Thursday, June 29, 2006

Madonna! Madonna!

Through some sort of divine intervention, I scored a free ticket to the Madonna concert at Madison Square Garden tonight. It's most definitely a gift from above, as I received an office-wide e-mail in my inbox last week that said, "Anyone want Madonna tix for Hartford, Connecticut? Only $360 apiece!!!" I stared at my work computer screen and muttered under my breath, "I could start a small conservative mutual fund with that kind of money."

So, by the grace of God, I went tonight, and it was fantastic. I've never been to a big-production concert before. I like smaller venues where the unwashed masses aren't constantly stepping on your shoes. But Madonna's setup was great: the dancers were amazing, the video screens were huge and plentiful, and the costumes were understated and beautiful. I ate up the Saturday Night Fever riff during "Music," and I friggin' loved the Ring-esque quasi-creepy horse theme at the beginning. Because this is not that serious, people, no matter what Madge and her crucifixion/Bible-quoting/AIDS-in-Africa montages would have you believe. It's just damn good entertainment, and Americans will pay top dollar for that.

Afterward, I was so keyed up that I bounced along 32nd street alongside my friend Red and said, "Can we go dancing later? Daaaancing."

"Daaaancing...," she humored me. "Not tonight."

"I know," I said, looking down at my shoes, a little disappointed.

All of this got me thinking. If Madonna's is the highest-tier concert I've ever seen, what else have I been going to all of these years? Here's a list so you can either mock me or compare and contrast.

Concerts I've Attended:**

- Tori Amos (June 1996)*
- Tori Amos (November 1996)
- Fleming and John
- Ani DiFranco (1999)
- They Might Be Giants
- Wesley Willis
- Ben Folds Five (with Train and Fleming and John)
- The Smashing Pumpkins (minus D'Arcy, plus Melissa Auf der Maur)
- Sheryl Crow (with Semisonic)
- Garbage (with Lit)*
- George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars*
- Beck (with Hank Williams III*)
- Ani DiFranco (2001)
- Moby
- Sleater-Kinney
- Tori Amos (2002)*
- Tori Amos (2003, with Ben Folds)
- Lionel Richie*
- Tori Amos (2005)*
- Debbie Gibson (2005)*
- Madonna***

Concerts I'd Like to Attend:

- Hole (it's a little too late for that, it would seem)
- No Doubt and/or Gwen Stefani
- More Tori Amos concerts (because there can never be enough Tori)
- Something retro, like Springsteen or Billy Joel

*Asterisks denote my favorite shows.

**(I am not a huge concert-goer, which explains why this list is so short. In fact, I kind of hate live shows. The waiting time, plus the standing time, plus the lack of being able to see anything, plus the lack of being able to really hear anything makes for a largely unpleasant time. *sigh* I'll never be a hipster at this rate.)

***I'm not counting local acts that I've seen and loved, including (but not limited to) The Information, American Popular, Dr. Zhivegas, Nell Bryden, the Siren Festival at Coney Island, and tons of others I'm sure I'm forgetting.


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