After Michael Jackson opened the gates by coming to Romania in 1992, many big names in music have made it to Bucharest. Depeche Mode, Sting, Rolling Stones, Metallica only to name a few, concerted in Bucharest in the last decade. It might not seem like a big deal to people who were born in a democratic country and it’s not a big deal to me now, but back in 1992 it was a dream come true. I went to highschool when the communist were still in power and to see such a concert with a Western pop star was unthinkable. I remember looking at smuggled videotapes with live concerts of bands that were popular at that time and thinking “If only I could be there”. Maybe because of this nostalgia I keep going to these big concerts. But I was planning to skip this one because I don’t care too much about Madonna and her music and as a form of protest to the high price of the tickets. I ended up buying the tickets by mistake (don’t ask, it’s a long and embarrasing story 🙂 )
Since the usual place for such gatherings – the National Stadium – is being renovated, Madonna performed for two hours in front of 60.000 people on a stage built especially for this event in Parc Izvor. It was maybe ironic that she perfomed so close to that humongous, ugly palace that Ceausescu, the former communist dictator, envisioned as the seat for his political power. It was Madonna’s first concert in Bucharest and it was a good concert, but not a great one. Many pop concerts are not so much about music but the whole show as an entertainment occasion: the music parts the stage with the light show, the coreography and dancing, the costumes. The atmosphere reached its peak when she payed homage to Michael Jackson. She also made a statement against the discrimination of gypsies and homosexuals in Eastern Europe. Still, there was something missing, that bit of magic that carries you away.
I would have to excuse myself for the quality of the photo. Only small cameras were allowed so I couldn’t take my SLR. I had to settle for a point and shoot Canon camera which I keep for situations like these, when I’m not allowed to bring my 40D.