Monday, December 8, 2008

The Immaculate Conception Weekend

I saw Madonna last night in a massive soccer stadium on the edge of Buenos Aires. First of all, let me say that the Argentine energy was infectious. I love Madonna, but last night I was IN LOVE with Madonna. I danced, I sang, I worshiped at her alter for two hours along with 70,000 other people. Yes, 70,000 people!

When we were meeting up and heading into the show, we had to get in a line that stretched across 10 city blocks, maybe 20. We walked and walked and walked and I examined the people in line. Young, old, gay, straight, male, female, tragically fashionable, scruffy and dirty. You name it – these people had all paid good money to see the icon that is Madonna. And they gave up half their Sunday to wait in line and get a good spot inside the hulking stadium.

The show was absolutely amazing – incredible dancers, brilliant choreography, vivid costumes, and even good songs (especially the oldies). But the crowd was something magical, the spirit infectious. A wave began before the show even started and we in the mosh pit were applauding their spirit. It was a sticky afternoon (the sun goes down after 9 pm here), but we all stuck together, dancing while Paul Oakenfold serenaded us with dance tunes.

The moment the lights came down, the energy went into turbocharge. Screaming. Yelling. Chanting. I could feel the young girls behind me grabbing onto me, hoping to get a real live glimpse of her. They were clawing at me – girls of no more than 12 or 13. I felt their emotions, their need to witness and be a part of this history unfolding in front of us.

For me it was not even so much about Madonna. It was about the image of Madonna, the product she has so carefully cultivated after nearly 30 years. The dancers wore perfect costumes, their moves creative and expressive. Even the old songs were reinterpreted, just as Madonna has done her entire life. Madonna is constantly reinventing herself and her new invention was on full display for us.

The one ever-present theme of Madonna is sex. Lots of bumping and grinding with guitars, with dancers, with herself. But even though the days of Like A Virgin are long behind all of us (are they ever…), Madonna still wants us to think of sex when we think of her. All that reinvention made me forget about the sex part from like 20 years ago. That and no matter what she does or how many botox injections she gets, or how many lotions and potions she smears herself with, she is still 50 and she can’t turn back the clock. None of us can.

Another part of the show that that stuck with me is when she sang “She’s Not Me”. Madonna eerily pranced around the stage singing to women all dressed up as her with words about someone else. This came shortly before she asked the crowd to keep chanting her name. It was the epitome of what Madonna and everyone is about at the end of the day– ourselves.

No comments: