After loads of rumours, the sequel to Sticky & Sweet was confirmed in February. I loved the fact that she was going to play indoor venues, mostly for London (seats). The ticket prices again were sky high which was a bit of a letdown, but hey she’s Madonna. She was going to play the O2 in London, an arena I heard much about but had never been there before.
Just like last year it was a lot of guessing where she was going to play and what dates. London, Manchester, Werchter (Belgium for the first time) and Hamburg are on the schedule.
The credit card is being used again, all of our tickets have been bought and we have booked our trip to London. After a few days I find out that the sale of the tickets to Werchter failed, the bank tells me that the ING blocked my credit card (as they moved). I thought my heart just stopped and immediately made a phone call for the tickets in London and Belgium. London was confirmed already, only Werchter failed, so no tickets for Belgium. A very rude worker told me that there wasn’t any credit on the card so they were sold to someone else. I called Kimmy who thought I was telling a joke.
Kimmy immediately made a phone call to Ticket Net where they now were a bit more friendly, we could still get the tickets but had to pay by direct debit, what a relief!
London was sold out within minutes and like Manchester two extra shows were added, of course we had to attend the second show in London, Manchester was still a question.
Madonna wouldn’t be Madonna if she still added one date in Paris on July 9 in Bercy. We always love Bercy but only 1 date? Usually she sells out four dates in a row! It seems like someone is money hungry. We pass on Bercy as we are going to the premiere date of Michael Jackson’s new show and I am very much looking forward to it, even more so than Sticky & Sweet. A lot of changes made at the travel agency, everything is settled now we just have to wait.
The first bad surprise was on Friday April 3, Madonna cancels two shows (Manchester 2nd night) and Hamburg. I was very angry with Madonna because we booked the hotel already and couldn’t cancel this. It was the same day she heard that her adoption was denied (could that be the reason? as if). Or was it Live Nation’s fault as they had been a bit too enthusiastic with booking the venues. The ticket sales weren’t stellar (only 3 were sold out).
The second bad surprise was when I went into cardiac arrest and almost lost it all. I had a few months to find my strength though, a good reason to cancel the hotel in Hamburg. But no matter what, we were going to go on this trip!
Michael Jackson’s show was delayed for a week, as I couldn’t make it that week we had to postpone until September with much better seats. Now we have the option to go to Manchester and Paris! We discussed this and booked the tickets, the first five shows are a fact! Together with the shows in 2008 we will see a total of 13.
With my recovery and a lot of rest I am feeling better, but surprise number 3 is around the corner when I hear that Michael Jackson passed away. Complete and total disbelief….I walk around like a zombie with this terrible news. What a terrible YEAR!
Today is the day, we will leave for London by plane we will meet Caroline at Schiphol and will start our Sticky & Sweet part 2.
The weather is great, our hotel is good even though we asked for separate beds we get one kingsize bed, but no prob! After a good lunch we head into town and visit the kaballah centre in the evening, Madonna wasn’t there.
July 4 2009
After a somewhat reasonable night (yes the bed was very small, and it was terribly hot in the room) we head into town after breakfast. We have all the time in the world due to reserved seating, no rush! Kimmy and I shop a bit and Caroline went to the kaballah centre for a reading. We found flip flops for Kimmy and some band aids for my feet. We then ran into Norman in a shoe store and greeted him.
After finally finding flip flops (which resulted in a battle almost) we go back to the room and I almost fall asleep! Then it is time and we get dressed for the show and eat something at a wok restaurant (wasn’t good), then take the Clipper boat to the O2.
Getting there I am getting quite emotional seeing all the MJ tributes, but also thinking of what happened to me a few months earlier! Kimmy and Caroline are with me and manage to calm me down. Some lady speaks to me and asks me if I am OK and that she too is very emotional due to Michael’s passing.
Picking up our tickets went very quickly and then we enter the O2 to pick up our tourbook and shirt. When entering the venue we go to our seats on row 4 right in front of the catwalk, absolutely amazing seats! Then again I think of Michael and how he was going to play the O2 only a week later, something we will never get to see anymore.
We were chatting to people around us and everyone came up to me asking how I was doing. Guy Oseary also comes up to us and asks me how I am feeling. Absolutely unbelievable, this man speaks to hundreds of people and then remembers my cardiac arrest….respect!
After he leaves a ton of people come up to us asking what Guy told us, you’ll understand that I was very proud
When the shows starts I immediately feel so much better than in the huge stadiums of 2008, we are so close! Madonna is very much into it. There are minor changes, Holiday replaces Heartbeat and Dress You Up replaces Borderline. Even though we know her guitar playhing by heart, Madonna is still convinced that we absolutely love it (NOT). During Holiday there is a MJ tribute, the O2 went absolutely wild, my best respects Madonna! Great job with lyrics by Michael on the screens.
