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Madonna

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!

Leander Madonna

Happy birthday, Madonna

It’s Madonna day today! Madonna, my number one idol, is turning 62! As many of you know, I grew up listening to Madonna since I was a little boy, back in the mid-80’s and I have been a super fan since then. She has inspired me throughout my life in so many different ways. She has taught me to not be afraid of who I am, making life a little bit more bearable growing as a gay individual, through her music and art. She’s taught me to express myself, which I am sure she’s done with thousands of fans world wide. Now, age 40, she’s still my number one. And I don’t think that will ever change. Thank you for being my number one inspiration, Madonna!

Happy birthday, Madonna!

Leander Madonna

30th anniversary of my first Madonna concert

Today is a special day, everyone! On July 24th, 1990, I went to my very first Madonna concert! This was my first concert experience ever! Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour! I got tickets for my 10th birthday that year and I still remember it well. It was a one night only show at Rotterdam’s Feyenoord Stadium and I went to the show with an old family friend. The show was on a Tuesday and I remember being super hyped for weeks! And then the time had come. I was going to see Madonna live!

There was a lot of controversy regarding the iconic Blond Ambition World Tour. It included religious imagery, sexuality… Madonna even simulated masturbation during Like A Virgin. The entire show was a theatrical masterpiece. It was the concert tour that changed all concert tours! Unfortunately for me, being only ten years old at the time, my understanding of English was pretty much non-existing. But I realized later in life that Madonna dropped the word ‘fuck’ a few times. What a boss ass bitch she was!

The supporting act before the show was Technotronic. Since the show happened in the summertime, it was still light outside. The show started if I recall around 9PM. The show started with an intro of industrial and hydraulic sounds and the stage was slowly being transformed into a set familiar like the Express Yourself music video. And rising up with an elevator she entered the stage. “Alright, Holland! I just want to know one thing! Do you believe in love?! Cause I got something to say about it!”. And right then and there Express Yourself started.

I can’t believe it’s been 30 years! This is crazy! And still ’til this day, Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour remains one of the best tours in history. And it’s definitely an experience I will never forget. I mean, imagine a ten year old me, experiencing his first Madonna concert. I mean, that’s wild! And I have been a fan of Madonna way before my first concert. I grew up listening to Madonna since I was like 5 years old! She’s my number one!

Happy 30th anniversary to my first Madonna concert experience!

Leander

My highlights of 2015

What’s up, everyone!

Today is the final day of 2015 and I thought it would be fun to close off this year by sharing my highlights of this year. A lot has happened in one year. A lot of good stuff, which I am very happy about.

First things first, something that I’d like to call a victorious moment, if I say so myself. That is quitting the cigarettes! After smoking for 20+ years (yes, I was very young when I started) I finally quit the stinky cigs with something that would definitely help many others who are struggling with quitting. And that’s vaping! I started with those e-cigarettes from Zensations, which is basically a recharchable battery where you can screw on these so called cartridges with e-liquid that comes available in different flavours. So, I was vaping on that for a few weeks or so, and still smoke cigarettes every now and then, but not as much as before. Smoking the e-cigarettes ended up not being my thing. I mean it was nice, but it didn’t really give me the full satisfaction, really.

I dug a little deeper and came across videos on YouTube about vaping, with different reviews of these so called mods, clearomizers, atomizers, etc. It was all like hocus pocus to me at first, but after watching a shit load of different videos I started to understand what it all is and means.

So, in March I purchased a mod. This one’s called the eGrip by Joyetech. It’s a simple mod with a built in tank and it’s 20 watts. I still don’t fully understand the wattage thing, but 20 watts is the maximum you can vape on. I think the higher the wattage the better flavour you get from the e-liquid, although I am not 100% sure. I am still learning.

So, this year I finally quit the stinky sticks and I can’t believe I managed to do so. I have tried quitting many times and I always fall off the wagon after a couple days. Vaping is such a healthier and nicer alternative. I have a total of three mods now. I also have the Eleaf iStick 20 watts mod and the Eleaf iStick 60 watts mod with temperature control. The last one is my latest one I purchased a couple days ago and I freakin’ love it! And there are hundreds of different flavours for your vape and it’s just the best. So much better than smoking!

When I started vaping I began with 12 mg of nicotine and right now I dropped to 3 mg of nicotine. So, it’s basically a process. But the 3 mg of nicotine is about perfect for me. And it’s so nice not to wake up with that feeling like your lungs are in your throat. And the vapor doesn’t ruin your lungs and I also noticed that my skin looks more refreshed. Mister vain, I know! Cheers to no more cigarettes!

