Coliseum Arena - Oakland, California
May 18-20, 1990
High off of her “Like A Prayer” Album, Madonna was coming to town in the Spring of 1990, and I, of course, was going to be there.
Those of us in the Bay Area were fortunate enough to not only get three concert dates in a row for her show, but our local dates fell on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday sequence. It didn’t get any better than this.
When tickets went on sale, a group of my friends did our best to procure awesome seats, but by the time it was our turn to purchase in line (this was before internet), only nosebleeds were left. We took them.
We bought tickets for the Friday night show, but my friend Jimmy and I (the diehards) bought an extra set for the Sunday show as well. Saturday was sold out.
When that magical Friday finally rolled around, our enthusiastic group headed out for the Oakland Coliseum Arena. I wore my “Boy Toy” T-shirt, jeans and big belt, in Madonna’s honor.
I don’t even remember Technotronic’s set. I might have sat through some of it, but at some point, we got up and started walking around the outskirts of the arena where the merchandise and food was being sold. We split up for awhile and Jimmy and I were shopping around when my friend Patty came running up to us proclaiming:
“Theresa! Theresa! I found this guy who will give us front row seats!”
Jimmy and I ran over to “this guy”. “This guy” was working for the tour and looking to trade crappy tickets for front row tickets as long as fans “promised to dance”. He had us sign our names on a list and we swapped out our tickets. I couldn’t believe it. I stared at his name badge. His name was “David Land”.
“Look!” I told him and pointed to Jimmy and me, “We are going to be back on Sunday! We are going to look for you on Sunday!”
He was rather dismissive, but I was adamant to find him again during Sunday’s show.
And just like that, a group of six of us were in the front row on a Friday night watching Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour.
She had about as many costume changes as she did songs.
Come On- Vogue!
With my ears so close to the speakers, my thoughts went back and forth between, “Wow this is so cool," to “Hey, she is off-pitch!”
At least she wasn’t lip syncing.
I was in heaven. But I started wondering, with Sunday’s show around the corner, would our good fortune strike twice?
When Sunday late afternoon came around, Jimmy and I entered the arena once again and found our old crappy seats. I just couldn’t do it. After sitting in the front row, I would never go back to nose bleeds again. I was too spoiled now. Jimmy and I were now on a mission to find the man named David Land from Friday night.
We just about went up to every person who looked official and was wearing a badge. I asked them the same question over and over again, “Do you know David Land? We must find David Land!”
At first, nobody knew who he was and this was probably because I didn’t know how to distinguish between a backstage pass and food vendor badge. If someone looked remotely like they were employed for the night I was on them.
Finally we found a man who gave us our first clue.
“Yes,” he said, “I think David is down at the Box Office.”
Jimmy and I flew down to the lower levels of the arena to find this “Box Office”. At this point Technotronic had started their set and I began to panic.
“Nooo! We are running out of time!”
We found the box office. The door was locked so I banged on the door. Finally somebody opened it.
“Yeah?” A man asked.
“Is David Land in there? We told him we would be back to trade tickets again for Sunday!”
“Uh, hang on,” said the man and he slammed the door.
Well, that door did not reopen for what seemed like an eternity.
Finally the door opened again and it was Mr. Land.
“Yeah?” he said.
“Hi! We were here on Friday! We said we would be back to trade tickets again!”
He obviously didn’t recognize us, but paused for a minute.
“Hang on,” he said as he slammed the door.
I exhaled. I just couldn’t stand the thought of being in the nosebleeds for the Sunday show. We had come too far! Front row OR NOTHING.
Technotronic’s one hit wonder- “Pump Up The Jam” came blasting through the arena. My heart sank. I knew they were at the end of their set and Mr. Lands had not opened up the door again. Would all this exercise in stalking-the-ticket-guy be for nothing?
The door finally opened again, but only a crack just big enough for two tickets to pop through.
“Here,” he said non-chalantly.
We took the tickets and gave him ours and he slammed the door.
We looked at them. FRONT ROW BABY!
Jimmy and I quickly ran back down towards the front row and as the usher looked at our tickets he commented, “great seats!” and Jimmy responded, “we got connections!”
As Madonna came out we stood there staring at her, up front, once again, and Jimmy shook his head.
“I can’t BELIEVE we did this again!”
And we were happy.