Leander Madonna

My best Madonna experience

Today marks the 16th anniversary of my very special Madonna concert experience that I will never, ever, forget! It was a moment that would have been a dream come true for any die-hard Madonna fan! Back in 2004 Madonna went on tour again with her Re-Invention Tour and after 14 years since her last visit here the one and only Queen of Pop came back to The Netherlands for two sold out concerts at the Gelredome in Arnhem! The last time Madonna came here was in 1990 with the Blond Ambition World Tour, which was my very first Madonna concert that I went to at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam. I just turned 10 years old when I went to see her then. For her next tours, The Girlie Show Tour (1993) and the Drowned World Tour (2001), she skipped The Netherlands and I was unable to travel abroad to see those tours. I was really bummed out about that. So in early 2004 when the Re-Invention Tour was announced, and two dates were planned in The Netherlands, I managed to get, not only tickets for the shows here in The Netherlands, but also tickets for one show in London and one in Paris! So a total of four shows! The first show I went to of the tour was at Earl’s Court in London, UK, on August 18. The second show I went to was at Bercy in Paris, France, on September 2nd. And the final two shows I went to were here in my home country, at the Gelredome in Arnhem on September 8 and 9.

The last show here was a very special one for me. My dear friend Gisela won special VIP tickets through MTV for the final date at Gelredome. And they were tickets for the so called ‘dance pit’, a special area within the stage! The stage was setup with two pits on the left and right, where a limited amount of people could stand. And you could only get those special tickets through various radio and online giveaways! I was freaking out when my friend won those tickets and ofcourse I was the only person she considered to take with her! I screamed when she told me the exciting news!

That week it was totally Madonna mania for me! Going to two shows in a row! The first show here was amazing! I was there with a few of my former co-workers and Madonna admirers. We had regular floor tickets and were very close to the stage, we all had a blast.

Then it was time for my last show of the tour! And what a way to end my Re-Invention Tour experience! We all got into the venue through a different entrance. All of us lucky winners got special wrist bands and we were all escorted inside by a tour manager, passing crew members and tech people behind the the stage, to one of the special pits on the right side, which was within the actual stage! I couldn’t believe it! It was still hours before the show started and there I was standing within the stage! We were all told that everyone in the dance pit would be a part of the show and that we all have to get super hyped and excited when the show starts! I mean, no problem! I was super hyped for days already!

To make a long story short, it was the best Madonna experience I ever had! For two hours long Madonna was only a few feet away from me. And being in one of the dance pits all the lights on stage was shining on everyone in there. During American Life she kneeled in front of me and I actually touched her knee! I fucking touched Madonna’s knee! And during Like A Prayer she freakin’ high fived me! Somebody fucking pinch me! What a way to end my own little Re-Invention Tour. It was unbelievable! And to think it’s been 16 years ago today! It’s crazy! I will never, ever, forget it! I will cherish it forever!

Here are some pictures that I found on the Internet of that special night. I have saved them on different hard drives for that long! I wish I had better quality pictures, but these were the only ones that I came across. I have circled myself in them, so you can see how close I was to my number one idol!

I doubt there’s anyone out there who has better pictures of that night. But if there is anyone who was also there on September 9 of 2004, who can provide better pictures, please drop me a line! I was in the dance pit on the right side of the stage.

So, til this day I have seen Madonna in concert 10 times!  My first ever concert was the Blond Ambition Tour in 1990, when I was just 10 years old. Four shows of The Re-Invention Tour in 2004, in London, Paris and the two shows here in The Netherlands. The Confessions Tour in 2006 in Amsterdam. The Sticky & Sweet Tour in Amsterdam in 2008 and in Werchter, Belgium in 2009. The MDNA Tour in Amsterdam in 2012. And the last tour I saw was the Rebel Heart Tour in Amsterdam in 2015. Unfortunately I was unable to go to any of the Madame X shows, which was a pity. I hope Madonna will go on tour again and visit The Netherlands again. Because I will be there, for sure! If she’s not coming back here then I have to try and see her show abroad. But, we’ll see when the time comes!

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