LONDON (x4) – DUSSELDORF (x1) – HANNOVER (x1) – PARIS (x4) – AMSTERDAM (x2)
Two years after the Re-Invention Tour a brand new tour was a fact, Madonna would tour the world with her Confessions Tour. First we told ourselves not to plan as many shows as during RIT (12 shows) but sooner or later we couldn’t deny that we just had to try and attend as many as possible. Both shows in Germany (while we were in Düsseldorf, why not travel further to Hannover?), all shows in Paris (a great excuse to celebrate your holiday), of course both shows in Amsterdam (duh) and London was just too special to miss out (definitely when she announced she would play on her birthday).
To get our tickets for the Amsterdam shows, we slept in front of the post office in Hans’ hometown Purmerend from 8pm the night before. It was freezing cold and we (Simon, me and Hans) were the only one’s there. Some drunken idiot continued to harass us which led to us calling the police and them taking him away. It didn’t get any more crowded until early in the morning, finally at 10am we were allowed to buy our field tickets. We refused to leave the post office after that as we were convinced a second show would be added. The post office employee kept telling us that no date would be added, as he would’ve known about it.
About 50 minutes later he suddenly yelled out ‘Hey, there’s a new date added!’ So our ticket to the second show on the field was purchased immediately. As tired as we were after this, we still went to the largest record fair in Utrecht and had a great day. We bought our tickets for Paris through ICON presale and regular box office, same for Germany, but London through ebay unfortunately. After only seeing small clips of the show, didn’t hear any audio, saw a lot of pictures, it was finally time to go and witness the show ourselves.
London, August 12
Hans and me took the first train from Amsterdam to Brussels, we had to because of extra security due to planned terrorist attacks in London. We arrived way before our departure time with the Eurostar. In less than an hour we got on the train and made our way to London, our second home. When we got to London, as usual I was checked by security at Waterloo, but without any problem could continue my journey. Our hotel was based in Earls Court, I knew the area very well so we found our hotel easily. The hotel wasn’t bad at all and after storing our stuff we made our way to town.
We arrived quite early that evening at the Wembley Arena because we just did not want to miss out on anything. We got in quickly and found our amazing seats, Block A2 row 4! Right before the show started all the people in Block A2 just jumped up to the barriers, so we followed and managed to find the most amazing spot on the very front row! Could not believe our first show would be this close by. Madonna started around 9, we could not see all of Future Lovers as that was performed on the catwalk but when she started Get Together our eyes nearly dropped out of their sockets. We were so incredibly close to her and she looked radiant as always. The dancers too were absolutely stunning, it was just an amazing spectacle. Right before she started Get Together she stood right in front of me and asked ‘London, are you ready?!’ to which I responded ‘YEAH!’ she looked down at me, shook her head and pointed her finger as in saying ‘I do not believe you’.
Most spectacular was without a doubt Live To Tell, I immediately knew why everyone was so blown away by this performance, it was hard to not burst into tears. Forbidden Love was out of this world, as much as I think the album version is way too tame, the live version just kicked ass. We had so much contact with Madonna but the best moment was in ILNY. Madonna was rocking her guitar right in front of us and when she noticed Hans wanting to take a picture she stuck out her tongue as long as it took for him to take the pic. We were so shocked after this and truly happy when we saw that the pic turned out incredible! Later on during Hung Up she was in front of us again asking us to sing Time Goes By So Slowly, so we did but to her it wasn’t good enough. So Hans just literally screamed the lyrics to her, Madonna then had the most funny expression on her face and said to him ‘OKAY!’
The show was over way too quickly, so much had happened that we already had black out of what had actually happened.
London, August 13
Today we were seated right in front of the catwalk in Block B3 row 4, so our view would be completely different from last night. I heard from Donna De Lory’s manager that Donna would do a gig in Amsterdam next to her Paris gig. The gig would be performed in FAME in Amsterdam, the same store where I had helped organize the COADF premiere party. Now I knew that Floris (a friend) who works there had tried to get Donna to come to the store so I was glad to know that he succeeded. Donna’s manager told me that for all the info on her performance that I had to contact FAME as they arranged everything only with them and with no one else, so we did.
At the Wembley Arena we took some pics of Madonna’s handprints and then we ran into Norman and Steve (Madonna’s dancers). They took pics of our tattoos and we took pics with them, lovely guys. Once inside we found our places and saw that our friend Sharon was seated two rows in front of us, so had a great time. It was quite an adventure to see the show in a whole different way, right in front of the catwalk. Future Lovers, Like It Or Not, Isaac, Music and Let It Will Be were totally different from this view. Only thing we did not like this evening was the fact that Sting’s wife was there and brought along some model friends or something, they blocked our view and stood around doing nothing. Madonna was pissed off and complained about the people in the front rows. She asked them if they had received free tickets and if they were waiting at a snackbar. She repeatedly had to ask the audience to stop smoking as it was not good for her throat.
London, August 14
No Madonna related events today, so just did a bit of shopping and found some great items in Soho’s record shops. Some great Mariah and Madonna items I did not have for very little money. We met up with Sharon and Heather in the evening and had a very tasty pizza at Pizza Express around the corner of the G-A-Y bar. After dinner we hung out in a bar and then went back to our hotel to get some sleep.
London, August 15
Today was going to be the first day that the show would be filmed for broadcasting on TV in November. Our seats weren’t too bad, B3 row 10, but still were not pleased with it. In front of Wembley we met up with our friends, Sharon, Tony, James, Steve and our friends of Madonnatribe. Suddenly I saw a very happy looking Heather coming out of the box office telling people she just bought a front row ticket! Hans and me did not hesitate and went to the box office at once. After waiting for a couple of minutes we were finally allowed to go up to the lady behind the counter. We asked her if there were still tickets available to which she responded ‘Yes, front row’. Hans gave her his bank card but that did not work so I gave her my VISA and that was OK. Within minutes we were handed two front row tickets in block A4, we could not believe it!
When outside I immediately sold my B3 tickets to the first ticket broker I saw, I had a set price and wasn’t going for anything less. If you know you got good tickets to sell, then stay true to the price you’re asking for them, so I got my money! While walking on clouds we walked up to our front row seats and were absolutely ecstatic. The area behind the barriers was filled with camera equipment and crew were walking by constantly. When the show started we were front row, without pushing, shoving or heat we had all the space in the world! The show was outstanding, Madonna absolutely rocked and was in a great mood.
During ILNY I had an amazing moment with M, at the end of the song she was going crazy playing her guitar to which I responded by going crazy as well. M noticed this and made her go crazier, again I responded and this continued throughout the last seconds of the song. It was amazing, we completely danced our asses off and Madonna simply rocked. Madonna then threw her plectrum in my direction, but since I am very short the damn thing flew over my head into the hands of a girl standing behind me. The girl grabbed the thing, giggled and put it into her handbag, I was so not amused! But I shared a great moment with M and that was better than any plectrum any day. Later on in the show the same thing happened with Monte, during La Isla Bonita he threw his plectrum in our way and again it flew over our heads. Damn those plectrums! But the show had been the best so far, hopefully this will be the one broadcasted on TV!
London, August 16
Today was Madonna’s 48th birthday, so to celebrate we went out to have dinner at Leicester Square in a Mexican restaurant. Tonight we had quite good seats in Block A2 row 15. Once we got to Wembley a special shirt was on sale as it was her birthday show. But I thought the thing looked cheap and tacky, so I wasn’t going to spend 30 quid on something I didn’t like.
When we walked up to our seats it seemed our seats 7 and 8 were missing from the row. We walked up to a steward asking about this, he told us to go to the boxoffice. We could not find one so figured we had to go outside again, another steward confirmed this, so we stepped outside and had to line up in the HUGE queue. Then another steward approached us telling us we were in the wrong queue and were taken to another one (sigh……). Quickly we then got new tickets in row 8 and were allowed back in. However the lady at the door did not want to let us in with our drink (that we had bought inside earlier). Trying to convince madame that we had indeed bought this inside, did not work. So I got a bit angry with her and this resulted in the fact that we could take the drink inside but without the straw and lid on it.
We found our new spots and they turned out to be catwalk seats, only unfortunately the well known queue jumpers were already in my seat. After telling them to find their own seats I found out that most of our friends were in the same block. When the show was about to start everybody literally jumped at the barriers, so I had to fight to keep my own seat. Enjoying the show was difficult as the pushing and shoving was terrible. I got into a fight with a lady who repeatedly told us that she needed to lean on the barrier (while there was no space). When we told her no she started to push her elbow into my ribs, which hurt like hell. I was over it and switched my spot with Hans.
Then he had the same problems with this girl and she even started to pinch him. Thankfully she gave up after a while. Hans had to make room for a dancer during the rock section as the dancer (of Jump) had to pretend to be a fan with the cowboy hat on for LIWB. Madonna of course got Happy Birthday sang to by us during her speech and she had a great response. But other than that there were few things that reminded the visitors that this was her birthday show. After a while I switched spots back with Hans so that I was front row again. My neighbour thought I was not present as his dancing took up his and my space, what was it with the people tonight?! For the very first time I was relieved that the show had ended, what a mess. There were many tears tonight as this was the very last show for a lot of fans.
Düsseldorf, August 20
The night before me, Hans and Simon took the ICE train from Amsterdam to Düsseldorf and arrived in two hours. Our hotel was a ten minute walk from the Central Station, so that was easy. We decided to head to the queue early the next day to try and gain a good spot at the show. We also spoke with FAME regarding Donna’s performance there and they told us that would like it if we could promote it.
The next day we arrived at the queue around 10.30 but it was raining cats and dogs. There we were in the queue with cheap umbrellas, organized in several rows separated by barriers made of steel and plastic ribbons. Thankfully the rain sometimes would disappear and rays of sunshine would brighten our faces, we managed to pass the time quickly. Suddenly when we were just heading towards the toilets, we heard that people in the queue had stood up and a rush had begun. When we got back we heard that some fans tore up the plastic ribbons and were now suddenly standing in front of us. Security was handling it all very well but could not prevent all of the queue jumpers to go back to their original spot in line. Then suddenly an enormous rainstorm fell down on us, but madame Ciccone was still busy soundchecking while we were literally drowning in the rain. Not long after, the signal was given that we could enter, and that is when all hell broke loose.
The original row 3 and row 4 literally threw themselves onto row 2 and 1, which caused the people standing next to the steel barriers to get crushed. There was panic and screaming everywhere. There were three ladies in front of me and they were screaming as their bodies were jammed into the barriers and they could not move. I panicked as well as I was being pushed from every way imaginable and did not see a chance of getting out of this madness without any injuries. I didn’t know how I did it, but out of the blue I had both of my feet put up against the barrier and with all my might I pushed the people behind me out of the way. I then threw myself over the steel barrier which was a really hard thing to do as I am so short and landed upon other people trying to get out. The panic was huge, the chaos was complete, it felt like a war zone, security had completely lost its control over the people in the queue. While waiting for my friends I saw that Hans got over the barrier as well but his arm got stuck, security had to help him free his arm (don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t helped him). A moment later I saw Simon pushing through the chaos, together we ran (there was no ticket check) as fast as we could to the arena.
But if we thought that hell was over, we were dead wrong. Once inside we found out that the entrance to the golden circle was so narrow that all of the people had to be squeezed into this pile of people to enter the circle. People again got crushed, again there was screaming and panic. My panic was complete and was afraid of passing out, by grabbing the barrier I managed to push myself through into the golden circle, found a barrier and just fell down the ground. Security immediately came up asking me if I was alright, I muttered that I just needed to catch my breath. Only when we settled down a little we found out that Ms. Ciccone was still on stage in the midst of her soundcheck. Lots of people started to scream and yell for her but Madonna wasn’t really in a good mood (well weren’t we all) and told the audience to please shut up as this was not the show, this was only the rehearsal. People did not listen and continued to scream. That set Madonna off and once again she told the audience ‘what did I just say? Shut up or leave, this is not the show’.
