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Material Girl Does Vegas

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LAS VEGAS, NV - September 2001 – Due to some bizarre planetary alignment, I ended up with tickets to see Madonna in concert at the MGM in Las Vegas. At first, I thought, why not? She’s cool, been through it all, and besides, she’s a Leo. But as the concert drew near, my thoughts became more emotional and serious. I was beginning to realize the epic proportions of this event.

Why would you go to see Madonna? For many, her music is not the primary focus. Women admire her for what she has accomplished, withstood and created year after year. She is a symbol of female survival.

“I respect where she’s gone with her life, and how hard she’s worked,” said Francesca Maria as we walked into the show. “She has stood her ground and never backed down.”

These are the thoughts in my head as we squeeze into the venue. The crowd is as colorful as a transvestite Halloween party. We laugh as we are surrounded by Madonna-wanna-bees, and more lace, leather and fishnets than anyone has seen since the 80’s.

The show itself highlighted every major phase of Madonna-ism. The Geisha, the cowgirl, the Evita, and the original pop star (you already know this if you caught the concert on HBO). *** Tangent Alert**** The sad truth about major concert productions (Madonna’s included) is that no REAL fan can afford the tickets down in front. Backing up the theory at the show were 50-year-old suited men in the first three rows along with the trophy women who got to come along for the ride. Don’t think the Pop Diva didn’t notice. “You guys are fucking boring down here,” she announced while pointing to the first row stage left.

Throughout the performance I thought of the dedication this woman has. I felt, by coming to her show, I was paying tribute to her and what she stands for. “Bold, daring and no fear,” said Christine who stood two seats away from me in the show. “There are very few women in history who have dared to do what she’s done – and been successful.” Another reason for coming to this show.

One hour and 40 minutes after Madonna first took the stage, we were more than satisfied. Sweaty from dancing and amazed at what we had just seen, we shuffled out of the MGM’s arena. Wow.

I did not buy any cheesy Madonna trinkets – but was happy to leave inspired. The women I spoke to after the show said they left with a feeling of empowerment. That’s a memento we hope lasts well into the future. If it does, it will be a hell of a lot cheaper than the 50-dollar t-shirts at the show.