City: Paris, France.
Venue: Stade de France.
01. Act of Contrition Intro
02. Girl Gone Wild
04. Gang Bang
05. Papa Don’t Preach
06. Hung Up
07. I Don’t Give A
08. Best Friend (Interlude)
09. Express Yourself/Born This Way
10. Give Me All Your Luvin’
11. Turn Up the Radio
12. Open Your Heart
14. Justify My Love (Interlude)
16. Candy Shop
17. Human Nature
18. Like a Virgin
19. Nobody Knows Me (Interlude)
20. I’m Addicted
21. I’m a Sinner
22. Like a Prayer
Ohh La La! I never thought I’d be traveling to Paris anytime soon, but since I was flying to Europe only for the second time, I had to take advantage of this opportunity; and what is better than going to Paris on the week that Madonna is performing there?! I couldn’t miss that opportunity, plus it was a stadium show.
By the time Alicia and I decided to make this trip, all the Golden Circle tickets for the MDNA Tour were sold out 😦 and I was afraid that if we got the General Field tickets we wouldn’t see much since it was a big stadium but either way, we ended up buying those ones; plus I had hopes that we could win the Golden Triangle passes, which were the best spots ever and the closest to the main stage. The day before the show I applied for a chance to win those Golden Triangle tickets through Madonna’s official fan club ICON. Sadly, I didn’t win, and no wonder since they only offered 10 tickets for this contest while the other 90 tickets were given through an iPad contest on the venue.
Since the concert was on the same day as the Bastille Day (French National Day) and I didn’t win the freakin’ Golden Triangle tickets, we decided to spend the day watching the Parisian celebrations and go to the stadium later in the evening; we already saw her twice and very close, so we just wanted to enjoy this time. I didn’t know Stade De France was so far away from the center of Paris, it took us approximately 45 minutes to get there and we had to pay a Zone 3 Train Fare. Fun thing: when we exit the “Saint-Denis” Train station, “Hollywood” was being played outside… somewhere; but I never knew where from, haha.
We made a quick stop at a McDonald’s near the stadium because we were so hungry and would probably be in concert until midnight, a lot of people did that too! What we found totally weird was that Alicia and I were the only ones who wore a Madonna T-Shirt! None of the people that were going to the show had anything on, not even a shirt or anything Madonna related at all; well, maybe a couple, that was it! What kind of fans are they? Barcelona fans were damn crazy in that sense, there was even a guy who came in heels á la “Girl Gone Wild” xD Even when we were inside the stadium, people wore their regular casual clothes, nothing Madonna-esque… Actually, there was only ONE official memorabilia store inside and no one was buying! But lucky me, they were selling the MDNA iPhone Case 😀 Finally!
Rewinding a little bit, few days earlier, I saw this fan clip on YouTube of Madonna rehearsing “Love Spent” in Denmark, one of my favorite songs of the album which wasn’t included in the set-list (Shame!), and later Madonna said something like “I’m rehearsing this and few other songs because we’re going to make something special for Paris”: I totally freaked out! Madonna was going to perform that song in Paris? If not, she’s doing something “special” anyways?! Would Nicki Minaj make a live appearance? What it would be? And I was going to be there!
So, speaking of surprises, when we approached the “General Admission” entrance (with “Some Girls” playing in the background), we saw this announcement on the digital screens above the doors: “For Your Information, the Concert will be Filmed tonight”… =O Say what??? They were going to record THE DVD of the tour here? At the time, there’s wasn’t any information or rumor at all about the official DVD, so I was a bit skeptical about all this, plus… Madonna usually records two shows (in case she screws something up). But who knows! The whole MDNA era is well-known for rushing things, not making enough releases, promotions, etc…, so it was already a major thing they actually decided to record something! I was excited anyways, if this was going to be filmed, then the surprise that she talked in the video was a go!
We finally got inside the stadium and when entering the field, there it was… the MDNA Stadium Stage. I highlight it because the Stadium Stages are always (almost) twice bigger than an Arena stage, but this stage set-up was definitely WAY BETTER and MORE EPIC; even the roof was amazing with MDNA logo on it, just one downside: this time there weren’t any images or logos on the sides of the stage (the “M” in “Sticky&Sweet Tour” or the horses in “Confessions Tour”). Obviously, I took a picture of me with the stage in the background. I got the same happy feeling when I was in Madrid, which was in a stadium as well, ahhh… memories. Since we had general field tickets, Alicia and I tried our best to get the closest and best view of the stage and ended up on the left side, which was pretty good, considering. Oh, I was worried about the weather, since all these days it was HEAVY raining and the stadium was open roof… but it didn’t rain in the end, thank God.
