A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Madonna: MDNA World Tour

Madonna has been a hot ticket this summer world wide.  When I heard she was coming to Ottawa, I was excited and really wanted to get my hands on some tickets for a girls night out.  Unfortunately, the tickets went on sale and we couldn’t get through on the phone lines or on-line…the show sold out in just a few minutes, the Scotiabank Centre was packed, with no room for us.

Madonna 2012 world tour

My girlfriend Suzie and I weren’t quite ready to give up though, so the following week when tickets were going on sale for her show in Quebec City, we said “It’s only a 5 hour drive – this could be fun!”.  We got ourselves tickets to the outdoor show that was to be held in the Plains D’ Abraham, the home of a very famous battle from the Seven Years’ War over 250 years ago.  From the very beginning this particular event inspired controversy across Quebec.  The Plains d’ Abraham have always upheld a strict policy when it comes to what activities they allow and the circumstances surrounding such events.  Paul McCartney’s 2008 performance for Quebec City’s 400th anniversary was free to the public, and stars like Elton John played for non-profit festivals that demanded no direct entry fee.  Never before has there been a for profit commercial concert held on the grounds, until September 1st, 2012 when Madonna wanted to host a giant dance party.  What made this even more controversial was that the parks commission didn’t even charge her for the use of the park or a take a cut of each ticket (a practice very common with various parks commissions to go towards the upkeep of the park).  So not only did they break their own written policy outlined in the National Battlefields Commission, but they gave it up to the Queen of Pop for free.  You can imagine that not everyone was behind this plan.

I have no doubt that the concert brought a massive amount of economic benefits to the city however.  A week before the show, it was near impossible to find a hotel for under $200/night  and everywhere we went the streets were bustling for the long weekend.  The concert in Quebec City ended up hosting over 72,000 people.  All tickets sold were general admission, but there were 3 different areas sectioned off.  Suzie and I were in the largest mass of people, packed in like sardines for several hours before the show was set to start.

Looking forward to the stage waiting for the opening act:

Madonna outdoor concert

Looking behind us at the crowd – take a look at the people all the way up the hill:

Madonna outdoor concert in Quebec City

It had been a long hot day and when it was finally time for the DJ Paul Oakenfold to take stage…he was late.  And when he finished, it was at least another hour before Madonna decided to join us all.  The concert was slated to start at 8pm.  She made her appearance at 10:30pm.  After having been standing for several hours…herded like cattle with thousands of other people and then sitting down on the cement for several more hours to hold our place…I was not impressed that she couldn’t even be on time.  I would’ve BOO’ed her, had I known how to BOO in French.

In case you are wondering if she played your favourite Madonna song, take a look at her set list for the 2012 MDNA Tour:

  1. Opening Prayer /Girl Gone Wild
  2. Revolver
  3. Gang Bang
  4. Papa Don’t Preach
  5. Hung Up
  6. I Don’t Give A
  7. Best Friend / Heartbeat (Interlude)
  8. Express Yourself / Born This Way
  9. Turn up the radio
  10. Give Me All Your Luvin’
  11. Open Your Heart
  12. Masterpiece
  13. Justify My Love (Interlude)
  14. Vogue
  15. Candy Shop
  16. Human Nature / Erotica
  17. Like A Virgin
  18. Nobody Knows Me (Interlude)
  19. I’m Addicted
  20. I’m A Sinner
  21. Like A Prayer
  22. Celebration (encore)

I was lucky, she did play my favourite “Like A Prayer” in her 90 minute show even though there was a heavy focus on her new album MDNA (her 12th studio release).

The only intelligible part of any of my videos is the small portion that was a cappella with the crowd singing…the rest of the time there was so much bass my recordings are a total mess, but I thought this might be fun for some.

I think I would’ve enjoyed the actual show a lot more without the ordeal of a general admission outdoor concert.  If I had a seat, in a stadium somewhere, it wouldn’t have been nearly as infuriating that she was extremely late…because we would’ve arrived at 8pm, not 3:30pm.  (Even worse for other people who arrived at 10am when the gates to the waiting area opened).  And after it was all over, I’m sure you can imagine over 72,000 people all trying to make their way out of a park and to the street at the exact same time.  Wading through ankle deep garbage was less than ideal…by the time Suzie and I made our way back to our hotel we were completely and utterly exhausted and drained, with aching feet and blisters. The process of it all was just too much.  If I could do it all over again…well I wouldn’t, not under the same circumstances anyway.