Thankfully the rock version of Hung Up is gone and we get to go crazy during Frozen, less guitar is much better! The evening is over before we know and then go back to the hotel with the clipper. After a bit of walking we are back in the hotel and I fell asleep immediately
July 5 2009
Today we have no plans and take a rest of our busy day of yesterday, Caroline is not going to the show of this evening so we go to the O2 on time. Didn’t do much all day and took the boat around 5. There was a huge queue at the box office. It takes over an hour for us to get our tickets.
We again pick up our tourbook and shirt. We arrive a bit late so have the feeling we missed Guy, we again have seats in row 4 right in front of the catwalk. We are a bit down due to the ticket stress and appearantly missed speaking to Guy, when suddenly nobody else but Guy taps on my shoulder. He asks how we were and why we were this late. After a small chat and surprised looks by fans, we said goodbye and he went on his way.
A few celebs enter their seats at the front row including Jonas Akerlund, and she of GAGA, the show starts and unfortunately we have two people sitting behind us who scream constantly. Madonna is in a great mood and speaks to the audience a lot, she feels that we need to take off our shirts, she is dissapointed when The Swedish refuse.
Once again the highlight is the MJ tribute, long live the king! When the show is over Kimmy and me make a run for the boat, unfortunately we have entered the all stops boat so it takes quite a while for us to get back.
July 6 2009
Caroline is going back to Holland today. We have one day off and decide to go to the cinema and see Drag Me To Hell! Loved the film, the year before we saw Eden Lake so it has become some sort of a tradition. We decide to go to Thriller Live on Thursday, memory lane from Jackson 5 up until his more recent work, unfortunately this has now become a tribute. We ate at the Mexican, went to bed early as we need to get up early to leave for Manchester.
July 7 2009
Once we’re in the train to Manchester and are having a chat, a lot of people give us looks as we are supposedly sitting in the quiet zone, we only found out when we got to Manchester, sorry we’re tourists!
The hotel wasn’t far from the station and we absolutely loved how big our room was! In the afternoon we decided to check on the city and the MEN arena. On our way I was busy filming for our documentary. Suddenly there’s a loud honk and I almost get hit by a bus.
When we enter the station we pick up our tickets, after double checking them we hear that they are busy soundchecking. Getting back to the hotel we turn on the TV and watch the MJ funeral.
We don’t get to see much as it is time to eat and go to the show. We eat at the first Italian restaurant that we see, the food was OK but Kimmy is feeling a bit sick because of it. Before we enter the venue she needs to visit the toilet.
The MEN arena is extremely hot, we find our seats and sit down. Friends of ours have seats in row 1 and since they’re at the gate, we too hang there with them. No big deal as the security doesn’t seem to mind that the people are standing at the gate instead of sitting down in their seats. Unfortunately 20 minutes before the show starts, someone says something and we all get ushered back to our seats. A bit of a letdown. The show is great and Madonna has a great speech right from the bottom of her heart, that we should care about people when they’re still living instead of waiting until they’ve passed. You Must Love Me is a tough one for me tonight.
We love having to walk back to our hotel after the show, a great cool down. Back in the hotel we write our report for the website and then get some sleep.
July 8 2009
We go back to London, unfortunately today was originally the day we were going to see Michael with his This Is It tour, we decide to spent the day in a Michael Jackson way. We go to the cinema to see the movie Moonwalker, great to see it again
In the evening we have tickets to Thriller Live and have seats in row 5. From the beginning until the end the show is great with the little Michael at the start (his fly was open). People in the audience go crazy and scream ‘miss you Michael’, after the show we go back to the hotel because we have to get up early for our next stop in Paris!
July 9 2009
It is very early to get up, mostly because we were wide awake all night due to screaming in the streets and someone seemed to be moving houses in the middle of the night. We get up and have some breakfast. When we arrange a taxi and Kimmy goes to the toilet, she comes back as white as a ghost, she feels sick and we get into the taxi. We have plenty of time ahead of us and we get into the Eurostar to go to Paris.
Kimmy has a stomach ache and doesn’t seem to be feeling better, once we are in the train and Kimmy goes to the toilet, she comes back later with bread and tea and starts to feel a bit better. When we get to Paris we take taxi to our hotel. We have been visiting this hotel for a few years now, but the entire interior has changed.
Of course no one speaks English at the reception, so we tried to make it clear to them that we would like to enter our room, unfortunately we have to wait until 2pm. But since we are being a pain in the butt we get to go up to our rooms earlier. Getting there I had a laugh as there was a see through wall in the bathroom, erotic much? But there was a fine looking apple on our pillows. We go to Bercy, of course there are many people there that all want to be at the front. We do some sight seeing and walk to Lucky Records, well walk???
We walk along the Seine, and we walk and we walk some more, halfway stopped to eat something (way overpriced salad) while lthere was a bakery just around the corner. The weather isn’t good and there’s rain. But thankfully getting to Lucky Records the rain has stopped. They have nothing new, so we only buy the latest Spotlight. Back in the hotel we freshen up, eat something and then get into the queue for Bercy. It takes over an hour to get in, and we find a spot. There is no way we are getting close to the stage.
