The uncertain path of Hurricane Joaquin and flooding from a coastal storm was enough to cancel several New Jersey events this weekend, but nothing was going to stop fans from seeing the Queen of Pop herself.
Areas of Atlantic City saw flooding and heavy winds Saturday, but dedicated concertgoers made their way to Boardwalk Hall for Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” tour concert. South Jersey locals as well as people who came from out of state made the trek into the city, despite the harsh conditions outside
“I’m so excited, so excited,” said Jessica Sokol, of Rockaway. “We’ll actually see songs from the new album in real life, and she’s always such a great performer, so dynamic with all her dancers.”
Sokol drove down from North Jersey with her two sisters, Gieselle and Melissa Olivera. The two younger ones claimed that their oldest sister, Sokol, was the biggest Madonna fan of them all, but all three liked her music.
“She always puts on a good show. It’s not just a concert,” Sokol said, having seen Madonna live twice before. “I’ve been a fan since I was little, about 20 years now.”
The sisters were among the younger crowd mixed in with those who have been fans since Madonna’s early years. Lynn Lanza and Sue Perna, both of Hammonton, knew what it was like to copy the singer’s hair and clothing styles in the 1980s when she debuted her first album, “Madonna.”
The two friends each brought their daughters, Aspen and Gianna, respectively, to share in the excitement.
“They have no clue what they’re in for,” Perna said laughing. “We made them listen to all her songs on the drive over.”
All four had heard both new and old songs, but the moms of the group said they’re more interested in hearing classic hits such as “Holiday” and “Like A Virgin.” Perna admitted that even though she might have heard some of the newer songs from Madonna’s Rebel Heart album, she didn’t really know them.
The two girls, both 15, had never been to a Madonna concert before, but Aspen Lanza said it was a once in a lifetime thing to see a singer and entertainer who made headway for female stars everywhere.
“She’s kind of like Lady Gaga, with her style, but she’s the original one,” Gianna Perna said.
The crowds streaming through Boardwalk Hall were equipped with rain boots, umbrellas and jackets, but some people wore old concert t-shirts from shows past and were eager to line up at the merchandising table for another keepsake.
People questioned whether the concert would go on amidst of a coastal storm and local flooding. Madonna assured her fans by tweeting, “See you in Atlantic City! We gonna be there come rain or come shine,” Friday afternoon.
Madonna was to take the stage around 9:30 p.m.