*Welcome to part 2 of my Rebel Heart Tour Manila experience! If you still haven’t read part 1, it’s still in my site! Hope you like part 2 for show 2!
I find my Rebel Heart Tour second Manila show experience more fun than the first show primarily for many reasons. First of all, is that I have my friend with me who also happens to be a Madonna fan of course. Having a concert buddy to your number one idol has got to be concert goals. Second, we really were Rebel Hearts as we “broke” some of the arena’s rules. And lastly Madonna performed Crazy For You for the first time in 12 years and she did the 80’s Medley (Dress You Up, Into The Groove, and Lucky Star) which was part of the original setlist.
I arrived a bit later in the arena the second night. The skies were becoming darker as soon as I was approaching the arena. I noticed a lot of people were still going to places of their own interest. I waited for an hour for my friend then had some frappe at the nearby Starbucks. A lot of people were wearing their Madonna shirts, from official tour t-shirts, to custom made ones. Outside of the arena’s fences, there were plenty of scalpers. As I was waiting, I have observed a lot of things while I was waiting for my friend. I even heard someone talking about Madonna’s Forbidden Love song and said that it was his favorite (could be the one from Bedtime Stories or Confessions). I also saw those folks from the orphanage M visited. I can tell it because they had this I.D hanging in their neck with a Rebel Heart Tour layout “Bahay Tuluyan” hospitality. I said to myself that they were really lucky – probably M’s team gave them the opportunity to watch her show.
Then my friend had arrived. It felt like as if we were old friends because of our common interests with Madonna despite that we only met last year when we bought our tickets. She was really excited. As we proceeded to the entrance, we took pictures of the tour backdrop. The people in front of us took our picture because they returned the favor when they asked me to take theirs.
Finally, I had proper pictures and not selfies. Then we saw someone holding a Rebel Heart Tour glow stick which was an unofficial merchandise. We asked where he got it and told us some folks were selling it outside the arena’s fences. We searched for it. It almost seemed “illegal” because the folks who were selling were hidden. We bought it anyway. Then as we entered, the guards halted us telling us that the glow sticks weren’t allowed inside and that we had to surrender it.
We couldn’t just surrender it. So we had this idea of hiding it inside out clothes. Good thing I wore a button up shirt to better conceal it. It was really uncomfortable, nervous and fun at the same time because we might get caught at the checkpoints. We were really undecided on who goes first at the checkpoints. I insisted that my friend goes first and I would follow after her. She was scared and having second thoughts but we were laughing and didn’t really know what to do anymore. As the guards checked our bags and “inspected’ our bodies, they didn’t notice that we had the glow sticks inside our shirts! What a relief! We really were Rebel Hearts. We immediately proceeded to the restrooms to rearrange that glow stick’s position in our bodies to our backs. We had it along concealed in our back until we were seated. We took lots of pictures at the main lobby, with the booths and drag queens.
The time we entered and found our seats, my friend was really happy and could not believe her eyes. Opening act has already started. We had our snacks with us. This time, my seatmate on my left was a senior citizen kind of like a grandpa.
I told my friend that will he be able to get up out of his seat? I admit that I judged him and that he doesn’t know the new songs. After the DJ has finished her opening act, the lights went on and we took lots of pictures and selfies. The show hasn’t even started yet and we were literally out of our seats, having the time of our lives, singing and recording ourselves using our cameras as we sang Like A Prayer. It was like implying those seated and dull-looking crowd behind us that “Hey, we are huge Madonna fans and we don’t care if you get annoyed by us!”
Then we tried to talk to this grandpa beside us. To our surprise, he knew a lot about Madonna. He told us that he knew how to use Youtube and it’s where he watches Madonna’s videos and concerts such as Who’s That Girl: Ciao Italia! I was really amazed that he knew about that for I thought that he was just there at the concert all by himself because he was just bored with his life.He was also updated about the 2016 Grammy Awards which I did not dare watch anymore. And not only Madonna, but also Kylie Minogue, Mariah Carey (he told us that he had seen Mariah live and Kylie), the Beatles and everything. I even showed him my Madonna collection which he was astonished. It was so much fun chatting with him.
As the show opened with Iconic, we stood and went out of our seats near the stair railings since it was only beside us and so that those security bouncers won’t intervene with us. I even heard someone behind us say “No, just sit down!” Of course that didn’t stop us. These bitches don’t have any idea what fun really means. And there we were, feeling enthusiastic as my friend screamed her heart out. Then that’s when the security bouncers told us to sit and go back to our seats. I had to fend him the fuck off. I yelled at him and fought with him because I had to cause everything was too loud and he didn’t stand a chance against me! Bahahahaha. My friend was also awe-struck during the concert. She couldn’t even believe how Madonna got up to the cross during Holy Water. We were out of our seats almost throughout the show. It was only during interludes when we sat down and to some instances where M would talk. After La Isla Bonita, I wasn’t hoping for the Dress You Up Medley to pop up right in front our eyes! Madonna is literally full of surprises! To me, that segment has got to be the most colorful part of the show. Everything was bursting with different colors! The crowd went wild as they heard the oldies but goodies.
She then went on to do some talking again after the medley. She talked about the People Power Revolution that was being held on that day February 25 since it was a national holiday in the Philippines. Then that’s when she sang Crazy For You for the first time in 12 years! It was really a Filipino-favorite song! You can literally hear Crazy For You everywhere here in the Philippines: in the radio, cars, karaoke bars and every possible venue where songs can be played. Now every Filipino in the arena can die peacefully. They were requesting that song to Madonna since the first show. She also talked about another anniversary that during that day of last year, she was almost decapitated by her two lovely Japanese girls at the 2015 Brit Awards.
When she said that she went on and finished her song, the crowd applauded. She even noticed that first Asian Unapologetic Bitch from Taiwan who happens to be half-Filipino and that he told Madonna that he’s been to 34 shows!As the show was nearly coming to an end with Unapologetic Bitch to Holiday, me and my friend were all “Aww it’s gonna be over soon!” We lived each moment, stood up and danced our asses off! I feel bad to those who were just seated behind us and had a dull look in their faces.
When the show ended, we immediately went down to the lobby. I had the chance to meet the Unapologetic Bitch! I even chatted with her despite my voice being so shaky and quite “broken” from screaming and singing. Her outfit looked like the Bye Bye Baby performance from the Girlie Show.
I feel so thankful that I got to experience the Rebel Heart Tour especially for two nights! It was a surreal experience! From buying the merchandise, meeting some huge Madonna fans and how you can all relate about the Madonna jargons and of course breathing the same air with Madonna, singing along and living like there’s no tomorrow! Hopefully this won’t be the last time I will be able to see her.
*Here are more pictures from the Rebel Heart Tour Manila 2nd show!