Still recovering from the Promo gig in Paris, a few days later they announced the Sticky & sweet tour, it is a fact she is going on the road this summer. She will start in Europe Cardiff will be the opening night and Amsterdam is also on the list but already as 5th show. Pretty cool to see the world premiere in Europe it would be my second world premiere. My first time was with the Girlie Show in 1993 but on the other hand the first shows will be very tight and standard. But my savings account was ready to spend on the new world tour of Madonna.

I love to do as many shows as possible but Madonna decided to play a very strange tour schedule and only to play in big stadiums and just 1 show per city except for Paris. I’ve got some problems with her tour schedule first Cardiff then Nice, Berlin, Amsterdam and then go back to Dusseldorf and Frankfurt? A lot of going back and forth! Lots to travel so I was only able to do 8 shows instead of 12 (like 2 years ago) Zurich and Vienna are too far for me. And unable to this by car or train as Kimberly is scared of flying. So it will take so many time to travel. Athens? Not an option. I hoped for a very long time that she would do an extra show in London, but unfortunately she decided to go to Lisbon.

This is the first tour ever that she does so many stops in Europe. I’ve got Hot tickets for five shows, for Amsterdam regular field ticket and for Paris Golden Circle tickets. For the show in Cardiff and London there was Early Access. So it was a very good feeling that we got in first. Booked everything at my local travel agency and I think we were going to use every transport there is (plane, car and train). Caroline booked the guest house in Cardiff so everything is done now, so let’s start the adventure.

22 August Cardiff

By plane we go to Cardiff, Kimmy is very afraid to fly and a good three weeks before the date she was nervous already thinking of cancelling the trip, well there we go again, Simon and I were talking to her that it will be great and try to relax a bit. Our plane would depart at 3pm so we had to be there 2 hours before boarding and that is quite difficult for those who don’t like to fly. I decided also to film our whole trip and make our own tour documentary, well my first shots were from the face of Kimmy (sorry someone must do it)

sshans2In the plane there were leg problems for me, we could get more space but we must pay extra. No Way!! Gladly the stewardess gave us three seats with space near the exit without having to pay extra, perfect! Halfway through our trip Kimmy became more relaxed and there was her smile again. When we are in Cardiff we were really surprised about the weather, lots of sunshine. We took a cab to our guest house. Caroline is already in Cardiff and we will meet her later on the day. After leaving our luggage in our room it is time to explore Cardif

The Stadium is so close that we could see it from the guest house, so could nearly crawl to it. In the evening we met Caroline she was already jumping from the excitement and also the first rumor of that the show may be postponed until Sunday because of voice problems. I already have a bad feeling about it all. Because the tour hasn’t started yet and here are the first issues. Back in the guest house we heard lots of noise coming from the stadium, Caroline told us that Madonna was rehearsing again en very strange that she is working on Friday due to kaballah. But I think she wants everything to be perfect so she decided to do this extra rehearsal. The good news is that the rumor that was mentioned is gone BYE,BYE! We went to the stadium and listened to the entire rehearsal. You must Love me (finally) it was so beautiful everyone was listening to it and didn’t say a word, but unfortunately some Italian guy thought he was Pavarotti and tried to sing with the song (well it was more screaming) so we yelled to him PLEASE SHUT UP! Then I heard Like A Prayer, the first time I heard Like A Prayer was again on the set list I thought ‘how original’ but I was too quick with my judgment because this was AWESOME, with the part of Felixx (Don’t you want me). After the show we ran to the exit and hoped we saw Madonna leave, yes we did, but the car was all black including the windows, so we didn’t saw a thing, but by looking how fast it was gone it could’ve been no one else.

August 23

After a good night’s sleep we all woke up very early and yes it has everything to do with the show tonight. We were all nervous, how will it go with the hot tickets and what will the show be like? After a typical English breakfast we went into Cardiff and walked around the stadium, it is already busier than last night, but we had to pick up our hot tickets at noon so we are going to Starbucks, time for Coffee. Around 1pm we are in the queue to collect our hot tickets and when we get our wristband, laminate and beautiful ticket we went back to the guest house, where we are going to change our outfit into the Sticky & Sweet outfit. After that we had a very good meal, now it was time to get back in line for the early access.

At 5pm we may go in, we were told that we are going into a hospitality room with drinks etc, but we were held in the stadium, and must wait until Madonna was ready with her soundcheck. Kimmy could see a bit of the stage when she saw one of the fences were not closed, but one of the security saw that and closed the fence (well you must do something with your time). I saw a bit of the stage and saw two big ‘M’ at the sides. It took over an hour for us to get into the stadium, so people started to push. When we are on the floor, we must go to the left side of the stage, but there was everything already full and the right side was empty. Kimmy complained about that she didn’t paid 250GBP for a ticket to be third or fourth row, and after 5 minutes she called me and we were allowed to stand on the right side. The reason was that the normal Golden Circle ticket holders could stand on the right side. We got an amazing spot and when the other GC holders came in they jumped on the people and everyone is really fucked up. Everyone is packed and won’t sit down on the floor.

After talking with Guy Oseary and Antboogie (dancer) Kimmy decided to give up her spot, it is too hot and the people are pushing way too much, I decided to remain at this spot. My feet are killing me and the lady next to me has high heels on, and her feet are suffering as well so I asked if everything is okay? Well my feet are killing me! Yes I know!!

9pm SHOWTIME!! The lights go out and there we go. The first video is not really spectacular, the bass is that loud that I didn’t hear a thing of what she is saying on stage. When the are openend the first notes to Candy shop is a fact and everyone is going wild and crazy. It is the same thing we already saw during the promo show in Paris but it is GREAT! And I’m also going mad and Madonna looks stunning!

