By Peyton Schmidt–

I’ll never forget the rush of excitement and overall fear of internally imploding when I first opened my Madonna tickets on Christmas morning.

With hysterical tears running down my face, my eyes darted around the room to see the different reactions of my family members after mom’s big surprise to all of us. I counted down the days to see Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour at the KFC! Yum Center on Jan. 16 ever since Christmas morning.

Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour is her 10th worldwide concert tour and 13th studio album. The album has a red-hot theme of female empowerment. This album is not only great for any Madonna-obsessed fan, but also for the dancing and singing addict or anyone trying to get over that toxic ex.

The only possible complaint I had about the show was the fact our tickets read the show began at 8 p.m. sharp. This isn’t my first rodeo, so I assumed the show wouldn’t begin at exactly that time, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine Madonna finally gracing the stage at a whopping 10:30 at night.

She is Madonna after all, and naturally, her loyal subjects will wait whatever amount of time the Queen so wishes. During the two and a half hour time slot, Madonna’s opening act DJ Mary Mac and the bar at the Yum! Center kept the eager fans occupied.

I am confident when I say I have never seen so many fabulously gay and wasted people in my whole entire life. Going to an iconic A-list pop star’s concert is exciting as it is, but going to a Madonna concert, is an entirely different experience of its own. I held hands and took pictures with everyone around me, having never met them in my life. I even became best friends with this darling man named Tom, who I swear embodied the exact persona of Mitchell Pritchett off of ABC’S Modern Family (we took selfies and fangirled all night).

When the arena finally grew dark after the excruciating wait, the Yum! Center erupted in shrieks and chants as a sensual video montage of Madonna appeared on the screen. Building up the excitement in the audience, as the Queen has learned to master so well after years of practice, she stormed the stage with her dancers right as the beat dropped. Like the thousands of fans around me, my knees buckled and I grew hoarse as the Queen worked her way down the heart-shaped stage.

Madonna executed her performance without one glitch. The concert included state-of-the-art technical elements, keeping the audience at the edge of their seats (who am I kidding – we were on our feet dancing the whole time anyway) the entire duration of the show. Of course, Madonna also had an incredibly cool entourage of dancers, wowing the audience with their impressive and complex moves.

Costumes custom-made by glistening high-fashion names such as Gucci and Moschino made up Madonna’s stellar wardrobe. Being someone who is very culturally aware, Madonna included worldly elements in her show ranging from Japanese and Samurai to Gypsy and Latin inspired backdrops and costumes. She also included glittery Gatsby and flapper inspired elements for the end of her set list, amping up the crowd for her smashing encore and hit: “Holiday.”

This is a show you probably shouldn’t invite your Catholic priest or community bible study group to see. Imagine Madonna’s iconic “Like a Virgin” music video, times ten on the racy scale. Dances ranging from nuns with stripper poles to costumes with satanic head pieces included only some of the racy elements within the show. 

As I finally shuffled back to my car at 1 in the morning with blistered feet, high on life and the memorable events of the night, it was obvious Madonna still held her title as the Queen of Pop—even thirty years later. Incorporating songs from her old-school days as well as her new album, Madonna is able to teach even the new-school generation a thing or two.


Photo courtesy / The Courier-Journal