Today marks the beginning of a new school year in the Rivera house. As I type, I’m still trying to get my youngest up out of bed, and I haven’t even started on the boy yet. It’s his first day of his senior year (I still can’t quite grasp that). My oldest drove back to her apartment after spending the weekend here at home. I am still adjusting to the idea that she’s got her own place, and not-so-secretly I love it when she comes home on Friday nights! She started her fall semester a week ago. I would swear it was May only last week, and I’m not really ready to start this yet. (but I won’t tell the kids that!)
This next school year will bring big changes. Again. Last night I spent my evening editing and helping to rewrite a couple of essays for colleges. Last week we started the college application process. Gavin is going to major in Astrophysics. No, he doesn’t get it from me, that is for sure! On the other hand, my youngest starts with her singing “team” this week. We went from show choir being a casual once a week practice to this year where it will be twice a week (four hours practice) and Saturday performances. She’s still doing piano and soccer, and I am now down to one day of the week where I will not be doing the mommy-shuttle somewhere.
I am particularly pleased that as I get busier with my kids, Duran Duran is finishing their US tour. I was so worried that I’d have to miss seeing them this time. I definitely didn’t miss out. This week they do two dates in San Antonio, then two more in Oklahoma, and then they’re finished, at least for now. They’re talking about doing one more date on the east coast at some point before the end of the year, and I keep hearing that they have plans to go elsewhere in the world, but nothing confirmed and announced just yet.
While part of me is sad that I am likely finished planning trips to see Duran Duran for now, I’m also glad that it worked out as it did. I had the chance to see them more than a few times, both a year ago and then this summer. The only shadow cast over this tour was Nick’s absence. MNDR did a fantastic job stepping in for him, and I am forever grateful she did. My summer would have been a drastically different tale otherwise.
For the past few years now (yes, years), it seems that the rumor mill has turned constantly, rumors of this being the final tour keeping the wheel moving. Even Amanda and I have caught ourselves beginning sentences with, “Well, if this is the last…” I suppose we can’t help but not think about it occasionally. I wanted no regrets (I’ve since realized that no matter what I do, I’ll always want more). But as the tour went on, I wondered if this really would be the last. I mean, have you seen the band up there on that stage? They all genuinely look like they’re having the time of their lives. Do they really want that to end? And (somewhat) more importantly—are you really telling me that the last shows they do here in the US won’t include Nick? Well, I suppose if they come back before the end of the year Nick might be with them for the one date they’re hoping to do, but it still seems strange. You never know, I guess.
Since this tour was announced, I tried to make plans with the idea that this might be the last I see of the band as a whole. I went to a lot of shows—not as many as some—but certainly more than I’m used to doing. I traveled to Toronto so that I could see my friend Heather. I spent most of July with Amanda. We stayed at a couple of really nice hotels, one of which we’d always wondered about staying in, so we finally did it. Even as I did all of that, and stood mostly silent in front of the band as they’d segue from “Sunrise” to “New Moon on Monday” and I’d feel goosebumps on my arms and the hair stand up on the back of my neck each time, I wondered if it was really possible that this could be it.
As good as this tour and album cycle has been, it’s also been strange in its own way. The band doesn’t change their set list much. They’ve toured with Chic nearly the entire way….which isn’t really weird, it’s just different. They’re playing a lot of festivals. The show is very production-heavy. Nick wasn’t here for this leg. I don’t even know what happened to the promotion for this album.
It seemed like Warner went all-in at first, but then the release for “Pressure Off” was bizarre, and I don’t really care what the band’s PR says elsewhere—I’ve never once heard “Pressure Off” on the radio, so I don’t think you can call it a radio hit. And as far as other singles go, I wouldn’t know if there have even been any. I know there’s at least a video for “Last Night in the City”, but it’s never actually been released. I don’t know how Warner falls in with all of that, but I’d be remiss for not noticing the lack of…well…support in that sense.
As always, I’m left with questions. Amanda and I have often said that no matter how much we feel gets answered, there’s still more left unsaid.