Re-Invention World Tour



London, August 18

Madonna was touring again with the Re-Invention World Tour! I never craved for a Madonna live event as much as I did now. The buzz was huge, the reviews were awesome, she would sing lots of my favourites live and boy she came to Holland for the first time in 14 years!! I had counted the days, bought every single magazine and newspaper that mentioned something about the tour, recorded everything about the tour I saw on TV etc. I still hadn’t heard any audio or watched any video on the internet. I wanted it to remain a surprise and see it all happen for the very first time right in front of me. When the tour was announced I had set myself a goal, I was going to double the amount of shows that I had seen during the Drowned World Tour, so that would’ve been 8 shows. But thanks to the shows in Holland and since I was determined to witness the final two shows of the tour, I was looking forward to attend 12 shows in total!

We took the Eurostar to London and once we had arrived we went to check out Earls Court (it was right around the corner from our hotel). There were huge billboards with the tour artwork of the shows at Earls Court and they looked fabulous. Couldn’t wait until tonight and had butterflies in my stomach all day long. At 6pm we were allowed to enter the arena, to my surprise they didn’t search anyone and we could continue our walk. While waiting until 9pm when the show was due to start, Kylie Minogue, Geri Halliwell and Dannii Minogue arrived. They were greeted enthusiastically by the crowd. 

When finally the lights turned off my heart was in my throat, I was extremely nervous. “The Beast Within”  was absolutely breathtaking, the best opening ever! And yeah then there she was about to perform “Vogue”, immediately I started to bawl my eyes out like a little child. The very first time I was actually crying publicly about Madonna. I was so ashamed but so extremely happy, I had missed her much and this was all so exciting. Nobody Knows Me completely blew me away, but when I heard her singing Frozen I was shocked by how amazingly good she sounded. She sang better than ever!

Finally after Frozen I finally settled down and managed to really see the rest of the show. I was shocked but so impressed with the backdrop video to American Life, stunned by her amazing performance in Lament and so grateful that she performed Mother and Father and such a great version! And the finale was out of this world, brilliant! It was funny how people were looking at me in my section when I sang along to songs like ‘Mother and Father’. I was like ‘go buy the damn album!’ Madonna was great with the audience and told us that she was happy she was back in London. Loads and loads of Journalists outside the arena after the show and we were interviewed by a few, never managed to see if it was actually used for something. 

London, August 19

After a nice day of shopping it was time for the second show at Earls Court. Our seats weren’t that good, second row Block D on the floor (way in the back). Before the show started we ran into some good friends. When we went to find our seats they didn’t turn out to be so bad after all, the view was really good. Again the show was absolutely awesome. We just had to laugh at the security who kept telling everyone to sit down and no one did. We also laughed at a comment from our neighbour about Reshma the dancer, she was doing her Indian dance during Hollywood and he said to us “that is Madonna’s daughter right?” First we thought he was joking, but he was serious. After the show we again ran into some more friends and had a great time.

London, August 21

Today we went to a Madonna party at the G-A-Y bar in Soho, organized by our friend Sharon. We arrived in the afternoon and had a great time. There were TV screens all around us playing Madonna videos non-stop. We met two fellow Dutchies, and one of them turned out to be someone I had been corresponding with! Everybody got very drunk, except for me (I didn’t drink alcohol). At the beginning of the evening we left and I bought the Madonna In Art book. We also spoke to our friends Hans and Peter who arrived in London that evening, to catch tomorrow’s show in Wembley Arena.

London, August 22

Today was the day of my Platinum VIP package! We all purchased one a few months prior and our seats turned out great. Hans and Peter’s seats were in Block A3 row 12 and my ticket was in Block A4 row 6! In the evening we went up to the Convention Centre at the Wembley Arena. When we entered we all received the tourbook (I already had it, but this one had the red kaballah string and the new altered picture inside), and a sticker on our VIP pass. There were food and drinks and we just chatted to random people there. Someone from the documentary crew (I’m Going to Tell You a Secret) called me because they wanted to interview me. Madonna’s manager at the time (Caresse Henry) had passed on my details to the crew and they wanted to include me in the film.

