Rebel Heart Tour Cologne – live report by Dave Crombeen

Wow, what an experience it was. For months I have been looking forward to it and Wednesday Novembver 4 it was finally time. The European opening to Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour! The first two shows of my own mini tour, I will attend seven in total.

For the first time ever I decided to queue less and not that early anymore. Okay the chance of ending up front row is slim, but the stage and catwalk are fairly large, so the view is good from every angle.
    We arrived in Cologne around 8am, put away our stuff and made our way to the arena to see if fans arrived yet. It was extremely cold, but yes indeed the first few had queued up already. After saying hi to some friends we went to explore the city centre and eat some breakfast.
    In the afternoon we relaxed in our hotel and met up at 17.30 at the arena. The doors hadn’t opened yet and it took over an hour before the people with Early Entry were given access to the arena. We were inside around 19.00.
The arena filled up quickly. We walked around for a bit and found a good spot. Let’s start the waiting process. Suddenly the lights went off and the support act started. Due to technical difficulties it took some time for M to start the show.
It was showtime at 22.15! That moment is always such a blast, when Madonna enters the stage. I was still quite spoiler free. Only saw a few pictures of the show, so no audio and video. Eventually I ended up front row and had a good view of the show. Madonna was in a good mood. She connected with the audience a lot. Because the catwalk is so large, I did also see a lot of her back throughout the show. This was my own choice, also because I wanted to experience the show from the main stage.

After the show ended at 00.30 we went back to the hotel. I thought the show was good but wasn’t blown away. Couldn’t really put my finger on it why I felt that way. The pace just wasn’t what I expected from M, especially after the MDNA Tour.
We decided to go to the stadium much later on the second day, and to experience the show from the heart stage. We entered at 19.45 and had to wait until 22.00. Enough time to visit the merchandise booth and bought 4 really cool shirts.

Showtime at 22.00!! I danced, sang and screamed. It was fantastic. Even though there was less interaction with the crowd, the show was great. Surprisingly she left out the 80’s medley. I have to say that it gave the show a much better flow, good choice I say. Before the show I had said I really wanted to hear Fever as the surprise song. So we got Secret and when I heard the first few lines to Secret, I went crazy. Amazing!!
Nina was the unapologetic bitch, nice to see that it is a familiar face.

Eventually I saw the show five rows from the front at the heart stage, not bad for someone that did not queue. It was an amazing night and she completely won me over. A great show with a lot of iconic Madonna moments.
Can’t wait for my next show, next stop: Barcelona!

Dave Crombeen

Dutch translation:
Wow wat was het een ervaring. Maanden lang naar uit gekeken en woensdag 4 November was het eindelijk zover. De  Europese opening van Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour. De eerste 2 concerten van mijn mini tour. Ik ga er 7 doen.
Voor het eerst heb ik besloten om deze tour minder in de rij te gaan staan. In ieder geval niet zo vroeg. Ok, de kans dat je dan front row staat is klein, maar het podium en de catwalk is dusdanig groot, dat je het overal wel goed ziet.

We waren rond 8 uur in Keulen, even onze spullen gedropt en richting stadion, om te kijken of er al mensen waren. Het was ontzettend koud, maar inderdaad de eerste mensen lagen al in de rij voor het concert.
Na even wat vrienden gedag gezegd te hebben, zijn we richting binnenstad gegaan, om te ontbijten, en wat rond te lopen.
In de middag lekker in het hotel gechillt, en om 17:30 afgesproken bij het stadion.

De deuren waren nog niet open, en het duurde nog ruim een uur voordat de Early Entry mensen naar binnen mochten.
Ongeveer rond 19:00 waren we binnen.

Het stadion raakte al vroeg vol. We hebben wat rond gelopen, en uiteindelijk een goede plek gevonden. Het wachten kon beginnen. Op een gegeven moment gingen de lichten uit en de suport act begon. Madonna liet wegens technische probelem nog een tijd op haar wachten.
Om 22:15 was het showtime! Wat is het moment toch altijd geweldig, als Madonna op het podium komt. Ik was nog behoorlijk spoiler free. Had van de show alleen nog maar foto’s gezien, dus geen audio en video. Uiteindelijk stond ik front row, en heb de show goed kunnen zien. Madonna was in een hele goede bui. Ze had veel contact met het publiek. Omdat de catwalk zo lang was, heb ik ook een groot deel van de show naar haar rug staan kijken. Dat was een eigen keuze, omdat ik ook een keer de show vanaf de main stage wilde zien.

