As all of you know because your Facebook walls were probably filled with pictures and videos of her, Madonna took the Philippines by storm last week during her Rebel Heart World Tour. T and I were lucky enough to see the queen perform live on February 24 at the Mall of Asia Arena (Lower Box VIP 205 Row A Seats 9 and 10, baby!).
Despite being the priciest in the world, tickets for the first night were sold out a few days after they were released. I know people lined up really early just to get their hands on these golden tickets. I guess that's why not long after, they decided to have another performance on February 25. And tickets were sold out quickly for those as well!
T and I arrive at the Mall of Asia Arena on time since I am already in the area. We see everyone all dressed up-- The bekis are in their full blown Madonna costumes and the Titas of Manila are in glittery outfits and high heels. I am so loving the vibe! I wish I could've prepared too but I'm still not 100% okay after hitting my head at the trampoline park (read my blog post about Trampoline Park PH). So all I could muster is an all black ensemble, heels embellished with gold chains, and a bright neon studded bag.
Inside the arena, DJ Mary Mac unsuccessfully tries to entertain the crowd. T and I love her set but her music would appeal more to a younger generation. I don't think DJ Mary Mac knows that most of the people in the audience are Madonna fans from the 80's which would place them at age 45 and older. We thought she would get the hint when everyone stands up and dances to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston. But DJ Mary Mac goes back to her club music and the energy dwindles again. It hits rock bottom when she announces that the concert will start in 30 minutes. I could hear the collective groan because it is almost 10pm. T and I go outside so I could get something quick to eat.
Maybe because we have been waiting for hours, some of us, including myself, did not notice the time and just heard the music playing inside. This is it.. Madonna is here!!! We all run inside and luckily, T and I get to our seats just in time for the queen's entrance.
Some say that the performances are a bit controversial. But come on. It's not like this is something new. Thirty years in the business, thirty years full of controversies. That's what makes her Madonna! And if I may point out this fact.. Madonna arrived days before her two-night concert to spend time at orphanages and children's shelters. She doesn't have to but she did. And for me, those are the things that matter.
Madonna engages the crowd between performances, teaching us to answer her questions with "F*ck yeah!" and allowing us to request for songs. Someone yells 'Crazy For You' since it has never been sung live in 30 years but Madonna tells us, "Not tonight, maybe tomorrow". And guess what? She did sing it the next day!
The whole concert production is amazing but this is one of my favorite sets and costumes. The crowd goes wild as soon as the first few notes of Material Girl play. Even the husbands of the Titas of Manila, who have just been sitting and watching the whole time, stand up and dance! Other classic songs we get to hear that night are Vogue, Like a Prayer, and La Isla Bonita.
Madonna also sings La Vie en Rose and the crowd waves their phones with the flashlights on. This is such a beautiful moment.
After performing a few more songs, Madonna exits and this flashes on the screen. Even if it's past midnight already, everyone still yells for more.
And we are given more! Madonna goes back on stage with the country's flag on her shoulders while singing 'Holiday'. Apparently, the government wants to ban Madonna because of this. Seriously?? It's not like she stomped on the flag or burned it. Don't quote me the Flag and Heraldic Code, I know what it says, but I think the spirit of the law should prevail. If not, then maybe it's high time to amend the law. In fact, how different is this from that time when Ms Universe Pia Wurtzbach wore the Philippine flag on her shoulders during a parade? Following this logic, she should be punished as well.
Is it worth the pricey ticket? Is it worth the 2 hour wait? Is it worth the traffic, the parking armageddon and all the hassle you can think of just to see Madonna live? I'm sure everyone who was there at the concert will answer... Yes, yes and YES!!!
Until now T and I are still on a high and we play Madonna songs while in the car. Before the concert, I was not that familiar with all of the songs in Rebel Heart. The only ones I know are 'Bitch, I'm Madonna' and 'Illuminati'. But after seeing and hearing Madonna perform the others, I fell in love with them too! The songs are already on my Spotify playlist but I'm thinking of buying the full album on iTunes later.
I'll be uploading videos of the Rebel Heart concert on my YouTube channel this week which you can access by clicking HERE. I know everyone hates Monday but I hope this post cheered some of you up even just a bit ;) Now time to get some coffee!