Suddenly my boyfriend called, he told me he’d been standing in the queue for the pit even without having an actual ticket to tonight’s show, and he had been chosen to go in! I got very jealous, but on the other hand my seat was also very good. Once inside Wembley Arena a woman took me to my seat. When I got there I found out I was even closer than I thought I would be. I was right in front of the section where she would sing Nothing Fails and Crazy For You. This was the first time for me to see the show near the very front. When the show started I really couldn’t believe how close I was! She was stunning up close and so fierce! Madonna was in a great mood and joked around with the audience.

She fucked up the beginning of ‘Crazy For You’, she was like “Do I have to change my name? DON’T CALL ME ESTHER!!’ And then she just forgot what she was about to sing next and told us that she fucked up and just started to laugh and lay down on the stage. She then hung her head low and walked over to the spot for the next performance, it was hilarious. When she threw her shirt it landed exactly one seat in front of me, which bummed me out. My neighbour told me that he was impressed I knew all the songs and sang along to it all. I told him I was a fan and as a fan, you hear the same songs quite often. The show had been amazing and the best one so far!

After the show I found my friends very soon. Simon had had a great time in the pit and Hans and Peter also had a fabulous time and thought the concert was absolutely outstanding.

London, August 23

Today the tour documentary crew came to my hotel to pick me up for the interview. Right in front of Earls Court I had to tell my story. The crew was a lot of fun and they told me that my English was better than theirs (as if). They told me that they planned on filming me in Holland at my house (eventually that didn’t work out as the crew didn’t come to Holland due to their budget, that’s what they told me in Paris). We said goodbye to the crew and to Hans and Peter as they flew back to Holland that same day.

When we arrived at Wembley Arena that evening we ran into Eddy Zoey (Dutch celebrity that we know, he also interviewed Madonna in 2003 for BNN). So we chatted to him and his girlfriend, showed them my new tattoo, was a lot of fun. Once we got into the arena for some strange reason I didn’t want to walk to my seat. I had a great seat, Block A4 row 10, but still I just wouldn’t move. Simon did want to walk to his seat, but I told him not to, some strange unseen force was keeping me in the lobby of Wembley Arena. Minutes passed and I still wouldn’t budge, Simon was getting annoyed as the show was about to start.

Suddenly Chris Lamb (M’s tourmanager) passed us by, we’d spoken to him before at Earls Court, and he glanced at us but kept on walking. We just stared back at him, our mouths wide open but nothing came out. We knew he was about to give free amazing tickets to people with bad seats (like he always did at shows). But still we didn’t follow him, speak to him or whatever, now we both were standing still like idiots. Within seconds a bunch of overjoyed fans ran down a tribune, we asked them if they had gotten better tickets, they told us they did. We felt letdown, our chance of getting amazing seats had passed.

But then Chris Lamb started coming down the stairs, this time Simon immediately went up to him and asked if there was a possibility of getting good seats as well (Simon did not have a good seat at all). He told us to wait near the backstage area, he would be back within minutes. So we just stood there, anticipating of what was about to happen. He indeed came back after a few minutes and said to me ‘give me your wrist’, so I did and he put a pink wristband on and said ‘you’re in the pit’. I couldn’t believe it, I was shocked, stunned and about to pass out all at the same time. I stared at him in disbelief while he put a wristband on Simon’s wrist as well. We had to follow him backstage to the right pit (where M sings Nothing Fails and Crazy for You). There we had to put our stuff into a cardboard box. We thanked Chris Lamb and walked into the pit.

When we got into the pit we found out that our friends James and Sharon were in Pit Right as well. They were of course very surprised to see that we made it into the pit, but happy as well. When the show started it was just all so surreal to me, to be part of a show that way, to be in the stage, is just unbelievable. Madonna was so very close for so many times and the dancers were just incredible. I made lots of contact with Monte and Donna, I didn’t get to touch Madonna’s hand but that was okay. The experience itself was just absolutely amazing and I was so grateful to finally have been in the infamous pit. After the show we were soaked with sweat and exhausted (it gets extremely hot in the pit) but very very happy. A dream had came true, I had been in the pit, what a great way to close my London RIT dates!