She then told us that allowing the audience to watch the soundcheck was not her choice, she was forced by the police as they told her the people outside needed to get in and she was not yet finished. I did not like Madonna’s tone very much, it wasn’t very friendly. I know this was not her choice, I know she was soundchecking but still she could have been kinder and tried to put herself in our shoes. If she would’ve known what kind of hell we went through just to get in, it was the least she could’ve done. Anyhow thinking about the fact that M probably didn’t have a clue what went on outside, I ignored my thoughts and concentrated on watching her rehearse. She rehearsed Future Lovers and Get Together in full and then a slightly happier Madonna left the stage. Düsseldorf had been hell for me so far and told myself to never ever put myself through this again. I valued my health and my life a lot more than some stupid queue with overreacting fans pushing their way through. I was still glad I was entitled to watch Madonna rehearse and was very satisfied with my spot.
We were directly in front of the stage where she performs Like A Virgin. Paul Oakenfold started his set early and this was surprisingly good. We had a lot of space to dance and move around and even got something to eat, that was a blessing! When Madonna started her show we had the time of our lives. You can imagine that when she sang Like A Virgin it almost seemed like we got a private performance. It was just amazing to see her perform this so close by. Madonna just posed for our camera a couple of times, winked and smiled non-stop. It seemed like Madonna wasn’t having her best time so far and you could clearly tell. During her speech she asked the audience to sing her a song, but failed to get any loud response. She then asked the audience other things to which she got little to no response too, this led her to ask them ‘do you speak English?’, it was quite funny. Monte threw his plectrum to us during La Isla Bonita and Hans went down to the floor and found it. It was great seeing the show again, but it had been the most stressful one so far.
Hannover, August 22
From Düsseldorf we caught the train to Hannover (after we bought a lot of newspapers with reviews) we arrived in Hannover in two hours. Hannover was filled with huge H&M billboards and posters. We spent the day hanging out in the city and ate some dinner and went to bed in our four star hotel (wow, what a luxury).
The next morning we went to the AWD Arena to check upon the situation there. We found out when we arrived, that the queue again had barriers but plastic ribbons as well. So we decided not to queue and just take a chance for tonight. After eating a pizza in the city and doing some shopping, we arrived back at the arena around 4. Everything went very smoothly without any problems, with ease we got into the golden circle and found a great spot front row on the right platform where she performs the beginning of Jump.
The stadium was quite big but it had an open roof, so it wasn’t too hot, the temperature was just great. It was then that we met our friend tour staff member Jim. We had a nice chat, a great time and Jim turned out to be a very friendly man. The golden circle was so relaxing, there was no one standing next to us or behind us so again we had all the space in the world. When the show started it was clear that this would be one giant party.
Madonna seemed to be enjoying herself much more and did not seem so uptight. Right in the middle of the show she told the audience that she had a bit of a hangover in Hannover. She was so much fun, very witty, cracking jokes and pulling faces to her dancers and band. During her speech she suddenly put on her well known winter jacket and sang Drowned World. We were laughing our heads off, because when she stood up she seemed to completely disappear within her jacket. It was just like looking at an Eskimo sing. Throughout the whole show we had so much fun, it was such a difference from Düsseldorf. Hannover immediately became our favourite show thus far together with the 12th and 15th in London.
Paris, August 26
Today we (Simon, Hans and I) arrived in Paris by Thalys. Now we just had to carry our very heavy luggage to our hotel (our hotel was only ten minutes away from Bercy). Good to know our room was only on the sixth floor….NOT! As I do not take elevators it meant I had to take the stairs each and every time, but I had no choice. We could not check into our rooms until 2 in the afternoon, but we had to hurry anyway as Donna De Lory’s performance would start at 1.
