Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride


“Those Final Feet” – Cowboy Junkies

Flying back late Saturday night, the Southwest plane banked over Las Vegas and the city skyline was perfectly laid out over the wing. For some, the city represents an escape, a promise, an excuse. For me, it represents work and I was back at it the next morning at 6am. The real world. Ugh.

The short trip to Chicago for two sold-out shows watching Cowboy Junkies was wonderful, as always. It was an important reminder to me that seeing my favorite bands keeps me in a good place mentally. Spending time with the band, it was great to catch up on family and discuss the current toilet paper shortage in America. I float on the periphery of their circle, always conscious that touring is a job for them and wanting to respect that. Their music, not the memories it conjures up, are why I keep coming back. In a way, that is the opposite of what Duran Duran does for me. And, I need both.

Having seen Duran Duran on consecutive nights in Vegas, I know how to spot the little differences in the otherwise static set list and find pleasure in hearing the hits I loved as a kid. Cowboy Junkies are the polar opposite. The set list is written the day of the show and can include just about anything. On one tour in California, I caught eight shows and heard 51 different songs. Can you imagine Duran Duran taking 51 songs on a tour? I’d love to see that list!

While the first night of the two Chicago shows was fantastic, the second night really burned into my memory as one of the best sets I’ve seen the band play. The soundcheck was full of darkness and I joked about it with the band before dinner. No matter how sad the songs might be, the band’s sense of humor always shines through and it was feeling like it might be a special night. It was. Singer Margo Timmins was in a mood as soon as she hit the stage. The new songs in the first set were delivered with abandon as she let her voice loose.

After a short intermission (wish more bands my age did this!), the band returned with a glorious set of despair and pain:

  • Third Crusade – about murderous Christians and politcal hypocrisy
  • 200 More Miles – about lonely highways while on tour
  • Flirted With You All My Life – about suicide
  • Sweet Jane – the big hit (think “Rio” if she developed a heroin habit)
  • A Horse In the Country – about a marital affair in a loveless marriage
  • Fairytale – being tired with life
  • Shining Teeth – more marital troubles
  • Bea’s Song – really serious marital troubles (song two in a trilogy that ends with a dead body in a river)
  • Just Want To See – a song about how you’ll die
  • Those Final Feet – a song about dying
  • Murder Tonight In the Trailer Park – a song about homicide

The encore choice of David Bowie’s “Five Years” felt like a spiritual release from the weight of the set. After all, Ziggy Stardust comes to earth to save us all. Based on the band’s set, there is a lot of saving needed. Of course, I read too much into everything. Don’t we all when we love an artist?

As I returned home to the warm arms of an understanding wife, I realized how much emotion the songs stir in me. Hearing “Those Final Feet”, written for the passing of a grandfather, so soon after seeing my own in hospice, felt cathartic. All the songs about unhappy relationships puts your own daily hurdles into a larger perspective and leaves you grateful for what you have. More than anything, seeing your favorite bands perform keeps you feeling young and engaged in life.

So, no matter how much I whine about the short sets that never change and how expensive it all is, I know that I need a Duran Duran show in 2020. Also on the calendar this year is Shopping (one of the best bands going these days), Bryan Adams, Squeeze, Kraftwerk, A-Ha, more Cowboy Junkies, and Nick Cave. I’m sure plenty more will come up. My body and soul yearns for it. Music is the drug.

3 thoughts on “Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride”

  1. Wow, that is impressive that your other band plays so many different songs, and even more so that the set list is done that day! I have always assumed that maybe the reason Duran are more static in that regard is because of all the programming and sequencers.Maybe you can tell me if that can present a challenge.I sometimes also wonder if it’s also a matter of trying to please as many ticket buyers as possible.They do have a lot of hits for the casual fan to enjoy.If they loaded up on ‘deep cuts’, which is probably the fantasy of anybody reading this, would they sell? With enough advance notice I think the answer is yes, but these Vegas dates were a total shock to me. Hey, guys, can’t polish that album while playing live! That being said, I was just presented with my birthday present in the form of tickets to both nights by my niece and sister and while there will sadly be no Daily Duranie meetup, I hope to run into someone or many someones from this site for conversation.(But not in any obnoxious sports bar.I propose the corner of the big, big hallway on the way to the Chelsea. Where we can actually talk and hear each other!)

    1. I’m working on landing a DJ slot at or near the Cosmo so there will definitely be a pre-concert party!Not sure Amanda and Rhonda can let the intern run an official Daily Duranie event but there will be drinks. See you soon!

      1. Sounds potentially interesting. I will be escorted by my niece via Lyft so hopefully it will be at the Cosmo, as trying to hit multiple venues will not be possible.(Astigmatism and night blindness make driving myself to the strip at night dangerous, and I have no smart phone so she handles transportation.But I am hoping the stars align and I can make your acquaintance! Parties and drinks are great, but what I long for is actual conversation, talk about favourite albums, songs, just geek out on Duran.

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