By Jen Salinsky
While I am happy to read accounts from others about their concert experiences for Duran Duran’s Paper Gods tour, I must also say I’m disappointed that I won’t able to attend one of the shows. It would have been interesting to see them perform with Chic. One double-billed concert which my husband and I had the fortune of attending was a performance of the Sting/Peter Gabriel Rock, Paper, Scissors tour. Ours was the first show of the tour, and it took place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on June 21, 2016.
As much as I enjoyed that experience, I wish that Duran Duran would have toured somewhere closer to this part of the country so that we would have had an opportunity to see them live.
The third Duran Duran concert I attended took place at the Agora Theatre, also in Columbus, on November 13, 2003, and I was particularly excited for this event. Not only were the Fab Five back together and touring, but I was going actually going to get to see them in all their glory.
This concert was particularly significant because my mother surprised me with a VIP package for my twenty-fifth birthday. Not only would I get to see the band for a third time, but the package also included a guaranteed seat in one of the first seven rows, two free drinks, a laminate pass, a red and black tote bag, and a randomly-selected entry ticket to meet the band! I know that a lot of standard VIP packages include these kinds of things, but I was overjoyed because this was my first experience with such a luxury.
Of course, the random drawing was the thing which excited me the most. I already had it in my mind that I was going to meet the band, as I had brought gifts for Simon. The gifts included: a T-shirt which I had made for him, one of his poems, “Ghostly Encounter,” typed out in a fancy font, a letter which I had written him, and one of my poetry books, Opening the Doors.
I was crestfallen when I found out that I wasn’t chosen to meet the band, but I soon cheered up after I ran into a woman who had won one of the drawings. I handed the items over to her over to her—the ones which I intended to give Simon, and she said that she would take them back for me. After the show, I encountered her again. While she did not see Simon, she told me that Nick would said he would deliver everything to him. Her news had given me hope, but I never found out if Simon received my gifts.
The concert was great despite the fact that I did not get to meet the band. Those of us who had the second-tier VIP packages were invited into a private room to see the sound check, which was an unexpected treat. (My second Duran Duran VIP package, which I’d received nearly two years later, did not include the same privilege.)
For me, the highlight of the entire concert was when Simon reached down and touched hands with some of the people in the first row. When he put his hand in mine, I could have sworn that I felt myself ascend to heaven. That event made my entire night, and I gushed about it for days afterward, until I had to go back to the reality of graduate school. That did not stop me from telling almost everyone I’d encountered about my wonderful experience, though.
Nearly two years later, I saw Duran Duran for the last time on August 2, 2005 at the Chevy amphitheatre in Pittsburgh, PA. (Ironically, this was the first venue where I had seen them in 2000, only it was called the I.C. Light amphitheatre at that time.)
The concert, itself, was good, but the most memorable moment occurred afterward. I decided to hang around near the back entrance and wait for the band to come out the doors as they readied to depart for their next destination. The area was not exactly crowded, but I could see that there were others who waited for the same opportunity.
I clutched a copy of my second published poetry book, A View of Dreams, in my hand. It was autographed and ready to give to Nick. Since I had chosen Simon to be the recipient of my gifts for the 2003 concert, I decided that Nick would be the object of my fan affection at this particular venue.
I waited a respectable distance, along with the others, until one of the “guards” gave me permission to approach the van. I simply told him that I wanted to give Nick a gift, and he let me through.
Once I eagerly approached the van, I smiled, knowing that there were only a few feet of air and a glass window between us. Adrenaline coursed through my veins. It almost seemed like time stood still, because, in a few short moments, I was going to introduce myself to Nick Rhodes!
I tried to remain patient as he made the motion to open the passenger window on the backseat door. I shortly discovered that it was going to be a very difficult task, especially when I found that he was having trouble getting the window down. It made me wonder what Nick was thinking as he looked up at my anxious face.
My heart sank when the car started to drive away. Nick frowned by means of an apology as we went our separate ways, presumably forever. To say that I was disappointed was a great understatement, but I was determined not to let that interfere with my overall experience. I got to touch Simon’s hand and almost meet Nick Rhodes, which is more than I can say for my concert experience at the Peter Gabriel show. But it gives me comfort to know that the book is still in my possession, and I might send it to Nick if I ever find the proper means. It is not too late to let the members of Duran Duran know just how much I admire them.
Jen Selinsky was born in Pittsburgh, PA. She was raised in Cranberry Township. Jen has authored and self-published over 150 books which are available for purchase at online retailers including: Lulu, Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and many more. Jen’s bestselling title is her unauthorized Duran Duran biography, Reach up for the Sunrise. Her work has also been featured in publications such as: Indiana Libraries, Focus on Indiana Libraries, The Courier-Journal, and Liphar Magazine. Jen lives in Southern Indiana with her husband.