Madonna

United Center--Chicago

July 11, 2004

BY JULIE LODATO


We arrived at the show early--around 6:30 P.M. Before the show I spoke with a friend who claimed he could get us into the VIP party before the show. As we got out the cab, Spink, the hook-up dude, called and said, "Do not leave the party early. Stay there. I will come find you. I may be able to better your seats."

My crew of 5 (Mandy, Christine, Suba, Miranda & Nicole) and I went to the party. It was nothing special--a bunch of Madonna queens tweaking out about going to see the Material Girl. I sat there with my phone by my side waiting and waiting for Spink to call. We are there 20 minutes**ring ring**It is Spink--"Julie, meet me outside the VIP area right now." I get out there and he asked "So do you and your friends want to watch Madonna from the PIT?" I had no clue what the pit was but I knew it was cool. "YES YES YES!!!!" So I got the crew and he gave us all wristbands and he instructed us to meet him at the doors at 8 P.M.

8 P.M. sharp--we were there waiting. He introduced us to Alison. She took us in a stairwell to brief us on what was expected of us. No purses, no cell phones, no drink(keep in mind that we still had no clue of what the pit was),no fingers or elbows on the stage. "WHAT??? Putting my fingers on the stage is an option?" Yes, you will be stepped on by the dancers. At that point one of the Madonna fans/Queens(there were 3 other people not in my crew with us) broke out into tears. Us--well all of us were overwhelmed with excitement and emotion.

Alison then took us to the floor area and escorted us to the stage. We walked backstage and entered the pit area. We were in there with 10 other people. Amazing. We were in the stage.

The shows began. The 2 moving screens begin to open. Madonna was elevated from the center of the stage up. She began with Vogue. The costume--cream colored corset with black fishnets and thigh high boots. Her voice was spectacular. Her body was most likely the most fit specimen of a body I have ever seen in my life. She was tiny. Everything was pure muscle.

The dancers--I've never seen men so beautiful in my life.

She went into a song called "Nobody Knows Me." This one was one of my favorites. She was marching around on the moving sidewalk--killer dance moves. Get her new album and listen to this song.

During "American Life," she came out in camouflage. The catwalk was lowered over the floor crowd. Then "Express Yourself," where the dancers lined up as if she was the leader and they were her army.

All the dancers exited the stage. She whipped out a guitar and sang "Burning Up" and then "Material Girl."

She left the stage while dancers skateboarded, threw fire, and break-danced. Madonna returned wearing a red and white corset and black capri fishnets and heals. All female dancers wore the same with black heals. The men wore black pants and a cummerbund with suspenders. No shirt. She sang "Hanky Panky". They spanked each other's asses a lot.

Skipping over a bit--she sang "Die Another Day." Well, my lord, I just about fell out for this one. The male dancers proceeded to put a black strap in their mouths and wrap them around their arms. Then they tied Madonna to an electric chair. Here is where she sang the Evita song, "Lament."

Then she came out in a black pin-striped outfit (pants & vest) with a black hat. She sang "Don't Tell." They did the same cowboy dance she did in the video--so cool.

Skipping a few--"Like a Prayer," "Mother and Father," "Imagine." This is wear I got choked up and actually shed a tear.

Madonna exited the stage. Dancers came on to entertain. A bagpiper entered the stage wearing a green Scottish kilt. All the dancers enter wearing the same kilt with a white wife beater and black army boots. The Queens standing by me point out a 4'x 4' hole in the stage opening less than a foot from me. I can see down inside the stage. Madonna got on the platform beneath the stage. I could see her practicing--getting ready to be elevated onto the stage. Next thing you know they shot her like a cannon ball out from the stage. We all screamed like a bunch of Beatles fans. She broke out into "Into the Groove." F*&kin' Right!

After that was "Papa Don't Preach." Then my favorite--"Crazy For You." At this point she put a black shirt over her wife beater that said "Italians Do It Better." Yes. I purchased the shirt for myself. Thank you.

A set of white stairs elevated from the center of the stage. In the middle was a DJ--mixing's and scratchin'. "Music!" The place went nuts. NUTS I TELL YA!

Then the catwalk lowered over the crowd again. Madonna closed the show with "Holiday."

This show was sensory overload. There was so much going on. l know I missed things. But then again at one point Madonna was hanging over me singing to me. She sweat on us for Christ sakes.

When we walked out of the show Suba even heard someone say, "Hey there are the people that were in the pit." You could see us on the movie screens.

With out sounding too dramatic--by far the best concert I have ever seen in my life!

We were so cool! So Cool!


*Photo by Julie Lodato



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