Sunday, October 4, 2015

Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour: A Whole New Perspective

Talk about basking in the afterglow!  I've just returned from a short weekend trip to Atlantic City to see the latest Rebel Heart show there and all I can say is, WOW!  The whole experience this go around was so much better and as a result of a lucky placement, the show that I had previously criticized suddenly became one of the most amazing concerts I've ever witnessed.

It all started on a whim.  My pal Sean and I had mulled over going to the AC show for awhile now, but we hadn't talked seriously about it until early this week.  Luckily, I was able to get a comp room at the Trop for last night and suddenly the tentative plans became definite.  The two of us scanned both StubHub and Ticketmaster for a few days, finally opting for a couple of pretty decent tickets directly to the side of the stage at the 200 level.  In fact, the picture above is from where we sat when we first got there.  

Now I haven't had too much luck in concert seating.  I did watch Janet Jackson from the floor once at MSG when my sister won tickets and I sat front and center on a most memorable night, coincidentally with the very same Sean, at a Toni Braxton concert a couple of years ago, but other than that, I've always had to settle for the cheap seats, getting better glimpses of the stars on the big screens rather than on the stage.  Well, let me tell you, a little luck came our way last night and having the opportunity to see the one and only Queen from that close up made this show the concert of a lifetime!

Not ten minutes after we took our seats, we had the view you see in the picture above.  We had run into Sean's friends from Philadelphia earlier, who had won floor seats to the show and were waving towards us from below.  Sean went downstairs to see what was going on and within a couple of seconds he was waving me to come down.  Apparently, two people who had been sitting in front of them had two extra seats and suddenly we were about four rows from the stage.  Yowsah!

Now I can't convey enough just how exciting this was, nor how sitting so close made the Rebel Heart show that much more enjoyable, but believe me when I say for the next two-plus hours you could not have wiped that big smile off my face.  Within minutes of taking our new seats, the house lights went down and the video intro to Iconic began, complete with Medieval soldiers marching in solidarity across the stage.  The show had begun!  

The next two hours was pure joy for this longtime Madonna fan, and being so close offered me the opportunity to catch a lot of things I hadn't noticed in the show at MSG.  To top things off, the icon was absolutely pleasant and chatty up there, feeding off the energy of the enthusiastic crowd. Madonna coming to such a small city as this is a big deal, and the fans were pumped up for a good time.  Sean and I had talked with many before the show and these folks, who came from near and far, were as hyped for the show as any and no one left disappointed.

After seeing the show a second time, I still have some of the same criticisms as I had previously.  I still don't like Iconic as an opener, I think Bitch I'm Madonna should have come more towards the end, and I still would have liked to see less of Like a Virgin and more (or any) of MDNA, Ray of Light, or Confessions on a Dancefloor.  She did sing Ghosttown, which was amazing, and the Illuminati interlude was even better up close.  In fact, even through all of its flaws, the Rebel Heart show epitomizes what makes Madonna a legend, that her catalog is so deep it's hard not to find something anyone can get into.  She breathes new life into older songs, keeping the familiarity to please her fans and yet reinventing them perhaps for her own sanity.  

Regardless, I don't think there was one displeased fan in the house, and the revelry that took place at Boardwalk Hall spilled over onto the Boardwalk and in bars around Atlantic City.  Sean and I hit the Rainbow Room Bar, where an all-night Madonnathon ensued and we fans danced to a more extended list from her catalog well into the night.  I had a most unexpected and wonderful opportunity to watch my favorite performer up close and I won't soon forget this marvelous night!     

We'll be two souls in a Ghosttown...

Everybody in this party shining like

I even made some friends!

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