After Donna’s performance we paid a visit to Lucky Records to snoop around in this amazing store. I bought the new Spotlight fanzine to keep my collection complete, the new amazingly gorgeous book ‘Dancing Queen’ and the Instant Mag Part 2. We then walked by Bercy to check out the queue, and of course there were already people there complete with tents and all.
Paris, August 27
Today we stopped by Madonna’s hotel but were out of luck as she had left early for her soundcheck. So just went on shopping, found an internet café and had nice dinner. We arrived quite late at Bercy despite having standing tickets, unfortunately the queue was enormous so it took a century before we got in. Once inside we did not see a possibility of going near the stage as it was just so crowded, so we got stuck halfway. We were right where the catwalk ends on the very far right side.
The supporting act was playing already, but we couldn’t be bothered. Like usual it was very very hot, humid and crowded inside (doesn’t Bercy ever learn to get better airconditioning?) When the show started we really had to make an effort to actually see something of the show. There were just too many heads obstructing our view, so at one moment just decided to watch the screens to not miss everything of the show. Suddenly we even started to look at the people going crazy in their seats which was much more fun. Madonna wasn’t in the greatest mood like she was in Hannover which was a pity. After the show we left Bercy disappointed and tired and told ourselves to never ever watch the show from such a distance again.
Paris, August 28
Our friend Caroline had arrived in Paris as well and had booked the same hotel as us but did not see last night’s show. She had seen Madonna enter her hotel in Paris and took some pics. We were on our way to Madonna’s hotel and met up with Sharon, Tony and James. It was really crowded and could not really find a good spot. Still we saw Madonna’s exit and shot some pictures.
In the evening our spots were a whole lot better in Bercy, we had found a great spot right at the front of the right side platform (where she performs the beginning of Jump). Sharon, Tony and James joined us and we had a great time. Suddenly I saw tour staff member Jim walking around backstage so I walked up to him and had a brief chat. It was great seeing him again and we chatted about Amsterdam, tattoos and working out. We also saw Isaac walking around backstage. The show was stunning, we had enough space to dance, move around and take pictures. Madonna was close by a couple of times which was amazing, she seemed to be in a much better mood than yesterday. We had enjoyed tonight’s show very much, that made up for the disappointment of the first show.
Paris, August 29
No Madonna related events today so just went into Paris and explore again. I found in FNAC the Dual Disc to Mariah’s Merry Christmas, at Lucky Records the 2 track cardsleeve of Mariah’s Butterfly and at Virgin the Australian cd single for Mariah’s ‘Say Somethin’. That was a lot of Mariah, but at least I could afford her stuff, Madonna’s was way too expensive. They did sell the COADF Japan special edition at Virgin for only 30 euros, but had ordered it already so did not buy. A busy but successful shopping day it was.
Paris, August 30
We decided to do something completely different today and visited the huge cemetery where Jim Morrison is buried. The cemetery was absolutely stunning, beautiful and eerie. We saw so many graves, the cemetery seemed endless. We had to force ourselves to leave otherwise we would’ve been there all day.
Suddenly I received a phonecall from a Dutch radio station called KRO wanting to interview me on Madonna’s H&M tracksuits. I agreed and did my best, did not like the questions very much (“do you feel more Madonna when you wear them?” Puh-Lease!) but I think I did alright. We arrived at Madonna’s hotel by bus, waited for only 30 minutes until she came out, she smiled before she stepped into her car.
Again we walked into Bercy without any problems, and again we were right at the front but this time a little more closer to the main stage. The waiting seemed endless and the heat was almost unbearable, no wonder people kept passing out.
