27 June 2006

The Madonna Jackpot

Somehow, some way, we hit the Madonna Jackpot on May 31st. I received a call from a good friend at 4pm, asking me what plans we had for the evening. Mid-week, nothing really. Turns out, his sister bought 4 tix to the Madonna concert in San Jose. Sis has a husband and a new child and they just cannot get to SJ from SacTown and make it all work out on a Wednesday. The start of business day on Thursday would surely show up too soon.

"You pick the restaurant where we're buying your dinner" is the last thing I said. He did and we met there. Walking from our car to the restaurant in Japan Town, two cars with five guys slowed enough to ask us how to get to the SJ Pavilion. Sexually ambiguous voices led me to believe we would be seeing them at the venue. Sure enough. Parking at the HP Pavilion in San Jose can range from $20 to Free. The free spots are in metered spaces along the streets, and are pretty rare. $15-20 is about normal. Some locals will rent their private spaces or driveways for a similar fee. Part of me believes the car would be fine there, part of me invents all kinds of things I don't want to make into reality.

Once inside, we quickly learned that we were in the minority. Yep, my first Madonna concert. Did anyone else know that her fans are 97% alternative lifestyle? Why didn't you tell me? I'm okay with it. It was a little odd for a minute, but I have gay friends. I just haven't ever been with 27,000 of them at once. We think the 4 men in the row in front of us took E - they were huggers all night.

Right. The show. Madonna and crew have engineered a tight 120-minute show that began with her emerging from a giant mirrored disco ball as an equestrienne and whipping or riding four men as horses in black leather. A 10-ft tall radiused (metal screen?) semi-translucent curtain on the stage showed video clips. Intermittently, this screen was raised to reveal different elements of the stage act, such as Madonna on a large, mirrored cross. In between her "stage videos" as I term them, various dancers would accompany video images as she changed her wardrobe.

Much of the music was from her current album. It's a clubbing album, if you asked me my take after a partial listen. Some of her classics were remixed to similar beats. For one disco song, she wore a white leotard. That's hard to do at any age. She's in great shape. I've never thought she was on the list of the world's greatest vocalists, but Madonna is a great entertainer.

She wore Travolta's white suit from SNF as the floor lit in primary-colored squares as she paraded those same dance moves from the 30 year-old film. Good stuff, eh? From my seat, it appeared as though she actually played an electric guitar on a song called "I Love New York". Hmmmm. She performed a duet with a swami named Isaac. Maybe he's one of those Kaballah guys. I dunno.

At exactly 120 minutes, the show concluded with "Hung Up" as golden balloons dropped from the ceiling.
Time goes by so slowly. Those are the lyrics. I know this because this verse was repeated about 30 times. And, if you're keeping score at home, there was no encore. I'm not convinced the show needed an encore. It was over. Clearly.
Reflecting on the show, I cannot say that I would ever spend $350 per ducat. Especially considering our seats were side-stage in a hockey rink that was not built for sound. You know what? It was hot at the elevation of our seats. We weren't in the highest row, but I can bet that it was far more comfortable about 30 rows lower than us. While a front row floor seat would be cooler, it would not provide the elevation necessary to see all the action that occurs onstage - and would require the video screens' help for viewing from those seats.

One Madonna show is good for me. Next.


Post a Comment

<< Home