Meeting Madonna at Le Grand Journal in Paris – five years ago today!

 

Five years ago today we traveled in the early hours by car to Paris to attend the Le Grand Journal TV recordings.

The weather was quite cold and upon arrival we quickly made our way into a nearby restaurant to get something to eat. We met up with fellow team member Fred (and later Alex) and counted the hours.

Once we were let inside the studio, our names were checked and we had to hand in EVERYTHING we brought (including wallet, phone etc.)

While waiting outside the entrance to the recording studio we caught up with M’s team to have a chat. Madonna was still rehearsing and the future Madame X needed it all to be absolutely perfect. Once inside we were placed on the tribune (we couldn’t pick our own seats). We were happy with where we were at, we would have perfect view once M would sit at the table for the interview.

Not long after Madonna took the stage to perform Living For Love and Ghosttown. She wasn’t happy though and performed Ghosttown a second time, complimenting the crowd by saying to her band ‘their clapping is confusing me’……

After the interview and the TV show ended, we were asked to stay in our seats. Confusing times followed, but to make a long story short we were handed a green bracelet and were made aware we were included in the organised Meet & Greet with Madonna! Words can’t begin to describe the emotions we felt. I wasn’t looking my best (thank those long hours in the car for that) and the chocolate bar I secretly brought inside the studio had started to melt in my pocket…..sticky & sweet indeed.

We were asked to wait in a locker area and were all shocked when Madonna & Andy Lecompte passed us by on their way to the ‘meet & greet’ area. Our little group was the first to go inside the area and meet Madonna. She was getting a touch-up (why I don’t know, I have rarely seen more make up on a person than right there and then) and we had to form a line in front of the red cloth.

Madonna was then led by her manager towards the first group of fans…..Us.

 

She shook hands with the first two guys that I had no clue of who they were and then spoke to Hans, she had quite some issues pronouncing his name. Then she was directed to me and was introduced by her manager ‘this is Kimberly’. Trying to look my best and hoping my teeth weren’t too dirty from the melted chocolate I held out my hand to shake hers. First thing I remember looking into her eyes was the excessive amount of make-up (but then again this was for a TV show) and the huge fake eyelashes, but nonetheless she still looked more beautiful than you can ever imagine she actually does. Her eyes!!

She was shown my tattoo of her autograph she wrote previously back in 2013 in Berlin. I told her how I got it tattooed the very next day. She held my arm, looked at it and said ‘oh wow’ (not sounding too impressed I must ad, but she did try). Before I knew it people were undressing themselves left and right in order to show Madonna their tattoos. The poor woman had no idea what was happening……I remember being very calm and explaining to her that ‘we were all just a bunch of crazy people from Holland’, even though from the six fans present only two actually were.

After the photographer took around five or six shots our meet & greet was over. I turned to Madonna and said something along the lines of ‘Thank you so much and I will see you on tour’. But in true Kimberly style, while turning and trying to walk away in grace, I tripped over one of those cables that were spread out on the floor. I distinctly remember seeing Madonna chuckle again…….

We received the photograph only a few days later because it had to be ‘approved’ first (in other words, it needed some photoshop). One year later I was blessed to be given a signed copy of the photograph, without a doubt my favourite item in my collection!

Five years later…..still blessed as it was the most amazing day!

Click HERE to read my full detailed report which I wrote back in the day

 

Kimberly

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Madame X Tour – March 1st show is cancelled

Sunday, 1-March, 2020 – For Immediate Release.

MADONNA’S MADAME X SHOW THIS EVENING AT THE GRAND REX IS CANCELLED.

We regret to inform you that tonight’s Madame X concert at The Grand Rex is cancelled as a result of ongoing injuries.

Fans who purchased their tickets online should contact their point of purchase for any refund requests. For any additional questions, please contact them.

We regret the disappointment to fans.