Nadat de show om 0:30 eindigde zijn we terug gegaan naar het hotel. Ik vond de show top maar ik was niet blown away. Kon mijn vinger er niet op leggen wat het nou was. Er zat minder vaart in de show dan wat ik gewend was van M, helemaal na de MDNA tour.
De 2e dag besloten we om later naar het stadion te gaan, en dan bij het hart te gaan staan. We waren rond 19:45 binnen, en moesten uiteindelijk tot 22:00 wachten. Dus tijd genoeg om een langs de merchandising te gaan. Heb 4 hele gave shirtjes gekocht.

22:00 showtime!!! Ik heb staan dansen, zingen, schreeuwen. Wat was het fantastisch. Ook al had ze wat minder contact met het publiek, de show was echt top.
Tot ieders verrassing liet ze de 80’s medley weg. Ik moet zeggen, dat er daardoor wel veel meer vaart in de show zat. Goede keuze wat mij betreft.
Van te voren had ik gezegd dat ik heel graag Fever wilde horen als surprise song.
We kregen Secret en toen ik daarna de eerste regels hoorde van Fever, werd ik helemaal gek. Echt geweldig!

Nina was de Unapologetic Bitch, leuk om te zien dat het een bekende is!
Uiteindelijk heb ik het grootste gedeelte van de  show, 5 rijen vanaf het hart gezien.

Niet slecht voor iemand die niet gequeued heeft.
Wat was het een top avond, echt ik ben helemaal om. Het is een heerlijke show met heel veel herkenbare iconische Madonna momenten.

Ik kan niet wachen tot ik mijn volgende show!
Next stop; Barcelona

Dave Crombeen
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Back from Cologne – our report

Sorry for the lack of updates, but things were quite hectic for us in Cologne. Pictures and more coming later today.

The start of Madonna’s European tour happened in Cologne Germany, the first day the weather was freezing but the die-hard didn’t care and still spent their night and day queuing for the best spot in the audience.

Unfortunately there were technical difficulties as well as a rumour that some things were going to be changed for the show in Europe. Despite official reports by Live Nation that there wasn’t going to be a support act, there surprisingly was. Madonna did not start the show on the first day until 10:15 pm, due to technical difficulties (according to reports). Unfortunately the German audience wasn’t pleased with the late start.

Madonna was in an extremely chatty and witty mood during the first show, cracking jokes and throwing her bouquet to Kevin. She was hilarious and a blast to look at, the costumes were absolutely fantastic. However many fans (and general people attending) felt that the 80’s medley slowed things down and never really picked up despite the glorious costumes and set. Madonna sang Who’s That Girl here but did not follow it up with Ghosttown, like she did so many times in the US. It seemed that M and dancers were a bit disappointed in the audience after the first show, making dancer Marvin Govin stating on Instagram that the audience was tired and needed to bring it. To be fair, the audience might have been a bit tired due to the long wait before the show.

Madonna was staying in hotel Excelsior right next to the Dom, causing for a chaos outside at the busy square. Many people lined up to see her, but M made her exit fast and secure as usual.

The second show in Cologne started a bit more on time (10.00 pm) and it seemed the floor was a lot less crowded than the first show, making it easy for fans to walk around and view the show from various angles. Madonna wasn’t as chatty as on the first night and some fans reported she sounded a bit hoarse (don’t catch a cold M!). Right after ‘La Isla Bonita’ fans got themselves ready for the gypsy 80’s medley, but were all in shock when M suddenly appeared out of nowhere on the heart stage with guitar in her matador outfit. ‘A special surprise for Cologne’, and M performed an acoustic version of ‘Secret’ and oh boy there was a bit of ‘Fever’ as well, what a treat!! She ended this surprise segment with an incredible version of ‘Rebel Heart’, which now is destined to become a true Madonna classic. The happiness in her eyes and the smile on her face was priceless, now that was a true queen right there!

The show ended with a bang and many fans agreed, this had been truly truly magnificent, what a show, what a performer!

See you in Berlin.

