So, Gisela and I decided to take a shot at the Madonna MTV competition, and guess what? She went and won VIP PIT tickets for Madonna’s final show in Holland! Of course, she knew how big of a fan I am, so she brought me along. When she broke the news to me, I was over the moon. I’m talking tears and screams, like a complete maniac. Me, in the PIT! It was seriously unreal.

My friend Francois didn’t have a ticket for the show on the 9th, so I handed over my ticket to him. The very next day, on September 9th, which I’ll never forget, we hopped in the car and headed back to the venue. I wasn’t nervous, just super excited. It still hadn’t fully sunk in. We got to Gelredome around 4 PM, and as we were pulling in, we spotted two cops on their bikes leading three cars to the back entrance. Lo and behold, it was Madonna herself arriving! We parked the car and wandered around, catching the sound check. They were running through “Burning Up,” “Material Girl,” “Nobody Knows Me,” “Music,” and “Vogue” – how cool is that? We even caught Madonna chatting a bit!

Gisela and I were supposed to check in at the venue’s cashier at 6:30 PM and meet up with Allison Larkin. Now, my buddy Francois was initially gonna go solo, so we decided to chat up the security guy to see if they were still picking random folks like the night before. We spun a tale about our original plan being three of us and how bad we felt for Francois going solo. And you won’t believe it, it worked! Francois was in for the PIT experience. We strolled to the PIT through the backstage, getting a peek at all the equipment and crew members. It was awesome!

Just before 9 PM, the lights went out, and the crowd went wild. There were a couple of funny moments during the show. Madonna kicked things off by saying, “Hi, it’s Madonna, and I want to read you part of my new book, ‘Mr. Peabody’s Apples.'” It got a good laugh out of me, and I initially thought it was another no-smoking announcement, just like the night before.

But then the show started, and I was in complete shock when Madonna rose up on stage for “Vogue.” Being in the PIT was like being right there on the stage. Every time Madonna or one of the dancers emerged from below, you could see what was happening underneath the stage. Too cool! Throughout the whole show, I couldn’t take my eyes off Madonna. She’s in incredible shape and, let me tell you, she’s not that tall. Seeing her up close was like living a dream. During “American Life,” she came over to both PITS, shook my hand, and I even got to touch her leg and arm. It was like a bolt of lightning! I mean, Madonna was right in front of me! I touched Madonna! She touched me! You don’t say that every day. Unbelievable! She even locked eyes with me a few times. She knows I’m alive, haha! And that went on for two whole hours!

I was totally Madonnafied after the show. It was hands down the best night of my life, and no one can take that away from me. I’ll never forget it! Plus, it was the best show I’ve ever been to. I’ve been a fan since I was 5 years old, grew up with Madonna’s music, and then, almost 20 years later, I got to see her up close and personal. Words can’t express how psyched I am about this! It was my last show of the Re-Invention tour, and it was an absolute blast. Someone, please pinch me!

*This post is a revised contribution I originally made to MadonnaTribe back 2004, one of the premier Madonna fan websites on the internet.