Paris, September 1

Went to Paris with the Thalys, when we got there we made our annual stop at the world famous Lucky Records and did the necessary shopping. When it was time for the very first show in Paris, we decided to already join the queue in front of Bercy the night before with friends. We left at night to get some sleep and return early morning. It all went smoothly and relaxed, the weather was good, the atmosphere was good until suddenly at around 11 in the morning, some people stood up which made people behind us stand up too and rush forward like wild animals. Within seconds there was panic, there was chaos and we all had lots our spots and belongings. People literally stepped over us or on us, on our stuff on everything! It was like there was just one thought on their minds ‘we want to be in the front row, no matter what!’ People that were standing way behind me at first, now suddenly stood right before me.

We got into fights with lots of people and tried to explain that this rush had no use at all. We still had to wait until 7 in the evening until the doors would finally open. Nobody listened, and I couldn’t cope anymore. The heat and the pressure just all became to much and I had to leave the queue, Simon and a friend did the same thing. We were extremely angry at what had just happened and how unfair the situation was. But then we found out that the yellow bag which had our tickets for tonight’s and Saturday’s show was gone! We panicked instantly and tried to explain to the one and only French security guard standing there, that we had to search for it.

Of course he didn’t understand a word of it, but when we used some hand gestures he finally understood. So my friend and Simon went back into the queue to search for the yellow bag. After a while they came back out but without the bag! What a nightmare Paris had been until now! Very angry we decided to go to the police station to report the missing/stolen tickets and the situation at Bercy. When we finally found a police station a very friendly French woman who spoke English helped us. We made up a police statement and they were going to send out someone to check upon the situation at Bercy. We got a copy of the statement and thanked the lady for helping out.

We decided to go back to Bercy with the report and try to speak someone about it there. A member of the crew who worked with lights helped us. He took our statement en went inside Bercy and told us to wait outside. After a while he came back outside, told us that a ‘very busy lady’ would come out and help us. And yes indeed, after a while a lady came outside that we knew as Allison the pit queen (the woman who was in charge of the pits). She told us that she had checked upon the story with the French police and read our statement. She told us that she really wanted to do something for us as she thought the situation was indeed very unfair. She couldn’t however give us new tickets for tonight’s and Saturday’s show since they were all sold out. But she said, she could put us in the pit for both shows. She couldn’t put us in the pit for that evening as it was overbooked according to her.

We couldn’t believe what we were being told, we were going to be in the pit again? And two times as well?! WOW!! We thanked Allison for her generosity and went on our way, after also thanking the crew member now known as Tony. So we were going to be in the pit on September 2nd and 4th. We just had to find a ticket on the black market for tonight’s show then, but knowing how many scalpers were out there, that wouldn’t be too much of a problem.

In the evening we only entered the stadium at about 8 in the evening (we found the tickets for tonight’s show indeed). We found a good spot on the right side of the stage at third row. Right before the show was about to start we saw Caresse Henry and we chatted to her a bit. Also we saw the documentary crew and we all said ‘hi’. The show was again spectacular, you could tell that M was having lots of fun here in Paris. She genuinely loved all the fans just going crazy in Bercy. We were also going crazy, just jumping up and down and singing everything along. There was just one girl in front of us that was so annoying! Everytime Madonna came over to our side, she put up this poster of Madonna, so we couldn’t see anything. Like Madonna doesn’t know what she looks like or something, take some time and make a banner then! After we threw some candy to her head, she finally stopped! After the show we ran into Chris Lamb and we took the opportunity to thank him again for the wonderful pit night in London. He appreciated that, thanked us too, and then we left.

Paris, September 2

Today we decided to go and check out the hotel where Madonna was staying, George V (the hotel from the movie French Kiss). When we got there, some fans had already gathered at the barriers that were put up in front of the hotel. When it was about 3 in the afternoon, the other documentary crew arrived (the one with Jonas Akerlund). They went inside the hotel, came back out a while later and started to film the fans. When it was about 4, Madonna finally came out, I was literally shaking on my legs. Was the first time I saw her again without a show around her. She looked stunning, black sunglasses, hair pulled back, tracksuit and black bodywarmer. She smiled to us and I got the chance to take some nice pics and simon had filmed the moment.