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Never-Before-Seen Photos of Madonna, Warhol, Basquiat and More

Some It-girls of the ’80s may regret that their youthful glory predated social media, but Interview magazine’s former associate publisher Paige Powell doesn’t have to. Powell arrived in New York in 1980 from the Pacific Northwest, looking like a granola version of Edie Sedgwick and armed with the work ethic of Mary Tyler Moore. She was soon swept up in Interview’s bid to be a more serious publication — “At first it was more for friends, like, Fran Lebowitz drove the delivery truck to drop off issues at different newsstands,” she remembers — and Andy Warhol’s select social whirlwind of downtown clubbing, midtown shopping and uptown lunches. “Andy always said, ‘Work is fun and fun is work,’” Powell says. “It was just the way I thought New York City was, all the time, for everyone — exuberant.”

Powell often carried the latest camera or camcorder from Japan with her and used them often to capture intimate snapshots of her coterie: including Warhol, Madonna, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was her boyfriend from 1982 through 1984. For nearly 40 years, she’s been sitting on (“literally; they were stashed in boxes under the bed,” she says) a treasure trove that’s remained largely unexamined. Powell returned to Portland in the ’90s to focus on animal rights advocacy work, and it’s there that her images will be showcased for the first time, in two interactive multimedia installations, “The Ride” and “Beulah Land,” opening this week at the Portland Art Museum. Still in possession of plenty of influential friends, Powell asked David LaChapelle to mix a musical soundtrack for the show and Kenny Scharf to create a signature “Cosmic Cavern” to accompany it. “Half of the photos in the new installation will be from the ’80s, and half will be photos moving forward to the present,” Powell says, noting that the installation is meant to be “interactive,” just like the one she created at the art bar also called Beulah Land in the ‘80s (see slide 7) — visitors can add notes to the walls. “So we’re having a cocktail party for the guards at PAM, to prepare them,” she notes, “because we don’t want them to be alarmed.”


Here, Paige Powell, former Interview magazine associate publisher and ex-girlfriend of Jean-Michel Basquiat, shares photos from her personal archive. “Fresh 14 was a short-lived club with great energy and a horrible sound system, which might account for the expression on Madonna’s face,” Powell says of this photo. “Unfortunately, two kids shot each other there and it closed. When I was in New York recently, I noticed that space is now a Forever 21.”

Read more HERE

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VIDEO: ‘Justify My Love,’ 25 Years Later – A Short History of the Song, the Controversy and, Yes, the Sex

How much controversy can you cram into five minutes? If you’re Madonna, enough to make your new single a hit. On Nov. 6, 1990 – 25 years ago this week – Madonna released the first single from The Immaculate Collection, “Justify My Love.” In the month that followed, Madonna filmed a video for the song, submitted it to MTV (which promptly rejected it), and then rode the resulting controversy all the way to the bank. The video was ultimately sold as a “video single,” and it sold well.

Today, the incident is remembered as one of the biggest controversies in Madonna’s career, which is saying a lot. In case you didn’t shell out for the VHS tape back in the day, watch the video below. (And yes, it and other videos in this post may be NSFW. Obviously.)

In celebration of the song’s 25th anniversary, we’ve compiled a list of factoids you may not know about the tune, the video, and the associated fallout.

1. The video is actually pretty tame by today’s standards


Given all the controversy about Madonna using the video to promote sex, sadomasochism, cross-dressomg and whatever else critics perceived in it, it just doesn’t seem quite so racy 25 years later. It’s all about sex, sure, and it’s very sexy, but the most scandalous thing in it is a woman who’s topless except for a pair of suspenders that (mostly) cover her nipples. Of course, the female nipple is still a controversial body part today, but give the video a spin now and decide for yourself if you should be offended – and if changing sexual mores are a good thing or a bad thing.

Visit PEOPLE for the entire article

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After Madonna’s show at the Lanxess arena, there’s an afterparty in Exile with a live DJ and free shots. DJCK will play Madonna’s greatest hits on November 4 and DJ Tunar will continue the celebration on November 5.

Address: Schaafenstr. 61a, Cologne

Fore more information click HERE

This event is not hosted by Madonna

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Concert review: Madonna’s rebel heart is strong

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3 charities find Madonna is their lucky star

Madonna has always had an eye on Detroit as a place she wanted to give back, said Sarah Ezzy, senior adviser at Global Philanthropy Group in Los Angeles, which has been managing the pop star’s philanthropy for about five years.

“It was just finding the right way to do that” and the right time, she said.

Detroit’s move through the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history in a bid to start fresh certainly drew Madonna’s eye, Ezzy said.

Her availability to pay a visit last year was another consideration. “For her, being there is very important, going and meeting folks”.

Complete article HERE

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