After Candy Shop she is doing Beat goes on, also a favorite track of mine on the CD. Live this one is fantastic, when she walks to our side she is smiling and I take pictures. When the car is coming (old timer) on stage everyone is jumping and is very happy. Well to say it in my words AWESOME! Human Nature is in the front of the catwalk and we only see the back of Madonna (Human Nature is not a song that I like and during the Drowned World tour even horrible), but this version is great to listen to and when the song finishes with ‘It’s Britney Bitch’ with Britney’s portrait big on the screens. Vogue is coming up, with a new sample (4 Minutes) is the classic song (my favorite) awesome and everyone is jumping singing like me. When Vogue is done she walks again to our side, smiles and got into the stage. The first part is a fact.

The first interlude is a boxing video with the music of Die Another day, two boxers are fighting each other (for me a flashback with the Girlie Show and Sorry remix of the Confessions tour). When the men beat each other up, Madonna is there again and is jumping rope and sings Into the groove. Yes a great song and reminds me of the first time I heard this song in 1985. Colorful and a very happy Madonna (well she is nervous you could see) When she is done with jumping the rope, she is falling sshans3on the stage and two dancers help her with changing the shoes (same as in Lucky Star CT). Heartbeat is the next song, this song is also a blast for the ears and I think it is much better than on the CD. Then we get Borderline, I think you should not mess with Borderline and especially not with a guitar but I loved the new version, it was still in the original but with a rock sound under it, perfect!

She’s not me is coming up and this is one of my favorite songs on the album and Madonna yells ‘This is for the Ladies’ and everyone is again dancing and singing. What happened on the screens I couldn’t see because it was too high for that. I turned myself to the catwalk and see on there that four dancers are dressed up from Madonna’s early days (Material Girl, like A Virgin, Open Your heart, and Express Yourself!) Madonna then ended up doing a similar routine as with Let it Will be. She took the wig from the Express Yourself girl and crawled back to the main stage under the notes of Last Night a DJ saved my life and goes further in the first notes of Music (not again!) the same she did during the promo gig in Paris. When the song is over, we get our 2nd interlude on the beat of rain and Here comes the rain again from the Eurythmics. Two dancers dressed up in Japanese outfits walked very fast in very tiny steps again to the catwalk. There comes up out of the stage a piano where Madonna is laying on (similar to Sooner or Later Blond Ambition) and starts the Devil wouldn’t recognize you, this is my first moment to say this is MADONNA at her best! With fantastic backdrops on the screens very spooky but so beautiful. When Madonna gets up, she drops her black cloth and stands there like a lady.

Next song is really the one I hate! Spanish Lesson, I hate it on the CD and live it is just as bad. Gladly this torture is over and she is again back on the catwalk and sings Miles Away and AGAIN with guitar. It is obvious that the best spot in the house is at the front of the catwalk and I turned again to the catwalk. La Isla Bonita (same as on Live Earth) she brings back the same atmosphere as in the beginning of the show and when she does the part of Lela Pale Tute, the whole stadium is shaking (or is this still the speakers? That are really hurting my ears) One Big Party in the stadium. The song ends again on the catwalk, Madonna is going to sit down and three of her musicians are doing an own song (Doli Doli) Okay? What do I think of this? Really nothing! It’s the first time ever that I am bored during a Madonna show. When this disaster is over Madonna makes it all up with You Must Love me (again with guitar) I see only her back but she moves me with this one and finally she sings it LIVE!

Get Stupid interlude, also with this one I can be very brief, there is so much bass in this track that this is an attack for your ears and I couldn’t hear a thing of what she is singing. I put my fingers in my ears, I couldn’t understand that no one is hearing that this is really bad! The lady next to me is standing in the same position, she screams STOP THIS!

When 4 Minutes begins everyone is dancing and singing, and I’m still feeling numb from the last video. But what has she done to herself? A terrible wig and is she wearing a Spiderman outfit? Where am I? At a Kylie concert? What was wrong with the outfit she was wearing during the promo tour? The song missed the spirit as I remembered it  from the promo show. I’m tempted to leave my spot, but there is Like A Prayer and I’m glad that I’m still standing in the front with the Felixx beat in the song it is going to be one of the highlights, took great pictures when she is standing in front of me. It is getting boring but also this song is ending on the catwalk. The song is going into into Ray Of Light (please not again!) and with the same backdrops she had during the Confessions tour it is a moment to look around. Is she shocking us by doing songs the same she already did? Also the two dancers that are dressed up like two men on the moon, makes this look like a Kylie act.

Here guitar is coming to the stage and she is doing a request to us and asked us what she must sing? It turned out to be Express Yourself and rolls over into Hung Up (also on guitar) and the same version as during the promo show, I asked myself if the show is already over so I could leave, because the sound is horrible but still I am stubborn and remain at my spot. Madonna is trying to have sex with the speaker? Well she thinks she is a rock chick (but sorry didn’t work) is there finally the last song of the evening Give It 2 Me. How great this one was during the promo gig, how wrong this version is now (wrong remix) Also too much bass, so I didn’t hear Madonna sing a word of the song, I’m only praying that this will stop very soon. Then the screens come down with the words GAME OVER!! Finally I’m still alive.

The lights go on and it took me at least 15 minutes to pull myself together and going to find Kimmy and Simon. My ears are hurting me and I’m deaf in one ear. Caroline is the first I see and she enjoyed the show very much and took great pictures, she saw the show at the side of the catwalk and had a great time. When I also see Kimmy & Simon and the rest (Sharon, Tony, and Steve and Dan) Their reaction was it is shocking that Madonna didn’t shock anymore! And saw the show as a fun one, my feelings are mixed!

