Category Archives: 2011 All You Need Is Now UK Tour

On this date in 2011, there was a show in Bournemouth, UK

 

On this date in 2011, there was a show in Bournemouth, UK.

I know this because I was there.

This was the second of four shows Amanda and I were to attend in the UK. We began our day in Brighton, after having attended our first show the night before. This day though, was special. We were not going to be traveling to Bournemouth by train as we’d originally thought, but instead, we were going by car with new friends.

One might think that taking a trip by car from one venue to the next wouldn’t constitute much in the way of memories, but I have to tell you—it is what I remember most about the trip.

Yes, of course I have memories from the shows. That goes without saying. I remember the band taking the stage each night, I can remember the lights going ablaze during Before the Rain and the triumphant feeling that would go over the crowd as they were able to see the band. I remember the encores and how we’d be able to get closer to the stage and clearly see the expressions on the faces of the band. Those moments are golden.

What I am finding as time moves on, is that my memory for each individual show isn’t all that clear. I can’t remember which show I ended up in the very front row for the encore, for example. I do remember some things about each show, but more and more, the lines seem to be blurred. Meeting friends though?  This, I remember with clarity.

Michelle, Amy and Jo were kind enough to share their vehicle with us, and we had the best time. Truthfully, I have stronger memory of that car ride than I do of some of the shows I’ve been to, and these thoughts are what get me through some of the less-than-fun days that many of us all have from time to time.

I can remember getting to Bournemouth and going to our hotel, and then setting off for a walk through the shops. I loved Bournemouth. It was such a cute town, and the best part about the UK in general is that these towns are set up to encourage walking. Where I live in California, it just isn’t that way everywhere. We embrace our cars, which is a shame – we miss a lot that way, I think.

I bought a zebra-striped umbrella, looked at tiger-striped adult-sized onesies (Seven and the Ragged Tiger, don’t you know…), and then we went to dinner. The restaurant was wonderful, but the company is what made the dinner special. It usually is.  We even went to another nearby hotel for some tea and met with other friends – Julie and Alison. (I seem to remember the hotel being fancy, or posh as they say!) The show itself, I don’t remember quite as much. Usually it takes Amanda saying something to jar my memory, sadly.

I remember running into Faby – I think it was in Bournemouth – out of nowhere. I was so delighted to see her and Gerardo. The thought reminds me, even now, that our community is a family. We might not always agree or get along, but there is nothing like seeing one another after a long absence. I treasure these memories and hold on to them tightly during long hiatus when there is not much of anything going on.

The next morning, I can remember standing on the curb outside of the Premier Inn where we stayed (budget friendly, and if I recall – it was pretty nice, except for the bag breakfast including an inedible muffin and undrinkable coffee!). I could see the ocean, the sky was bright and clear, and it was deliciously cool outside. Coming from California, where it is almost always summer – the change in weather was a treat. I loved it.

The only thing I wish I’d been able to do, and this goes for all the cities we visited, was to stay longer. I would have enjoyed soaking in the culture (and the colder UK weather, believe it or not!), but we were on a mission.  I know I’ve said many times that I would like to go back, and I would. At one point in my life I took it for granted that of course I’d go back. Now, I have to admit I’m not sure if the opportunity will come, but if it does—I’d jump at it in a second.

Good memories.

-R

Today in Duran History – Bristol

On todays date in 2011, Duran Duran played at the Trinity Center in Bristol , UK.  This date was the third show to be played after Simon LeBon’s vocal chords healed enough to be able to perform after having to cancel 47 dates included in the All You Need is Now World tour in 2011-2012. This show, along with three other very small UK gigs, were dubbed “the rehearsal gigs”, as the band prepared to go back out on tour. Duranies were elated that Simon’s voice had returned, seemingly stronger than it had ever been prior.

I’ve found a video clip to share (thanks to Mimi!!) and you BET I’m gonna show Secret Oktober!!!

