Music

One fan talks about going around the world to watch Madonna

One fan talks about going around the world to watch Madonna
Singer Madonna performs during her concert at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France, December 9, 2015, on her Rebel Heart Tour. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier.
One woman’s globe-trotting jaunt to catch the Queen of Pop’s world tours since 1993
Published: 4:15 AM, February 19, 2016
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SINGAPORE – It’s just a little more than a week before Madonna, the Queen of Pop, takes to the stage in Singapore for the very first time.

In a way, this upcoming show is also a first in that it has been specifically tailored for Singapore. This was due in part to certain restrictions placed by the Media Development Authority here which has rated the show R18 and asked for the song Holy Water, to be dropped from the set list.

“Madonna agreed to change her show for Singapore, so in a way, this is a unique show, because it’s not the same as the rest on her current tour,” said James Lee, the CEO of King Lun, one of the investors for the concert here.

Does this matter to fans? Well, Singapore isn’t the first country to an edited verison of the Rebel Heart tour. When the pop goddess ran out of stadium time, the lively Gypsy medley – comprising Dress You Up/Into The Groove/Everybody/Lucky Star – was dropped in many cities including Amsterdam, Glasgow and even as recently as the concert in Bangkok. Nevertheless, the most successful female artiste of all-time will still have a lot in her boombox to entertain us with. For instance, she has been singing 1994’s Take A Bow on tour for the first time (only in Asia mind you).

For this writer, who has seen Madonna performing in four continents over the last 20 years or so, this is why one should catch her show here. Because, no two Madonna shows are ever the same.

Of course, my reaction the first time I saw Madonna was very different. “This woman cannot make it” was what I said after watching her 1983 music video for Lucky Star. You know, the one with her writhing all over the floor? But a couple of years later, the Material Girl got me into her groove with one dance-pop hit after another, and the occasional emotional ballad. Her enticing music videos were big draws too (controversial ones notwithstanding).

After seeing a clip of Ms Ciccone dancing with gusto on a conveyer belt in 1987’s Who’s That Girl Tour, I cherished the hope of watching her live in concert. That wish eventually came true when I managed to catch her Girlie Show tour in 1993. (It also began my lifelong quest to catch the Queen of Pop on tour in a city I had yet to visit.)

GIRLIE SHOW TOUR, Melbourne Cricket Ground (1993)

Of course, the Girlie Show tour was banned in Singapore, so I flew to Melbourne to catch Madonna doing her thing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Madonna loves that quote from author Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. And it kind of sums up my experience.

I had asked an ex-schoolmate to help me buy a Golden Ticket (in the first 20 rows of the stadium) - but instead of taking my money, she later gifted it to me. My Australian pen-pal whom I befriended through the Madonna fan club checked on me often as I was travelling alone. Finally, a seller with a second show ticket whom I contacted at the last minute through a newspaper ad had her colleague deliver the ticket to my hotel so that I would not be late for the concert.

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