All Night Parties…Cocktail Bars

Those lyrics have always summarized what the best touring experiences have been for me.  Yes, a great touring experience typically includes staying up late and enjoying a cocktail or 5.  ;D  I started thinking back to my most favorite touring experiences after seeing the clip of Duran performing the song where the lyric comes from and thought that now would be a good time for me to remember those times as opposed to worrying all the time about Simon. 

While I would say that I haven’t toured a ton, I would have that I have done it some.  I haven’t done it enough that I don’t appreciate when I get to do it.  It still feels like a big deal to me and I get just as excited as I once did as every tour still holds the potential to be the most fun ever!  My touring life really began in 2005, even though I had seen Duran before that.  2005 was the year in which the various elements that I now associate with touring came to be.  Before this, going to a show meant driving to the concert, seeing the show, maybe going out a little after the show and driving home.  I slept in my own bed and costs were kept to a minimum.  Then, I met some Duranies, including my partner-in-crime, and those expectations changed.  Now, touring means staying at a hotel, at the very least, and living it up.  Often, touring now includes air travel.

One of my favorite touring experiences happened in the spring of 2005.  When Duran had announced tour dates in December of 2004, I knew that I would probably be attending the Chicago show.  What I didn’t know then was how much of a party it was going to be!  Before tickets were purchased, a fairly large group of people decided to come to Chicago for this show, including Rhonda.  We all decided to get to Chicago the previous day (the show was on a Friday) to have some fun.  That Thursday night was filled with drinking at the hotel bar while waiting for each person to arrive!  Every time someone new arrived there would be much excitement and frequent reminders from the hotel staff that we needed to keep it down!  We did not get much sleep that night as we continued to enjoy the bar as well as food from nearby Steak and Shake and IHOP (my favorite IHOP, to be exact!).  The next day was filled with last minutes errands and getting ready for the show.  Clearly, we had decided then and there that our 3-4 hours of sleep were good enough!  After the show was over, we again returned to the hotel bar to celebrate a fabulous show!!  Many beverages were consumed, including a couple of special bottles of wine.  Apparently, we were also so loud that the hotel felt it necessary to close the bar!!  What was particularly interesting about this day was that we ate at 11:30 and then didn’t eat again until the next day.  Oops!  There wasn’t a lot of time for rest again as we had to drive up to Milwaukee for the next show!  This night wasn’t filled with many drinks as we drove right back down to Chicago after the show.  Did we go to our hotel to get some much needed sleep?  Nope.  We hung out in downtown Chicago.  No sleep for us.  At all.  While we did have a hotel room, we never slept in it.  We stored our luggage there.  We showered there, but we did not sleep there.  Later in the day, Rhonda and I walked around a mall in order to stay awake before her flight.  At that mall, we both swear that we heard Sunrise playing.  Although, it really could have been sleep deprivation kicking in!

We had another fantastic weekend of all night parties and cocktails in the fall of 2006.  In this case, like the previous time, we went to the Chicago show then added the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans.  We all arrived in the city on that Thursday, the day of the show.  We rushed to get ready as traffic from the airport was horrible!  Luckily, we were able to grab some dinner before the show, knowing that it was highly possible that we wouldn’t be eating until the next morning.  After this show, we decided to hit a club until about 4 in the morning.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get much sleep here either as we had to get to the airport early as we were all heading to New Orleans (different flights).  I figured that I might be able to get some sleep on the plane since the pathetic 2-3 hours of sleep weren’t going to be enough.  No such luck.  The next three nights in New Orleans were exactly as anyone familiar with Bourbon Street would expect.  There was much drinking and very little sleep.  We were often reaching for the sunrise on that trip!  One night, we were still out when all but the strip joints were closed.  Ouch.  By the end of those 4 nights, we had almost twice as many drinks as we had hours of sleep.  Good times!!

2007 wasn’t any different except that we traveled to New York City for just one show, the fan show.  While the show itself was horribly upsetting, we had a good time in the city.  We, especially, enjoyed ourselves at the fan get together at the Pyramid Club, a club that features a night of 80s music.  It was so nice to meet and party with Duranies!  We were actually pretty tired on the night of the show due to our previous night’s adventures and because we were walking everywhere!  Did I mention that I usually lose weight on tour?  I do.  I suspect that this is due to all of the walking and very little eating! 

We have been lucky enough to have more weekends like this in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  We obviously tried to have a week like this in May and are trying again for October and November.  The thing is that Rhonda and I have tried to have weekends like this in between tours.  Those non-show weekends have generally been fun, especially since they still often feature reaching up for the sunrise and consuming all of the vodka in any given city.  They aren’t as fun as show weekends, however.  Something special happens at a Duran show.  Our excitement increases.  Rhonda and I are pretty capable of having fun on our own but we both enjoy having fun with other Duranies, too!  These memories remind me of what I’m hoping for this fall.  They remind me of a quote I read from John Taylor once and it went something like this, “Did you ever have so much fun that you didn’t know if you would ever get over it?  It was like that.”  He was obviously describing being in Duran but I can use it to describe touring. 

What about the rest of you?  What are your fondest memories of touring?  Do you experience all night parties and cocktail bars like we often do?

-A

9 thoughts on “All Night Parties…Cocktail Bars”

  1. No can't say I have had those experiences several times a year as far as DD shows go. I'd love to!

    But when they tour (two concerts in 30 years in my country) I have a blast.

    Have a drink for me as I know I wont be.
    Have fun.

  2. I have NO interest in going out and partying before or after a show with a huge group of people. I can't imagine anything less fun! (okay, not going to a show at all would be less fun.) I've traveled to shows before, and other friends of mine have traveled to my city for shows, and sometimes we'll go out before, but not all night long. I guess we're not big partiers. Once I had two friends staying with me for a show in Chicago, and we just stopped at the liquor store and bought a bottle of vodka on the way back to my house and drank it there! We had a great time, didn't have to yell to be heard, had a clean bathroom to use, and the drinks were cheaper.

    I'm old, but I still have fun!

  3. My groups usually aren't that big, either. I'm glad that you still have fun, though! I think that is the key…find people who go to shows like you do. Rhonda and I were very lucky to have found each other. 🙂

    -A

  4. @A – you asked me to share my concert experiences. I sort of feel funny sharing to be honest.

    I was fan from the beginning (Feb 1981) to be exact. However, I waited until 2008 before I saw them do a solo concert in my country. It was a ten hour drive and quite an amazing adventure. I got to share it with a couple of close friends who had also had the long wait. We were front row and had a blast. Surreal! The icing was getting to meet the band the next day – and find out they are really decent guys.

    🙂

  5. Wow – that sounds like an amazing trip, Anonymous!! I think it would be a once in a lifetime thing to do a road trip like that where Amanda and I drive across country to follow the band on tour. Of course, my husband would divorce me and I think my kids would probably think I'd abandoned them…but it's a nice dream to have when I'm stressed out and thinking of an escape from reality!

    Never been front row. I keep trying, but it hasn't happened yet…and I suppose I'm to the point where I'm realizing it may never be, but again, it's a nice dream!! Glad you had a great time and thank you for sharing, we love those stories!!! – R

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