One year ago today, I was in Hollywood, California. More specifically than that, I was at the Hollywood Bowl. Like everyone else there that night, I was there to see Duran Duran perform to a sold out crowd at an iconic venue. This show marked the first full show that I had seen since 2012. Three long years had passed. Finally I was seeing the band on stage doing what they do best, performing both classic songs and tracks off their brand new album, Paper Gods. This show was the first of three shows for me that weekend, making it a real tour.
One year later, I find myself wishing for a super power. This power would allow me to travel in time. I could rewind the tape and do that tour and the entire year all over again. Maybe, I just want to have a super power that allows me to tour all of the time. For me, there is nothing better than being on tour and going to Duran Duran shows. While others imagine a quiet, beautiful beach as their happy place, I think about Duran Duran concerts and tours. Why is that? Why is that the place that I’m most happiest at?
I have thought about that question quite a bit lately as I find myself wistfully looking back to my Paper Gods tours. The first reason is the most obvious. Duran Duran makes me happy. Their music has always spoken to me. Even when I was far away from the fandom, whenever I heard a Duran song, I felt an intense joy as an involuntary smile formed on my face. The songs bring back happy memories from both my childhood and now my adulthood. I connect certain songs to memories, to moments, to fun times in my life. Yes, of course, there are songs that I might not like or love but even those create an emotional response. As someone who appreciates intensity, I have always loved how much feeling their music creates in me. Seeing their music live adds to that intensity.
Their live performances make their music better. Always. In fact, their live performances are so good that there are many songs that I don’t like to listen to anymore unless they are live. There is a lot more to their shows besides their music, however. I love watching their interactions, from the shall we say…hot…JoSi moments to the jamming DoJo ones to even the glances between Nick and the others. Yet, I also love that they interact with the crowd and get into the music themselves. If that wasn’t enough, the crowd surrounding me also adds to the experience. When I am at the show, singing along with thousands of others, I feel a part of something big, important, magical. The whole venues unites around the music, the performance or so it feels to me.
Beyond the show, touring usually means that I get to spend time with my partner-in-crime in person. Those times provide us with the extended time to talk, really talk. Of course, we discuss all things Duran but also the rest of our lives, including work, family, childhoods and everything else under the sun. While I have some good friends and great colleagues around the Midwest, I don’t have the same kind of conversations with them. Part of it is sharing this fandom journey that we are on. The other part is simply because Rhonda and I connected through these conversations. They are the lifeblood to our friendship. Beyond the conversations, we have a TON of fun together. We laugh so much. In my real life, I don’t find myself laughing without abandon like I do on tour. I’m often far too serious.
The last aspect of touring that I am really missing right now is the escape. While I’m on tour, traveling from show to show, I’m not thinking about paying bills or responsibilities or work. I can live in the moment and experience joy. Lately, work has been tough. It has been tough in a way that I haven’t had to deal with in years. On top of that, I’m just super busy with little time to give myself breaks. I’m longing for an extended break of fun like touring. I wish I was in my happy place. Since I can’t be, I’ll just think back to the memories created one year ago at the Hollywood Bowl, when I was at my happy “place”.