In the evening we gathered at Porte 38 at Bercy and Allison came to pick up the pit winners. When we got into the stadium we were first told how it all worked, what the pit was and what to do and not to do. After that we got a wristband for Pit Right (yes again the right one!) and we were being led to the pit. I found an absolutely amazing spot right at the front of the right side (where the conveyer belt was, where she does her crawling during ‘Nobody Knows Me’). So I was facing the front row of the people in Fosse Debout (standing area).

When the show started I was in absolute heaven, this was the closest I had ever been to Madonna during a show! During ‘Nobody Knows Me’ when she was crawling right in front of me, she was that close that I could’ve touched her very bottoms. I got into a fight with a French girl who continuously tried to steal my spot, but I just told her not to mess with Dutch girls (LOL).

Then a long treasured dream came true during ‘Imagine’. She came right over to our pit and touched some fingers. I was reaching out to her with all my might, as I am very short I could hardly be seen in the pit, so I really made an effort to try and get her attention. Suddenly she looked right at me, smiled at my desperate facial expression, leaned over to me and took my hand. she had this firm but yet soft grip, squeezed my hand and then let go. I just burst into tears, I really could not believe what had just happened. I was sobbing like a little child and I was so embarrassed, but Simon comforted me and even the friendly security guard in the pit did, LOL. A dream that I had treasured for so many years had just came true. I had held Madonna’s hand!! I had just loved the expression on her face when she saw me reaching out to her like a lunatic, it was so cute.

Because of this I completely missed the first half of ‘Into The Groove’, I finally could enjoy the rest of the show to the fullest. Simon gave Madonna a high five when she walked over to sing ‘Crazy For You’. You can see this on the recording of this show that is floating out there. Also when you look at that recording, the last hand Madonna holds during ‘Imagine’ is indeed mine (was great to see it again). After the show of course I was just in shock, and completely stunned by what had happened. I immediately sent out text messages to my friends in Holland and called to tell my mom, I was just so excited.

Paris, September 3

No Madonna related event today, so went to see Donna De Lory. She was doing a yoga class followed by a performance in a yoga centre in Paris. We didn’t attend the yoga class, but we could attend the performance that followed. Very relaxed we just sat down in the yoga studio on the floor. Donna sang a few of her songs and it was very beautiful, I was really surprised to hear her sing solo instead of just backing vocals, she had an amazing voice. She really impressed me. After her performance we could buy her cd’s, have them signed and have a chat with her. She was a very nice lady, very down to earth, but visibly very tired.

Paris, September 4

The weather was just killing today, it was extremely hot, but we did decide to go to George V. We got there at 2 in the afternoon already and were just in time to see Madonna arrive at the hotel. Both Madonna and Guy walked into the hotel without turning their backs, so that wasn’t the most exciting moment I had ever experienced. At 4 she came outside again with Angela. She was dressed in a pink shirt, white trousers and her huge orange alien like sunglasses. She smiled and she waved to us, which led to us taking some great pictures of her. Very satisfied with that we then went back to our hotel to get ready for tonight’s show.

Again we were at Porte 38 and Allison came around, suddenly she said to us ‘you’re in the pit again?’. We were like ‘aaaah, yes don’t you remember? We were allowed to enter the pit tonight and yesterday’s show’. And then luckily she remembered. This time we got into the left pit, but this was good because as the show was going to be filmed there was huge camera in pit right. So that would’ve only obstructed our view. Since I was the first one to enter the pit I found a spot right at the front. This had its advantages and disadvantages.

Every time Madonna came over to our pit, the pushing was extreme and the security guard in the pit just pushed us back, forgetting that I was right in the middle and so was being pushed from two different sides. I told the security guard to take it a little easy as we weren’t doing anything wrong. He then just told me to either shut up or leave the pit. Decided then to change my spot with Simon so I didn’t need to be standing next to that man again. With ‘Deeper and Deeper’ Madonna stood right in front of me, tried to touch her hand but ended up touching her leg instead (don’t know what happened there?) When the end of the show was coming up I suddenly felt someone rubbing my arm. So I turned around to see and saw this Italian guy rubbing my arm, I shook him off, what a creep! Some people in the pit that night! When the show ended I was kind of glad that I could leave the pit, because even though the show had been awesome once again, the freaky people around me made it a little difficult for me to completely enjoy the show.