We decide to stay in the back and then run into Norman, who is wearing a really cool MJ shirt, we take a pic and wait for Madonna! The show starts and usually Bercy goes nuts, but it seems different this time. I still think the MJ tribute is the best, but LAP is also still amazing! Madonna tries her best, but a lot of people can’t seem to get into it.
The show is good but that’s all!
July 10 2009
We go back to Holland with our bags and a Subway sandwich. Up until Brussels there was a kid in front of me, getting on and off her chair which irritated me to bits. Unfortunately after she left a larger kid took her place, he wanted everyone in the train to know that he was gay and loved soaps. We weren’t the only ones bothered by this guy, at times we all laughed due to his way of speaking, when I get to Amsterdam I will first stop at the Indonesiaaaaaaaan.
When he found it necessary to say that he was kinda digging the one with all the fat, I thought I had enough and told him to cool it down a bit. He was silent at once. Back in Purmerend we did some shopping and then went to Almere. We had some dinner and picked up Duco who stayed the night, tomorrow we will pick up Amon and go to Werchter.
July 11 2009
Woke up early and didn’t feel fit at all, but just one more show to do, since Belgium is just around the corner we would take the car.
With good spirits we went to Sloterdijk to pick up Amon (and of course there was traffic), when he gets into the car our adventure starts. With Michael’s music we drive to Werchter, but it just gets darker and darker, and there is again traffic and starts to rain. Our first open air show starts like this…..great
Arriving in Werchter we have no idea where to park, so people keep on sending us back. We ask if we are in the right direction to go back to Amsterdam after the show, to which they answer ‘yes that is on the way to Antwerp’……duh….
Getting out of the car we walk to the field. Duco feels it necessary to stuff his video camera in his shoe, the result was a lot of laughter! We drank something in the tiny village, everything was closed. The dinner wasn’t great too, overpriced french fries.
Walking back to the car to return the umbrella’s we hear and see part of the soundcheck, however Madonna wasn’t there yet. It is getting more crowded and Kimmy is in hysterics (laughing out loud) due to Duco. De Rode Loper interviews me because of my tattoo.
Finally we get to go in, even though we are in no rush we get entrance quickly, where is the golden circle? Getting to the stage we see that the golden circle is very small, wow! There aren’t a lot of people there yet. We speak to Guy Oseary and wish him a very good show. We stand on the left side and I feel great while Paul Oakenfold is opening for Madonna. Unfortunately the feeling doesn’t last when it starts to pour, I am completely soaked and start to freeze. We have had enough and start to walk around to keep warm. We eat it is not good and very expensive. Times goes by so slowly…..it is 9pm and we go back to the golden circle hoping that M will start soon.
We run into Evy (she had the VIP arrangement) and asks me how I am doing, she sees that I am freezing in my soaked jacket. Before I knew it they handed me another jackets, thanks guys!
Unfortunately no sign of Madonna and it is past 9.30, why does she have to keep us waiting for this long? I am so sick and tired of waiting and even think of leaving. Amon and Kimmy manage to stay positive, but since the smoke from the cigarettes is now also getting to me I really start to curse.
It takes until 10.30!!!! that the lights finally go out and the show to start, sorry Madonna but I really cannot get into it anymore. I really hope that Ray of Light is around the corner so that we can leave. The sound is again as bad as back in 2008, I can only hear the bass and no Madonna. Women in front of me try to get laid by every man they run into, I have had it and go to the gates. Madonna wants our shirts, come on what do you think? We are all wet and cold! There is no response from the audience.
Duco is at the front and I text him letting him know that we will leave during Ray of Light, I do not feel like getting stuck in a field. Amon and me pick up the car and Kimberly walks with Duco, he has a huge blister on his feet so is limping.
Thankfully we get to the car quickly and we are not the only ones leaving, when we get to the road Kimmy and Duco get to the car. Amon is driving us back to Holland. We were all a bit pissed with Madonna for starting this late, the closer we get to Holland the better we feel. We had a nice day despite the awful rain, which made it drama.
When we first drop Duco and Amon drives on the Haarlem, I then sit behind the wheel to take Kimmy home. Then it is another 45 minutes for me to drive myself home, I am in bed by 4am, totally knackered. The adventure is done, Madonna travels on with her tour and we get back to work.
It is always a party to travel with friends to a Madonna show, while S&S is most definitely not my favorite tour, the 2009 edition is a lot better than 2008. Due to the smaller venues, I will never go to Werchter again.
Of course the passing of Michael had a huge impact on me and on the show and Madonna. A week with laughter and tears. Hopefully next year there is a new album and a good tour with less guitar, we know that by now and please start your show earlier ;o)
© Photo’s by H.Schaft 2009