(Madonna.com)

(@Henk for MU / Paris)

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Madame X Tour Le Grand Rex Paris February 29 – Live Report by Marjolein

Madonna aka Madame X – Le Grand Rex
Paris February 29th 2020

 

The Show was great but shortened. She started with Vogue, no talk in the crowd (beer she got from Gaspar) but I didn’t mind (saw the full show in Chicago).

At one point the Polaroid was sold to a woman from Germany (Olivia) and somebody said something about politics which pissed M off and rightly so. She said every country still has or has had a head of state which has done wrong and she made a point of thanking Olivia and that it was nice meeting her. And I cheered loud! But other than that she was in a good mood.

Movements were slower than usual and careful but she still is fantastic. I love her for everything she stands for. My highlights were Extreme Occident (sang beautifully), Frozen of course and I Rise. And I like her man, he’s so sweet with her on stage.

The Grand Rex is a beautiful venue, acoustics were a little off (loud and shrill sometimes). The crowd was enthusiastic and it was a magical evening with Madame X.

witnessed by Marjolein Heijen-Pilk
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Madame X performs the short version at fifth Paris show

For the first time Madame X has performed the short version of the show on a first night of two shows in a row. Usually the pattern was: full show on the first night, short show on the second (which she also explained while performing in London).

Madonna seemed a bit moody and stiff during the start but loosened up a little later on in the show, though she wasn’t really feeling it and stayed moody throughout the polaroid section and kept referring again to the seven people in the audience that were able to respond enthusiastically to her.

It seems the beer bitch moment has been replaced by ‘La Vie En Rose’ from now on, not much talking before and went right into it.

 

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Madame X in tears at 4th Paris show

Last night’s show started a little after 11pm and finished at 1am, she performed the short version of the show as expected (2nd show in a row).

Unfortunately during Vogue Madonna took a tumble and was visibly in pain. During the polaroid moment Madonna started to cry and addressed how much pain she was in due to her ongoing injuries. She went on to say that she will be finishing this tour whatever the cost, the crowd starting chanting ‘WE LOVE YOU’.

Madonna then went on to perform with ‘Batuka’ and seemed to have regained her strength as she was flawless. 

Sending healing thoughts to Madame X!

Madame X is a warrior.

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Madonna at the Grand Rex: a show between burlesque cabaret and committed stand-up

10:15 p.m.. The Grand Rex has just fallen into darkness. The cries of the crowd pierce the sleeping eardrums and whirl in the Great Hall. Smartphones and connected watches are compartmentalized in impenetrable mini-bags during the entire concert, which will not be opened until the end, quickly. No pirate film or photo will disturb this show.

Except that taken by Madonna with a Polaroid – which she will sell, in Material Girl, at 2,000 euros, to a fan near her in the pit, after having dusted her for several seconds with her corset (her chest). The average price of a dozen more places for the Queen (in detail, from € 84 to € 386.50), which will be donated to Malawi.

On the stage, like a surreal Hitchcock photograph, Madonna’s shadow cast on a translucent curtain frantically strikes the keyboard of her typewriter. Behind her, the words of the American writer James Baldwin resonate with the shots of many shots, while a dancer twists, also in rhythm in roboting mode. “Art is there to prove that all security is an illusion … Artists are there to disturb the peace”, is composed as an incipit. The stage is set. The show can begin.

“I’m not here to be popular. I am here to be free ”
“Dark Ballet” follow “God Control”, for the first Act of his burlesque and slayer music hall. On the scene, riot police are trying to dislodge her, make her speak, intimidate her. Not without recalling certain futuristic paintings by a certain Luc Plamondon on his musical “Starmania”. She will not give in. Never.

On her turn, Madonna becomes a postmodernist chameleon queen. Sometimes sacred, she opens her heart to “Like a Prayer”, coiled in gospel choirs organized in “X” on stairs. Or by taking up, in complex French, “La vie en rose” by Edith Piaf, almost a cappella. Sometimes profane, she plays provocations. “I’m not here to be popular. I’m here to be free, ”she says in a scripted fashion, in front of an audience of fans who are totally won over.