-R

 

 

 

 

Diamond in the Mind…is anybody hungry for a wolf?

The Vinyl Factory released some photos of the new Diamond in the Mind Vinyl!  Take a good look at the pretties!!all-copy front-copy1back-copy

inside-copy sleeve-1-copy sleeve-2-copy sleeve-3-copy sleeve-4-copy vinyl-1-copy vinyl-2-copy vinyl-and-sleeve-1-copy vinyl-and-sleeve-2-copy

At first glance, I really like the front cover, in all of it’s sparkly splendor.  I did spy the photography included in the packaging – particularly the nighttime “spotlight” photo and the one of the two women on the railing, which look like Nick’s work.  I must admit that when I saw the photo of the women, I chuckled.  Branding, branding, branding.  It still works!!

What I didn’t chuckle over, were the track listings.  If you care to take a gander, you might notice a few things:

On the outer sleeve itself they list View to a Kill instead of A View to a Kill, they leave “The” off of Reflex, and instead of writing the full title to (Reach Up for the) Sunrise, they left it at Sunrise. Small things, really – and I might not have even noticed or cared had it not been for something they did to another song on one of the inner sleeves that I know will boil the blood of many detail-oriented Duranie out there:  they mistakenly renamed Hungry Like The Wolf to be Hungry Like A Wolf.

Small errors?  Yes, definitely…and perhaps most of them were intended.  Let’s face it, even the band shortens the titles to their songs when writing about them or doing set lists, and quite frankly WE destroy them when we shorten them to mere acronyms.  ITSISK, anyone???

As an aside: I remember being virtually spanked by my good pal “Moocher” on DDF (see…I can’t stop the acronyms!!) because I consistently shortened Red Carpet Massacre to RCM.  His point was that the band titled the song (and album) for a reason – and that I was being rude by shortening it. To the band, the songs are like their children, and I was basically renaming their precious by only using their initials.  How would I like that?  Hmm…how do I sign my blogs again? 

In any case, perhaps the titling was done purposefully, and in the scope of things I don’t necessarily think it s huge problem or should matter.  Leaving “The” off of The Reflex probably won’t ruin anybody’s day. However… I think there’s a line in the sand when it comes to getting the title wrong. Hungry like Wolf?  Really??  Maybe Vinyl Factory doesn’t realize that to many a Duran fan, that sort of thing is akin to scratching nails down a chalkboard. Do they have any idea how many times a journalist has gotten the title wrong in articles? Interviews? Even on videos shows?  Probably not.  While I’m sure that to many it’s not a big deal, and perhaps they chalk it up to the same “artistic license” I mentioned before…the very fact that they weren’t consistent in their labeling (on the other covers and even on the albums themselves the title is correctly listed) tells me that it was an error.

I have to think that someone in Duran’s camp had to sign off on this at one point or another, and maybe they saw it and didn’t see it as a big deal, or maybe they didn’t see it at all because mistakes do happen…but as someone who has been a fan for a very long time and knows how fans react, I kind of think people will notice. We’re funny that way.

-R

 

 

 

Today in Duran History – Glasgow and a bit of Mad World

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

On today’s date in 2004, Duran Duran played the SECC in Glasgow.

Do you want to know what I remember about Glasgow, and the SECC in particular?  It was bloody FREEZING in there.  I remember sitting and waiting for a show in December of 2011, complete with my down ski parka on…continuing to shiver.  I don’t think I completely thawed out again until I touched down back in California, a day and a half later.  Naturally, that was in the month of December…and this show took place in April.  So there’s that, right?  Who was there in 2004??

Also, today is officially MAD WORLD day!  That’s right, the release of Mad World – the book that all New Wave 80s music lovers should have, hold and caress fondly (but never nostalgically….no. We can’t have that…because we, my friends…are not old. We’re not nostalgic. We just know good music.), has been released today!!  If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy and you’re not waiting by your front door to tackle the mailman or UPS guy, I urge you to rectify the situation immediately and order it from Amazon!!  Why, you ask?  I’m reviewing it.  Later today.

