I started the night in Torget, a little gay restaurant and bar in the old part of town that I remembered form a previous visit.
The waiters were wearing corsets and Madonna was playing all over. I got a few beers and danced with a couple of other fans.
Later on, I went a few houses down to a bar called The Secret Garden, where apparently Madonna’s dancers had spent the evening before, according to rumour.
I met a guy from India, himself on a trip through Europe, and we talked about travelling. I felt like I was on my trip around the world again. In a new bar, with drinks, and fellow travellers and new friends…
Reality hit me, though, when the news from the attacks in Paris reached me. I tried reaching my sister, but was not worried too much, as none of these places were areas she’d frequent.
The next day, I didn’t go to the arena early, I was still trying to reach my sister. Only when I had heard that she had spoken to my parents did I head over to the arena. I wasn’t really in the mood for the show any more, but of course I went.
Arriving at around 3pm, there were a lot of fans queuing up already. I was #245 in the queue. I said hello to my other fellow fans whom I have met during the journey so far…
The organization was flawless of course, thank you Sweden. To my surprise I found a spot in the second row right at the tip of the heart stage, the closest I ever got to there.
So the waiting began, but the Swedish fans around me were super nice and time flew, until it was time for show #9.
The show went on as planned. I was sure she’s make a speech and sing maybe some other song. And indeed, she made a long speech about the attacks in Paris.
She was really moved, her voice cracked…
It was so silent, I could her her actual voice, a split-second before it came all over the loudspeakers. She asked for a minute of silence, and it was moving to see some 40000 people fall completely silent.
After that, she sang her signature song, Like a prayer, which she has sung only on rare occasions on this tour.
You could feel throughout the show that she was off.
Not that it was bad, but if you have seen the show before you realized a lot of little mistakes happened, like her arriving late back on stage after a costume change, her forgetting a line… which made it all so human.
I’m glad she went on stage and did not cancel it. She celebrates life. And kudos to her for being such a trooper, and pulling through!
Here are the best shots from an amazing night: