Earlier in the week, I wrote a blog in which I provided a review of Duran Duran’s New Year’s Day show and the weekend in general. If you have not read it, you can read it here. Overall, the response was positive as many, many readers agreed with me and added even more examples from their own experiences. Yet, one reader questioned the structure of the blog post as I focused on responding to a review of the show. The criticism was that I should not have reviewed a review, that I should have just written about my thoughts about the show.
This reaction made me think. I get that a reader would want details about the show. Yet, I felt and still feel that I needed that review to respond to. If you have been reading this blog pretty consistently over the last year, you recognize that I have attended a “few” shows since Paper Gods was released. This means that I have seen basically the same set list a “few” times. I have seen the same visuals, the same dance moves, the same introductions (in many cases). I have reviewed many of the shows I have seen here on the blog. I am not sure what more I could say beyond, “I love having New Moon on Monday in the setlist.” I have said that before. I have commented on how it represents my fandom. I could have repeated that as well as other comments about DoJo, JoSi, the amazing visuals during What Are the Chances, etc. I didn’t, though. I didn’t want to rehash old blogs. That’s not fun, nor interesting.
So why could I not discuss the differences with this show? Why didn’t I mention the uniqueness of that particular New Year’s Day show? Frankly, there wasn’t much difference between that show and the show I saw in Chula Vista, California, or the one I saw in Toronto, Canada. Most of the shows I have seen during this era are consistently good. It seems clear to me that Duran has worked HARD to put on a good show night after night. I don’t hear or read criticism that a show sucked ever. No one says that. I think back, though, to shows in 2005 or 2006 or 2007, etc., and I do remember hearing that some shows weren’t as good as others.
Similarly, I can think back to the shows that I have seen and there were definitely some shows that were amazing! I remember leaving the Brighton show in 2011 thinking that there was never going to be a better show than that and the next night in Bournemouth seemed to prove that to me as that show wasn’t that great. In the past, shows varied with some being a lot better than others. Now, before I get hate mail, don’t get me wrong. “Less than perfect” Duran shows are still better than lots of other bands. I don’t regret seeing any Duran show and clearly, I’m still addicted since I have tickets to more. I’m just saying that some were “good” and some shows were “amazing.”
This leads me to think about other bands. I have seen Depeche Mode, for example, a number of times. They are consistently good. I can count on that band to put on a good show. Yet, despite having had seen them a bunch of times, none of the shows stick out to me. No show was better than others. I could say the same about their albums. Generally, Depeche records good albums, consistent albums. Duran has had some AMAZING albums and some albums that weren’t as great. It seems to me, though, that when Duran makes a good song, it is beyond fabulous and cannot be compared with anything else. The same is true with their albums as well.
This makes me wonder. Which is better? Is it better to be consistently good or it is better to have moments of being awesome and some moments of being less than great? For me, if I really wanted consistently good, I might be writing a blog about being a Depeche Mode fan. Yet, I like that Duran takes chance to reach that 10 with their music, their albums, their live shows. At times, they not only reach that 10, they push passed. Yet, sometimes, they try and miss the mark, creating only a 6. I think it braver and more interesting to follow a band that isn’t always the same. I like that they change and try new challenges.
What do the rest of you think?