In the meantime, check out the Reddit AMA with Lori & Jonathan: Mad World Reddit

Need a link to grab the book?  Fear not, my friends.  I’ve got you covered: Mad World.

-R

How Many Shows of the All You Need Is Now Tour (Feb. 11, 2011 to August 24, 2012) Did You See?

I am continuing in my quest to find out about Duran Duran fans and their touring experiences.  First, I asked about what year people first saw Duran.  Then, I asked which tour people first saw Duran.  Now, I will break it down into specific tours.  People wondered which tour was most popular.  This is my attempt to figure that out.  Thus, I am curious how many shows people went to during the All You Need Is Now Tour, which lasted from February 11, 2011 to August 24, 2012. Please note, I’m not trying to make this a competition or show that some fans are better/bigger than others.  This is part of the reason I created a poll.  All you need to do is indicate how many shows you went to on this poll.

Today in Duran History – Mexico 2011

On this date in 2011, Duran Duran played at the National Auditorium in Mexico City, Mexico.  Did any of you attend this show?    This show was one of the first shows of the long All You Need Is Now Tour.  I remember April of 2011.  I was so anxious for my shows.  I kept hearing about other people’s shows, which would only increase my excitement.  Why was I so excited?  Simple.  I loved this album and so could not wait to hear/see the songs performed live.  I already had my favorites and was intensely watching the set lists, wondering which songs from they were playing and which they weren’t.  I didn’t see all of my favorites performed but I did see quite a few.

Speaking of All You Need Is Now, I am continuing with the poll questions about how popular various tours were.  In looking into tours, I discovered just how many Duran tours there actually were.  I also found out that some tours were super short and some were super long.  Most recent tours have been lengthy and early tours were often really short.  Thus, when I beginning to compare which tours were more popular, I will do it by simply counting the number of shows people attended and the percentage of shows people attended.  Thus, watch this space to let us know how many shows you saw during the All You Need Is Now tour.

-A

Today’s Date in Duran History – 1993 Munich

On today’s date in 1993, Duran Duran played Flughafon Rien/Terminall (you try typing that without rechecking the spelling 50 times…) in Munich.

In 1993, I wouldn’t have even dreamt of attending a show in Germany (or the UK…or really anywhere outside of California for that matter!)… I was just about to graduate from college at the time, and for Duran Duran was far from being at the forefront of my mind, and probably had been that way for a few years by then.

However, thinking of Germany does remind me of 2011 when Amanda and I traveled to the UK for what was to be the beginning of the tour for All You Need is Now.  Before I’d even left my house, I’d heard that the first shows I was to see had been canceled, so when I eventually met up with Amanda in the UK the following day, our wheels began to spin, trying to figure out what we could do to salvage the trip.  One particularly insane idea we’d had at the time was to go to Germany. My memory of the time has really faded, but I think John and perhaps Nick were in Berlin, doing some press. (I’m not sure if they had originally been slated to do a show there, but I think so – and in checking the dd.com website – they don’t have any of those dates listed since the entire tour was shelved)  We took the time to calculate how we could get there, how long it would take, and of course the cost and ended up staying in England as planned.  Admittedly, I’ve always wondered what the adventure would have been like had we decided to throw caution to the wind and go.  I think I have a teensy bit of wanderlust inside me, and when the band is involved, well, they’re pretty motivating that way.

-R

The wish that I was on that plane

The band doesn’t do nostalgia, they say. Maybe that’s true. Maybe they don’t spend a lot of time resting on their laurels, or looking back at the past. I suppose that if I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t have time. I’d be busy working on the future, because there’s still more story to be told. I’m lucky in some respects though, because I am not quite that busy. I have time to reflect, and from time to time, I do.

