At long last Kansas City is getting Madonna…
To the best of my recollection, KC has never hosted a Madonna show. Back when she truly mattered – the early to mid 1980s through mid 1990s – the Material Girl’s concert tours hit the East Coast, the West Coast and Florida, but never here.
That’s about to change when the Madonna plays Sprint Center the night before Halloween on October 30.
When Madonna broke out in 1983, her early claim to fame was she was dating popular 70s/80s DJ John Jellybean Benitez who mixed her first album.
John Who, you may ask, assuming like most Kansas Citians you were largely resentful of the disco phenomenon that swept most of the country with the exception of gay bars in Midwestern burgs like KC.
But the Jellybean was long gone by the time Madonna’s second album, "Like a Virgin," exploded onto the scene in 1984 with three huge hits – Like a Virgin, Material Girl and Into the Groove. It was followed by a concert tour with the Beastie Boys as opening act.
And of course, no KC date.
The $64 million question: Does the 53 year-old Madonna still truly matter?
"Well, with her playing the Super Bowl, that’s evidence that she’s still a top draw," says local concert-a-holic Rick Dodderidge. "I’ve heard a lot of criticism of her show, but I thought it was good. I tuned in just to see it and I’m not really a fan."
Former Capital Automated Tickets (Ticketmaster forbear) honcho Mardi Silva doesn’t recall Madonna playing KC in her heady, early days either.
"No, I remember people coming in and asking if she was coming," Silva says. "Don Hall even sent one of his key people over and said, ‘How come we don’t get these shows?’ And I always thought it was because the artists could make more money and sell more records playing in the bigger cities. That’s what I remember."