August 24

It took me the whole night to let the show sink in, I just hope things in Berlin will be better. But I am focusing more on the positive things. Well I hope the sound will be better the next shows, because it was a living hell to be in the front with this sound. After breakfast and rain we explored Cardiff and checked out all the newspapers and hope to find news about the show last night. The weather was dry and sunny and we waited before our taxi will pick us up to go back to the airport. The flight is going very well and Kimmy was more relaxed than before.

August 27 Berlin

Today for us a new adventure, we are going for the very first time by car to Berlin, I haven’t travelled by car this far before.

I stayed the night at Kimmy so we could leave very early and make sure there would be no traffic. With us one navigation system and from the internet a roadplanner, good music, and lots of fun we leave for Berlin at 5.30am. We were very tired when we got into car. While driving we woke up a bit more and spoke more to each other. Passing the German boarder we speed up. No problems on our way and we got into Berlin about 2pm and check in at the hotel. We decided to go to the stadium by bus and see how far it is. At the stadium everything was very quiet and the weather was sunny, we see some posters of Madonna. We are going back by bus and go to the shopping street and walked around. The people were very friendly, the food great. Time to get into our beds, because it had been a very long day.

August 28

The weather isn’t great it is grey and it is raining and in my opinion, it could be raining the entire day. In the afternoon we went to the stadium to pick up our hot tickets, we got our first tour wallet as a present, and of course the wristband and laminate. Very odd is that it is so quiet what is going on? Is everyone here so relaxed or is Madonna not that popular anymore? We go back to the hotel, but we see that on the wall there were Madonna posters. Some of them are missing, so we will also give it a try to remove two posters, and it worked (normally I don’t do that ;-) After a good meal we are leaving the hotel at 4pm and took a taxi to the stadium, we heard that we probably must walk back when all the taxi’s are not available for tonight. We take our spot in the hot ticket queue. Around the clock of 6pm the doors for the hot tickets are open now (we have 5 minutes early access, they changed that after a big disaster in Nice when the Hot ticket holders came in last, Live Nation and Madonna’s management changed that) we are so happy.

sshans4When we are in, we must walk quite a while because it was a very big stadium and you enter at the opposite of the stage. We got our spot (the same as in Cardiff) but I hope the sound will be better than in Cardiff. The crowd enters the stadium and we meet Guy Oseary again, we see Robyn for the first time. At 9.15pm nothing happened yet, then the lights go out but nothing happened (I think some technical problems with the intro) When the show starts, the Candy shop opened their doors..! The sound is fantastic, the crowd is fantastic, we got lots of space to move and dance and everyone seems so relaxed, they sing and dance and enjoy the show.

In the second part, during Into the groove we see some changes. She’s wearing a different colored costume during this section and she looks FAB! You Must love me is dedicated to Seymour Stein (the man that gave Madonna her first record deal) he is in the audience. I like the show much better than last weekend in Cardiff and love to see this one another 6 times. The crowd loved the show and dances and sing along with Madonna, like us! After the show we meet Sharon, Tony and Andre. A drunk man bothered Sharon all the time and Sharon didn’t like that. We are going to walk back to the hotel. When we are walking two drunk German guys were fighting on the street, and we? We walked on by, 5 minutes later one of the guys is sitting in the taxi and turns his window down and screamed lots of nasty things in German to the other guy. That guy became angry and kicked the mirror off the car so the taxi driver went after this guy to claim his damage. Then when we are almost on the Theodor Heuss Platze we see Tony and Sharon again (they were in the tube) When we are back in the hotel, I asked for a scissor to cut my wristband. Kimmy posted news on the site, then Kimmy also took the scissors and cut not only in her wristband but also in her arm, so we needed a band aid. Then when I see my bed, I jump on it and fell asleep.

August 29

After a very good night’s rest, we get up early to leave Berlin after buying the newspapers. The journey is going very well and the sun is doing its work. We speed like a rocket and arrive quickly, around 2pm I dropped Kimmy at her place and got home in Purmerend at 3pm. Did my things before I totally collapsed on the couch.

1st of September Amsterdam

This was no show date, and had to work very hard, I must deliver 2 wedding books by Saturday and I must do so many things for it that time was my biggest enemy. Also today we decided to book a hotel in Dusseldorf and I also must do some work on location. In the afternoon Kimmy called me if it was a great idea to have dinner with Tony (he was coming over for the show) I found it a great idea, but also thinking that I lose some more precious hours. Well I had to work very hard now. That evening we came in Amsterdam and had a great time with Tony eating Mexican food and took a beer on a terrace, we left early because tomorrow it will be a very long day.

2nd of September

Very early in the morning we woke up, and get ready for one long day of queuing. At 6.30am we drove to the Amsterdam ArenA. On our way we got stuck in a traffic jam so by 7.30am we reach the ArenA. The weather was grey and cold but we got our umbrellas with us. There are I think around 40 people queuing, also Evelien (a very good friend of mine) and Marianne (a customer of mine) Evelien must say that they arrived at 6.30 and that we (Die Hard fans) weren’t even in the neighbourhood LOL! Caroline and Amon arrived around 8.00am and Simon a bit later, he was on the train station but forgot lots of things so he went back to pick that up. There was Tony, in his shorts and sweater and believe me it was cold, he got some bubble plastic to wrap himself so he could warm up a bit.

Until 11am the weather was dry but cold, then unfortunately it began to rain and didn’t stop anymore. When Peter called me I got more bad news the rain won’t stop and it will be getting worse GREAT!! (Not) I think they heard my complaining, because Kimmy got a phone call that she and me got two ticket de Luxe and we could pick them up at 3pm. What a blessing Kimmy and I could leave the queue and walk around a bit. We see the Heinken Music Hall is already in Hard Candy style because tonight after the show there will be an afterparty.

When it’s 3pm we’re going to pick up our tickets and wristbands, instead of the leather wallet, we got as tour gift a shoulder bag with tour logo, very cool! It is still raining and when Simon called with the news that there was the first rush for the day, everyone is totally fucked up about the weather. When we walk back to the queue we see everybody standing, and it took at least 2 hours before the gates will be open (a big disaster). We’re going to eat around 4pm and after dinner we queue at entrance D. When we get inside around 5pm we hope that we could see the last bit of the rehearsal, but they hold us at the entrance for at least an hour, gladly it’s dry here.sshans5

When we are allowed to go in we are told that the first one who runs, is to be kicked out.

Very slowly we get in and come inside backstage from the left side, when we walked to our right side, we see Chris Lamb and see that the soundcheck is over. We are at the same spot as in Cardiff and Berlin. And try to make some space for our friends. Then a wave of sound is coming to us, that means that the doors are open for the regular ticket holders. We see Tony, Evelien and Amon coming very quickly and… my worst nightmare! A French fan with a friend that came in tried to jump and push theirselves to the front barrier (they are notorious among the Madonna fans in the bad way). Kimmy said to one of the girls that two of our friends are at the toilets so if they please could leave some space. The ladies didn’t listen and tried to take Kimmy’s spot. Kimmy screams for them to back off and stop pushing, when I see this is going to get out of control I tried to get everyone to calm down, but now one of the girls started to call me a ‘Fucking Faggot’ and now it is my turn to get very angry, my blood is reaching the highest temperatures. I asked her very friendly but very urgent to leave this area before I will personally kill her. She said OOOH you are threatening me’ SECURITY! I told her, this is not a threat but a promise because you ruined my evening 2 years ago in Wembley Arena during the birthday show, and I won’t let that happen again that you going to spoil my evening here in Amsterdam.

The security guard tried to get me to calm down and said, try to ignore these ladies, I told him that these ladies are doing everything what they can to grab the front barrier and don’t mind to use violence to reach that goal. When I’m looking around Kimmy is gone and she is in the back of the Golden Circle. The security guard asks me how the situation is, and I told him that it is quiet now but could change in 6 minutes, my friend is already gone and I’m not paying so much money for my ticket to let that get ruined by those bitches, if you know what I mean. The security guard, didn’t want to wait for this moment and his colleague is already walking in our direction. Tony must turn a bit so the man could hang over the barrier and grab the first girl and the other man took the other. The ladies are screaming hysterical, she swears everything what is good and bad. One of them looks at me and says; ‘I’ll REMEMBER YOU! I said do you want to have my name? H A N S!! Everyone is very relieved these girls are kicked out. Then I see Kimmy and Simon also laughing and also cheering when they leave.

sshans6Evelien and Marianne told me that they never saw me so angry and thought I was going to beat her up, and yes I was willing to do so. I don’t like cheating and they were not playing fair (see also my Hard Candy promo tour story). Robyn is starting and I tried to my best to give it a chance for the second time but unfortunately it doesn’t work with me and I’m getting bored in the first 10 minutes. Also the set is longer I think than in Berlin. When Robyn is ready and left the stage, it is now waiting for Madonna. It became 9.30pm when the lights go out and it is showtime, but the music is as loud as in Cardiff, the bass is so loud that you couldn’t hear a thing. Madonna is very happy and smiles all the time and looks right into my camera during Vogue, she is sticking her tongue out at Tony (the way she says hello to him). Evelien is leaving her spot, because of the loud music and bass, I tried to stay but after She’s not me I’m also leaving the spot. I’m totally deaf and try to get myself back to earth, am I the only one having problems with the sound?

A bit in the back of the Golden Circle, I tried to get my drive back and tried to enjoy the rest of the show, Evelien is now standing next to me. When La Isla Bonita starts I’m dancing and jumping the whole stadium is jumping and singing. During the request section, you could see how happy Madonna is and when she could not make a decision what to sing, she asked us to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY, after that she thought us to be the best crowd so far and if we don’t want to come along for the rest of the tour. When Give It 2 Me is over and we all walk to the exit we must change our clothes and go directly to the Heineken Music hall for the afterparty. When we got in, I got my video camera with me and the security there don’t want me to get that in. Well listen we are one of the organizers of this party, and we were allowed by Fame music that we could film this. A few phone calls later I was allowed to bring my camera with me, and when we are upstairs where DJ Ben Liebrand (very famous in the 80’s in Holland) the atmosphere is very good. Madonna songs mixed with other songs with a perfect beat, and it became very busy in the HMH. We are dancing, taking pictures and I’m filming the party. When the set of Ben Liebrand is over we get a girl that sings Give it 2 me, and then you could see that everything is slowing down, another singer sings Dutch songs instead of Madonna songs, so it is time to leave because I have to work in a few hours. When I drop Kimmy and Simon in Almere I drove back to Purmerend and rolled into my bed at 2.30am

September 4 Düsseldorf

Yesterday I worked really hard and afterwards went to Kimmy to spent the night, we must leave again by car to Germany again tomorrow as Düsseldorf is the next stop. By train it took about 2 and half hours to get in Düsseldorf, and we thought it was the same time by car, maybe faster and it is much closer than Berlin (but don’t say this too loud Hans). The journey is going very well and we got into Düsseldorf around noon we had to got to the Krefelder strasse NO 1, so when we are on the Krefelder strasse, there was no nr 1 and no hotel Grand Mirage. Parked the car and walked into a store were they sold beds and heard this is housenumber one (well we could sleep here) but when the lady looked at our hotel voucher she sees the problem, we had to go to Düsseldorf Neuss and that is about a 30 minute drive from here. When we finally get to Neuss, we find the hotel and park the car.