New friends that I would have never met otherwise

Today is one of those days. Two years ago…and to be honest I’m truly surprised that it’s been two years…I was on a train headed for Birmingham after spending a night in Bournemouth. I had seen the band the night before of course, after having gone to dinner with three new friends. It’s funny because for me, in some respects I barely remember the show. I remember the drive from Brighton to Bournemouth very well, as we were driven by our friend Michelle, and I think we laughed most of the way. That was one of the highlights of the trip for me, and it never fails to make me smile when I think of that day. We spent the afternoon walking around Bournemouth, walking through Primark (a store very similar to our JC Penneys here in California where I live) so that I could grab a zebra-striped umbrella (the rain makes me melt, you know), we had dinner and even went to a very nice (I think the correct British term is “posh”) hotel and had tea to warm up. I know the show was great, and I know that I spent most of Leopard doubled over in laughter because at that point I was so jet-lagged that I probably would have laughed at my own reflection in a mirror (and should have I am certain!)…but memories of the band playing aren’t what come immediately to mind.  It’s the time I spent with friends. I would go so far as to say that I even remember the time Amanda and I spent after the show hanging out in our hotel bar more than I remember being at the show. Maybe I’m just weird that way.

Still pretty happy, despite the pricey train fare!

Then there is the train trip from Bournemouth to Birmingham. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here before, but we grabbed a cab from our hotel to the train station. Once at the station, we confidently walked into the station and went to the ticket booth where we announced our intention to go to Birmingham. The booth attendant quickly rang up the sale, and gave us our total. To this day I can’t remember exactly how much he said – but it was quite a tidy sum (to put it politely), and Amanda turned to me with her mouth open. I stood there and said “Give the man your card Amanda – because we’re not stopping now!!” Naturally, we should have bought these particular tickets in advance – but having done that six months prior in May, with those tickets going unused due to a certain lead singer not being able to sing – we had agreed that we would take our chances. So, we paid dearly for that train trip, but I think Amanda would say it was worth it.  Well, probably.

On the way to the venue in Birmingham with new friends!

Prior to the show in Birmingham, we had arranged a meet-up at a pub. We hung out, saw friends, met new ones, and by the time we needed to get to the venue, I think Amanda and I were coming out of our skin with excitement. This show, I remember clearly. It’s hard not to remember the show because this was The Holy Grail. The Show to End All Shows for us. No disrespect intended but for Duranies, it was like going to Mecca. The Motherland. I think we’d built up the moment to be so important – that by the time the show was over, we were exhausted. We didn’t sleep much that night. We talked through every second of that show, and then some. I will never be upset that we made the trip to Birmingham twice, and to be honest – if I can find a way to go again, I will.

For me personally, the shows were literally just the tip of the iceberg. They were the catalyst, the reason I went to the UK, but once there, I just felt as though there was so much more to my trip than the band. The land I saw, the towns I experienced, the friends I met…the Winter Markets, the differences in culture…I loved every second of it. (Even when I was freezing my ass off in the venue in Glasgow!)  Let’s face it: I’m from Southern California. As of this writing it is December 2nd and I’m wearing a short sleeved t-shirt and flip-flops. My youngest doesn’t remember ever being in the snow, much less touching it or tasting it, because the last time we actually went to see the snow, she was less than a year old.  Where we live – it never snows. If it did, people would lose their minds. Our palm trees are decorated as though they were evergreens, and yes, it really IS hard to have the “Christmas Spirit” when it’s 80 degrees outside. The UK is a world away from anything I experience on a daily basis. As I’ve explained to my husband since that trip, seeing the band was great – but the truth is, as most Duranies know, the setlist doesn’t change that much from show to show. It’s true, I can remember the setlist differences between the shows – or the funny things that set one show apart from another, but it’s not like those change that much. What makes these trips worth it for me, especially my trip to the UK, is what I do, or what I see in each place. The people I meet, and the experiences outside of the shows. I wouldn’t trade any of that.