The supporting act was absolutely dreadful, they got booed even before they started their set (that should’ve warned me). The music they played was badly chosen, not once could they mix the records and when they even started and tried to sing a long I was sure that they were the worst DJ’s I had ever seen/heard. Thank God they finished soon and by leaving the stage they were booed again. Madonna again was flawless, there was only a technical problem during Let It Will Be. Some of the sound seemed to fade away, so the song never took off and never got back into it’s great tune. Madonna had to improvise to make the most out of it, but it did not quite work. Madonna however showed the camera how she felt about the situation by showing her ass instead of her hand.
She then went on to tell us in her speech that indeed there were technical difficulties and that they tried to fix this asap. Things seemed OK during Drowned World and we all sang along with her. After the show Hans and Caroline immediately went into the queue, to queue for tomorrow’s show. Simon and I did not join them as we were expecting another friend from Holland, Amon to come and visit us. I went back to the hotel and waited there for Simon and Amon. They were both drinking beer when they arrived and we then tried to sleep. However in the middle of the night I woke up by some sounds, so I listened and found out someone was throwing up in the toilet. It happened to be Amon, the beer on an empty stomach had been a very wrong idea.
Paris, August 31
In the morning Amon still wasn’t feeling well. Simon and I went down to get some breakfast and he later joined us. But after sitting there for a few minutes he asked us where the toilet was and again threw up. Hans had some breakfast as well while Caroline was still waiting in the queue, after his breakfast he went back to the queue. Simon and me then went into Paris, Amon stayed at the hotel to try and feel a bit better.
We stopped by Lucky Records for one last time, walked around and were very happy receiving the email confirmation that we got a photo pass to professionally photograph Madonna in Amsterdam! We then went to Madonna’s hotel. After a few minutes first Lola and Rocco left the hotel (Lola enjoying the attention, Rocco wanting to get into the van as fast as possible). Not long after Madonna left the hotel wearing her black H&M tracksuit and no cap. We then took the bus back to our hotel. Thankfully Amon was feeling better, so the three of us went to Bercy and there had some dinner. Amon had a seat for tonight’s show and Simon and me had standing as usual.
Once inside we again found the exact same spot as on the 28th, Hans and Caroline were lined up next to the catwalk.The show was very good and we were having so much fun, highlight was of course the Lenny Kravitz surprise during ILNY. They rocked and ILNY had never sounded better, the audience loved it! Madonna kissed Lenny on the lips and then ended the song. Madonna thanked Paris in her speech for being such a great audience and continued on her flag speech bit. Lionel Richie was also in the audience tonight. It was a great way to end the Paris stop of the tour. After the show Simon and me ran into Tamara and Cloud so Simon took a pic with them.
We then saw Amon and he too had adored the show. Hans was busy buying food at the creperie and when we found him he was just buying H&M posters that two people were selling on the street. Finally the chance to obtain one of the huge posters! Sharon and Tony were at the creperie as well, unfortunately we couldn’t stay long as we had to pack our things as we had to leave early tomorrow. We had quite an emotional goodbye with our friends from the UK. Hans told us that Caroline had gone straight to her hotel after the show as she was completely knackered.
Paris, September 1
After carrying our even heavier bags (much heavier than on our way to Paris) we arrived at Gare Du Nord. Now we just had to wait to get on our Thalys. I was just looking around while waiting on the station when I suddenly saw some very familiar faces. I immediately recognized Madonna’s dancers, band and crew. It was a fact that two years after RIT they again were on the same Thalys as us. Jim had told us before that people would travel by bus, but I figured he had meant the stage builders and other technical people.
While on our way to the Thalys we said hello to Guy Oseary (who had by the way photographed our tattoos in Paris). We were seated all the way up the front on the Thalys while they were a bit in the back. Still we decided during travelling to walk up to them and see if they were in the mood for a chat and a picture. When we got there we saw that a bunch of them were sleeping so quickly decided not to bother them. In the bar however we saw Norman waiting in line. He recognized us from London and we chatted for a bit and took some pics, he’s a lovely guy. Also Hypnosis was there but appeared very tired but was cool enough to take some pics with us. I also bumped into Madonna’s bodyguard, he nodded friendly and walked away.
