The Queen of Pop was the key.
In 2006, Madonna headed to the desert to do Coachella, in favor of her then-most recent release, 2005’s Grammy-winning Confessions on a Dance Floor. Even though she wasn’t even a headliner that year, M performed, for an overflowing-out-the-tent crowd, essentially the same star-powered dance/electronica-chic small-ish-scale show she put on in London the year prior, when she promoted the shit out of the album at the clubs G-A-Y and KOKO, getting all o’ dem crowds dancing and singing to “Hung Up,” “Get Together,” “I Love New York,” and “Let It Will Be,” with “Everybody” as the throwback finale, and “Ray of Light” as a sort of rockin’ centerpiece.
I don’t think her Coachella moment was streamed on the Web, but the KOKO gig was, and I remember (oh, how I remember) anticipating and watching the show late one Tuesday night at the office of my friend, the graphic designer Paul Jacober of Jacober Creative, in Miami Beach. It was late for us, so you know it was late for the Londons, but Madonna got up and did her thing, and it was wondrous.
She’s in “Medellín” now. And all the big pop acts are doing the desert now, too.