I’m not sure when the band might decide to tour again, and if they do – I have no idea if I might be able to travel again – or where I’ll go if I can. I’m just thankful I took the opportunity to go when I did.

-R

You’re the Greatest Thing Alive: Best Tours

Am I the only one who gets excited when we post the day in Duran history and it applies to myself?  I suspect I’m not because often other people will comment or respond to whatever we have posted for the day by either telling us that they were there or by telling us about some event that also happened on that day, which involved them, that we didn’t post about.  What is today’s Day in Duran History event?  Two years ago today, the band opened their UK tour in Brighton.  Rhonda and I were there.  Even as I type it, it doesn’t seem real.  Oh, the show feels real.  The tour feels real.  The fact that we were there doesn’t.  Nonetheless, thinking about that show and that tour brings a serious smile to my face.  If someone asked me what my favorite tour was, I would say that one without batting an eye, without even a pause.  Why is that and what criteria is used to determine a favorite tour?

I will start with the second question first.  I have thought a lot about what makes a tour the “best”.  I can come with a few factors that someone might take into consideration:

*The shows–
The shows need to be great.  They should be ones in which at the end of each night a statement like the following is made, “That was the best show ever!  There is no way that they could top that one!!”  Then, they do top that show later in the same tour.

*Fun–
The extracurricular aspects of a tour need to be taken into consideration.  Who did you travel with?  How much fun did you have?  What did you do besides the shows?

*The plan worked–
Whenever one decides to attend a show or four, one has to plan some details.  Who are you going with?  What time do you need to leave?  How will you get there?  Where will you stay?

*Circumstances surrounding the band–
Are they touring to support a great album?  Okay album?  A not-so-great album?  Are they supporting an album at all?  Who is in the line-up?  What is the setlist?  What were they doing before the tour?  What will they be doing after the tour?

*Circumstances surrounding you–
Was this an easy tour to plan?  Did you have to fight for it with work, home and/or finances?  Where is your headspace in terms of being a fan?  Are you feeling good about being a fan?  Bored with it?  Expectations not too high or low?

I’m sure that I missed some other factors that can make or break a tour.  So, how did I determine that this tour, at this time was my favorite?  Which factors mattered?  How did the other tours rank, if I were to rank them?  Let’s do that.  As always, I’ll rank them using these factors with 5 being the best.

Spring 2005:
Shows-Overall, they averaged to about a 3.5.  Some shows were better than others.
Fun-The average was about a 3.8.  Two of the nights were some of my most fun ever.  Others weren’t.
Plan-3.7.  Worked out but some of the details I would change.
Band-3.2.  I was expecting Andy and he wasn’t there for most of the tour.
Me-4.  I was ready for the tour and ready to increase my fandom
Average-3.64

Summer 2005:
Shows-3.5.  They were consistent.
Fun-3.17.  A couple were fun and the last one wasn’t as much.
Plan-3.5.  Again, there were some things I would definitely change.
Band-3.  The band wasn’t as united and it was obvious.
Me-4.  I was consistent as well.
Average-3.43

Fall 2006:
Shows-3.75.  One really great show and the other was a festival show.
Fun-4.25.  High on the fun scale, especially in New Orleans!
Plan-2.5.  The plan worked but some big things I would change!
Band-4.5.  This is right after Andy left.  They had to step up and they did!
Me-4.  I could still dismiss negative aspects of our fan community.
Average-3.8

Fall of 2008:
Shows-3.  They were okay.  Yes, it was Duran so better than others out there but for them, they were just okay.
Fun-3.  Too much traveling to have a super fun time in any place.
Plan-2.5.  Just like in 2006.  Some big things needed to be changed!
Band-2.  This was the end of the RCM days.  They seemed anxious to have that era done and so was I.
Me-3.  I was becoming more and more frustrated by game playing.
Average-2.7

