Madonna Got Me to Come Out as a Madonna Fan

In February 2023 I bought tickets to see Madonna.  I did so for two reasons. Reasons I kept having to provide to people for some reason. The first was because she is a living legend and the second was I need a Valentine’s Day gift for my girlfriend, who was just wrapping up a grueling, two month shift as my nurse as I recovered from two shoulder surgeries.  I wanted to get floor seats and then I saw the prices and was like, “the upper deck has floors as well!”  But my girlfriend, a usually fiscally prudent woman with her money and with mine who would normally say “oh the floor is too expense” pointed me to a site where there might still be some left, indicating that she really wanted to get good seats if it was at all possible.  And I found “reasonably” priced floor seats and waited for August (which is also her birthday month, which is clutch – get the tickets for Valentine’s Day and the double up the gift power of the tickets by actually using them near her birthday). But when I bought them I posted on social media something to the effect of, “Well concert is in 8 months, so I guess the J-L Jinx has 8 months to kill Madonna.” And apparently it almost did…

(Disclosure – a longer discussion of the Madonna concert will be the subject of next week’s Rain on Your Parade podcast)

The Delay

This past Summer, Madonna had to postpone some of her dates because of a life-threatening health issue.  Needless to say, I felt less angry about my special taking over 2 years to come out when I realized that my ability to jinx had nearly extended to Madonna’s life.  But the concert was rescheduled for January 2024 (which the girlfriend gift-giving committee said was no longer acceptable as a double gift for this year’s Valentine’s Day).

As the concert approached I felt many people I know wondering why I was going to Madonna.  I mean it is not a men’s locker room at an Equinox gym, right? So why can’t a heterosexual man, raised in the 1980s go to see Madonna in concert?  I did not need to use my girlfriend as a concert beard!  Madonna is a music legend, a cultural icon and a lover of beige men – why wouldn’t I go?!

The Arrival

When we got to Madison Square Garden at 830 (the show was slated for 8:30, but thanks to a pathetic lawsuit we were aware that Madonna was not starting on time – but most main acts do not come out right at the start time so no big deal to us) and entered the Delta Lounge.  I would not be the only comedian in attendance as I observed Big Jay Oakerson (I know who he is, but he has no idea who I am), and Sarah Cooper (the 2020 Earth to my 2020 Moon), among the luminaries in the floor lounge area.  Later in the show I also would be fairly close to Amy Schumer, a comedian who has had a different trajectory than me since our days of sharing the bill on open mics and bringer shows.  But the 300 feet between us involved a lot of security and sharing the stage with Madonna.  So close, yet so far.  There was a distinctive air of “look at me” douchebaggery in the Delta Lounge that I was unaccustomed to. For example look at this mash up of Bruno and Marilyn Manson:

We knew the show was beginning when Bob The Drag Queen (someone my girlfriend was familiar with, as a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race) walked right by us dressed as Marie Antoinette. We followed Bob’s cell phone holding entourage and “took” our seats (girlfriend never sat, I sat only for knee breaks).

What followed was one of the greatest concerts, if not the greatest concert I have ever been too.  Based on actuarial charts I may not even live to 65, but what Madonna can do at 65 is nothing short of amazing.  Her vocals were good, her fitness is great, she looks great and the show was tremendous.  Bob The Drag Queen was an incredible emcee, the set pieces, the choreography, the flow of the show, everything was great.  There was a hiccup, however.


About 4 songs in, the security guard came up to me and before I could say, “yes I am G list comedian J-L Cauvin and yes we can take a selfie,” he informed me that many audience members behind me were asking if I could switch seats with someone on the end of my row so they could see Madonna.  Now I had paid for these front row seats and if they wanted a better view they should have been less poor!  But I promptly moved and received praise and thanks from the Gay men and their female companions/accessories for my kindness. My view was not much different, but I was now seen as an ally (hero is probably too strong) to the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Highlights (beyond the whole show)

Hung Up. La Isla Bonita. – Two of my 5 favorite Madonna songs.

Vogue.  The ballroom set up of Vogue, the performance, the dancing from Madonna’s young daughter, the emcee work of Bob – all A+. Now my girlfriend would have probably definitely enjoyed the show more with one of her gay friends.  Me smiling in appreciation and tapping my feet for most of the show would likely not compare to the gay exuberance that I would imagine some of her friends would exhibit. But she looked at me during Vogue and said afterword she was surprised that I liked it so much. As I said then and said on the forthcoming podcast episode, I was witnessing greatness – even when something is “not your thing” when you see something great, only an insecure person or worse would fight that recognition. And it was also funny that a woman I did open mics with was judging with Madonna on stage. But it was fu*king incredible. This was actually me on NJ transit going home after the show:


And a side note – when Madonna started touring, people on Twitter were trolling her for using a grab bar with a lot of people offering “time to hang it up granny” type comments.  What the video and photos did not show was THAT SHE WAS LIKE 30 FEET IN THE AIR WHILE PERFORMING THAT PART OF THE SET!

A Sequel?

The only thing that ruined the night was (of course) comedy. I was checking my mentions after the show and saw someone make a comparison that they believed was flattering and that I promptly blocked them for (as bad as that sounds, it actually represent growth from the incensed artist-scorched earth response i wanted to deliver).  But as has happened after some great concerts in my life, a sort of malaise set in.  I felt like I had just witnessed something truly amazing and I felt my own emotions sort of crashing (after I first saw U2 in concert that is how I felt). It is a weird feeling, but a testament to what Madonna is still capable of at 65.  Now I am contemplating getting tickets to see the show again on Monday.  I probably won’t but if I do it is not for my girlfriend. It is for me. I am a Madonna fan. That is my truth. And forgive me if while at the Utah Jazz-NY Knicks game on Tuesday I spontaneously yell “Lauri Markkanen is serving cu*t tonight!”  That’s just the power of a Madonna concert.