The day started out like any other, except I wasn't in Beirut, but Dubai. Some people may confuse the two cities together, because they're both in the Middle East and they both have Arabic as their official language, but one is hot and desert like with nice shiny buildings and laws that people actually follow; the other is Beirut. I had planned on going to the Madonna concert in Abu Dhabi as soon as her MDNA tour was announced. Why she chose not to come to Beirut is beyond me! I guess she didn't read about all the amazing protest/road block parties that we throw.
Anyhoo, so it was to Dubai I went, even though I really detest rock concerts. The last one I went to was like 10 years ago when Alanis Morissette came to Beirut. It was so unorganized and I was so exhausted after waiting in the sun for hours for her to finally show up, I vowed never to attend another concert again, with four exceptions: 1. U2; 2. Aerosmith; 3. Rolling Stones; and 4. Madonna. I had been to other concerts that weren't so bad before I moved to Lebanon, like Bryan Adams (remember, this was the 90s and he was big then), Hootie and the Blowfish (again, it was the 90s), Dave Matthews and Live (which was pretty awesome). I am definitely not going to remind you of the MC Hammer concert I went to (that Vanilla Ice opened for) and I am definitely not going to reveal to you that I went to an Amy Grant concert. Oh crap.
Now back to Madonna. When I found out someone from my list was performing nearby, I had no choice but to go. It was on my list, people. I decided to brave the crowds, the heat, the waiting in line and the less than hygienic bathroom situation. I stayed with the delightful Ms Sweetie Pie and we drove from Dubai to Abu Dhabi for the concert together with two of her friends, one of whom wanted to be at the venue at 5.30pm even though the concert was supposed to start at 8pm, and we heard the night before that Her Royal Madgesty didn't show up until 10.45pm.
The morning of, Sweetie Pie and I read reviews of the concert and they were not exactly stellar. The two hour wait did not earn Madonna any Brownie points with the audience. (Maybe it had something to do with the 40 degree weather - just a hunch!!) We also read that the way the stage was designed, like a triangle, only those lucky enough to win a lottery to stand within the triangle (called the Golden Triangle) really got a good view of the show, even if you had the good tickets, which we did. So on the way there, Sweetie Pie and I were joking about who we'd choose if either of us won the lottery - only like 50 people were chosen, and they each got to bring a guest.
We met up with SP's friends and we decided that if I won, I'd choose SP and vice versa, and her two other friends would choose each other. (Yeah, we're Lebanese and yeah we worked things out without having to burn tires.) So, SP read that the lottery starts at 6.15, and on the dot, this chick comes out holding an iPad and asks people in line to press a button - you win you get a green wristband that says Golden Triangle and get to be right next to the stage. I could feel the tension in the crowd as she went from person to person. There were some pretty desperate fans in line, decked out in Madonna gear from head to toe, even the guys. It was not a good look for any of them.
It. Was. Awesome. Madonna, you made us wait for nearly two hours, but when you finally came out, you gave one hell of a performance - you definitely still got it! So, even though you are not Michael Fassbender, you were totally worth it!