Paris, September 5

We (Hans and Peter had joined us since yesterday) agreed not to get to the front this evening and to just see the show in a very relaxed way. During the day Hans and Peter had seen Madonna leave her hotel, we didn’t see her that day, was just too hot to be standing around her hotel. We did however saw her arriving at Bercy, but that was just barely a second of Madonna. We entered Bercy and found a spot somewhere in the back. The show was again very good, and Madonna had a very emotional speech during ‘Imagine’. After the show we ran into the documentary crew. There they told me that they would not be coming to Holland due to the limit of their budget. But that they were going to film me in Lisbon instead.

Paris, September 6

We’re going to take the Thalys to Amsterdam today. When we arrived at Gare Du Nord a woman who spoke English with an American accent approached me. She wanted to film my Madonna tattoos and asked if she could. I was a bit grumpy due to the lots of dancing, heat, exhaustion and all from the tour plus carrying around my HEAVY bags, but I posed for her camera anyway. We started talking and when she told me she was going to attend all the shows because she was a dancer in Madonna’s show. I finally recognized her, it was Dawn she was together with Jason (another dancer). They were very friendly and went to get something to eat. It turned out that all of the dancers, the band, backing singers and crew were in the same Thalys as us!

During the trip we walked over to them, but they were very tired so decided not to bother them and let them sleep. When we arrived in Amsterdam we all got off and had a chat with Monte and his fiancé. He again was very friendly and funny and we filmed him while talking to him. During our little interview, Siedah walked by while singing into our camera. Donna was sadly left alone, walking on her own with her daughter and heavy bags. I wanted to approach to ask if she needed help, but didn’t have the guts to go up to her and ask, I just didn’t want to bother her. We said goodbye to Monte and the others and went home, while they went off to their hotel by a bus that was waiting for them outside.

Arnhem, September 8

On the 7th of September Hans, Simon and me already went to our rented house in Arnhem. When we got here our friend who was also staying in the same house was there already. We decided to go to the Gelredome already to already camp out to be the first to enter the stadium tomorrow evening. When we got there we were immediately approached by someone from a radio station asking us if we were indeed the very first to come and camp out. We were then interrupted by a security man working at the Gelredome. He told us we couldn’t camp outside today, camping was only allowed from tomorrow morning. We couldn’t believe it! This was the only stadium I had ever experienced that had set a rule like this. We were extremely pissed but decided to camp out anyways. But then in the evening we were told by security if we didn’t leave they would come and take us away, using their dogs. So we just decided to forget about it and headed home.

The next day we arrived very early (around 7 in the morning) and quite a few people were sitting on the sidewalk next to the McDonalds already (still not allowed to go and wait at the gates). We were finally escorted to the gate and after a while we were escorted to another waiting area. Only to find out we could not leave that area otherwise we could not get back in. So we couldn’t go out to take a piss to put it blatantly or to go and get something to eat. We had to wait at least 90 minutes to go and do our thing on the one little toilet they had there. People outside the gates had to go and get food for us, it was truly the worst organized event I have ever experienced.

It seemed Madonna arrived a little late, so her soundcheck started late as well. The promised time that we could enter the stadium was surpassed. Also here like in Paris there was another rush at around 5 in the afternoon. Which caused for us standing like fish in a can for two hours straight. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, the gates were finally opened and we could finally walk through. We ran like maniacs to find a decent spot, and so we did! Right at the front on the right of the stage! Now all we had to do was wait for the show to begin.

We were checking out all the people walking around backstage, when we suddenly saw Monte, so we called him. We he noticed it was us, he grabbed his camera and immediately walked over to us. So again we had a chat and we asked if he could show our tattoos to Madonna, so he got his camera again zoomed in on the tattoos and said he would definitely show her. I then asked him if he could also tell Madonna how much we loved her, he smiled and said he would do that. We then wished him a great show, said goodbye, and he went backstage.

