Editors' Personal Madonna Moments



MADONNA POSTCARS X390 (PROVIDED) | ADVOCATE.COMMatthew Breen, editor-in-chief: Like Madonna, I too was like a virgin at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Neither she nor I had ever been to the giant festival near Palm Springs, but in 2006 we both added that notch to our belts. But she may have also killed general admission for me, once and for all.

Madonna arrived by police escort about 30 minutes behind schedule. “It's fucking hot in here!” she shouted into the tent as she emerged from a giant disco ball wearing a blue-violet jumpsuit and dark glasses. “This is my first festival. Now who's going to share the drugs with me? Don't be selfish. Share the love!” Madonna danced, writhed, and crawled to four tracks from Confessions on a Dance Floor (“Hung Up,” “Get Together,” “I Love New York,” and “Let It Will Be”), “Ray of Light,” and her very first single, “Everybody.” The set was a short one, under 30 minutes, and ended abruptly.

But afterward, when the crush of humanity stomped back over the polo grounds to the main stages, I felt like a wounded wildebeest in the middle of a water buffalo migration —and we’d been way way waaaay in the back where I never thought my friends and I would be so set upon by the hot, bedraggled hordes. I’ve never felt so claustrophobic in my life. Chain link fences were torn down, people were falling, screaming. It’s amazing that no one was trampled to death.

Sometimes people are called, hyperbolically, “a force of nature.” Madonna herself isn’t, but the effect she had on the crowd turned us into a veritable flash flood. From thenceforth I decided I’m sticking to assigned seating at concerts. If there’s cocktail service involved, that’s gravy.

Tags: Music