Showing Canada some love by holding the first concert in her Rebel Heart tour in Montreal.

Showing Canada some love by holding the first concert in her Rebel Heart tour in Montreal.

I have a few friends whose musical tastes and opinions would be considered “snooty” by some (Dave, Kim, Andre, I’m looking a you!).

I’m actually pretty snooty about music myself. I steer clear of a lot of today’s popular songs because I consider the pop/hiphop/EDM hits that commercial radio relies on to be largely disposable.

Oh, I’ll still listen to some of it, but for me the bigger reward comes from the complex harmonies of western classical music or the beautiful and unusual rhythms found in music from cultures quite removed from my own.

So when that snooty crew learns I spent Wednesday evening in Montreal taking in the opening night of Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, I won’t be surprised if I receive a drubbing. They will ridicule me for spending money on one of the biggest American pop stars of the last 30 years.

But Madonna is part of my upbringing!

While I certainly don’t consider myself a die-hard fan, for 3/4 of my life, Madonna has been a constant presence on the charts. Her music has helped form the soundtrack of my everyday. Just through her intense presence, she was bound to have an impact on me – as I’m sure she would for anyone my age.

In my teens, I spent a lot of free time watching videos on MuchMusic. Hers were ALWAYS among the most imaginative and entertaining.

Rockin it out towards the front of the thrust stage. Our view of the main stage was second to none (well, except to the people in rows A through E, I suppose)

Rockin it out towards the front of the thrust stage. Our view of the main stage was second to none (well, except to the people in rows A through E, I suppose)

When I came out of the closet and started going to dance clubs, she always had a remix ready. A gay icon, that diva was there every Saturday night helping my friends and I tear up the dance floor.

Her songs are well produced and, while I know they’re far from complex (and sometimes downright simplistic) there’s no denying one thing: her music is damned catchy. And given the string of hits she’s had, I don’t think it’s unfair to list her among the select few pop/rock stars I feel I need to see live at least once before they retire.

Not that Madonna is anywhere near stopping! If what I witnessed on Wednesday is any indication, Madonna is gonna be up on that stage well into her 80s.

The show was incredible. Elaborate costumes, gorgeous set designs, and a set list that never seemed to end (Well, when your catalogue of hits spans 30 years…). I joked with my friends that the concert felt like it lasted 5 minutes. The show was so wildly entertaining that it honestly seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. But she actually hit the stage at 9:30 and continued on without a break until the show finished 2 hours later. Such a performer!

And Madonna was so on point that night. She sounded great, she looked amazing, and she attacked each performance with intense energy. I hope I can have as much drive as she has when I’m her age.

While I loved every second of the show, I can’t say I would go see her again. I got to hear most of her biggest hits at this concert already, and ticket prices were pretty steep – especially given how ridiculously close we were to the stage. Seriously, we were within spitting distance of Madonna! (Thanks, Don, Richard, and Morgan for organizing and for inviting me to join you – and thanks to Richard for most of these photos!)

I’m certainly thrilled I saw this performance. I had an incredible time and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish.

Would I go again? I suppose when the next opportunity arises, I’ll just have to decide how much more ridicule I’m willing to take from my fellow music snobs.

Her arrival on-stage.

Her arrival on-stage.

Such beautiful sets and props (and dancers!)

Such beautiful sets and props (and dancers!)

The runway between the front of the thrust stage and the main stage took her right past us all night long!

The runway between the front of the thrust stage and the main stage took her back and forth right past us, all night long!

Another set/costume change - the song was Body Shop, from her new album.

Another set/costume change – the song was Body Shop, from her new album.

One of the numbers had dancers/acrobats on long flexible poles. such fun.

One of the numbers had dancers/acrobats on long flexible poles. such fun as they flopped around the stage reaching over to one another.

Time for another costume change.

Time for another costume change.

Kind of a torreador theme. I kind of forget what the song was. I was tipsy.

Kind of a torreador theme. I kind of forget what the song was. I was tipsy.

Pretty sure we were on to La Isla Bonita here.

Pretty sure we were on to La Isla Bonita here.

The Great Gatsby set was toward the end of the evening.

The Great Gatsby set was toward the end of the evening.

Love this photo. Swear to god, she was looking right at Richard!

Love this photo. Swear to god, she was looking right at Richard!

She did Material Girl, but I don't recall if it was during this set. (Tipsy, like i said)

She did Material Girl, but I don’t recall if it was during this set. (Tipsy, like i said)

Not a full costume change...just a veil.

Not a full costume change…just a veil.

She left us around 11:30, being hoisted up and away behind a screen. Our night had come to an end.

She left us around 11:30, being hoisted up and away behind a screen. Our night of revelry had come to an end.

And we all got T-shirts (ridiculously expensive T-shirts) to commemorate a fantastic show.

And we all got T-shirts (ridiculously expensive T-shirts) to commemorate a fantastic show.

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