Finally at 9 the show started and I was sooooooo excited, because this was Madonna in my home country so I was very very proud! But I instantly noticed some things didn’t go quite as they should have. The screens weren’t working properly so we didn’t see all of ‘The Beast Within’. But Madonna’s entrance was amazing and much to our delight she was wearing the golden corset instead of the purple one! We were all hyped up and so excited that we jumped like never before. It occurred to us that loads of people were just standing around like they didn’t have a good time. Because of this and because of the fact that I saw Madonna was annoyed with lots of things during the show, I just started to jump and scream more. Just to show that there were fans who were enjoying the show A LOT!

I really couldn’t believe that after all these years she was finally back in my home country. But the thing that struck me more was the fact that the audience wasn’t that good, that people were just sitting like they didn’t have the balls to get up and dance or something. When Madonna got over to our side of the stage we just went wild, as she was just so close by, and we just wanted to show where the real fans were. During the show the crowd became a little more at ease and ‘Like a Prayer’ brought the place alive. Madonna instantly was more cheerful and a little more talkative. So thankfully the evening did end successfully.

We were beat after the show, we had never jumped so much in our lives. We decided to take a different route to avoid the thousands of people leaving through the same doors. We then somehow found ourselves backstage and ran into Tony (the crewmember that helped us in Paris). So we chatted and took a pic with him. While saying goodbye to Tony, we bumped into Donna De Lory! She recognized us from Paris and chatted to us as well, we then walked with her to the tourbus and took some pics with her again. Outside I thanked her for her great and beautiful performance in Paris and that I loved her cd. She thanked me for this and we asked her if she knew if the rumours about a possible extension of the tour were true. She just said ‘you never know’ (unfortunately this never happened, was good to know they were planning it though). We said our goodbyes to Donna and walked to our little rented home.

Arnhem, September 9

Today we decided to just take it slow because we had seating tickets for tonight, as we wanted and try to record some of the show on camera. We started our day with the usual checking and buying of every newspaper with a review on the first show in Holland. Around dinnertime we made our way to the Gelredome and to the area where the pit winners had to be. When Allison came to pick up the winners, we tried our best to get into the pit again. Unfortunately she recognized me from Paris and said ‘no sorry you’ve been in the pit before’. But my friend Hans was lucky and he got to go into the pit, it was his first time. I was kind of disappointed as I know people that have been in the pit on every show or at least 10 times. Anyhow, if it wasn’t meant to be it wasn’t meant to be.

My mother and my stepfather came to see tonight’s show. I bought my mom two seating tickets for her birthday, I just said she was obligated to see the woman that I had loved for so many years. Simon and me went to our seats which turned out not to be so good. We were on the left side, but couldn’t seen any of the screens as we were kinda seated behind them. Also the stadium was actually way too big for the seating tickets. No matter where you sat, Madonna would still be a midget. But anyway we just enjoyed the show as much as we could. I was again annoyed but lots of people in the crowd, who just went up to get something to eat, to drink, to go to the toilet etc. numerous times throughout the show. I was like ‘why would you pay 90 euros just to see some of the show, and leave all the time?’. Madonna was in a great mood and the dancers and crew played lots of tricks on her, which was nice.

After the show Hans was extremely happy because he too had grabbed Madonna’s hand during ‘Imagine’, he had had the best time ever in the pit. I also called my mom to ask how she enjoyed the show, she said it was absolutely beautiful and they both loved it. She just thought it was a shame that she was sitting so far away, as Madonna was just very teeny tiny. When we arrived in our rented home, we decided to see how to filming turned out, which wasn’t that good but also not that bad. Some good bits, some bad bits, but better than nothing. And then we took a bath and went to bed.

Lisbon, September 13

At first I was in serious doubt whether to go to Lisbon or not, since I am afraid to fly. But when I heard that these shows were going to be filmed and were going to be the very last dates, I just had to go! This would be the perfect ending to my own Re-Invention Tour. Together with Hans (Simon didn’t come, he was broke) we flew to Lisbon on September 12th, after three hours of sweating, being nervous and thinking we were going to crash, we finally got there.

The next day we found out that Madonna already graced every newspaper’s cover, even before she had set foot in the country. Hans and me bought every single thing we could get our hands on. In the evening we went to the stadium which looked like a giant UFO. We had VIP standing tickets for tonight’s show, so we didn’t need to queue and could easily walk in whenever we wanted to. We decided to go and see if we could see any dancers etc. at the back entrance. We again saw the documentary crew who greeted me and told me they would film me later on inside the venue. We also saw the dancers, Donna etc. Around 8 we went inside the venue and to our big surprise, there was just a small amount of people already there. So no problem for us to walk right ahead to the front. We settled for second row on the left side.