This interaction is the preconceived thread of Arianne of the show. Our Lady declaims her stand-up in a furious cabaret. It must be said seriously: what happens between them and their fans is a unique connection. And the idea of ​​blaming him would not even occur to them.

It doesn’t matter if she had to cancel a few Parisian dates because of severe knee or hip pain. What does it matter, too, its endless delays (3:30 for the first show, 1:30 for the third). “Do you know many artists who have such an aura?” », Questions Hervé, who after having seen the date of February 18 canceled, managed to buy another seat on the parallel market.

Ode to Latin sounds
Act III of this Madame X Tour, the most streamlined, highlights the rhythms of the world and its syncretic influences. This table is devoted to the tones of fado, under a decoration of Azulejos geometry. Like an ode to Lisbon, where the diva has lived for several months to support her son David Banda, 14, who joined the Benfica training center.

It is also a clever means of interweaving morna rhythms, plaintive music emblematic of Cape Verde where it is accompanied by a dozen singers, met three years earlier on its route to the African continent. She connects the Hispanic titles (“Medellín”, “Batuka”, “Extreme Occident”) which surround her masterpiece “La Isla Bonita” mixed with the bass of trap music, while dancing during the concert.

Very involved in the defense of LGBTQ rights since the beginning of her career, and the appearance of the AIDS virus, Madonna will close her last Act by raising the standard of the rainbow flag, before going down in single file in the alley of the pit of the room, to touch a few hands, and leave the Grand Rex on “I Rise”, his anthem dedicated to the community.

“Thank you Paris,” she punctuates before spinning straight away in her van, heading for the Hôtel du Crillon. No, really, it’s us who thank you Madame X. Thank you for choosing France and its capital to close this intimate and human tour. And never give in, for 2h30.

Auto translated from nouvelobs.com

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Madame X Tour Le Grand Rex Paris February 23 – Live Report by Glen

MADAME X TOUR

Le Grand Rex, Paris February 23 2020

(scroll down for Dutch version)

 

I arrived at the Grand Rex on Sunday around 8.15pm. Fantastic venue, also very authentic look outside. They set up the queus in order of the plan of the venue, balcony, mezzanine and orchestra. I had orchestra tickets in row G (6th row), very close to the side of the venue. This queue went well and smooth and I think we were inside around the clock of 8.30pm. Security was swift and they locked up our phone in the Yondr bag, great system. The merchandise booth was quite small but did offer most merchandise I’d seen online. I was impressed with the service at Le Grand Rex, from the entrance we were escorted to our seats individually. This turned out to be a good idea as someone else was sitting in my chair. The outer seats are like folded chairs and not at all as comfortable as the other seats, so the people on the side ‘hadn’t seen this chair’ and decided to skip and move on to the more comfortable ones. Quite relaxed this wasn’t something we had to deal with ourselves. I am used to attend Madonna concerts and joining long queues in order to secure a good spot. We had some time to have a drink and buy some merchandise. I ran into Aaron Smith Henrikson (visionaaron) in the hallways who was chatting to some fans. Maybe with the beer bitch of that night to discuss what was going to happen? 

What got my attention when we sat down is that the side view isn’t good in the theatre. I was sitting in the sixth row and almost touched the right wall. But the people right in front of me, especially the second to the fourth row weren’t able to see the large curtain hanging over the stage. You could tell that people were disappointed who went up to their seats over there, mostly because I thought these were ‘golden/VIP seats’, me I was at the border of Category 1. I was pleasantly surprised by the supporting act by the Madame X band that played close to 10pm. I might’ve missed that fact. I thoroughly enjoyed this because it got everyone pumped up for the upcoming show. I always thought throughout the years why supporting acts didn’t play the music of the main act of the night, and that is what they did right here as we could sing the lyrics to the music. It did also give an indication of quite a late start to the actual show.