This was such a déjà vu from two years ago when almost exactly the same thing happened. But this time they left the Thalys on Schiphol instead of the Central Station in Amsterdam which was a pity.
Amsterdam, September 2
Today Donna De Lory performed a small intimate gig in FAME Amsterdam, followed by a signing session. We promoted the event and met up with her again. She was happy to see us and very pleased with our flowers.
Amsterdam, September 3
We got up at 5am in the morning and arrived at the Amsterdam ArenA (after sleeping only four hours) around 6.30am. As I already knew it didn’t matter whether you would sit at entrance J or G (Mojo had told me), so we settled for the one with less people which was J. We (me, Hans and Simon) found a great spot right at the front, sat down and leaned against the gates and tried to stay awake. Unfortunately it started to rain quite heavily, thank God we had brought enough stuff with us to keep us dry. A while later Caroline joined us, she had brought a bag full of stuff to keep us going for the rest of the day.
Times passed by quickly, sometimes we left the queue to go to the toilets or get something to eat. Unfortunately the first rush started around 4 in the afternoon. Thankfully we managed to calm our section so the rush stopped a few rows behind us and us at the front could remain seated on the floor. The other sections however all were standing already. But at 5 we could no longer calm people down and everybody pushed their way through, so we had to stand while Madonna was still rehearsing. Around 6 the gates finally opened and everybody started to push. Again of course we were the unlucky ones to have security that took ages to search each person.
It seemed like everybody passed us by so we started to scream that he had to hurry, after a fast bag check and scanning our tickets we had to run up the stairs into the ArenA. I was completely exhausted and could not run at all, my legs just refused so I had to literally walk into the golden circle and got lucky.
Simon and Hans found a great spot right at the very front row on the right side of the main stage. To our great surprise Donna en Nicki were still on stage, I sat down to catch my breath and Simon told me to wave to Donna as she was looking for me. So I got up, looked at her and waved. Then she posed for a picture together with Nicki, this turned out great. Not long after our friend Jim walked by, I asked him for some kind of fan as it was so hot. He went backstage and came back with a cardboard box. He cut this into pieces so we could use it as a fan, then he gave the three of us a bottle of water, and we were very thankful for this. He told me he had paid a visit to my website and that he thought it was really good. After another great chat he had to get on with his work and we just tried to take it as easy as possible.
Paul Oakenfold played his set around 7.30pm and again it was a different set, but still combined some of the same songs that he played before. Madonna kept us waiting a very long time, people around me were moaning and complaining. It wasn’t until 9.30pm that the lights finally went out and the show started. I thought that the ArenA wasn’t dancing and singing right away as I had seen in London and Germany previously, but it looked a hell of lot better than Arnhem two years ago. Our spot was simply amazing and had so much contact with Madonna, dancers and band. Unfortunately there were technical difficulties during ILNY near the end, so we didn’t get the explosion like effect that we had in other countries. Because of this Madonna had to extend her speech before Ray Of Light.
Caroline stood right next to the catwalk and had brought her flag from Tibet (her mother is from Tibet), so when it was time for the flag thing, Madonna noticed Caroline’s. She asked her where the flag was from so Caroline answered, we were smiling from here to Tokyo as we know Caroline waited long for this moment. There was another technical issue during Lucky Star as the lights in Madonna’s cape did not work and completely missed the effect. But further Madonna herself was amazing, so much energy, she had so much fun, her speeches just became longer each show. We made sure Madonna got the very well deserved enormous applause during Live To Tell and made the bunch of praying idiots outside look even more retarded. The show ended way too soon and I was certainly not looking forward to another day of queuing. We decided to queue anyway but arrive a lot later than today, when we got home we checked our pics and went to bed.
Amsterdam, September 4
Today we did not get up early but slept late, we only arrived at the ArenA at 12.30 in the afternoon. We were going to meet with Amon right there as it would be his first time standing during a concert. Again we chose to sit an entrance J where there still was lots of space so we settled down. Hans did not need to queue as he had the photo pass for today, Caroline had bought a VIP ticket so no queuing for her either. They had planned to go to Madonna’s hotel in Amsterdam and take pictures.