Long story short, Martin Solveig was there again playing his pre-show set, only this time he has this big LED Screen with crazy video backdrops (something that didn’t happen in Barcelona) and also, for our surprise, Will.I.Am (from the Black Eyed Peas) came on stage and performed several songs (“I Gotta Feeling” was one of them) for like fifteen minutes. It was already 10 pm, the show was about to begin and once again, the candle (which was also bigger!) went down and all the lights went off! Cameras began to fly around (Weird feeling #2: there weren’t “enough” cameras to record an “official DVD”, strange). Later update: it turns out that the management filmed the Paris show “just for fun” and as a test for the Olympia show, huh? Also, it was said that Jonas Akerlund recorded the “Gang Bang” performance to be used as a “Live official video” (like Miles Away), but that didn’t happened…
Madonna broke the digital glasses with her gun as she was emerging from the flying “wobbly” confessional, and I say wobbly because it was very windy at the moment and even the curtains were waving pretty fast. During “I Don’t Give A”, I noticed (on the side screens) that she had something red on her right hand… it was blood! She cut herself with the robe at the end of “Hung Up” where she gets pulled 😦 Nothing serious though, not like in Colombia’s second show where she hit herself in the eye getting a big bruise! [No-Surprise #1: Nicki Minaj didn’t come on stage]. In her speech after “Open Your Heart” she talked longer but about the same thing: freedom, fight prejudice, world peace and smashing apples; of course she mentioned the Bastille Day. The whole show was going as planned, but Madonna was really bitchier, nastier and more playful as she she probably knew the show was being filmed; in “Gang Bang” she hit harder, in “I Don’t Give A” she showed the middle finger many times and the coolest/shocking surprise was in “Human Nature” when Madonna repeated her “boob-flash” (like she did in Istanbul), but this time it was planned and she showed it off longer! I saw Madonna’s nipple! Big deal, everyone has seen everything about her xD but this was Live!
The show ended, “Merci Beacup Paris”! And I left with bittersweet mixed feelings: first of all, there were absolutely no surprises or anything “special” as I thought and second, it was the end of MDNA Tour for me after having seen three shows; making this whole trip an unforgettable experience. Just when the show was over, Alicia and I ran to the Train station since it was already midnight and we had a long way to go to get back to our hotel, and the subway closes at 1 am, so… we better hurry!
Overall, for some weird reason, I truly enjoyed the Paris show the most, even thought I was really far in comparison with the Barcelona shows. Maybe it was because it was in a Stadium, maybe because the stage was bigger and more amazing, maybe because the weather was pretty cool and I didn’t feel asphyxiated or whatever reason it was. Nevertheless, I do have one thing to say: what happened to the French fans? Only the people around the stage in the Golden Circle were the ones jumping and screaming around, the rest of the field was standing there just applauding… even the Lower Seated Sections had more energy and spontaneity! Did the bad weather made you feel blue? Haha. Of course I don’t expect extremely crazy fan euphoria like in South America (reason why I refuse to see Madonna or any artist there (unless it’s my country, obviously)), but at least some excitement? Anyone? Still, I enjoyed every minute of this concert.
Few days later, when I was already back in Spain, I received an e-mail from Madonna’s official newsletter… “Madonna is proud to announce an intimate show in Paris, France on July 26th with tickets sale beginning in ONE HOUR”… :O What the whaaaaat?! Madonna was returning to Paris to perform an intimate show?! So THAT WAS THE PARIS SURPRISE!!! A small gig at L’Olympia, not in the Stade De France show, she never meant to do anything there. Obviously, I felt frustrated because I had returned from Paris just the day before of getting this news and I was going back to Venezuela three days before the Olympia show, damn! Fortunately, on the other hand, the show was broadcasted online via YouTube and after I watched it, I felt somewhat relieved that I didn’t make anything crazy (like buying another flight ticket to Paris, booking a Hotel, changing my return flight date to Venezuela) since as we all know, that “intimate” show lasted only HALF AN HOUR which left many many fans angry. Some say it was all planned by some anti-Madonna people or Marine Le Pen’s people, but the thing is that she performed thirty minutes of the show and DIDN’T EVEN SAID GOODBYE! Just one good thing: She performed my ultimate favorite track: “Beautiful Killer” ❤
P.D.: Next time, if time allows it, note to myself to not to go to the first leg of the tour… Madonna added “Love Spent” permanently to the set-list during the second night in Chicago, just right after “Like a Virgin” and it fits brilliant! And also she added “Give It 2 Me” into “Celebration”… Whyyy!!! 😥 I was about to travel to Dallas, Texas to see her again and performing the new changes, but this time, it wasn’t possible. The MDNA Tour lasted very long in the USA and South America, that few months later while some of my friends were coming back recently from seeing her in Argentina, Chile or USA; I felt like it’s been a very very long time ago that I went to the same show… and again, Madonna leaves you wanting more!