The lights went out a little after 11pm and Madonna started the show with Vogue (short version of the show was a fact). Pity, but I was prepared for this. Because of my seats I wasn’t able to see Madonna at all times when she was a little further down the stage. During the show the curtain didn’t always fully open when the interludes were being performed, this restricted our view even more. I suspect that people have been complaining about this to security, sometimes they managed to solve it during the show and the curtain opened a little further. For such expensive tickets this was quite a bitter pill to swallow, but I didn’t let it get to me as most of the times she was at the front of the stage. Still very close for such a legendary artist as Madonna!

After the first video interlude something went wrong, lights and sound went off and the dancers disappeared. It took a few minutes before Madonna appeared from behind the left curtain and excused herself. I thought it was charming she came on to deliver the message in person. Something was wrong with the show and this was due to the stage being too big for the Grand Rex. Because of all the adjustments nothing went smoothly. She told us we had to keep busy, quite soon a musician stood next to her and they started to perform Can’t Help Falling in Love With You by Elvis, it wasn’t the first time this occured. Vocally very strong! After this the tech issues still weren’t solved and the audience started to pick out a second song for her to sing, it almost became La Vie En Rose but she said she didn’t remember the lyrics very well. Right before she was about to start to try and sing the tech issues were solved and she said ‘saved by the bell’.

Right before Killers Who Are Partying Madonna urged the people to come forward to the stage. I hestitated, whom was she talking about? Just the first row or anyone who could manage to get there? I was sitting row 6 but on the side and noticed that not only the first row came nearer to the stage. I was able to pass the side passage easily so decided to try and didn’t doubt for too long. There was no problem and security let us pass by. Unbelievable I was right at the front! Second or thrid row but that’s very close as there are no barricades in front of the stage like there are at the big stadium shows. Magical moment, but suspected this would last for one song only. After Crazy we went back to our seats after security persuaded us to. Madonna however commented later on she didn’t agree with security’s actions and said that she’d asked for her fans to come near, so we went to the front again. Everyone returned, even more people now. I managed to find a spot on the second row again, I was able to move and dance so no pushing and shoving. I thought there was even enough space behind me to fit more people. The first couple of rows were all empty at this point.  It was a magical feeling being so close to her!

During the beer bitch moment things stopped going smoothly. Madonna had asked previously to go back to our seats later on, but when hadn’t been clear. Only when she descended the stairs with David she asked us to sit down. Not everyone was able to go back to their original spot and so had to settle for sitting on the floor. Going from standing to sitting with a ton of people isn’t easy so this took a while. There was some pushing and shoving now which was a pity, even though I think no one intended any harm but still some were handled roughly by security. 

After this it was back to relax mode and the fans stayed at the front until after Like a Prayer, then we were ushered back to our seats. This was necessary for Madonna’s exit through the crowd during I Rise. Highlights for me were Killers Who are Partying, Frozen, Future and Come Alive. Come Alive was very energetic, the batuqadeiras too who were obviously enjoying every moment with a smile. The dance interlude during Rescue Me was an artistic highlight. I was standing right in front of Malik, Madonna’s new boyfriend who definitely is the main dancer in this show. 

Madonna seemed very sincere and stayed positive despite the technical problems. She did limp a little due to her injury, but only when she left and entered the main stage. During the dancing she grooved and it wasn’t as obvious. I never expected I would be seeing her this up close than I already had. For me this night couldn’t have been better. Despite all the negativity surrounding this tour, she once again exceeded my expectations. Now it’s a long wait for the next tour because for me unfortunately I was only able to see her once this tour.

