A Change of Perspective and Attitude

Duran Duran’s last leg of their All You Need is Now Tour has begun.  They have played two dates at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California.  Tonight, they play at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, California.  In one week, the Daily Duranie will be enjoying the first show since December of 2011.  Thus, this time is all about DuranLive.  Many fans are going to shows, reacting to how the shows went, waiting for setlists then commenting about them, getting ready for shows and/or commenting about how they will make sure that they hit a show next time.  This isn’t new.  This is how life is in Duranland during a tour.  I’m used to it.  Yet, I find myself also tired of it.

I’m not tired of touring.  I can’t imagine ever being tired of touring.  Friday cannot come fast enough as I’m terribly anxious to see Rhonda and to get to our first show in Biloxi.  No, I’m tired of how Duranland responds to Duran shows.  I feel like my perspective on Duranland or on Duran tours/shows has changed.  As you all know, Rhonda and I flew to the UK twice last year to see them perform in their home country.  A year ago, Simon was unable to sing and Duran’s future was in question.  Then, he got his voice back and the band returned, better and stronger than ever.  I felt this.  Yet, I did not feel it when I went to the show in Chicago in October.  No, I felt it when I went to the shows in the UK.  Why?  What was the difference?  Was it the setlists?  Was it me?  Was it the crowd?  Was it all of the above?

As I look back, I know that it wasn’t the setlists.  In fact, there wasn’t much of a difference between the Chicago show in October and the shows in the UK.  Yes, we heard Secret Oktober, which truly was a dream come true!  Sometimes, I have to remind myself that it was real.  By the third show, though, the setlist was generally locked in place.  We knew what to expect and, frankly, we didn’t care.  I didn’t care.  Why?  The shows were so amazing that I wasn’t annoyed by seeing the exact same songs night after night.  A good show isn’t about that, to me.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I would absolutely ADORE a few changes to the setlists.  Who wouldn’t?  I know that Rhonda was terribly excited about seeing Mediterranea in the setlist.  I would love if they wanted to play Too Bad You’re So Beautiful.  Both of us might faint, cry, scream at the same time if we ever heard the notes to Late Bar.  Yet, I find myself so tired of the complaining.  Duran could play a setlist of b-sides and album tracks and if they played without energy, without focus, the show would still suck.  Likewise, they could play only hits and the show could be great, depending on the band, the crowd, etc.  I understand fans’ desire to see new and different tracks.  I feel that way, too, but I think I’m letting it go.  I learned that it is so much more important to have them performing and performing well than what songs are played.

Maybe, then, the change is me.  My focus, my attitude is different.  I know that this can all be gone in an instant.  Something can happen to them.  Something can happen to me.  Why complain about setlists?  I see so many people saying that they have tickets to show X but aren’t sure if they should go because the setlist is so boring.  Other people would love to be able to go to a show.  I get to go to shows and I’m still excited!  I just don’t want to spend my time getting ready to go on tour or being on tour and hearing negative or not fun things about the shows, the band, etc.  It makes my attitude bad and that almost always guarantees that I will not enjoy myself as I should.  Let me give you an example.  Rhonda and I did three shows at the end of 2008.  We weren’t thrilled with RCM and went into the shows knowing this.  We were excited, we thought.  Yet, when we got to the first show, we weren’t.  Our seats sucked and we complained about the setlist.  Somewhere between that show and the show a couple of days later, we decided to let the rest of the crap go and just enjoy the show.  We got a decent spot at the show (it was GA) and liked listening to other people around us anxiously awaiting the first notes.  Guess what happened?  We didn’t like that first show much but really liked the last one.  Is that a coincidence?  I don’t think so.

My point is this.  Expectations and attitudes matter.  Worrying about the setlist leads to a bad time.  Thinking that the show isn’t going to be that good will make it so.  Interestingly enough, I haven’t seen many comments saying that these first two shows weren’t good.  It has been the exact opposite.  People seem to have had a great time!  Maybe, the lesson really is for me.  Perhaps, I need to avoid those people who would bring me down.  I have a show in a week and I want nothing, nothing, nothing but that excitement that I had during the UK tour.  After all, who knows when the next one will be.


7 thoughts on “A Change of Perspective and Attitude”

  1. I purchased tix for this next round of shows fully expecting the same setlist, and I was 100% fine with that. Being at the recent Saratoga shows and getting a setlist change up was fantastic, not gonna lie. But, I would have been just as happy at the shows with a carbon copy setlist from the 2011 shows. My belief is the same as yours, drop the expectations and the negative thoughts and just enjoy the time. Dance like an idiot, sing along, and have fun with the people you are with. Oh yeah, and just relish in the fact that you are seeing Duran Duran!

  2. Thank you for this blog Amanda. It's a reality check. I like that you guys address the elephant in the room.

    I have seen DD play in four different countries over the last ten years. The US is one place I have seen them play. I found the audience attitude very very different to what I had experienced elsewhere. There seems to be so much analysis and judgement and not a lot of fun. The female fans seemed quite competitive (espeically in how they were dressed and makeup). This wasn't a one-off – I have seen DD play in the US numerous times.

    I am not 100% sure but I believe the set list debate is pretty much a US exclusive conversation, or at least one that goes on in oft-toured places.

    I can honestly say that what sticks in my mind about my US concert experiences are a sense of let down. Certainly not from the band, but from the crowd. Whereas I other places I have felt excitement, appreciation, respect and love. Strangers dancing and celebrating with each other. Was I just unlucky in the US? I tried; I was hanging out with locals. It just was not there.

    As you've commented, you felt something different in the UK. I understand what you are saying.

    I am not sure I would ever go see the band in the US again. I find the moaning about set lists really quite draining and sucks the fun out of it.

    Afterall, we could have lost Simon's gorgeous voice forever a year ago. People seem to have forgotten that.

  3. Seven-We do try our best to address life inside the fan community. As we know, life in this fandom can be extremely fun but it can also be extremely frustrating. This blog just expresses my current concern. I wanted to get it out so that I can try to just enjoy myself.

    I'm sorry to hear that you haven't had good experiences here. If you do decide to come back, come hang out with us. We try to just have fun! 😉

    As for the general experience in the US, I'm determined that this tour will be as good as the last. If the crowds aren't good, I have to make my own fun.


  4. I am looking VERY forward to the shows and I sure hope that band has rested up – they're gonna have to keep up with ME! 😀

    BTW – I have to remind myself that I actually saw them play Secret Oktober too. Seems like such a dream and I had to fight the tears during that song, and that *never* happens to me. If they played Late Bar I would probably have a stroke. LOL 😀 However, I would love to see/hear them do Mediterranea again. That song is fantastic live. Perfection, really.

    I totally agree with Seven about the US crowds though. They are very, very different. I can't figure it all out – but maybe now that I've been to the UK recently and now I'm doing the US again I'll be able to make sense out of what I experience. Regardless, I am going to have fun. It's Duran Duran and I'm going to be hanging out with my friends. I know the band is going to play wonderfully, and it's up to me to have a great time.

    I most certainly will!


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