Madonna Rebel Heart Illuminates Chicago


Madonna. Chicago. One Night. United Center. Sold Out. What more do you need to know or even imagine with the energy, love and passion that fans of Madonna have waited for, and bowed in honor at the muse of a collective enigma of love and light. The woman and the music that is an icon in history that has inspired and breathed a strength into all of us.

A lifetime fan, as a photographer I collected  thirty years of magazine covers that once adored my studio.  Books, albums, and even a 45 record with her release of Borderline, I was hesitant to the point of only purchasing my ticket five hours before the concert. Yet, Madonna saved me. It was time to honor the woman who saved my youth. Pregnant and having to get married at seventeen, Madonna was there. Divorced with two kids at 19, Madonna was there. At 21 years old, walking into my first disco as a single mom of two, I went there for one purpose…  to dance to Madonna’s voice, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. Through pain and through celebrations, it was Madonna who got me through the most difficult times in my life. She saved me. No drugs, no alcohol, and from an abusive situation, Madonna through her music taught me to rise above. I went last night to  thank and support her with her latest collection, Rebel Heart. Iconic, Heartbreak City… captivated me when she climbed the stairs, pushed her dancer off the edge and sang Love Don’t Live here Anymore. Madonna knew my story. The music had me in tears. Madonna connected the present with the past, yet focused on the importance of change and letting the past be exactly that. Her single Ghostown,  brought me back to the innocence of the Madonna I knew and treasured. Madonna came full circle playing everything that we loved.

Last night’s concert changed everyone. Don’t you dare tell me she is too old. I dare you to attend one of her concerts. Every word, every breathe, every pulsating sound of light and energy that was experienced last night vibrates within everyone who was in the United Center and was privileged to experience the power of Madonna.


“I’m still trying to figure who I am” Madonna shared with the Chicago crowd. Ongoing cheers and applauds came from the crowd from the highest point of the United Center to the lower level for one reason and one reason only. Madonna connects with each and everyone in her presence. Every single one. What I thought was people coming to a “Madonna Concert” … I quickly realized that they came to honor her for the inspiration she has given to the world. We are all Madonna, with no limitation, no crosses to bear. Bitch, I’m Madonna. Madonna is the ethereal light that lives within us all.

MADONNA_RebelHeart_ZenLivingByDesign_MaryEllen Malinowski

Madonna and her dancers gave a theatrical performance that told stories and lifted our understanding of her lyrics and music to a higher vibration…  electrifying and magnetic. Although I went with my friend Porzia, I had to sit on the side by the stage… and for the first time it didn’t matter I was alone or with strangers.. because we all became one. The man next to me became Joe, a friend that too, high fived me when Madonna began singing Like a Virgin, or when Sean from Brazil said M I want to take a selfie with you to remember this night. Are you kidding me? Who has the power to unite strangers into becoming new friends. Ms. Madonna my friends, that’s who.

This blog is not about a review of her voice. It was impeccable. It is not a blog to critique or write about the positives or the negatives as it  was pure perfection. It was not about judgement, it was a concert with a  united voice. “In order to have a Revolution, you need to have a Rebel Heart, Madonna told us. Stir up some shit and do it with heart and love. I want to thank you for supporting me all these years.”

This is being the difference and this is what we all inspire to be. Through her music, we will not forget that we can too. This is Zen Living. Living a life of integrity and having a voice. Madonna shared a visual presentation of hundreds of pieces of artwork that through the years, people had drawn, sketched, painted and interpreted of Madonna and her artistry. Madonna said this was the favorite part of the show… and as I watched I thought to myself… I should have not stopped myself when I wanted to inquire about photographing her in infrared light. I should have played a Madonna song to give me the courage to contact her manager. It would have added another element to the mosaic she is. Yet, I smiled, watched her sing, play the guitar and dance knowing that I know her light and I am forever blessed for the grace she shares with all of us. Madonna, our Illuminati.



Love & Light… M


“Madonna Rebel Heart” All Photography done by MaryEllen Malinowski and  copyright 2015 Zen Living by design | Infrared Light Int’l

Madonna color portrait taken from slide show at United Center, photographer unknown. Zen Living by design Magazine launching January 2016









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