Summer of 2009:
Shows-3.5.  Solid shows but not the “best”.
Fun-3.  Not our most fun.
Plan-3.  Not as many big negatives as some other tours but…
Band-3.5.  Simon dancing to Skin Trade.  Clearly, they were in quite a mood!
Me-3.  The game playing continued to frustrate.
Average-3.2

Spring of 2011:
Shows-3.  One show I didn’t see due to frustrating circumstances and horrible venue.
Fun-3.  I had fun in between frustrating circumstances.
Plan-2.5.  I thought I knew how to tour without problems.  Clearly, I still had to learn.
Band-4.  They were in a good spot supporting AYNIN.
Me-3.  Sometimes, it is all about who you are with.
Average-3.1

Fall of 2011:
Shows-4.125.  Two of their very best EVER.
Fun-3.5.  While we didn’t have wild times, there was also nothing negative.  🙂
Plan-4.  We managed to do what we want to do.
Band-5.  This was the tour after Simon had lost his voice.  It was huge.
Me-5.  I was ready to be renewed as a fan, as a Duranie.
Average-4.33

Summer of 2012:
Shows-3.375.  One really great show, two other decent shows and one not so great…
Fun-3.125.  There were some highlights but also some lowlights!
Plan-2.5.  While we managed to get to where we wanted to be, it was exhausting.  There were definite things I would change!
Band-3.5.  They seemed tired.  Perhaps, it was touring the South in the summer.
Me-2.5.  I wasn’t in a good place with my fandom.
Average-3

Based on this, I would rank my tours (I didn’t include one off shows) in the following way:
Fall of 2011
Fall of 2006
Spring of 2005
Summer of 2005
Summer of 2009
Spring of 2011
Fall of 2012
Fall of 2008

Thus, if I had to explain why the UK tour of 2011 was the best, I could easily explain it.  First, two of those shows were two of the best ever.  In fact, for me, Brighton and Glasgow were the best I have ever seen.  Then, it was amazing to me that we managed to get back to the UK for the second time in a year and have everything go so smoothly.  After all, we had traveled there in the spring only to find out the shows were canceled.  On top of that, we were worried that things wouldn’t work out well for this fall tour either since there was a big strike in the UK leading to flights were getting canceled, trains were getting delayed, etc.  Yet, we had no problems. It seemed that the band was just as excited to be finally playing these shows after having to cancel the whole UK tour earlier in the year as we were.  Plus, on a personal level, there is nothing more magical for those of us in the US than to see Duran Duran play on their home soil.  I learned a lot about them there.  If all that wasn’t enough, we got to see Secret Oktober played live in Brighton, we got to feel the whole venue shake during Leopard in Glasgow and we couldn’t stop laughing in Bournemouth.  We also got to see them in Birmingham.    Magical moments.

What about the rest of you?  What do you think of my criteria to determine best tour?  Is there something I forgot?  Should all of those factors be even like I had them or are some more important than others?  What is your favorite tour?  Why?

-A

You Come on Delicate and Fine

Yesterday, Duranland celebrated an anniversary.  It was the second anniversary of the physical release of the album, All You Need Is Now.  As soon as this became a topic around social networking, I immediately began thinking about everything that happened, everything I experienced related to this album.  As I tweeted to Duran’s twitter, in some ways, the release of the album felt like yesterday and, in other ways, it felt like it has been in existence forever.  Certainly, since the album was released, the band has been through quite a lot.  On a personal level, I, too, feel like I have been through quite a lot. 

