3 min

Concert review: Madonna’s MDNA is addictive

Raziel Reid tasting the cone boobs of two Madonna fans at the MDNA tour at Rogers Arena. Photo by Victor Bearpark.

I just want to thank Madonna for giving me one of the best nights of the year. I was so overwhelmed with excitement I spent most of the show getting pulled off my seat by security. “Madonna loves it!” I yelled at him, and even as he pulled me down, he looked like he knew I was right.

I just couldn’t contain myself. I was on the floor, and every time Madonna strutted onto the V catwalk in front of me I was determined to scream the loudest, be the blondest and have an eye-to-eye with the queen. It didn’t happen. Somehow, Madonna remains fabulously aloof while expressing, and exposing (that ass is still immaculate), herself to thousands of people.

Madonna is the most playful with the fans closest to the stage. “I feel like I’m performing for only 11 people”, she laughed halfway through the concert. But she’s so good at embodying the emotions of her songs, she made every person in Rogers Arena feel like the show was just for them. Excluding the fan who, when graced with the microphone, didn’t know the words to “Open Your Heart.” She didn’t get the memo. Front-row bitches, beware: come prepared. If you’re called upon to sing the line of a Madonna classic, do not shame our good city by not knowing that I hold the lock, and you hold the motherfucking key!

Madonna’s stage presence was all-consuming, outshone only for brief moments by her son Rocco, who joined her onstage as a dancer, and her boyfriend/dancer Brahim Zaibat in a mesh tank top and tight black pants. Say all the cougar jokes you want; that man looks like six feet of flawlessly sculpted Nutella, and I wanna spread him!

The concert was a mix between the old and the new, with tracks from Madonna’s 12th studio album, MDNA, dominating the set list. The older hits, like “Holiday,” “Vogue” and “Like a Prayer,” stirred up the best reaction from the crowd, but newer tracks “Gang Bang” and “I’m Addicted” stood out as moments where Madonna seemed to be having the most fun. Like the artist herself, her concert is constantly moving forward. Even during nostalgic moments, the past was reinvented (I loved the updated “Vogue” corset from her 1990 Blond Ambition tour), proving that Madonna is timeless.

I was in front of a gay couple from San Francisco, who were seeing MDNA for the 25th time. Literally. They’ve been travelling with the tour all over Europe and North America. They told me that what stands out the most about the Vancouver audience is the lack of gays — fewer than anywhere else they’d seen.

There were lots of drunk girls who were fun to take pictures with (I licked a few cone bras), and I was seated next to some straight dud and his girlfriend who weren’t getting into it at all. While we waited for the show to start (Madonna was hours late, duh) they acted miserable, and then, when the show started, they were throwing shade because I was “dancing too big with my elbows.” I gave them the finger and flailed my elbows even more, because do not, I repeat, do not, fuck with a bitch at a Madonna concert. You are either going to give it your all — not only because you want to, but because that is what Madonna demands of you — or you get lost! Which, less than halfway through the show, is what they did. Blasphemy! Who the hell goes to a Madonna concert and tries to put someone in a box? Even worse, who the hell goes to a Madonna concert and then leaves before it’s over? That is just shameful and means you’re missing the whole point of what her show represents. It isn’t just a pop concert, it’s a movement! Throughout her career, Madonna has shaped and saved the lives of countless gay people.

I had two tickets and wanted to bring someone I thought was worthy of the experience. I ended up taking a friend because his story is similar to mine — he found himself in his youth through Madonna’s music and message, which gave him the courage to be free. 

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