on life pop culture

Madonna’s ‘The Celebration Tour’ – Round 1

I got to see Madonna in concert again!!!  Finally!  It’s been awhile, to say the least.  My previous times are linked below:

Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008:

MDNA in 2012:

MDNA + Crate&Barrel + ETC = Awesome

Rebel Heart in 2015:

Finally Got My “Material Girl”

I missed the Madame X tour in 2019 but that was because my life and love was completely being destroyed, and later when I finally watched it on TV, it wasn’t a big regret to miss it all things considered.

Anyway, I’m going to try my very best to not try to recap all of my life since 2021… but some big quick hits are in order:

  • I moved to Downtown LA from the Valley last year and it’s been an incredible change.  More to come believe me as I fucking love this place.
  • I have a boyfriend who is incredible and completely surprising in all the best ways.  Justin is amazing, and more to come about him as well.
  • lol, I guess those are really the big things to cover?

Madonna was supposed to tour last year in September and be at the Crypto Arena (fka the Staples Center), which was super exciting to me having moved to DTLA as I was going to be able to walk to that concert.  Alas, she got really really sick and postponed her tour and when the Los Angeles dates got rescheduled, they moved to the Kia Forum.  womp womp, but happily, I love the Forum for her as the Rebel Heart tour was there and it was wonderful.

The Forum is a great venue.  It’s not enormous like SoFi is and when you go to a show there, it doesn’t make you want to commit murder lol.  When it was time in September 2023 to re-buy tickets I coordinated with work wife Barb and we got a group of 8 tickets together (2 for me, 6 for her and her friends and daughter).  I bought the extra not knowing who would go with me, but figuring someone would.  I had a friend I met at the Jessie Ware show I went to last year on standby, but once Justin came into the picture (and stayed, 🙂 ), I asked Jose to understand and he did.

Anyway, Monday night this week??? Madonna night!  Justin and I grabbed dinner at Arashi Sushi near me and then drove down and god it’s just so easy to get to the Forum when SoFi isn’t also doing something.

We parked and then got to explore the outside of the venue, as it was set up to celebrate Madonna’s 4 decades of pop star majesty.  They had set up posters and track listings for each of her albums that you could then take pictures with.  It was fun just to see them laid out like that and for me to realize damn, she’s been part of my whole life.

After doing our pictures outside, we made it in and saw Barb and her group at our super sweet seats.  I figured we would have at least a 90 minute wait ahead of us, but holy shit, Madonna went on at 9:40 – only 70 minutes after her ticket start time!   Mind, blown!  I honestly think The Forum has a requirement to get people the fuck out of there by midnight as they were suuuuper intense about getting people out and shutting those damn doors.  Happy to be the beneficiary of that as she has been known to make you wait 2+ hours.

The show itself??? Incredible.  I don’t have notes for the setlist except I loved that it covered so much of her career up to and through the Confessions on a Dance Floor album.  I am sad not too much was included from Hard Candy, but I’ll always have my Blu-Ray of that concert (which is still my absolute favorite of her tours that I’ve seen, even including The Celebration Tour).

I will say… I kind of expect this to be her last tour.  I know she’s a very healthy (now, at least) sixty-ish year old woman but I won’t lie, her voice is …good, but not great.  She definitely was singing during this show, which is something I am fairly certain she wasn’t doing in the 3 shows I saw of hers.  I figure she records new “live” versions to sing along with while she then does her insane choreographed numbers, which I’m more than okay with.  But this tour, her choreography is much reduced from past efforts, so I think she was good to then sing live.  It does feel that this is a great way to conclude her touring career?  Maybe she goes on to do a Vegas residency?  I don’t know, we’ll see.

I am pretty happy with the song choices of what was included – was I absolutely STUNNED she sang “Bedtime Story”???? Fuck yeah I was.  The fact it then led into “Ray of Light” was a major highlight.  I’m also STUNNED she didn’t sing “Like a Virgin” or “Music” this tour, as I figured they’re kind of tour staples.  Quibbling aside, it’s a fantastic show, and I ended up getting a seat for Thursday night as that was the night that Justin and his friends Ruben & Brian had already bought tickets for.  YAY!!!!

Setlist link:

My & Justin’s pics from that night – March 4, 2024:


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