The second best thing that happened this year, which is also something that I am super happy about is that I am finally debt free! Holy moly, that feels freakin’ great! I had a debt of roughly five thousand euros. It was a struggle because I was in a major depression that started in 2009 which caused me to lose my job, which then caused me not being able to pay my bills, which led to debt collectors and stuff, which then caused me even more depression, which eventually gave a burn out. I was suicidal, I had a shit load of therapy sessions, severe social anxiety… You may know the story, so I won’t go deeper on that. But yeah, after roughly five years I am finally debt free. With a lot of help from a budget management office here, I had to cut some strings, but I managed to pull through it. And it feels good. Knowing that I am debt free is such a huge relieve and it allows me to work and fully focus on myself and pick up the broken pieces and glue them all together.

The third thing I did, which made me think long and hard, is changing my YouTube channel. As some of you know, I have been vlogging daily since 2009, sharing my life, my ups and downs, in a video blog series, which after a couple of years got changed into weekly vlogging and I had over 900 vlogs uploaded. I wanted to make a change so bad! Because since earlier this year I started feeling a bit better again, doing my thing and working on myself. So, after thinking hard about this I decided to change up my channel and start a gaming channel, mainly for The Sims 4. I had purchased the game because the Mac version was released then, so I thought it was a great idea to do. But I wanted to start fresh. So I finally decided to delete all my 900+ vlogs, all videos of where I shared my deepest feelings, struggles and emotional breakdowns, and just start completely over. And that’s what I did! And it feels so nice to start with something new, something I love doing. I still upload a vlog occasionally, but mostly they’re gaming videos. And I am enjoying it! It was a big step and a big decision to make, but I have no regrets! I did back-up all my old vlogs on my external hard drive, so no worries.

The final highlight of this year was seeing my number one idol Madonna again at the Ziggodome in Amsterdam on December 5! The Rebel Heart Tour was quite a spectacle. This was the tenth time I saw Madonna and she really outdone herself again. I queued at the venue for twelve hours in the freezing cold, but it was totally worth it. My whole body was literally broke for the next two days, but like I said, it was totally worth it. Wish I could go see the show again, but I am happy I get to see it at least once. Long live the Queen of Pop!

So, these were the highlights for me in 2015. Great moments and great victories. I have no resolutions for 2016. We will just see what comes my way and just live in the moment. Happy New Year, everyone! May it be filled with lots of love, joy, happiness, peace and unity!

Leander

I got Madonna tickets!

Yay! I ordered two tickets for Madonna’s show in Amsterdam through the ICON fanclub pre-sale! I’m all set for September third! Tickets were so damn expensive though. But luckily enough I have a sweet dad who was able to chip in! I purchased two tickets! I would love it if Gosia came with me, but she’s not sure! Would be the bomb. I had such a good time with her in Paris during Madonna’s Re-Invention Tour!

I’m so glad that I have tickets. On Saturday it will be the general sale. On that day I am flying to Suriname. Would be so out of control to go to the airport in the middle of the night, queue at the ticketmaster desk there and then check in for my flight right after. I’m good now! Now all I have to do is wait! I already got my holiday’s approved for the day after the concert. Also got days off on the days she has a show in Paris and some shows in Germany. You know, just in case I manage to get tickets for those as well! It will defenitely be Madonna summer again! Can’t wait! Bring it on, Madonna!

Leander

Everybody comes to Hollywood

What a nice sunny day it is today! Love it! I didn’t get much sleep today, as I went to bed like 4am in the morning! I have been online almost all night, reading information about Madonna’s new video for “Hollywood”. I so cannot wait to see the video, which will be premiered on television next week! I saw the cover of the single online and that is kinda a disappointment to me. It looks nice, but I don’t like it that much. Come on Maddy, you could have done better! Anyway I have downloaded two images of the video! She looks so fucking gorgeous, I’m telling you! She still looks so fuckin’ young, like it was taken 10 years okay. What do you think?

I have to work again from 3pm til 11:30pm. I’m gonna get a shower soon and then get ready to go to work. Yesterday work was fine! It wasn’t really that busy, but not too quiet either. It was just fine. I hope that today will be the same. Yesterday I also had a one to one meeting with my supervisor about my contract and shit like that. It was all good and I was really pleased with the feedback she gave me. A real compliment it was.

Well I’m gonna get going now. Hope everyone is doing well! Have a great day and peace out to everyone!

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