Madonna & Los Angeles

EEEKKK!!!!  … so, there we were
on Catalina Island the Saturday night before the Madonna concert with NO Madonna
tickets. And secluded at Zane Grey’s we had no phone to call ticketmaster
or computer to try solving our dilemma online. Regardless, it was 10pm so doing
anything wasn’t in the offing. So, to a sleepless rest we
How did it happen? … I checked the tickets twice
before leaving. However, I only opened the envelope and saw the ‘Ticketmaster’
writing on the stub and thought, “good, got ’em” rather than take the time to
actually pull the bloody ticket right out to ensure it was the Madonna (not
FashionCares) tickets. Lesson
Sunday morning first thing I rang Papa in London and
asked him to log on to G’s account to retrieve our confirmation number and etc.
With that in hand we headed back to Los Angeles on the ferry. We headed straight
to our hotel – The Belamar Hotel in Manhattan Beach – and rang Ticketmaster.
Thankfully, this sort of thing happens frequently and all we had to do was head
down to the Forum, show photo ID and the credit card we used to purchase the
tickets, and voila, we had a 2nd set. THANK

1)The Queen Mary as we head into Long Beach; 2) our view at The Belamar; 3) our room at the Belamar

(all ratings are 0-5 where 0 is ‘horrible-avoid’; 3 ‘good’; 5 ‘exceptional’):

Check-in: 4 – quick and painless (and they graciously
allowed me to make a long distance call to Ticketmaster and use their computer
so eprops for
View: 3 – large comfy king bed and nicely decorated
but noisy air conditioner with a balcony door that did not lock (try as I
Value: 4- Great value for Los Angeles (especially on a night when every hotel room was booked in the city)
Uniqueness: 2 – dubbed a ’boutique hotel’ but promised
boutique hotel offerings did not materialize: no turndown service; no
complementary Los Angeles Times at our door on Sunday morning; no free take-home
CD in our room’s CD player.
Overall: 3 

Madonna: The


what can
 I say? Outstanding, rapturous, a

arrived at 5pm and parked before crossing the picket line (the concession staff
were on strike!) to “Sizzlers” for dinner. Good dinner despite sitting at the
window with an actual bullet hole in it (ah, dining in Los Angeles). We got into
the Forum around 7:30 and found our seats which were great – in the Colonnade,
section 9, 2nd row from the front.
stage had one lone catwalk reaching to what would be center ice (if it was a
hockey arena) with two smaller side stages. In all there were 4 video screens: a
massive semi-circular screen that raised and lowered in front of the band, one
centre stage [behind and above this semi-circular one] and one to either side
above the two smaller
show started late at 8:45 pm and Madonna strutted and sung and danced
continuously till 10:45 when she closed with “Hung Up”. There was no opening
act; no
were 4 sets which I’d theme as: Equestrian; Religious/Political; Rocker Chick
and Disco. She opened with “Future Lovers”, descending to the end of the center
stage catwalk in a massive disco ball that opened into a orchid. As you can
imagine, that set the crowd into hysterics!  She opened the second set with
“Live to Tell” and yes, she was up on a sequined crucifix. I thought she was in
brilliant voice (far better than how you heard her at the European MTV Awards in
Barcelona or the Grammies. For me, the best set, hands down was the Rocker Chick
bit … she opened this with rocker version of “I Love New York” which was
freaking fantastic! Seeing her play this song was worth the price of admission
alone, I
clearly – like most pop stars today – highlights a couple messages in the show:
namely the plight of children in Malawi; the horrors of abuse; and her dislike
of most politicians and governments [especially George Bush and Dick Cheney: she
does a great job dishing both with visuals on the video screens]. We also saw
Rosie O’Donnell front row centre (her big head could be seen anywhere in the Forum, I’m sure. Also joining us that night on the star side was Salma Hayek, Nicole Ritchie, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis.
“Hung Up” ends and Madonna disappears into the centre stage catwalk trapdoor,
the huge semi circular video screen asks: “Have You Confessed?”
I confess Madonna: I loved your show! In my listing of Top Concerts of All Time,
I’ll place you

in Los Angeles we also toured Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, did a
drive past OJ Simpson’s former residence on Rockingham he he he. Now rebuilt and
renumbered to keep folks like G and I from finding it. We also visited G’s old
school haunts at Bergamot Station, now a mix of very highend and funky art galleries. We
headed downtown to Canadian architect, Frank Gehry’s, beautiful Walt Disney
Concert Hall
. Frank is currently doing the renovation at the Art Gallery of
fyi. And, of course, we ate at the world famous “Norms” for greasy grub.

