily, but if you buy a ticket right now and show it to me, then there is no problem’ so I did.

Bought my newspapers and called Caroline and she was on her way to me and when she arrived we did walk very quickly to the Amstel Hotel. It wasn’t busy at all some photographers and some fans and a few people that passed by. We are standing right at the front. First we see Stuart coming out together with Angela, Stuart looks up when Caroline shouts his name, he is smiling a bit (well maybe he had a big argue with Madonna about the technical difficulty of ILNY). Two land rovers are waiting for the big M to leave the hotel!

Still waiting for Madonna, there is also a police officer on his motorbike to escort Madonna to the ArenA. But he thinks it took too long to wait and goes to the bodyguards, then gets on his motorbike and speeds away. Caroline and I say to each other he must go home now his wife is waiting with his dinner (LOL) Then around 4 there she is in her Adidas track suit, she smiled and jumped in the car, I made some great pictures. The car drives away and in less then two minutes the barriers were gone. Time to eat at the pizzeria! when we look back on a trip that almost comes to an end. Time to go back to the Amsterdam ArenA, Caroline had to be there at 6.30.

At the ArenA it is very crowded and very busy, say goodbye to Caroline and I walked to my car and put in there all the newspapers I just bought. Then one of the demonstrating people of the SPG asked me if I want to listen to him but I said I got no time for him. He said that I’m a “sinner”, but I didn’t respond to that, because I was too nervous for what was coming.

Then it is my time to go the head entrance and they said I have got to Entrance D, where the other photographers were already waiting to get in and my eyes only see very big zooms and ‘Oh Boy I feel that little now!!”. Waiting for Warner, when they arrive they reach us our photo passes (a star in dark purple) You need to put the pass in sight on your shirt for the security. The atmosphere is very relaxing except ME (I felt as if I have to get my driver’s license again). Biggest problem is the distance and do I get M good in my lens. Were to put my bag after the three songs, because I’m going in afterwards. Should I go back to the car or could I put my back at security at the main entrance?

Allison is the lady that tell us what we may do and what NOT! She is very familiar to me, because I know this lady of the Re Invention tour she was the lady that brought you in the PIT! She said that we are at the mixing tables and when the show starts, the show will be at the head catwalk with the disco ball. Get Together is on the centre stage and Like A Virgin is on the left side. After Like A Virgin they give you a soft tick on your shoulder and then we had to leave the mixing tables and walk back to the head entrance! No pictures of the VIPS on the mixing tables!

She explains to us that we have to photograph from the mixing desk, that the show starts on the catwalk with the disco ball where she will remain until the start of Get Together at the centre stage and Like a Virgin being performed on the left side. After LAV the photographers will be escorted out. Now it’s time for us to walk up to the mixing desk and we all follow Allison. Here we put our gear together and set up our camera’s. I then chat with Allison asking her if she remembers me from the pit two years before. She then says ‘You were the one down on his knees to get into the pit right?’ I loved the fact that she rememberd this. I then spoke with some people from Warner and then the lights go out, it is now 9.15pm.

I take some shots but when I look at them I am not satisfied, I change the settings of my camera which improve the shots. I am still not happy (being too far out doesn’t help with the camera I brought). Eventually I change the flash on my camera, this works! After Like a Virgin we are indeed escorted out. We all follow the leader and walk back to the main entrance, here I hand in my camera and go back to the field. I am in the back, I decide to stay here and watch the show from this point. I focus on the main screens to try and see if there are things I hadn’t seen in the 11 shows before. I brought a small digital camera and take some overview shots. I love the fact she sticks out her middle finger and helds it against her bum during Let it Will Be.

I notice that the sound is reasonable, everybody is dancing which is great to see. When the show is almost over I walk to the end of the field and see the sign ‘Have You confessed?’ and walk back to the main entrance, pick up my back and head to entrance J to meet up with Kimmy, Simon and Amon. Amon takes a coach back to his house and I drive Kimmy and Simon to their home in Almere.

They had watched the show from the exact same spot as yesterday and had an amazing evening. Especially Let It Will Be as it was performed right in front of Kimmy. At home we review the shots I took and I am quite positive about them. Kimmy and Simon’s pics are amazing! What an amazing evening, what an experience! My dream of photographing Madonna professionally at a show has come true. I say goodbye to Kimmy and Simon and go back home to go back to work the following day.

Amazing trip: Peter who ran the store with Ben and Eveline
Great time: with my friends Kimmy, Simon, caroline and Amon
Crazy: interview KRO and Telegraaf, Madonna putting her coat on in Hannover
Stress: non existing seats in London, queue in Dusseldorf

Bad weather: Too much rain in England, Germany, France and Holland
HELL: queue in Dusseldorf, the queue in Amsterdam because of the non stop rain
Special: experiencing the soundcheck, getting a photo pass, meeting Donna

Saving up for the next tour and I think 2008 might be a hot summer!!!

Hans Schaft

(written in 2006)