Our room was great but outside we heard lots of noise coming from people doing construction work. I told Kimmy that hey would probably finish work by five, as this is usually the case in Holland. We have to stay positive. Kimmy asked at the reception how we could get to the LTU Arena, by train it took an hour and after 11pm there were no trains anymore. Taking a cab would be expensive, not an option so we took our car again and we first drive into the centre of Düsseldorf to eat something. When we parked the car and found a restaurant, which had a written menu that was unreadable. I choose something off the menu and hope it is a good decision. Well when I got my dinner it was spaghetti with shrimps (and that is what I really don’t like). We arrived at the stadium and parked the car, we walked to the box-office to pick up our tickets but went in the wrong direction so we must walk back. Instead of 2 years ago, the weather was very good and it was sunny. We reach the box offices, and collect our wristband, laminate and our leather wallet. These items including the video camera were brought back to the car, then went back to our separate Hot Ticket queue.

sshans7At 5pm we got in and again we were held up by the entrance before we may go in. When we may go in, everyone is pushing again, so we wait until this is over. Inside the stadium we walked to the right side. When the regular ticket holders got in, everyone is trying to jump over people to get in the front, but unfortunately we were standing there already. We decided to step out and walk around until it is time for the show. After a while the golden circle is so stuffed that walking around was difficult. We are going to the left side to see the show from a different angle, the spot is okay and have some space. We talked to Guy Oseary and when the show started finally (forget Robyn) Kimmy’s got a child sitting on the barrier obstructing her view. Her dad put her on the barrier so the child could see something.

The security also warned about the danger of putting the child on the barrier because the camera for the stage is flying over the audience so the child could get hit. But the parents were a bit too selfish, Kimmy even said that maybe they should’ve booked seating tickets so the child could see well, the father responded by saying that he didn’t want to sit down. Now it is very clear why it is quiet at our site, because when the show starts, the camera crane is blocking our view, we see nothing or a half Madonna. Madonna is doing her best on stage, but in this show she missed the spirit. She is not talking to the crowd

At one point in the show a security guard asked me if I want to stop taking pictures. What?! Where are we? Everybody is taking pictures and I must stop taking pictures. I ignore the request of the security man and took my photo’s. When the show is finished we were walking slowly to the car, because everyone wants to get home right away, but it is going to be one big mess with cars. We are waiting for I think 30 minutes when we tried to drive, it took another 30 minutes before we reach the highway to Neuss. I drove again in the wrong direction but when we are at the Grand Mirage and got back in our room there is another little problem we have to deal with, the construction workers are still busy with the road, and now I believe working the entire night. This the perfect end of a day what supposed to be a easy one but became a very tough one.

September 5

Slept a bit but had to get up early as I needed to deliver the two wedding books the next day. After checking and buying the newspapers, we leave Düsseldorf and go back to the Netherlands. The journey is going well and I drop Kimmy at 11am in Almere and I got home at 11.45am. Then right away back to work and workd on the wedding books. I made it, at midnight I was ready and I could finally go to bed.

8 September

We had to get up early again and at 6.30am we are standing in Amsterdam central station to take the train to Frankfurt. With the ICE train we are in no time in Frankfurt. Our hotel is next to the Haupt bahnhoff (trainstation) and everything went very smoothly. We could check in right away and when we put the luggage in the room we go into the city. We are also checking where we could find the Commerzbank Arena (the quickest way) It is too far to walk, so it has to be bus or taxi. But that is just a thing for tomorrow and go into the city

When we are walking we walk into a street that is filled with sex shops (we both got a flashback of Lisbon). We walked around and when we are back in the hotel we are asking where the shopping area is. In the shopping area, we took some coffee and tea at the Starbucks, we both are totally knackered and the chairs are very comfortable so we have to stay awake. But when we are back in the hotel and lay down on the beds, I fell almost asleep so to stay awake we are watching the MTV music Awards. We are going to eat in a sort of hard rock café and after that, back to bed.

A quiet night? Not really (I really don’t know what time it was) but Kimmy screams: ‘Hans there is someone in the room’ I jumped out of my bed totally not awake, but there was nobody! There was some talking in the hall but not in our room. Kimmy fell asleep again, you are right she dreamt it.

9 September

When I asked her about last night, she told me that she could remember that she said something like that, but she wasn’t sure. Well like I said she was dreaming. Today it is a lovely day, sunshine and no clouds. After breakfast we went back to the shopping area and again to Starbucks for the coffee, tea and carrot cake for Kimmy. We are walking around and sat down just to watch people. In the afternoon after dinner we went to the stadium. Very fast we were at the stadium and we said to each other WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE? It was so quiet. And where are the other entrances? We pick up our hot ticket and wait in the sun until it is time to go inside. Again early access we may come in, and tell something new, we are held up again for at least an hour. When it is time to walk to the stadium (very far) we must wait again by the entrance, people already fucked up and pulling and pushing (my god when will this stop?) Kimmy sits down in a chair and looked at the people that almost kill each other. Time to get in. Don’t need explanation what happened when the first people get in.