LA - Rodeo Drive PradaLA - Santa Monica signLA - Santa Monica Vetrans for Peace
4) the funky Prada store on Rodeo Drive; 5) the Santa Monica pier sign; 6) Vetreans for Peace protest on Santa Monica Beach

LA - Walt Disney HallLA - Walt Disney inside

7) Walt Disney Concert Hall; 8) inside the main lobby … beautiful, beautiful

LA - Norms signLA - Brent at NormsLA - Norm's breakfast
9) “Norms!”; 10) ordering at Norms; 11) bring breakfast on! …

of course, we visited the filming grounds of one of our favourite movies ever,
Bladerunner. Many scenes of which were filmed in the Bradbury Building. Look

LA - The Bradbury Building 1LA - Brent with CharlieLA - Bradbury Building 2
12) The Bradbury Building Lobby; 13) Brent with Charlie in the Bradbury; 14) G admires the architecture

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12 Responses to Madonna & Los Angeles

  1. bennykan says:

    My confession is I spent two days reading this blog entry LOL. No it’s just because I am so busy these days. Glad you enjoyed the Madonna concert! Now I hope they will have that on DVD……

  2. Fatcat723 says:

    Well, I hope you have a big bathtub. I fell off the ski when I first saw the one jump. Scared the hell out of me but then I remember that where there are dolphins there are not sharks. Dolphins will attack the sharks.

  3. Anonymous says:

    are you hot ? cuz i am *wink~ haha jkskjs
    god damn it.. it’s so hot in the kitchen  now.. the walk in fridges use to be a place where no one would wana clean up .. but now everyone dies to clean the fridges.. it’s like OH ME MEMEMMEMEEMEME!! ME!! I WANA CLEAN!!! ..
    but still.. no matter how hot it gets.. the worst is to do the FREEZER! u spend like.. 15 mins in there.. and u walk out.. the contrasts of the tempature could get u so SICK .. and not to mention.. after 15 mins.. i’m like a yellow popicile. with a frozen stiff chef jacket.
    but man.. okey i admit. i do look somehwat like that guy.. but still WHY ME…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Madonna is so incredible. Still strong at her age and delivering important meaasages. I wish more artists were like her. Nice pics.

  5. abcyeung says:

    Ekk….. so jealous…. It sound so wonderful on the trip…!!!

  6. YNOTswim says:

    Ha. I stayed in that Queen Mary once, but never go to a Madona concert… :)

  7. enRoute says:

    Nice to know that you enjoyed the concert and had a wonderful trip! =)

  8. *As a Madonna song randomly comes up on his playlist.*
    I like what you’re doing here – a mix of pictures and text that is a very good balance of both.  Entertaining to read :)
    I would have been really pissed off if that had happened to me with the tickets.  Not sure I would have been thinking straight enough to get it sorted out.  Glad you were able to thouh – it would be such a pain to have to miss a show cause they sent you the wrong thing.  And that other show didn’t seem nearly as entertaining.  Probably lots of hot girls walking around in fashion wear…but nothing on Madonna.
    I want to go to another concert.  A big star like Madonna or someone.  The atmosphere at those things are just awesome, and there’s nothing like singing along with everyone else there doing the same.  And the set changing thing would also be rather kick ass.  Hmm, I should start looking at upcoming things near me…
    Bel Air huh?  Ah yes, the Fresh Prince.  Such a good show.
    Nice picture by the way.  Gotta love The Grinch.

  9. Fatcat723 says:

    Good pics and sounds like a great show. I wish I could have been there!

  10. btw, everyone has seen madonna! damn she’s like the new kylie minogue or somethingryc = lol not a big fan of the drug eh?

  11. Anonymous says:

    oh oh… sigh. If this was a postcard, it probably would have said “wish you were here”. And I do wish I was there. Thanks for the updates – love the concert review and all the pics (love that Bradbury Building).

  12. Nicole Richie?  A Madonna fan?  Interesting.  And while I was reading this, I was panicking when I read that you guys didn’t have your Madonna tickets!!!  I was like, “Oh my God, they went through all this and they’ll miss the main event!”  I wiped my forehead when I read you guys got a second set.  Whew! 

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