The barriers had been set up in a strange way so that the camera’s that were going to film the show, would have enough space to do their thing. The doc crew then came by and interviewed me a little bit on my RIT experiences and how I felt about it all ending. Suddenly Aries (a dancer) came over to me and took a pic of my tattoo with his cell phone. He was very friendly and had a chat. Ingrid (M’s friend) and Jonas Akerlund were standing right next to me behind the barriers.

Finally at 10 in the evening the show started, but it immediately became clear that this was Madonna’s best show to date. She was all smiles from the start and had an energy that I had not seen before. She looked radiant and was just glowing! The crowd went wild from the very first seconds and we stayed that way. During ‘Nothing Fails’ the doc crew came over again to film me in ‘action’ for a few seconds. When Madonna sang ‘Crazy For You’ and sang her last line ‘crazy for you’ she pointed right at me and smiled. I just smiled back and pointed right back at her, lovely moment! With ‘Music’ I just lost it and started to boogie my ass off, everybody around me went crazy and started to dance like maniacs. Ingrid and Jonas thought we were spectacular entertainment.

The show went by way too fast and everyone who had seen the show before agreed, this truly was her very best show to date! They had chosen the best show to record and release on live DVD. Madonna really gave her all tonight and I was so impressed with her. This had been the most fun I had on my RIT tour. The people from Portugal also made the experience a very lovely one, no pushing etc. you got the space you needed. It was absolutely wonderful.

Lisbon, September 14

Of course first thing we did, check out all the newspapers on reports on yesterday’s show. In the evening we ate something in the mall opposite the arena. Tonight we had to wait to get our tickets. We had special Family & Friends tickets for tonight thanks to Johann from ICON and the assistant of Caresse Henry. They had told us to wait until a certain time in the evening to pick up our tickets at the stadium.

We went to the box office a couple of times but they still weren’t there, finally after another hour of waiting they were there! So we entered the stadium and asked a lady that worked there if she could show us to our seats. She walked all the way to very front block right next to the stage, and then walked up right to the very FRONT ROW!! We couldn’t believe it, we actually had front row seats of the nearest block of seating tickets. The seats were absolutely amazing. The view of the stage was excellent, but our backstage view was even better. Now we know why these tickets were called ‘Family & Friends’. So we chatted to dancers and crew and stuff, had a great time.

At 10 in the evening the lights went out and the show was about to start. We saw Madonna walking backstage and then she was practising her handstand. Then Aries spoke to her and she kissed him on the cheek. Was so great to see Madonna like this! The show again was spectacular and you could tell from their efforts that this was the last show. The dancers, crew and Madonna gave their all and just created an amazing and very energetic show. When Madonna spoke to the audience right before ‘Crazy For You’, she had to cry since it was her last show. As sensitive as I am to Madonna tears, I started to cry a little as well. It wasn’t only the last show for her, it was for me too. I just had the best holiday and tour of my life and it was about to end in minutes. When the show ended I saw them backstage hugging and kissing each other and crying of course. This was very emotional to see but also very special, this had been the perfect ending to my Re-Invention Tour.

Lots of dreams of mine came true during this tour. I had always wanted to plan a European tour during a tour of Madonna and I did. And I did my thing for the documentary of the tour, but sadly my clips didn’t make the final cut (as most fan’s clips unfortunately didn’t make it). I met the crew, the dancers, the band and they were all lovely. I was in the pit three times, and when the tour started I thought I was never going to get in. Madonna finally came back to Holland and of course I saw the last dates of the tour. I was present at all shows that have been filmed. Last but not least, the fact that I finally shook Madonna’s hand after so many years. What an amazing holiday, thank you Madonna!

I had expected that after 12 dates of RIT it would be a long time before I would see Madonna again. Gladly I was completely wrong, as I was going to be chatting to Madonna just two months later in London! But to read all about that, you have to read my next story.


Kimberly van Pinxteren

(written in 2004)