sshans8Yes screaming and shouting. The golden circle is getting fuller by the minute so it became very hot, we decided to gave up our spot and said to a kid (10 years old we think) he could stand on our spot, well some jealous eyes from a lady that love to stand on that spot (LOL)

We once again speak with Guy Oseary, then find a spot on the right where we have enough space to dance. Thankfully for us it is the last time we see Robyn perform, and no I still don’t like it. Thankfully when she’s finished, we have to wait for Madonna. What time will it be this time? 9, 9.15 or 9.30? Of course it is 9.30pm. People around us are getting restless and start to boo, people are drunk and are falling on the floor. Finally the lights go down and we are in the Candy Shop again. Madonna is in a great mood and she looks radiant, the sound is also very good. We are having fun at the front and I am happy to see this another three times. Unfortunately my good spirits are gone as quickly as they came when someone throws up, if there is one thing I cannot stand, it is this. I already start to feel a little sick and quickly turn around so I can avoid the smell. Madonna doesn’t notice anything and continues her show. Then someone faints, probably the booze. When Madonna does her request section we walk to the back and leave during Hung Up to avoid traffic jam. In the taxi on our way back to the hotel we spoke about the show and then went to bed in our hotel, hopefully Kimmy stays quiet tonight.

10 September

Another early day today as we are going to London. After a good breakfast and some sandwiches we made for our way to London, we check out and head to the train. First we check the newspapers and buy the ones that include Madonna, get in the train and leave. First the journey goes well but when we get to Aachen there is construction work on the track which delays our journey, also there seems to be a technical problem. We do not arrive at 11am but at 11.30am, which causes us to run to catch our train to London. We make it and two hours later arrive in St. Pancras, here we take a taxi to our hotel.

It wasn’t time to check in yet we could only do this after 3pm, so we went to Bayswater to check out the shops. First we got ourselves a great sandwich at Subway. We then walked to Notting Hill Gate to see if we could find something specials in the record shops. Unfortunately we didn’t. Then it is time to check in the lady of the hotel thought it’d be a great idea if we slept on the fifth floor, while the elevator did not work. So yeah we had to carry our luggage up. When we finally got to the room this turned out to be nothing more than a tiny attic like room, no space for anything at all. The only thing that looked alright was the bathroom. The television was awful image, we weren’t too happy with it all. We decided then to go to Marble Arch and walk to Oxford Street. Here at a record store we find the marbled version of the Hard Candy LP for 25GBP. Then Kimmy finds the Australian True Blue cd for me for 4GBP and then an American Life promo cd for 4GBP as well.

We then set out to settle down at Starbucks again, my feet are killing me. We speak with Tony and promises to bring us the items we ordered from him. He is too busy to show us his own collection at home unfortunately. We eat Mexican food and love it. We take pictures of the RocknRolla billboards and head back to the hotel. Once in our room we took a shower and went to bed. If you think that my bed was too small for me, I had to sleep with my knees pulled up high.

11 September

After a reasonable night’s sleep and something the hotel called breakfast, Kimmy decided to request a different room at the reception, and we could. But again had to carry all of our luggage down, put it in the locker room and get back at 3pm. We visit an internet café to check emails and to see how a bus can get us to Wembley Stadium. We find out we have to take bus 18, these go every 6 minutes. It starts to rain and I fear this can continue throughout the entire day. Then visit Oxford Street again and hear the news that there’s been a fire in the Eurotunnel, we are both like let’s not panic yet and wait and see how things go.

In the afternoon we dress up for the show and First grab something to eat. The bus arrives at 4pm but Kimmy and I both forgot we are in rush hour and of course end up in a huge traffic jam. When we are completely stuck at 5pm, we decide to walk which was a wrong decision. It is still over an hour of walking to Wembley and we don’t feel comfortable in the area. When we walk quickly suddenly Kimmy’s phone rings, she can’t find it and due to the stress throws everything on the floor, her legs are killing her. We are almost there and I still have to pick up my Hot Ticket. At the will call I give my order number and passport but forgot to bring a copy of Peter’s creditcard, the lady does not want to give me my tickets due to the missing copy of his creditcard and passport. I get angry and get to call Peter and hand over the phone to oher. After 5 minutes I still get my ticket and wristband.

sshans9Then we set out to wait in the long queue and finally get it around 6.45pm! It took us almost 3 hours to get here. We decide prior to the show to leave early to avoid getting stuck in Wembley. We are then filmed by Madonna’s crew and have to fill out a form. I look around me and see that Wembley is quickly filling up. I remember someone writing in 1993 on the Girlie Show that Madonna would never ever be able to fill the stadium again, hahaha I laugh at that comment now. Paul Oakenfold starts his set, a lot better than Robyn, but almost the same as the set he played two years ago. We find a spot in front of the catwalk where we run into Sharon, Steve, Dan and Tony. We’ve got a perfect view and want the show to begin. We know Madonna has to start at 8.30pm but doesn’t start until 9.10pm. The shows begins and experiencing it from here is so different. I finally see Human Nature from the front and take a lot of pictures. Madonna is in great spirits and she wouldn’t be Madonna if she hadn’t said to the audience during She’s Not Me ‘ever had a boyfriend that wanted to f*ck your girlfriend?’.

I’ve got an amazing view and the show just seems to go by so fast, then when I see You Must Love Me and Devil from the front my evening couldn’t be better, breathtaking! The last part is here and when Like a Prayer starts the entire stadium goes wild, what a party when she’s on the catwalk I now also see Nicki Richards doing her thing. I even liked Ray of Light. At the request section people have signs with GAMBLER on them but Madonna says she doesn’t remember the words to that one. Kimmy and me decide to leave after this and walk quickly to the bus station, but they’re already not driving any more. We set out for a taxi that takes us to our hotel for 45GBP, a lot of money but we’re glad we’re safely back at our hotel. The area around Wembley is frightening at night.

12 September

A non Madonna day today, First we set out to walk to Harrods to get ourselves 12 donuts, these are so damn tasty. Then we read in the newspapers it was terror getting on the train back to Holland due to extreme delays due to the fire in the Eurotunnel. In the afternoon we went to the cinema where we saw Eden Lake, an amazing movie, I hope Dutch cinema’s will feature this. After the movie it was almost 6pm and we agreed to meet Tony to get our items. He got my the Like a Virgin Canadian 12” pressed on white vinyl, have been looking for this for years. On our way back we received a text from Sharon asking if we wanted to join her and a few others for dinner at Zizzi’s around 7.30pm. We first got back to our hotel to put our stuff safely away and then walked back to Oxford Street. We finally found Zizzi’s and met up with Sharon, James, Mario, Paolo, Steve and Dan. We are starving I got myself a tasty pizza. Had a great time and spoke to James about Abba. They told us that 25000 people were left stranded at Wembley because no busses or subways were operating after the show. Another problem we didn’t know nothing about was that apparently Paul Oakenfold blew up a speaker causing people in the back to not hear a thing. Back in the hotel I fell asleep at once.

13/14 September

The day for us, how will things be with the trains?

sshans10When we are in the internet café and read the news that arranging a different trip is being advised, it is what we do. We decide to book a bus back to Holland as most flight companies are fully booked. We booked and had to be at Victoria coach station one hour in advance. Our bus departs at 10.30pm. We spent the rest of our day walking around and sitting in a park. Had a good meal before we left and a taxi brought us to Victoria. First we spent 20 minutes waiting for our tickets at the wrong desk. Then at the check in desk they told us they would print our tickets when we had to check in one hour in advance. I don’t feel comfortable here at all, don’t want to be here and just want to go home. It is time for Kimmy to check in, it seems she’s having problems, I have to come and show my passport.

5 minutes later Kimmy comes and says that a different woman helped her and didn’t want to give her the bus tickets as they should’ve been printed before 8pm at the Eurolines office, when Kimmy said that her colleague told her that they could print the tickets for her, she got them. We can hop on the bus, I make sure the suitcases are well placed in the bus and Kimmy finds the best seats. I sit down and hope it departs soon. Indeed it does, but at Dover we of course get stuck in a traffic jam causing us to miss our boat and have to wait 2 more hours to get on the next boat, I am getting so tired of this.

When the boat does depart, it takes longer than usual for it to cross the channel. Around 5.30am we are in Calais and get back on the bus. I don’t remember a thing until the next stop in Antwerp. Then I jump out to stretch my legs. This stop is followed by more stops when it has been 10am already (and we should’ve been in Amsterdam at 10!). Then right before Utrecht the bus stops again for 30 more minutes, please just drive I want to go home!! Everybody is in the bus except for two people that we have been waiting for the entire journey. Around 1pm we finally arrive and I say goodbye to Kimmy and her mom and get in the car with Peter, completely knackered.

I did like the show but was it all worth it?

19 September Paris

After a couple of days it is time for our last stop of the tour. My alarm goes at 4.15am and Peter drops me off at the train at 5.18am, there I am with my train ticket in hand. I don’t see anything happening and somehow it appears that my train is not operating for some strange reason. I call Peter and he is nice enough to bring me to Amsterdam. Here I meet up with Kimmy and Simon who of course had to use the toilet again. When we are in the train and it departs, we meet up with Amon and Willemijn at Schiphol and Caroline in The Hague. We have a lot of fun and make a lot of noise, something the other passengers aren’t too happy with. We arrive at Gare du Nord at 11am.

We walk to Forum des Halles to visit Lucky Records. Here it is busy as usual and love everything that I see, but everything is so expensive. I buy the Spotlight and walk out. Man Bijt Hond (Dutch tv show) thought it to be a good idea if we’d make a video diary of our tour so they could use it for their tv show. We wanted to do this at Pompidou but as this was 10 euro’s entrance we thought not. We are typical Dutch people and like everything for free. We do videotape our video diary at the Notre Dame and have great fun. I bought myself a cap for the thinning hair on my head. Kimmy also buys a hat and with her hearshaped sunglassed we both look like your typical tourist.

We get back to our hotel and finally check in. Kimmy and Simon are on the fourth floor, we are on the fifth and Amon and Willemijn on the second floor. In the evening we eat at a pizza place, after this we walk a bit and then sleep after bathing our feet.

20 September

Get up early, have breakfast and walk to Sacre Coeur. The weather is perfect and after 30 minutes we arrive. Here we tape our second video diary. Walking back to Opera as we’d like to know if Madonna is indeed in hotel de crillon. Quite a walk and of course we grow hungry so got ourselves a sandwich. At the hotel we see M’s car parked in a side street. At the hotel there are loads of people already waiting for her. We stay put as we’d like to catch her leaving her hotel. She doesn’t leave the hotel until 4pm, she walks quickly, hat on, looking down, doesn’t wave or anything like that at all. She gets in the car and takes off. A bit distraught about this we quickly say we won’t visit her hotel the next day.