Madonna keeps on Rising

Glen Van Looy


Ik was zondag rond 20u15 aangekomen aan de Grand Rex. Super mooie zaal, ook van buiten heel authentiek. De wachtrijen buiten waren opgedeeld in de verschillende delen van de zaal, Balkon, Mezzanine en Orchestre. Ik had orchestre tickets, vrij dicht tegen de zijkant van de zaal (6de rij, G). Deze rij ging op dat moment vrij vlot en ik denk dat we omstreeks 20u30 binnen konden gaan. Security was vlot en GSM kon je snel vergrendelen in het zakje, mooi systeem. De merchandise stand was vrij klein maar had wel de meeste dingen die ik online al had gezien. Ik was ook onder de indruk van de service van Le Grand Rex, we werden vanaf de deur voor de ingang van de zaal individueel begeleid naar ons plaatsen. Handig want iemand had al één van onze plaatsen ingenomen. De buitenste zitjes zijn namelijk uitklapbaar en helemaal niet zo comfortabel dan de andere stoelen; dus de mensen aan de zijkant hadden deze uitklapstoel “niet gezien” dus eentje opgeschoven. Toch leuk dat we dit zelf niet moesten uitzoeken. Gezien ik concerten van Madonna gewend ben met lang aanschuiven om een plekje vooraan te hebben vond ik dit heel comfortabel. Nog lekker tijd om een drankje te nuttigen en rustige je merchandise te kopen. Tussen de gangpaden kwam ook Aaron Smith Henrikson (visionaaron) een praatje doen met enkele fans. Misschien ook met de beer bitch van de avond ter voorbereiding?
 
Wat me wel dadelijk opviel toen we gingen zitten is dat het zij-aanzicht niet goed is in de zaal. Ik zat op de 6e rij en nog net niet tegen de rechter muur. Maar de mensen voor mij, zeker de 2e tot 4e rij zagen volgens mij een grote hoek van het podium niet. Aan de reacties te zien van de mensen die daar toekwamen kon je een teleurstelling zien. Zeker omdat het volgens mij Golden Seats betrof, ik zelf had net de grens van Category 1. 
 
Ik was vervolgens aangenaam verrast dat er een voorprogramma was door de Madame X Band rond 22u, ik had blijkbaar in alle nieuws gemist dat er een opwarming was. Ik vond dit ontzettend leuk want het bracht iedereen in de sfeer. Ik denk al jaren, waarom spelen ze als voorprogramma geen liedjes van de artiest zelf, en dat werd hier volledig ingelost doordat we zelf konden zingen! Het gaf me overigens ook een indicatie dat de show dan iets later wel zou beginnen.
 

Omstreeks 5 na 11 gingen de lichten uit en kwam Madonna op met Vogue, korte show dus. Jammer maar daar was ik op voorbereid. Door de zij plaatsen zag ik wel Madonna niet altijd als ze wat dieper op de scène stond. Tijdens de show bleek het gordijn ook niet telkens volledig terug open te gaan na de intermezzos. Hierdoor werd het zicht nog harder belemmerd voor deze plaatsen. Ik denk dat sommige mensen hier ook over geklaagd hebben tegen security, soms werd het gedurende de show dan wel opgelost en ging het gordijn weer terug wat verder open.

Voor zo’n dure plekken was dit wel even slikken maar ik heb het niet aan mijn hart laten komen want meestal stond ze wel vooraan het podium. Nog altijd heel dicht dus voor een wereldartieste als Madonna!
 
Na de eerste video interlude ging er iets mis, de show viel uit, licht geluid en de dansers waren verdwenen. Na enkele minuten kwam Madonna van achter het linkergordijn en excuseerde ze zich. Ik dacht dadelijk, mooi, dat ze het zelf komt zeggen. Er was iets mis met show en dit was te wijten aan het feit dat het podium te groot was voor de Grand Rex. Hierdoor moesten allerlei aanpassingen gebeuren en dit verliep niet altijd vlot. Decorstukken die tegen elkaar aanvaren en dergelijke. We moeten ons even bezig houden vertelde ze verder. Al snel kwam een muzikant bij haar staan en begonnen ze Falling in Love van Elvis te zingen, dat was niet de eerste keer dat dit gebeurde. Vocaal zeer sterk gebracht! Maar daarna was het nog steeds niet opgelost en ging het publiek samen met haar op zoek naar een tweede liedje. Bijna werd het La Vie En Rose maar ze kon de tekst niet goed herinneren zei ze. Net voor ze alsnog wou beginnen te zingen riep ze “saved by the bell”; de show kon terug opstarten.
 
