I have been spending the last two months since the Madonna show silently cussing myself out for wasting my time, money (lots of money), and a full night’s sleep on the worst concert I have ever seen. She stunk like bare feet in an old pair of Uggs. She almost ruined it for me and all future concerts – I didn’t want to risk it again. Concert tickets aren’t cheap, and when you add in parking, dinner, and drinks, well, let’s just say it better be worth it.
Madonna should’ve been awesome. She’s got the moves, the bod, the playlist, the star power. She’s got a bunch of screaming (mom) fans who just want to lose themselves in their youth – their “Material Girl” and “Like a Virgin” days. She had us all in the palm of her hand until her first song (from some CD post 1995 I guess, but who knows anything about Madonna past 1995) included gunshots, blood splattering on the big screen, and an outraged Madonna killing her lover.
Really Madonna? How did she – or her people – not realize that she’d be performing to a crowd of 30-to-40-somethings whose biggest fear is hearing gunshots? Didn’t she realize we just wanted to be entertained – that we just wanted to escape everyday life? Did she really think we’d care about her political beliefs (we’re grown ups now – we have our own!) or that we’d want to see her do a strip tease? Girl, look at all these people dressed like you circa 1983 – just play “Lucky Star.”
So all of this was going through my head when my daughter and I set out for the Justin Bieber concert last week. I had heard a few murmurs that it might not be appropriate for an 8-year-old. Little Biebs isn’t little anymore – could get raunchy, he could be high, there could be strippers on stage. I didn’t want to even tell people I was taking her until that day I heard some friends were going.
The Madonna scar was still fresh – you just never know what these crazy pop singers are going to pull on stage – but surely if others were going I was not a terrible mother who exposes her child to sex and drugs in 3rd grade (poor Drew Barrymore – she’s doing great now though – she’s a new mom!). Right? Let’s not even get into the irony that when I was my daughter’s age, I was brazenly – and quite innocently – singing along to “Like A Virgin” and no one gasped – and I went to Catholic school!
I can guarantee you I was not the only one who had been to both shows – it’s pretty amazing how both acts pull to the same audience (whether we want to be there or not – the parents are the ones with the money). And, I can guarantee you I was not the only one who breathed a sigh of relief when we realized JB knows it’s a school night for everyone – he started the show promptly at 8:30 and not after 11 like Madonna. Whew.
From the start the JB show was everything Madonna’s should’ve been: all bubblegum-y fun. Fireworks – not gun shots – exploded. Fully-clothed (thank God!) dancers complemented the Biebs’ Usher-like dance moves to a T. Songs we could all sing along to played one after the other – with the exception of a few – the Biebs needs to tweak his set list just a touch.
The only bare skin shown was when JB came out in a jacket with no shirt – his 18-year-old chest just barely peeking through (I’m pretty sure the only inappropriate thoughts were in the minds of moms in the audience). My daughter and I danced, sang, and smiled, which is exactly what you’re supposed to do at a pop concert.
Are you listening, Madonna?
Don’t get me wrong – Madonna did amaze me at times. I sat there wondering how a 54-year-old woman is so ripped. How did she get that definition in her arms? How is her butt so firm? I mean her butt was all in our faces – it was hard not to notice. Good gosh, her biceps! Sorry – I just kept going back to the arms. Unreal.
But I was just as amazed at JB – maybe even a little more because now I’m a mom. Who taught him to play all those instruments? He’s so young! How does he have the confidence? Where did he learn to dance like that? My kids can barely remember their multiplication tables – how does he remember all that choreography?!
I’m not saying the Biebs is perfect – the rumors could very well be right and he might’ve been high that night – but you know what? I don’t really care. Last time I checked, he wasn’t inviting my daughter over for a basement party. If he wants to learn nothing from Drew’s autobiography Little Girl Lost, fine with me (someone please send him a copy!!!).
I’m sure I’ll be watching his Oprah interview in 25 years when he explains how it all went wrong and how happy he is to be clean and sober – maybe my daughter and I will watch it together when I’m visiting her and her kids for a weekend. I bet we’ll smile and remember how much fun we had that January evening when she was eight.
If he was less-than-perfect that night, my daughter didn’t notice, and that’s all that matters to me. I just hope he takes notes now on what not to do in 25 years on his comeback tour. Hmmm – maybe I’ll send him some YouTube videos of the Madonna show to really paint the picture. At least I’ll be helping future concert-goers – and maybe then I’ll finally feel like the Madonna concert was money-well-spent.