On Monday I had a family Girls Night with some of my fellow ‘Material Girls’ at the Madonna concert! The tickets were a Valentine’s gift from my Husband; he and my Mom were plotting and kept the secret very well….I had no clue! Originally I was supposed to go with my Mom, my Aunt Tami and my cousin Steph, but my Aunt got sick and was unable to go, so after a draw my cousin Cassandra was the lucky winner of the ticket. We all piled into my Mom’s car and off we went.
As we made our way to Kanata (with Madonna playing in the background of course) memories of other concert events that I have attended with family came flooding back. I think the one that sticks out in my mind (and the one we reference the most) is the New Kids on the Block concert that we all went to when we were kids.
I have a large extended family and growing up I was fortunate enough to be very close to my cousins, and even today that connection is strong. I’m the second oldest, and within 2 1/2 years 5 more babies joined our family (3 of them arrived all within a week!) and from then on they just kept coming As kids we were always together and did a lot of things as a big group, and of course when the New Kids came to Ottawa during the height of their success, there were our Mothers buying us all tickets to go! The concert was an outdoor one at the old football stadium at Lansdowne Park here in Ottawa, and the one thing we remember the most was that it started to rain, their Motherly instincts kicked in and our Moms quickly resolved this wet situation by creating for us ponchos out of garbage bags!! So there we all were dancing and singing away, while the rain poured down in our garbage bag ponchos enjoying the show. Looking back on these family memories, I know that I was one lucky kid to have this close-knit family unit!
Ok, so back to Madonna….we found our parking spot and made our way to Scotiabank Place. As we got closer we could hear the Madonna music and see a few of the local radio stations set up, interacting with the crowd, and one was even giving away a pair of tickets to the show. We get inside, peruse the souvenir selection (one word – expensive!!), grab a beverage and head up to our seats.
The first thing I noticed that set this concert apart from any other one I’ve gone to were some people’s attire; I have never seen so many 80′s Madonna, Material Girl Madonna, or Blond Ambition Madonnas in one room….these ladies (and some men) really got into the Madonna state of mind! Our tickets indicated that the show was to start at 8pm however it wasn’t until 8:45pm that the opening act, Paul Oakenfold, an English record producer and a trance DJ took the stage. After an hour of pumping up the crowd, Mr. Oakenfold left the stage and we waited about 35-40 minutes for the woman we were all waiting to see take the stage! I really wasn’t impressed with this late start having to go to work the next morning.
Overall, she put on a great show; the production of the whole thing was unlike anything I have seen before. There were a few sections of the show that I really didn’t care for (like dancing around the stage with guns….sorry just not my thing), but I could still see all the work and coordination that went into the number. To be honest, for the most part it was her new stuff that I didn’t really enjoy.
About 20 minutes or so into her set was the first time that the entire crowd was brought to their feet when she broke into ‘Papa Don’t Preach’…. now this is the Madonna I love! I did get to hear a lot of the Madonna songs I love, which to me was worth it but the late night was wearing on us We decided to leave a little early but fortunately we only missed one song (a newer one), and it was right after my ultimate favourite, ‘Like a Prayer’
One of the highlights was sharing the night out with my Mom and 2 of my cousins! The older we get, the busier we get, so making sure I see my family is something that I really try to carve out some time for; that is why my female cousins and I make sure we plan a get-together once a month to make sure we don’t lose that connection.
What kinds of things do you do with your extended family? Are there any traditions you have started now that you are adults?