sshans11We walk back to our hotel, as it’s Saturday it is extremely busy. At 5.30pm we are back and then eat something. At Gare du Nord we take the train to the stadium and buy a ticket for the way back. When we are at the stadium we have to get to entrance S but Caroline’s ticket says H, we thought it didn’t matter. Unfortunately for her she cannot get in, Simon changes his ticket with hers and he goes to entrance H. When we are inside we walk to the golden circle, first thing we notice is how large the golden circle is. A quick bug, sell a regular ticket as a golden circle ticket and make sure it is almost as big as the entire arena. Rip off. We go to the left side and there’s Bob Sinclar with a big guy next to him, he’s got one line only ‘Bob Sinclaaaaar!’ sigh…..same hopeless act as two years ago. Madonna doesn’t get on stage until 9.30pm and immediately with Candy Shop everyone is in good spirits, during Beat Goes On me and Kimmy walked to the catwalk, here I spent some time taking pictures. Madonna was having fun, but oh my has it gotten cold, I almost freeze. Caroline is standing next to me not having a good time due to the bad spot she’s got. Amon and Willemijn are enjoying the show in the front (first time for Willemijn). During the request section she does Express Yourself AGAIN while she performed Dress You Up in Valencia, we cannot call this original anymore. When the show is over we all walk back to the train station. We take a train one stop back so that we are sure of a seat, but when we get back at the stop of the stadium it is completely empty. Back in the hotel, bathing feet first and then right to bed.

21 September

An early day today as Caroline and me are going on a boat trip. Kimmy, Simon and Martijn are going to the movies. Amon and Willemijn are going with us but then decide to head the other way. Caroline and I get on the boat and go to the Eiffel tower, yes we have to have seen this. There it is very windy and out of the sun it is kind of chilly.

sshans12I have to go to the bathroom but the machine to throw money in doesn’t work, so I sneak in, worried I will get busted for peeing illegally. After taking our tourist pictures we go back to the boat, we agreed to meet the others at 3pm.

When we are dressed and have dinner Kimmy orders vegetarian couscous however she discovers meat in it. Funny detail is that our waiter suddenly didn’t speak English anymore. Simon managed to get some money off of the price, then we go to the stadium. In the train we get out at a different stop than yesterday so have to walk quite a bit. When we are there Caroline has to go to D and we have entrance H. Simon doesn’t have a ticket yet but manages to buy one on the streets. The gates aren’t open yet and Kimmy and me decide not to join the queue as of yet. When they do open the well known rush is there and we join the queue, it takes at least 20 minutes for us to get in. Once inside we are on the right side again and meet up with Guy Oseary, take a pic with him. And there our torture is again, Bob Sinclar. I don’t like it at all and look around me being bored, I even prefer Robyn.

After 45 minutes the torture is over and it is time for my very last show. When the openings video starts I hear nothing but metal and bass. I can’t hear a thing of Candy Shop as the first 5 minutes have gotten me completely deaf, I need to get away from here, which I do during Human Nature. Here I finally hear Madonna sing again. I decide to stand right in front of the catwalk and let loose. I even dance to Spanish Lesson, maybe because it is the last time I have to hear it? I take some pics and I am less chilly than yesterday. When the show is over it is truly is GAME OVER for us. We also see Tony who is covered up in sweat, we greet each other and then we are asked to leave the stadium. Here I run into my big French friend, however I saw her she didn’t see me and I wisely kept my mouth shut. Outside we all buy French Fries and Kimmy and Martijn buy some unofficial posters and shirts. After 20 minutes we get on the train back to our hotel. Bathe my feet again and get to bed.

22 September

sshans13Today we are going home, we packed our stuff, get some Subway sandwiches and hop on the train. In Holland the Man Bijt Hond team joins us in the train to film us. In Amsterdam we get on the train to Almere to go to Kimmy’s house. At the train station Kimmy’s and Simon’s bikes are here, we go to her house. When Man Bijt Hond is done filming, Kimmy brings me and her mother back to Amsterdam by car. Here Peter is waiting for me, Sticky & Sweet is over!


It was a nice trip, loads of travelling with some obstacles here and there. Let me state my negative experiences first:

The show was good and fun to watch but I missed a WOW moment. Too much guitar (Madonna come up with something new), too many time on the front of the catwalk, which made this hot spot number 1. A lot of fans wanted to stand here. Too bad the people at the front of the stage only got to see Madonna’s back.

The sound was terrible in many cities, Amsterdam and Paris were the worst. I still don’t get how nobody else noticed this, or are they deaf already? The fucked up vibe inside the stadiums…… and who came up with this tour schedule? I don’t think I have ever travelled so many miles.

My good experierences:

sshans14The trip was great to do, except for the disaster in London, a bus trip that took 13 hours! The weather was great. The fact that my friends were there and that I got to convince people to come along (Eveline and Marianne!). My first experience of driving a long distance. Which show did I like best? Berlin was perfect, the trip, hotel, people, food, stadium, everyone was so relaxed that nobody pushed but partied instead. The sound was great

Wembley, my first time in front of the catwalk with perfect view and good sound, it’s always a party to be in Wembley, even though the trip to Wembley was terrible

Amsterdam is a good third but the sound was unbearable so standing at the front was just not doable for me. Still it was a party and she was so spontaneous in Amsterdam (you’re the best crowd so far)

Paris (x2) great last shows, even though sound was bad last night

Cardiff openings night, very exciting what would happen but still a bit of a letdown. Not surprising and first experience with bad sound and too many performances on the front of the catwalk

Frankfurt, nice show but too many drunk people ruining your evening

Dusseldorf the least of all, not exciting Madonna on automatic pilot

Let’s not be negative about everything because she is still a super chick who at 50 years old Works her ass off every evening to please us whiny fans. We can only whine about too many guitar, too many performances on the catwalk.

I am honored that I could’ve done this with my friends

See you in a few years!

Hans Schaft