Thinking back to the Duran universe before AYNIN was released, I remember the usual excitement over an album release but I also remember an underlying nervousness.  After all, the band’s previous release, Red Carpet Massacre, created quite a divide within the fanbase.  Some fans loved it and others hated it and all that it represented.  I think it is safe to say that many fans were anxious to put that chapter behind us, if it meant that the fan community could come together in celebration over Duran music once again.  For many fans, RCM felt like Duran had turned their back on who they are and what their music should be like, for whatever reason.  On top of that, they seemed as far away from the fans, emotionally, as possible.  Their paid fan community in DDM was shrinking rapidly and there was no interaction with fans online from the band.  It seemed to me that Duranland was not the happy place, for many fans, during the RCM era.  Perhaps, it wasn’t a happy place for the band, either.  Out of this, AYNIN came about.  For many of us, Mark Ronson was the perfect producer as he not only was a fan but knew how to get the best out of the band.  As more and more of the music came to light, many fans seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.  It was, indeed, save to return to the fold.  It was safe to be a Duran fan once again.  Then, by the end of 2010, the band was reaching out to make connections with fans in ways that I never thought they would by appearing on twitter and facebook.  The release of the album, in many ways and for many fans, felt like the dawning of a new day.  The clouds had moved on and the sun was shining brightly on all of us. 

Then, of course, there were lots of wonderfully fabulous moments, including amazing shows, a live DVD documenting the tour, the Unstaged performance on youtube, playing at the Olympics, and so forth.  Yet, it wasn’t always a smooth ride, especially when Simon lost his ability to reach all notes and shows had to be canceled or when Nick got sick at the end of the last leg of the tour.  Those moments were tough as many worried that the end of Duran was near.  Of course, these challenges, in the end, perhaps, taught us all the real meaning of “all you need is now”.  We were reminded to “stay with the music” and to “let it play a little longer”.  Many of us adopted this philosophy as we decided our tour plans and opted to embrace the now and to live without regret.  Thus, for many within the fandom, this era represented a new beginning as the fans felt loved and connected with a band making some of the best music in decades.  This feeling was so strong that it was able to endure those long, challenging months when the future of Duran’s career and Simon’s, in particular, were in question. 

Was my story surrounding AYNIN similar to most in the fandom? In many ways, it was!  The blog began in September 2010, a few months before both the digital release and the physical release of the album.  The album, obviously, gave us plenty to talk about.  Now, that we have started talking, I don’t see an end in sight.  I won’t lie.  Like many in the fan community, I felt this sense of renewal with the album and was thrilled that I had this place to express it.  Duran Duran was back, I believed, with every fiber in my being as soon as I heard it.  On top of that, I was motivated to take any and all opportunities to embrace the now.  What this meant, of course, is that I did as many shows as I could over the course of the AYNIN tour.  I even traveled to the UK twice!  Looking back, to the shows, I don’t regret one single moment.  I don’t even regret the first trip to the UK when we all found out that Simon was unable to perform.  In many ways, that trip solidified, strengthened, reinforced my love for the band as I truly knew how much they meant to me when I had to face a possible end.  Then, of course, the return trip, the one filled with shows, was a dream.  It was the best tour I could have imagined with amazing performances and meeting and getting to know so many new friends.  That’s truly the other piece to the past two years since AYNIN came out.  This album, the tour that followed and their social networking presence brought me in touch with so many new people, so many fabulous people.  I have friends now that I didn’t have two years ago.  With every new friend I have because of the band, I thank them.  I thanked them a lot in the last couple of years.  Of course, since starting the blog and since AYNIN, my friendship with Rhonda remains as strong as ever.  We faced this whole period of time together as best friends, as “business” partners of sorts and as fellow fans. 

Truly, my feelings of love toward the band has never been higher than they were during this era of All You Need is Now, which is truly saying something as there were other times that I thought would never be beat.  Those Astronaut shows of 2005 were pretty amazing.  Yet, I now realize that those were just the warm up for what I, what we all experienced since the very end of 2010.  I know that I will always look back with fondness on this era in Duran history and in my history as a Duranie.  At the same time, my hope, my belief that the next era will be just as special, if not more so, remains strong.  After all, I learned the lesson of AYNIN well.  I learned that the now really does matter the most.

-A