Net voor Killers who are Partying riep Madonna de mensen plots dichter naar het podium. Ik twijfelde even, wie bedoelt ze juist? Enkel de eerste rij of iedereen wie er kon geraken? Ik zat zelf op rij 6 maar aan de zijkant. Ik zag dat niet alleen de eerste rij naar voren ging. Ik kon vrij goed langs het zijgang pad passeren dus ik besloot het te proberen en twijfelde niet te lang. Er was geen enkel probleem en security liet ons doorgaan. Ongelooflijk, ik stond vlak vooraan! 2e of derde rij maar dat is vlakbij want er is geen hek voor het podium zoals bij de grote stadionshows het geval is. Magisch moment, ik dacht dat dit maar één liedje zou duren. Hierna tijdens Crazy gingen we dan ook terug naar onze plekken op aandringen van de security. Logisch dacht ik ook. Maar dan iets later maakte Madonna een opmerking dat ze toch niet akkoord was met security en ze een woordje ging hebben met hen. “Ik had mijn fans gevraagd om naar voor te komen” waarna we opnieuw dichterbij geroepen werden. Iedereen kwam terug, deze keer nog meer mensen vermoed ik omdat het nu de tweede keer was. Ik kon opnieuw een plekje vinden op de tweede rij en het ging er vrij aangenaam aan toe, ik kon goed bewegen en dansen dus geen beklemmend gevoel. Er konden volgens mij zelfs nog extra mensen bijkomen achter mij maar niet iedereen kon er makkelijk geraken omdat de gangpaden zo smal zijn. De eerste rijen zetels waren quasi allemaal leeg op dit moment.
Het was een magisch gevoel om zo dicht bij haar te zijn!
 
Tijdens het “Beer Bitch” moment was het wel even oppassen want dit ging niet vlot. Madonna vroeg eerder al dat we “straks” wel terug moesten gaan zitten, maar wanneer was niet duidelijk. Pas toen ze de trappen al afkwam begeleid door David vroeg ze ons om te gaan zitten. Maar niet iedereen kon terug naar zijn plek gaan en moest dus op de grond gaan zitten. Van staan naar zitten met veel mensen tegelijk is niet handig dus dit duurde even. Tijdens dit moment werd er wel wat geduwd en dat was jammer, hoewel ik niet denk dat iemand kwade bedoelingen had werden sommige mensen hier hard aangepakt door security.  Na dit moment was het weer even terug relax en bleven de fans vooraan tot na Like A Prayer, toen werden we terug verzocht om naar onze plekken te gaan, logisch want voor I Rise komt Madonna terug door de gangen.
 
Hoogtepunten waren voor mijn Killers who are Partying, Frozen, Future en Come Alive. Veel energie tijdens Come Alive, ook van de Batuka’s die duidelijk van iedere moment genoten met een brede smile! Ook noemenswaardig is de dance interlude tijdens Rescue Me, artistiek hoogstandje. Ik stond toen vlak voor Malik, de nieuwe vriend van Madonna die duidelijk een hoofdrol in de show had.
 
Madonna leek heel openhartig en bleef positief ondanks de technische problemen. Je kon ze wel duidelijk zien manken door haar blessure, vooral als ze op en af het podium kwam. Tijdens het dansen ging ze wel door en was het minder opvallend. Ik had nooit gedacht dat ik haar met deze tour nog van dichterbij ging zien dan ik ooit al had. Voor mij had deze avond niet beter kunnen zijn. Ondanks alle negativiteit rond deze tour heeft ze mijn verwachtingen opnieuw overtroffen. Nu is het weer wachten naar een volgende tour want helaas zal ik haar deze keer niet meerdere keren kunnen zien.
 
Madonna keeps on Rising…
 
Glen Van Looy
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Witty Madame X performs third show in Paris

Madame X started her show around a perfectly respectable 10pm tonight and performed the full show!