The content of the show itself was violent at times and always overtly sexual, mixed with impressive choreography and visual displays.  The 90 minute set worked its way from darkness to light.  Having just turned 54, Madonna still moves really well and strives to entertain.  The New York Times wrote, “Madonna and her team do know how to dazzle.”   While New York Daily News called the show “an idea-intensive, message-packed riddle wrapped in an enigma that must be seen to be believed,” arguing that the show’s risky artistry “deserves praise.”

Madonna world tour - outdoor concert in Quebec city (MDNA tour)

So if you are holding a hot ticket for one of the many cities she has left…here is my advice:

  • Be open minded and be ready for anything (she is a wild one and always has been)
  • Prepare yourself for lots of leather, push up bras, a strip tease and a whole lot of pelvic thrusting.  Not young child appropriate.
  • Don’t expect her to be on time, you will likely be disappointed
  • Wear some fun make-up, after all, it is Madonna!

mermaid makeup

What was the best concert you’ve ever been to?  Who/what band would you go through all of this for???

If you saw Madonna on the MDNA tour, I’d love to hear what you thought below!



22 responses

  1. Kyla Guffrey

    All you did in this ridiculously detailed blog was complain. Was there anything you actually enjoyed?

    September 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    • Hi Kyla, sorry if I wasn’t clear. I hated the ordeal of going to a general admission concert with that number of people and I hated that she was late…forcing eager people to wait over 12 hours to see her, I think that is ignorant. The actual show itself was visually very cool, amazing sound quality and basically just very impressive AND we were lucky enough to have great weather for an outdoor show. She moves like she did 20 years ago and still sounds amazing. So, if you have tickets, I’m sure you are going to be in for a good time!

      September 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm

  2. I love madonna ❤ beautiful look!

    September 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    • She is pretty iconic that is for sure! There aren’t many people/bands I would’ve even considered driving 5 hours for.

      September 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      • o wow. I know that’s right, I only drove about 20 minutes to see her both times 😀

        September 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

        • I would’ve preferred that for sure! You saw her MDNA tour? And when else?

          I wish I could’ve seen her a decade ago and soaked up more of her old stuff!

          September 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm

        • no I didn’t see this tour, I saw her about 8 years ago and about 4 years ago both in Philadelphia, PA

          September 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm

        • Very cool!! You obviously enjoyed her if you went back and saw her again!

          September 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        • I did 😀

          September 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm

  3. Hey! Thanks for writing! I’ll be at that concert here in Brazil in December. But it’ll be in a stadium and I got a sitting place…. 🙂
    Miss you!! Beijos

    September 12, 2012 at 5:47 am

    • I’m sure you’ll have a great time Samira, the actual show itself was great! But if she keeps it up the same, she will start 2 and a half hours late in Brazil as well. She has done it consistently throughout the North American tour. Who are you going with?

      September 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      • I’ll go with Iramy and one work girlfriend. And sorry for comment twice. You can delete one if you want 🙂

        September 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm

        • Hehe, no problem, I cleaned that up for you.

          I’m sure you will have a nice time at her concert!! Say hello to your family for me!

          September 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm

  4. Whoaaa this is so exciting! Sorry to hear you had to fight with so many people to get out of there and stuff, but there are some things that you have to do once eh 🙂

    September 12, 2012 at 6:31 am

    • Definitely Sunny! It was at the very least an experience I’ll remember for a very long time!!!

      September 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm

  5. Kyla Guffrey

    I just don’t understand why you would write a blog simply to complain. The whole point of a road trip is to make the best out of the unexpected that comes your way. Your blogs are not pleasant. I’m sorry I came across this while searching. Don’t be to be snooty. Take care! Maybe I’ll come across you again sometime with more interesting subjects.

    Ciao ~

    September 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    • To me, blogging is about sharing my experiences with others. If it happens to be a negative experience, than I still intend to share it. This post was specifically about the Madonna concert experience, not the road trip in general. Suzie and I still had a great time and enjoyed the drive and the other parts of Quebec City we visited..but I didn’t name the post “Quebec City Road Trip” I named it “Madonna: MDNA World Tour” so I kept the content surrounding the concert experience. Perhaps you should try to keep that in mind.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

  6. Kyla Guffrey

    I also kept in mind your blogs are awful and you’re a real snob. 🙂 let’s see if you post that!

    September 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    • You’re most certainly entitled to your opinion, as I am mine.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

  7. Kyla Guffrey

    Glad we agree.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm

  8. wohdee

    Wow what a bitch. Shannon you handled her negativity spectacularly, Brava!

    October 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    • haha, thanks wohdee! Very nice of you to take the time to comment.

      October 5, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s