Mistress of Ceremony

Opening Number: “Girl Gone Wild” emerged from floating confessional.

It used to be Madonna invited critical attention from academics (Camille Paglia) and the media alike (when she famously told Ted Koppel on “Nightline” that she was the best person to introduce teens to sex rather than their bewildered parents) as a pop culture and media phenomenon, becoming a mogul and,  I would venture to say, an artist in her own right.

These were some of the thoughts on my mind when I went to my first Madonna concert this month.   Yes, my first one, to the surprise of one of my closest friends, who was privy to my fascination with Madge’s career.

In her various reinventions to maintain her position in the music business, the most heartfelt, I believe, came during a break in the fast-paced, visually arresting action on stage, when she marked that night this month the 30th anniversary of her very first hit “Everybody.” Ironically, the  pop-sounding  dance tune from her self-titled debut album was playing in the car on our way to the concert.  She dove into it as a sing-along and in dominatrix fashion reprimanded one of the hard-core fans  in the triangle pit below the stage for not knowing the words.

Apart from that, this was a Madonna I had never seen before, full of gratitude for a long tenure as essentially pop music’s reigning queen.   Right before my eyes,  I was seeing her evolve just as I had grown up over the years with her music first and foremost and subsequently her cultural and social impact that is still felt today.

Once More with Feeling: Landmark 30th anniversary of her first hit “Everybody.”

She also reminded the crowd to never stop dreaming, which seemed lost on the already jaded audience mostly around my age who weren’t thrilled about waiting for two hours before she finally appeared.  Sure, that was rather prima donna of her (pun intended).  But for someone who admired her from afar for thirty years and hasn’t given up on dreams, she and I finally met that night, understanding what brought us there in the first place.