She was in a very witty mood and according to Madame tonight’s show was ‘weird’. After ‘Human Nature’ she asked Mercy if she brushed her teeth and what she ate for dinner to which she responded ‘pasta’, after the ‘mother and daughter entertainment’ according to her she went on with the show.

She sold her polaroid for 2000EUR to a Dutch girl, who’d saved up money for this since September. After ‘Killers Who Are Partying’ Madonna addressed two people in the audience who were filming with camera’s which she wasn’t too happy about and ordered security to do something about it. 

She became quite witty during ‘Welcome To My Fado Club’ and did some freestyling along with Ahla Malik and concluded with a ‘boxing session’ just so she could see if her band was keeping up with her, it was quite the moment.

No beer bitch but she sat down on the stage with David and tried to sing ‘La Vie En Rose’ with a little (a lot actually) help from her fans in the audience. Madonna was enjoying herself throughout the show and kept on cracking jokes. 

Adrien Galo (MDNA Tour) and Tracy Young were also in the audience.

The show concluded at 00.30am.

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Madame X runs into technical difficulties at second Paris show

Madonna performed the short version of the show starting at 11pm last night. Right after the Cabo Verde interlude right before ‘Batuka’ the electricity went out, no music, no lights. Right after about 2 minutes lights went back on and Madonna came out and started to explain that the stage is actually not big enough for her show leading to many technical difficulties. 

To try and perform still she sang ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by Elvis with Gaspar, after that taking request and trying to sing ‘La Vie En Rose’ but saying she forgot the lyrics. After around 15 minutes the show continued and Madonna asked the fans to come near the front, which obviously they did. Security tried to stop them, but Madonna pursued them to come forward. Regretting this during the beer bitch moment as no one wanted to back down anymore. 

Polaroid sold for 2000EUR to another fan from Germany, so she commented on the fact that the French don’t have money? Beer bitch was a guy from the U.K.

According to fans much better energy than previous night.

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Tracy Young on working with Madonna – Exclusive interview!

We were blessed to be able to sit down with legendary producer Tracy Young in Paris to discuss her work with Madonna.

 

 

 

On Madame X Tour and album

I agree (Madame X show) is her best, her best work since Ray of light, how many times are we able to see her like that?

How did you get involved with this album?

I asked her, I heard I Rise and wanted to play it as I thought it was such an important song. It was an idea we worked together on and it came out, it wasn’t part of a plan.

Madonna’s very involved with her music and the process. I met her as the DJ. Through a friend of Madonna’s, I have always been involved with her on ideas I guess.

When did you meet Madonna?

When did I meet her? The first time I met her was 95/96, I was just a baby and living in Washington and DJing her parties. I wouldn’t tell anyone because no one believed me or no one could go, so I kept it to myself. I met her around Ray of Light, oh was that 98? That’s how it started. I DJed at Liquid, that was a club she used to go to at Miami and Ingrid is a friend of mine.

You know what I am wrong I did meet her in 95 because I DJed Ingrid’s birthday party at the Kit Kat club and Madonna and K.D. Lang were there. I knew I met her before

Was working on the tracks different this time?

It was different, she had input. Normally I get the session and turn it in, we were very involved in Crave more than I Rise. I think she had maybe the idea to put it possibly in the show, so we went back and forth on that. Don’t know for sure. But we went back and forth a lot, we can assume but I don’t have facts. It was an honour for me to see her perform that live. I always felt like as a DJ and watching her dance was the ultimate….I am getting chills…..but seeing her sing a song I created….getting chills again….I just….like winning the Grammy you don’t know how it feels until you feel it and I didn’t know and everytime I was very emotional.

What’s your favourite remix?

They’re all very special to me and all sound so very different. Every song is I don’t know being an artist, being in a different place.

Old songs you’d love to mix or more from Madame X?