The queuing today seemed to go a lot faster and easier than yesterday, the great weather certainly helped a lot. Still the first rush started at 3 but again now more people calmed them down, so almost everybody sat back on the floor again. Then it was OK until 5 when security came and everybody rushed forward. We got lucky as everybody ran to the middle, we got all the way up to the front by walking along the barriers. During the waiting here in the queue two men came up to us handing out ‘Madonna Jesus loves you’ flyers. These flyers told some BS story on the back so I refused to accept it and told my fellow fans what the flyer said. We then got into an argument with these two men. I asked them if they even had seen the Live To Tell performance and they said they had not. I told them not to judge something when they hadn’t even seen it. When they told me that Madonna’s motto was ‘Ring my bell, welcome to hell’ the argument went on even further. I told them that Jesus certainly wouldn’t be proud of them judging the way they did and told them to get lost before I called the police on them. Thank God it worked and they took off.
The gates opened around 5.30 and again there was lots of pushing and shoving, but managed to get through quickly this time. In the ArenA I tried to run again, but still my legs did not work with me and had to walk into the golden circle again. To my surprise Amon and Simon managed to find the exact same spot as yesterday’s show, EXACTLY the same!. Right before the show I spoke with Guy Oseary and we ate some pasta. Paul Oakenfold again played a new set. We also saw Hans standing on the mixing desk with the other press, a while later Caroline got into the golden circle. Madonna started earlier than yesterday and from the very first seconds we were going crazy. Madonna appeared happier as well and she seemed to be giving it her all. During Forbidden Love after the hand-dance she sang an entire verse to me, I was very thankful for my spot as I was right in front of her. During Sorry she actually (like last night) stuck her hand between her legs instead of pointing to her crotch.
But I had the best moment of the tour when Let It Will Be started. Madonna came our way and stopped right in front of me, I knew her infamous ‘hand in pants, licking finger’ scene was about to come up. She looked me right into my eyes and while she did this pose I took this incredible picture of her. I responded by sticking up my thumb to her to thank her for the fitting pose, to which she responded by nodding, winking and smiling the most cutest smile to me I had ever seen her do. She then started to sing while still looking at me, so I sang along with her and did the same arm gestures as her which caused her to crack up. When she sang ‘Don’t it make you smile’ she pointed at me during the ‘You’ and then went on with her act. I was shaking on my legs, I was smiling like never before, proudly I showed my just taken picture to Amon and Simon. I asked Simon if he had seen her react to me and he said he did.
The last show, on my favourite M song, my favourite moment that it had to happen to me! I was sooooo happy and couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the show. From then on I only had to fight back tears and did not want to believe that this really was my very last show. I enjoyed each performance immensely tonight. You Thill Me is just so beautiful, the fabulous dancing on La Isla Bonita and her amazing body during Hung Up! The more I saw the show the more I enjoyed it, this show had that certain ingredient that I was missing in RIT and the friendliness I missed in DWT. Forcing back the tears we went outside after the show, hating the fact we hadn’t seen Jim anymore to say goodbye.
Outside we saw Hans telling us his photo pass experience and saying that pit lady Allison had led him to the mixing desk. We were too tired, too exhausted to visit the afterparty in Amsterdam, despite the free tickets that we had. Too bad but our bodies needed rest, and needed it badly. I am going to miss this tour terribly, this show truly showed the world why Madonna is such a living legend, it had everything! The dancers were incredible, the well known band and crew and of course the fabulous Donna De Lory. I was thrilled Madonna performed so much new material, finally no Don’t Tell me, Holiday or Like A Prayer! Very happy that the contact with her fans was even bigger than during RIT and also so great to see that Madonna again just did her thing not caring what anyone else had to say about it.
That is the Madonna I became a fan of so many years ago and thankfully that is still the Madonna I love today!