The Triangle is especially for the die-hards that work to find a way into this coveted space. You could tell who was there for her and who was there because someone brought them as their guest. Still, it's probably the only time in my life that I've ever felt a singularly perfect, positive energy in a single space. My People.
The giant scrim with Madonna's face floated to the ground, and the arena erupted. False alarm? The lights were still on, crew members running around on stage, and of course, no Madonna. Now, the stage was exposed with the giant video screens visible and a huge thurible hanging from the rafters.
A few short moments later, the lights went out and that exquisite moment of an arena full of people screaming at once was both deafening and thrilling. The "monks" rose up from under the stage, humming and chanting. The giant thurible started swinging back and forth, smoke pouring out of it. The screens depicted the inside of a cathedral. Dancers perched atop platforms with gargoyle wings contorted themselves into impossible positions. Almost a full three minutes passed when suddenly, Madonna's voice boomed through the arena..."Oh, My God...."
When she took to the stage, she and her beautiful dancers ripped my brain open with Girls Gone Wild, complete with Swarovski crystal studded stilettos and skin tight pants...and those were the guys. In the pit, we were going crazy, everyone mimicking the fist-pumping dance moves from the video. She immediately went into Revolver and finally hit the runway in front of the stage.
There was a rush of people trying to get a picture of their Queen, myself included. I experienced another surreal moment watching her from behind, watching the entire crowd dancing and singing along. "This is what she sees every night," is the thought that came to me. Then, she performed the ultraviolent Gang Bang, complete with blood and brain matter splatters on the giant screens. Artistic Perfection.
The entire show was artistic perfection! I was torn between just watching her and enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime moment and capturing it all in pictures and video. There were many times when I just had to stop and look around and take in all that energy; the energy from the crowd, from the Pit people, from the dancers, and especially from Madonna.
Prior to her performance of Masterpiece, she took time to address the crowd, as she has done in every show since opening the tour in Tel Aviv. Beautiful messages of love, hope, acceptance and eliminating hate, prejudice and bigotry. And then, just like at Yankee Stadium, we were blessed with a little Holiday. It couldn't have been more amazing!
I had two highly anticipated moments of the night, and that was to see the Majorette/Drum Corps explosion of Express Yourself/Give Me All Your Luvin' and Vogue. Both were delivered beyond my expectations. In the former, the energy of the show and her dancers must've been at full peak...I was exhausted and I'm just a plebe in the crowd and these people were pumping it out like it was their last night on earth.
Vogue was a beautiful, slick spectacle and I only wish I could've cloned myself so I could watch and photograph it at the same time. She looked exquisite and that futuristic corset was amazing to see in real life. Oh, God...how GAY am I??
I had my final and most amazing surreal moment of the night during her performance of Like A Virgin. I've watched this poignant and painful performance on the YouTube repeatedly, but nothing prepares you for seeing it live. Whether it was just a moment of theatricality or a genuine moment visible to just a special group of us, she wiped a tear from her eye. Kill me. Kill me now.
But that wasn't the surreal moment I was speaking of...it came during a very quiet, intimate part of the performance. She wasn't singing. No one was cheering. We were just absorbed and it was overcome and shouted out, I love you Madonna. And then she ever so briefly and almost indetectably... smiled.
I had finally made a connection with her. Just me and her. Of course, as soon as I said it, people started cheering and she snapped back into character, and it was all I could do to keep from crying.
The rest of the show was amazing, of course. I loved loved loved I'm Addicted, I'm A Sinner and the closing number, Celebration. Somehow, this is when I managed to take my clearest and most artistic shots...I'm not sure how, since I was dancing like a damned fool!
For you Lispers who are going to the show, you have a chance to enjoy the experience, too. Her manager, Guy Oseary, usually takes to his Twitter to give away Golden Triangle passes.
Also, if you got your tickets during the presale or through the fan club, check it out prior to her playing in your city because there's usually a contest of some nature...that's how I won access to this incredible experience!