No old songs. Love the current album and love where she is as an artist. Would love to get my hands on Batuka and Come Alive. I hear those songs and in the show they’re my favourites. Madonna put me in the beer chair and asked me what my favourite part in the show was and she goes don’t be obvious, she thought I would say Crave and I said Batuka and Come Alive. They are amazing……the drumming and….I love it. Come Alive is my favourite part of the show.

You don’t think about this but she has employed and have given these women a life that they will never forget. People don’t look at that, their music was taken away from them.

That’s what music does it makes people come together. Those ladies…I love when they come down the isle, wow what she’s given them and what they’ve given her. It’s back and forth. They don’t want anything from her I’m sure. I think it’s beautiful to watch her enjoy that moment. She’s given them an opportunity. That’s what art does, it’s give and take it’s a relationship.

Speaking about I Rise at London show (and curtain being pulled on Madonna due to curfew)

People think she’s so calculated and she’s been lucky that after seeing this show, she’s a real artist, she is more of an artist than a business person I would guess, my opinion. Like she’s not fulfilling a contract, she loves this music. She said she didn’t have to and wasn’t going to, that’s true art.

About American Life, Music and Easy Ride

That is so underrated and I have had this conversation with people a lot. She does a lot of it during the show, that’s the song she chose as a throwback (on American Life).

She was so generous in giving me that (Easy Ride). I love that one and Gone too. That might be an old one that I would work on. I love Paradise, I love when she went with that alternative sound and less pop. I am a producer I appreciate that. I am one of the rare ones that would rather, I love the old stuff, but I am happy she’s doing the new stuff. I have seen her do Holiday I can’t tell you how many times.

About God Control, Dark Ballet and American Life remixes

God Gontrol and Dark Ballet that’s fine the way it is, they don’t need a remix. I don’t do that, it would be obvious, it’s perfect the way it is. I also like I dont search I find, reminds me of Vogue like with the snaps.

Peter (Rauhofer) did Nothing Fails and he killed it. His remix of that was amazing. Peter remixed Mother and Father too. People don’t understand and don’t see her an an artist but as an entertainer. After this album I was like WOW, she’s really on another planet, I really see her differently.

Are you going to the show tonight?

I have to work for the afterparty, she’s here all week. Is this the last of the tour? I am happy that you guys really like the album. From an engineering standpoint it sounds amazing, the frequencies and the sonics. It’s inspiring. I love ‘Crazy’ too, now that I am thinking about it I would like to work on that one too. I am a DJ and can’t play most of her old stuff in a club in its original, but this album isn’t that way. You can play the entire Confessions on a Dance Floor in its original.

About Music remix

That wasn’t the best remix for the clubs but didn’t want it for the clubs, I wanted to make music around ‘Music’. My remixes are never played in the clubs, until now.

About winning the Grammy for I Rise and working as a producer

Still pretty fresh. Some originals I want to do. The point where I am in my career I have been able to remix a lot of people and it’s a blessing but I’ve never really gone and try to do the original, to take nothing and make something, when you do the remix the melody and lyrics are there, most of the song is there. You have the skeleton, for me I will always remix but wanted to do something new now. Sometimes I’m like where do I start, does the music come first or lyrics, something I am trying to figure out as an artist. It’s a really different process. It’s second nature at this point.

It’s like painting a picture, you throw paint paint paint and it’s never finished. You have to stop at one point. I am not going to name the song, but sometimes I hear things and I am like why did I do that?

My records don’t really work in the clubs, but I feel like I am more of a producer. I know what I am good at and what I am not good at. I think my remixes work outside the club, I have radio experience. They touch people that don’t go to clubs.

What’s interesting about Crave, I did that when the album wasn’t out. It’s similar to God Control. It’s disco, that bass we played. It’s where her vibe was kinda I think I don’t know maybe I’m wrong. I like both versions, I love Crave and I love Swae Lee’s voice.

Thank you so much for your time Tracy,

Anything to help her legacy!

Many thanks to Beardrop db / db / db prod and Raph

 

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