Up close with Madonna, mother of reinvention, it feels like ...

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Up close with Madonna, mother of reinvention, it feels like ‘hooooome’

Having now seen her up close, I can confirm that she is not like you or me, or another artist. She’s Madonna

There was something simultaneously strange and familiar about the girl in the green top. She was standing in the aisle, head tilted back, searching the balconies above for someone she had arranged to meet. She waved her arms about, turning round and round. I recognised that look on her face – part embarrassed that she was standing in front of 1,000 people, trying to attract the attention of one person who wasn’t seeing her; part annoyed because they’d made a plan and where is this fool?; part desperate because what if they can’t find each other before the lights go down and the show starts?

I’ve been that girl in the green top, but not for years now, and then I realised what was so strange about it: ordinarily nowadays she and her friend would be on cellphones, saying: “Where are you?” She couldn’t do that on Sunday night though, because Madonna had taken her back to the 1980s.

Madonna started the European leg of her Madame X tour on Sunday night with an eight-night residency at the Lisbon Coliseu, an intimate Elizabethan-style theatre in the centre of town, a venue so snug it feels like you’re watching her perform in your school hall. I was probably 10 years old when I first heard a Madonna song, but now that I’ve seen her up close, I can tell you a few things about her: ..

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