Category Archives: All You Need is Now US dates

New US date! Big anniversary dates!!!

First of all, did you see Duran Duran’s Facebook page this morning?  If you did, you probably already know that they are playing in Durham, North Carolina on August 21st at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  So to recap:

August 21 – Durham, North Carolina
August 29 – Chicago (Ravinia), IL

Did they give us the first and last dates of the US “superquicklikeabunnytryandcatchusifyoudrivesuperfast” tour?  Hard to say, but I look forward to filling in the rest of the dates.  That’s a serious HINT to Duran Duran’s HQ.  😉  I could continue to speculate, but instead I’m trying to figure out how I can drive to Wisconsin, pick up Amanda and then continue on to North Carolina.  Oh, and I’ve got to come up with a plan on how to convince my husband that this is all necessary and prudent.

Please be aware that if Duran Duran announces more dates throughout the day, this blog WILL be updated!

This date also marks two very special anniversaries in the lives of Duranies as well:

On this date in 1984, Duran Duran played Madison Square Garden in New York City.  I was not there on that fateful evening, but I was at home in Glendora, California.  The show was broadcast on KIQQ – which was a local radio station at the time (now defunct).  Somewhere, deep in my Duran Duran collection, lies a CD of this show.  What I love about the show, or at least the memory of it, was that on that night I was in my bedroom, observing the ridiculously obscene bedtime that my parents insisted upon.  I knew the concert was going to be on, so I went to bed on time, and snuck my Walkman into bed with me, slipped on the headphones and wrestled with finding just the right position for the Walkman so that it’d pick up the station without static.  All was fine and good until the band came on and I got excited.  I must have giggled at some point or something because it wasn’t long before my dad came in and busted me!  He took the Walkman away, I was grounded for a week, and never got to finish listening to the show until about 2004 when one of my friends happened to give me the CD.  True story!

If that all weren’t enough, the European release of the full All You Need is Now album happened just one year ago today.  What a year!!  There have been some major highs and serious lows to the year, with more to come on the horizon I’m sure.  There are days when it feels like I’ve barely blinked since the release, and then there are other days when it feels like last May and the UK-tour-that-wasn’t was a lifetime ago.  Makes me both wonder, and even kind of fear…what will come next!

If you haven’t checked Duran Duran’s Facebook page lately – you really should!  They announced that they’ve switched to Facebook’s “Timeline”, and they’re inviting all Duranies to come and share.  I’ll be curious to see what that timeline looks like in a week from now with all of the “sharing”!

-R

Chicago Date Reactions!

Last night after being questioned about the Chicago date, Duran Duran’s facebook status was updated to say that the Chicago show was on the continuing All You Need is Now tour but that they still had some details to work out with the promoters for that show.  I, of course, found it interesting that they did come to confirm that this date and location were true and to give an explanation as to why the information was not provided by them.  What was more interesting than that, however, as a student of fandom was the reaction from other fans.  Obviously, the reaction varied from excitement to frustration to disbelief.
Many fans were excited by this news of a date in Chicago in August.  Of course, the fans that are close to Chicago were overjoyed as were other fans that might be able to travel to the show.  The other group of people who seemed thrilled with this news are other US fans who now know that they are, for sure, coming back to the States and when.  For those fans, they want to know the rest of the dates and they want to know them yesterday!  Obviously, this Chicago date wasn’t released by Duran and the only reason the information got out was because the venue itself shared it.  August is still a long way off, a full five months away, in fact.  I get why people want the dates, though.  People want to plan.  For some people, this planning might be as simple as I need to know to ask for this date off.  For others, it might be to avoid dates for a vacation.  Still, others want to know to figure out what dates they can and will attend.  What will be interesting now that we have one date are how quickly the other dates, no matter how many or how few there are, will be released in some fashion.  Will Duran headquarters feel it necessary to speed up the process in order to control what gets out, when?  I don’t know.  I guess for those of us who are waiting for the rest of the dates, we can only hope.
Other fans used the opportunity to talk about their neck of the woods.  People commented on the status update to request shows in their location.  Some of these locations included big cities and some included smaller places or places that Duran has never played at.  Some people even suggested specific venues or dates.  Of course, many European fans were thinking about their part of the world and wondered why they haven’t received any information regarding shows there, especially since they are supposed to be happening in the summer and many were rescheduled shows from last summer.  I can understand this feeling.  If I was in Europe, I, too, would want to know the dates.  After all, everyone has to plan!  That said, I hope that they realize that the release of this US date had nothing to do with the band or their team.  It got out because of the venue.  Now, if they want to complain about the lack of dates to Europe or how they seem to be taking a long time with that in general, I totally get that!  Complain away as I’m not sure what is taking so long with those dates! 
The European fans were not the only fans to voice negative reactions.  Obviously, there are many other parts of the world that don’t have any shows to look forward to, no matter when they are announced.  Many of the fans in that situation were gracious, though, and expressed happiness for American fans.  Yet, many American fans did not seem happy, including some located in or near Chicago.  Complaints about the venue were heard.  Now, for all of the venues I have been to in Chicago, believe it or not, but I have never been to the Ravinia.  Thus, I cannot speak about the venue.  It may be a bad choice or not.  I don’t know.  Some of the criticism I saw included that the people who attend shows there are “snobby”.  Others said there are many areas in the venue where you cannot actually see the stage.  Some did not like that it would be outside.  Suggestions about other venues were made.  I can appreciate making suggestions, but this appears to be definite since the venue and many news outlets have reported this.  Duran isn’t going to change it.  Nonetheless, while reading these reactions, I cannot help but to think of the other group of fans I mentioned earlier, the fans that get no shows.  None.  Zero.  I suspect that they wouldn’t complain about the venue or location if they got even one show that they could go to.  Likewise, I’m sure that the European fans would love to have some show to plan for, no matter where it was.  At the same time, I can understand those fans that are unhappy with the venue or date.  The date isn’t great for me, either, as I’m required to be at work the next day.  A week earlier or a weekend would have made a big difference for me.  However, I do understand and acknowledge that there are fans that do not have this opportunity so I should appreciate what I have.  I have to put myself in their shoes for awhile. 
The last kind of reaction I saw was disbelief.  People doubted it because it didn’t come from Duran headquarters.  Even when they confirmed the date and location, people still question it since there was a statement made about details to work out.  Could the date fall through?  Sure.  Anything is possible.  We have learned that.  Yet, this date and location seems locked in and I bet those details are ones that we won’t even see or hear about. 
The varied reaction among Duranies tells me a lot.  It tells me that we have been doing this for a long time.  It tells me that the Duran machine isn’t always good about sharing information.  It tells me that when a show is announced, we almost all struggle to look beyond ourselves and our own wants and situations. It tells me that really not all fans are going to be happy at the same time.  It tells me that as crazy as yesterday was in Duranland, it is still the same old Duranland!
-A

Some Things Never Change!

Today, tickets went on sale for Duran’s Atlanta show in October through Artist Arena and DuranDuranMusic, their online fan community.  It seems that whenever a presale happens, there is always a great deal of discussion/complaining, depending on how you look at it.  This lead me to think back over the last six months or so and how I think things are going with the official fan community, including these presales.

I am a member of DDM and have been for a long time.  While I wasn’t there right from the beginning, I have been there most of the time.  I have never left, either, once I joined.  In fact, I recently decided to renew and upgrade to the gold membership package.  Why did I decide to stay and even upgrade with all of the fan complaints about it?  Good question.  I can’t imagine NOT being a member.  This isn’t some sort of “I need to be a member there to show that I’m a fan” thing.  It isn’t about that.  Of course, I like some of the features that come along with my membership.  I admit that I enjoy the monthly Katy Kafes as I think they give us an insight into the band members that we don’t often get and don’t really get with official interviews.  Those are not worth the money, though.  What about the message board?  Well, I go and check it out but I’m not a regular poster there or anything.  The board is becoming more and more of a ghost town as people have left due to the drama that can be found there or due to the fact that the guys themselves have discovered social networking.  Thus, the message board isn’t worth it, either, for me.  What about the extra merch that comes with the upgrade to the gold package?  I can admit that I’m looking forward to getting some of the items that comes with the gold package (messenger bag, keychain, t-shirt, etc.), but still that isn’t worth the money.  For me, though, it is all about the presales.

I can already hear fans grumbling at that statement, especially after the Atlanta presale today.  I can definitely acknowledge and sympathize with people’s frustration.  I completely agree that they do not do them well with the extremely short notice given.  Atlanta is obviously a good example of this.  Most of the fans knew that this date was true because it had been on the venue’s website and even appeared on ticketmaster.  Interestingly enough, as of this morning, that show still wasn’t listed on dd.com, the band’s official website.  How was this presale announced?  I only saw it on the band’s facebook and twitter.  What happens to those fans who aren’t involved with these social networking sites?  I guess it was listed on DDM’s site, but many fans, even those who are members skip over that main page and go right to the forum.  How did they find out about it?  Then, of course, there is the factor of timing.  When was this presale announced?  Yesterday.  It was announced, literally, within hours of the actual event.  How does that help the fan?  It doesn’t, of course, as they are many fans who might not have been online to see this announcement.  Now, these complaints are common as they seem to happen over and over again.  What can be done about this?  Obviously, one can either choose not to deal with DDM or one can accept the fact that this is how it is done.

Once one assumes that this is how presales will be done with DDM/AA, then, it is on the fan to check frequently the band’s social networking sites for any and all presale notices.  I, for one, accept that, even, if I don’t like it.  I have to put up with it in order to get to participate in the presales.  The presales have pretty much always worked out for me.  I think my worst seats through DDM were 11th or 12th row.  Can non-DDM members say that?  I don’t know.  Maybe they can.  Maybe people have found other means of getting tickets.  I do know that there are many ticket brokers out there, but, generally, I suspect people will have to pay quite a bit to have seats like I have had.  I rarely VIP, too, so these are regular presale tickets that I’m talking about here. 

Yes, the system sucks.  The lack of notice is an issue.  The communication is an issue.  I am dealing with it myself as I have been emailing Artist Arena over and over again in regards to some of the UK tickets we still have.  Yes, I’m annoyed that I haven’t gotten a response.  That said, I will still choose to work with them because they have the product I want.  Now, if someone has a good way of getting them to change some of their practices without actually giving up the membership, let me know.  I’ll do it.  I’ll encourage others.  Right now, though, I have no means of forcing them to change their behavior because I’m not willing to give up the presales.  I’ll put up with the crap for the better seats.

-A

The Excitement of Tour Rumors

Last night, I saw posts on various people’s facebooks about a Duran show in Atlanta on Friday, October 14th.  Now, this show hasn’t been officially announced, but what people were saying it appears to be listed on the venue’s website.  I don’t live in Atlanta and don’t really have any plans to go to this show, but I still got all excited.  How sad is that?! 

Now, I’ll be clear here.  I don’t think I will end up going to many shows in the US during this fall at all.  I have to save my pennies to go back to the UK.  That said, I’m sure that I will try to go to a show, if it is close to home.  Maybe, if I’m lucky enough and have enough airline miles I might be able to go for a weekend somewhere, which may equal 2 shows.  So, why did I get excited over seeing a new tour rumor despite the fact that I will probably not be attending this or many other shows in the US, if any?  There are many reasons, really.  To me, shows are always exciting!  I’m sure that the band is excited but I think the fans are more so.  For me, I enjoy hearing about other people’s shows and seeing the clips on youtube.  I get to live a little bit through youtube, I guess.  I get to live a little through other fans.  Hearing and seeing clips of shows are better than no shows.  I also think that shows wake up and keep the fandom alive.  It gives us fans something to talk about.  We can talk about the setlists, the venues, the stage setup, etc.

The rumors of shows is, sometimes, better than having the whole tour spelled out.  Notice that I said sometimes.  If you don’t know what all the shows are, you can speculate.  You can hope that there is a show or two that might work for you.  Once all of the shows are listed, then, you know exactly what can be done and what can’t.  Of course, you can always keep hope that another show or two will be added but there won’t be many added, if at all.  There is nothing worse than knowing that you can’t do any of the shows and that realization happens if the whole tour is announced at once.  On the other side of the coin, if you know all of the shows, locations and dates, then, you can really plan.  You would know exactly what you can do.  From there, the real planning begins.  The tickets must be purchased.  Hotels can be reserved.  Travel arrangements are made. 

I guess what really excites me about tour dates is that they represent the beginning of the fun.  I like the whole experience.  I like planning and I definitely like everything that goes along with a show.  I like meeting other Duranies.  I like seeing new places, if possible.  It goes without saying that I LOVE the shows (most of the time).  To me, there isn’t much better than going to Duran shows, which is probably why I keep doing it.  Thus, in reality, hearing about a tour date is like the promise of something better.  It is like seeing the first advertisements for Christmas and knowing that a fun time is just around the corner. 

-A

Daily Duranie Show Review–Chicago, Illinois April 23, 2011

That’s more like it.  This show, unlike the previous one, had everything go right despite a uh…challenging morning.  For those of you who missed yesterday’s post, this half of the Daily Duranie consumed a bit too much alcohol on the night of the Minneapolis gig.  Since I’m not 22 anymore, hangovers are now an issue.  This led my friend, Deb, and I to leave Minneapolis about an hour and a half behind schedule.  Luckily for us, though, we made incredibly good time due to decent weather and little traffic.  In fact, we made it from Minneapolis to Chicago in just under 7 hours!  The other members of our Chicago show group arrived at our hotel around the same time.  We then got ready and got some food in us.  By 4:20, we were ready to take on the world or in this case the line to get into the show.  Like many before and after us, we used the jump the line deal that House of Blues offers, which is paying money at either their restaurant or gift shop and getting a wristband to go in after those who are VIPing do.  The wait in line was pretty standard.  It was a little chilly at times and hard on our feet, back, and other body parts, but we managed to pass the time by having some fun conversation with each other and with the people near us.  By this point, I’m already feeling better about the show.  First of all, I was actually in line, which meant that I had a decent shot at a decent spot to see.  Second, it was clear that House of Blues runs a more much organized operation.  Each different group of ticket holders had their own place to line up.  Then, the doors actually opened at the time they said they were going to be opened.  One funny incident that happened as we were entering the venue was that Deb got stopped as her ticket wasn’t registering on their little scanner.  Turns out that she handed the person her Minneapolis ticket!  Oops.  The problem was easily fixed and we were well prepared with a strategy about where to stake our spot.  We aimed to go between Simon and Dom, figuring that John’s side is usually much more crowded.  Well, in this case, it wasn’t true because we entered from the right so Dom side was filling up faster.  After a quick change of plans to go to John’s side, we found ourselves about 7 rows back right in front of his microphone.  Oh yes, this show was definitely going to be better than the last!

The audience suffered through an additional wait before having the show start.  Like the previous night, what I assume, are some of the fan made videos were shown on a big screen in front of the stage.  The videos matched the nine tracks of the iTunes edition of the album.  I suppose in this way the audience could now say that they heard that version of the album.  Perhaps, that will help album sales.  I also noticed that there was a deal at the merchandise table for some product plus a cd.  I would assume that would be a copy of AYNIN but I didn’t check.  Like the previous night, the band started late.  Luckily, it wasn’t over an hour but it was 25 minutes late.  Ugh.  Torture.  I swear.  Plus, I also agree with Rhonda that this is unprofessional of them.  They should be prepared and on time.

The show began with Planet Earth as they have been doing for a couple of weeks now.  Nick and Roger are the first ones out, which works to both spotlight each member and helps to build anticipation in the audience, especially as people start figuring out what song it is.  The Chicago crowd was into as soon as the first note was played.  They were into it so much that I remember thinking to myself that there was NO way that any of us could keep up that level of intensity.  This feeling is enhanced by this venue’s floor which seems to actually move when there is enough bouncing or movement on it. The band sounded great and the song featured the standard JoSi moments when John and Simon sing part of the chorus together.  I also noticed that John was singing along away from his microphone as soon as the lyrics started, which always pleases me.  That says to me that he is as into it as I am!  This classic was followed up by another classic of Hungry Like the Wolf.  Normally, I complain to myself or out loud about how sick of this song I am but there was something about it last night that seemed fresher.  Perhaps, it was because Planet Earth was so intense but I actually sort of enjoyed it!

The new songs started with All You Need is Now as the third song.  I was so surprised that they didn’t introduce this one.  I instantly worried that people would not recognize it and wouldn’t even think about appreciating it because there was no introduction to it.  I was pleasantly surprised, though, when a lot of people seemed familiar with it.  To be fair, though, I was fairly close to the front, which usually features more of the core fanbase.  I don’t know how well known it seemed at the back.  The energy for the song felt good and the band seemed really comfortable with it.  Being Followed, on the other hand, did not go down as well despite having a great intro.  Simon started talking about Twitter and about how he and John have been tweeting.  In fact, he said that he learns about the plans for the day by reading John’s twitter!  John seemed thoroughly amused by this and later tweeted about how he is now being called Sir Tweetsalot!  After these two news tracks, they returned to an oldie but a goody with Notorious.  Again, they helped their cause by encouraging the audience to join with the saying of “Notorious”.  This worked well.  After that, they played two new tracks, Safe and Leave a Light on.

I was not overly impressed with Safe.  I agree with a number of people’s opinions that Anna isn’t cutting it with this song.  To be fair, I think a lot of it has to do with vocal style as opposed to effort.  Speaking of Anna, I noticed that she plays a much more prominent role in the show in that she is moving around more and is actually often in the main part of the stage with the guys as opposed to being off to the side.  I’m uncomfortable with this as her role isn’t to be part of the group exactly.  Now, it makes sense when she is featured in a song, but otherwise, not so much.  While I’m thinking of backup musicians, Saxy Simon seems to have taken on the role of doing additional percussion over by John.  Interesting.  I didn’t notice anything particularly wrong with this but I also didn’t notice him much in that role.  Anyway, I expected to be really impressed with Leave a Light on based on what I have heard so far about that song live.  John gave a wonderful introduction about how they had been coming to Chicago for like 30 years and that this song was about those 30 years and the next!  It gave me goosebumps to think of their history like that and to think that they plan on continuing for a long time!  That said, the song didn’t really hit me.  There was nothing technically wrong with the song but something seemed missing.  I wonder if that had to do with the lack of emotion coming from the audience.  Since the crowd wasn’t feeling it, the band wasn’t feeling it much either.  Perhaps, it is hard for me to judge slower numbers as they are not really my thing. 

At this point, the band decided to bust into Friends of Mine.  I had to laugh at the comment about how they had to brush the dust off of this number as I know that they have been playing it periodically during this tour.  Nonetheless, it lived up to its billing as being a super big crowd pleaser!  The crowd was WAY into it as was Simon!  He was so into it with the dramatic faces that seem to accompany this song!  This was a definite highlight.  From there, they decided to do Blame the Machines, which I thought was an interesting choice at that time.  The crowd was really pumped from FOM and then to go to a new one was a tough jump.  The band performed the song relatively well.  I’m still not sure about the ending with Anna being the voice of the GPS woman.  It just seems really hard to translate live well.  After that point, they performed two classics:  The Chauffeur and Ordinary World.  They performed these well but were not the highlights.  Like a normal Duran show, the end always builds into such intensity that no one wants them to stop.

They played four more songs before the encore including Girl Panic, Careless Memories, Sunrise and Rio.  My personal highlight out of those and out of the whole show was Careless Memories.  It featured the BEST of Duran Duran, in my opinion.  First of all, it features both DoJo (Dom and John rocking out together) AND JoSi!  I wasn’t expecting that!  In fact, at one point, it appeared as if John put his head on Simon’s shoulder when standing behind him!  Dang!  Then, it also features highlights of both Roger’s playing as well as Nick’s.  Such good stuff!  The rest of that group of songs went over as they normally do.  By now, the fans get excited to “Reach up for the Sunrise” and are ready to clap at the end of Rio.  I, for one, though, was pleased to get a brief break as I had been moving around a lot, singing and screaming, when something worthy took place, which seemed to happen a lot during this show!  The encore featured the Reflex, for a change, and Girls on Film.  I didn’t miss a View to a Kill and enjoyed the Reflex.  Girls on Film was good, as usual, but the intros were better than ever!!!  Each person was given time to perform a solo, including Anna, Saxy Simon and Dom.  Then, of course, I enjoyed the heck out of Simon’s introductions for the band members, especially John’s.  Again, Simon did a little Poker Face as part of his intro, which was fine but the audience participation of that fell apart.  People just don’t know it well enough.

Overall, the show was amazing!  It was definitely one of the best shows I have ever seen!  Now, I still had to deal with the usual crap found with general admission including the drunk people near you and the people that move in from nowhere just when the show is about to start.  In general, I thought the crowd was really into it, but even near me there were people who didn’t seem to.  Some people were literally just standing or barely moving.  I don’t get that!  How is that even possible at a show like this?!  Why bother coming if you aren’t going to enjoy it?  The band sounded very tight and really seemed relaxed.  They really seemed to be enjoying themselves and I believe that they enjoyed the reception they received.  John, in fact, made motions that he kept hearing a lot of screaming.  I can’t imagine why?!  I’m glad that this was the last show I go to before the UK shows as it did exactly what I expected it to:  it made me want to do more!  I even joked about hopping on a plane to Toronto to go to the next show!  Ha!  I guess I have to be a little patient and Birmingham will be here before I know it!

-A

Can You Feel It?

I know that I can feel it.  Call it nervous energy.  Call it cautious excitement.  Call it positive anxiety.  I don’t care what you or I call it but I have it.  I have had it all week.  In fact, it has been slowly building, which has caused me to get less sleep than I should have last night.  How do I know that I have it?  I know because I feel slightly giddy at times and completely irritated when I must deal with real life issues, at other times.  I alternately want to speed up time and worried that I don’t have enough time to be completely ready.  I have made lists upon lists and double and triple checked the ones I have already made.  I have sent multiple messages to multiple people to “check in”.  Weather.com has regained status of one of my most active links, which hasn’t happened since the last winter snow storm.  My closet looks like it has been through a war as random clothes were pulled out, tried on, and thrown to the floor in rejection.  What does all of this mean?  It means that there is a show tonight!!!!

I cannot be the only one who gets this nervous energy, right?!  Part of it, absolutely, is nothing but excitement!  I haven’t seen the boys in a couple of years and I’m thrilled with the new material.  The positive reviews from my partner-in-crime and others have only increased my level of anticipation!  Perhaps, this year is a little bit more special because it has been a rough one for me.  I remember, years ago, when I had a show coming up, it was all that I thought about, all that I worried about!  I no longer have that luxury as real life has hit me upside the head a few hundred times since December.  Therefore, maybe, I’m looking at these shows as a sanctuary, a place to get much needed relief.  I have a whole weekend to just enjoy friends who I love and music that I love.  I don’t have to think about my future, my career, my finances or anything else like that.  It is all about fun and good times.  I bet Duran likes it that way, too.  🙂

Of course, the other part has less to do with excitement and more to do with nervousness.  Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a planner.  My friends always tease me about the tour binder but I suspect that I would be a basketcase without it.  I need to know that any information I might need is readily available and that I have enough planned to ensure a smooth tour.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there is plenty left open to make choices about!  Despite being beyond prepared, I’m always a little worried about those elements of a show or tour that I can’t control!  Will we get there on time?  How long will the line be?  Should we have lined up earlier?  Will we have to fight for our spots (I hate GA!)?  Did I take care of everything at home?  Is there something I should have done before I left?  I could go on and on.

Many reasons for today’s blog post.  First, I suspect that I’m not the only one to feel this same sort of mixed anticipation.  Second, I find expressing my thoughts and emotions to be a positive way to deal with my feelings or some crap like that.  Lastly, this is a warning to our readers, to my family and to my friends, near and far.  I experience this before just 2 shows in the Midwest, near home.  I am an experienced tour goer, especially in both Minneapolis and Chicago.  I swear that I would be capable of doing it all well in my sleep.  That said, in less than a month now, the Daily Duranie and friends leave to go to England where we will be doing multiple shows in multiple cities.  This type of tour will increase both the time and intensity of this nervous energy.   People may want to proceed with caution when dealing with me for the next month!   

Now, I plan on enjoying myself thoroughly for this weekend as it is the preview, the warm up, to the tour of a lifetime!!!

-A

Looking Forward (Cautiously) to the Upcoming Mini-Tour!

Three weeks from today, I’ll be in Minneapolis waiting for my first Duran show since the summer of 2009.  To say that I’m excited is a bit of an understatement!  I have been barely able to keep myself in check while I see others attending Duran shows, including my writing partner.  Soon it will be my turn.  Like Rhonda, I will be able to see two shows before we head to the UK.  Unlike Rhonda, these shows will be back-to-back, in Minneapolis and Chicago.  In my opinion, these shows are the warm-ups to the shows in the UK.  It isn’t that I’m not thrilled to go to them, but they will be different.  First, they are general admission shows, which I hate, but will suffer through.  The shows in the UK have seats and we have pretty good seats for them.  🙂  Then, for the shows here, I’m sure that I will run into people I know!  While this is generally a good thing, I will be able to experience the freshness, the fun of meeting new people while in the UK.  Lastly, I will be attending these shows in the Midwest with some people I have attended shows with and some new people.  No matter what, it will be different than what I am used to.

I have been “touring” for what seems like a long time now.  When I first started attending multiple shows back during the 2005 tour, I went to shows with a ton of different people and had an awesome time doing it!  Then, as the years progressed, I found myself getting into a touring pattern of sorts.  I now have a routine to attending shows.  It usually goes something like this.  A show or series of shows are announced, I call Rhonda.  We both comment for hours about how silly the dates are and about the genius was who came up with the shows in this way.  At the same time we are doing this, we are contemplating what can be done and what should be done.  After a conversation or three, we generally have a plan.  (This is pretty much how we decided the UK tour, too.)  That plan usually consists of the two of us finding our way to a location where a show is taking place.  From there, we pick a typical hotel for us and fill in an agenda.  We have actually developed traditions on tours that we can’t imagine not doing now.  For example, we like to eat at IHOP at some point.  Bet you would never get the Duran connection there…Anyway, we have developed a similar style of traveling and a similar approach when it comes to the show itself.  For example, some fans like to get to the venue at the last minute.  We aren’t like that.  We prefer to arrive in time to scope out our location, get a drink, etc.  I’m not sure if we were really this similar before we started touring together or if it just happened naturally over the years, but it is what it is now.  I have to admit that I like it this way.  It is comfortable and both of us know what to expect of it and of each other.  Obviously, it has worked well for us as we keep doing it over and over again.  If it didn’t, we probably wouldn’t be planning to travel to the UK together for 9 days! 

Now, for my Midwestern mini-tour, I will be going with people other than Rhonda. I’m obviously looking forward to seeing the band live, especially seeing the new songs performed, but I’m also looking forward to the experience of going to shows with different people.  My Midwestern travel buddy is a good friend of mine here and is someone who is going with us to the UK.  We are good friends who have attended shows together before.  We have even been to many of the same Duran shows but we have never really gone together.  (That seems really weird to me, by the way.)  While I believe that we are going to have an awesome experience both at the shows and 
traveling to them, I still know that it will be different than when I go with Rhonda.  I’m pretty serious when it comes to my Duran show experiences and hope that I don’t scare her away or anything!  LOL.  Beyond my hometown buddy, three other people will be joining us.  One of those people will be another good friend of mine who lives in Minneapolis.  She has attended a Duran show with me and knows what to expect (I think.  I hope.)  Will these two friends get along?  I suspect that they will!  Then, for the Chicago show, we have two others joining us.  One of them is a friend of hers whom I have been looking forward to meeting for a long time.  She isn’t a Duranie, though.  She likes the band and is looking for a good time.  Will this person think I’m insane?  I can be pretty intense about my fandom.  (If this blog wasn’t proof of that, the book will be!)  The last person has yet to be completely determined.  I’m hoping that my cousin’s wife is able to go.  She has been a long time Duranie and I know she will have a blast, if she is able to arrange for a baby-sitter. 

I have three weeks to finalize my plans for this little mini-tour.  The concert goers will all be set as will the times of departure in all locations.  We will have a game plan about when to arrive to the venues and where we should head to when we enter them.  Hopefully, we will have a chance to see other friends when out and about.  I have no doubt that the band will live up to my expectations.  I suspect that despite any concern I have about this little mini-tour, I think it will still be absolutely fabulous and will wet my appetite for more!

-A

Setlist Reactions…So Far

Next week, my writing partner will be seeing Duran perform live.  I should also be receiving my tickets for the Chicago show.  We have also heard that other people have begun to receive their tickets for the UK shows.  With all of these signs indicating that shows will be coming up quickly, I decided to take a really good look at their setlists so far.  Now, before I analyze what they have been like, I want to acknowledge how difficult this task must be for them.  I realize that they have a ton of material to choose from and I know that they have to balance pleasing us diehards who want to hear really obscure material with those people who only know the hits. 

It seems like Duran usually develops a pattern in their setlists with every tour.  While I know that there might be some changes here and there, some songs in a particular order seem to get locked into place.  This is the first thing I look for when examining the most recent setlists, which included the Superbowl Fan Jam, Milan, special London show, Austin and Oklahoma.  While I’m struggling to find much a pattern (perhaps due to the differences between playing at a festival vs. a solo show), I do see some.  First, all of the shows, except for last night’s in Thackerville, opened up with A View to a Kill or the Bond Medley.  Last night, they opened with All You Need Is Now.  I’m fascinated with this idea of a AVTAK first.  It seems to me that when they are introducing a new album, it is common for them to have the first single or the first track of the album be the opener.  For example, during the Astronaut tour, they opened with Sunrise.  During RCM, they opened with the Valley.  I wonder why they have avoided doing this until last night.  In my personal opinion, I think AYNIN would be a great opener.  The beginning part of the song is definitely jarring (in a good way, I think) and would grab people’s attention and increase energy and excitement.  Thus, I hope this change is how it stays.  That said, I also admit that I’m done with AVTAK.  Over it.  Sick of it.  Second, the second song in all of these shows has been Being Followed.  Clearly, this is one of the new tracks that they are feeling comfortable playing.  They have also played Girl Panic at every show but later in the show.  In fact, that song is being played before either Sunrise or Careless Memories, depending on if Careless Memories is in the setlist at all.  I think that is a solid set of songs.  I approve.  Third, the only other new songs that they have played are Runway Runaway for 3 shows, Safe for the last 3 shows, Leave a Light On for 2 shows, and Mediterranea for 2 shows.  Is anyone else surprised that they aren’t doing The Man Who Stole a Leopard?  Clearly, it is a fan favorite and I thought they would put it back-to-back with the Chauffeur.  I think they are missing something by leaving it out.  I don’t understand it, especially since I know that I saw a tweet from John saying that they were rehearsing it.  Also, what about Blame the Machines?  I would gladly take those two over LALO and Safe.  Am I the only one?  Fourth, the last song has been Girls on Film for these shows.  I’m okay with that but it might seem weird to have Rio before it.  Interestingly enough, they haven’t always played Rio-only 3 out of 5 shows, in fact.  The ending also seems to consistently have Sunrise in it.  I love that one live so that works for me.  Some shows have had Careless Memories and Wild Boys towards the end as well.  I’m a fan of that, too.  Lastly, the other thing I noticed is that they seem to be swapping more of the older songs, which is a great plan.  I would love to NOT know what I might be hearing next.  For example, they busted out with Ordinary World a couple of times, The Reflex a couple of times, Is There Something I Should Know once, Friends of Mine a few times, and The Chauffeur once.

My overall reaction to these setlists is probably like all of yours.  There are some things I like.  Some things I don’t like.  I’m surprised by some things and not by others.  I like that they are playing some of the new tracks but I would like to pick some different songs as mentioned above.  I like that they are mixing up some of the older songs but definitely would pick different ones there.  I could do away with Hungry Like the Wolf and Come Undone and I’m missing Planet Earth (my favorite) already. Am I the only one who would love a little Hold Back the Rain?  I find it interesting that the only song from the last two albums that they are playing is Sunrise.  There has been nothing from Red Carpet Massacre.  Perhaps, that is not surprising.  Although, I really do love Red Carpet Massacre, the song.  I also noticed that they aren’t playing Save a Prayer at all, either.  I’m okay with that.  What will be interesting from here is to see if the setlists change as they get further into the tour or when they go from the US to Mexico or from the US to the UK.  Now, I could always offer them my ideal setlist if they begin to struggle with this task!

-A

The Cost of Fandom

Some days, I know exactly what I am going to write about and other days I really struggle.  The days that I have difficulty with picking out a topic are the days, usually, when other things weigh heavily on my mind.  I wonder if my writing partner feels the same way.  Today is one of those days for me.  As I have mentioned here, I live in a state that has been ground zero for the discussion on workers rights and unions.  Despite weeks of hard work, sacrifice and protest, the workers lost their battle.  I am one of those workers.  Today, my union met and signed a contract extension, which will cover us for the next couple of years.  I should be happy about this and I am, but it only really will help with non-financial aspects of the job.  Based on this, I now know exactly how much money I will be losing each month beginning in July.  It is substantial.  Now, again, I’m not here to debate the politics regarding my job, my compensation, this bill or anything else connected but as part of dealing with the impending loss of income I began to think about Duran.  Fandom costs money.  It does.  It costs money to buy cds, to buy t-shirts, to go to shows and especially to travel to shows.  While I have in no way shape or form been someone financially able to do whatever I want in the name of Duran, I have been able to save money in order to go on tours.  Assuming that I stay in this position and stay where I am now (which is assuming a lot), this spring will mark the end for me.

My impending loss of compensation is so great that my days of touring will be over.  In fact, I will have to move from my apartment, if I stay where I am.  I cannot begin to justify going to shows or traveling for tours, if I cannot afford to keep my home (and when I mean home–I mean my one bedroom apartment).  Looking back at the last five or six years, I realize how lucky I have been.  I have been able to go to 20 shows since 2005 and most of those shows have required significant drives or flying.  I hope to have 5 more under my belt before summer hits.  Therefore, these upcoming shows better be the best ones ever because they may have to last me for quite a while. 

Now, do not get me wrong here, I am not giving up.  I refuse to have to move backwards like this and have been and will continue to fight it every step of the way.  Obviously, part of this fight might be to consider my options.  Different profession?  Different location?  Both?  I’m hoping that I do find something that allows me to keep this element of my life.  For me, Duran is both my escape and my fun, especially touring.  I do not want to give that up.  The band and everything that goes with enhances my quality of life.  Could I live without them?  Yes.  Do I want to?  Nope.  For one thing, it means that I won’t see my Duranie friends much as most of them live far away from me, including my co-author.  That is extremely upsetting to me.  It also means that I no longer have things to look forward to as I once did.  Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the queen of countdowns.  I normally count down every day until a big event like a tour because that countdown helps me gets through each day.  It gives me a positive thing to focus on.  Soon, that will be gone.  I can’t rely on Duran to be the lighthouse of relief in the sea of stress.  I cannot even begin to tell you how sad it makes me that I won’t be able to see my friends as much.  Yes, we are all on the internet but it is not the same.  I won’t have the money to travel and we won’t have the excuse of Duran to bring us together as much as we did because I won’t be able to afford it.

I now understand how Duranies who have always been in this boat must feel.  I apologize if I ever seemed uncaring or not very understanding.  I get it now.  I get it in such a way that these last shows will be appreciated by me in a way that I probably haven’t done since 2005.  I look forward to them as I desperately need the escape but I also dread them in a way because I know that they will be the last for a long time.  I feel like I do at every show when I hear the opening notes to Rio, which is typically played at the very end, because I know that the song will be great but I also know that the show is almost over.  It is always such a bittersweet moment.  Now, the whole show will be like that for me.

-A

I’m seeing the band WHERE?

Today is Wednesday March 9, and that must mean it’s Presale Wednesday!  Like the dutiful Duranie I am, I got up and proceeded to stand (or rather, sit!) watch…waiting with much anxiety while the clock ticked ever closer to 10am PST.  I read the boards, got two children off to school, cleaned up numerous messes from the one still here at home with Mommy, got my credit card ready for show time…and waited.  I worried about whether or not my credit card would work (we had real trouble with the UK shows in that area. I later found out it was because my credit union didn’t like that I was trying to purchase tickets overseas from a website. Food for thought for the next time I guess!)  I worried about whether or not every other Duranie in California also wanted to go to the show. I thought about whether or not my husband (who is going to be my date for that night since none of my partners in crime will be in the state of California at the time!) will be willing to leave work early enough to drive out to Pomona for the show, and I bit my nails.  A LOT.  Once the clock hit 10am, I was quick like a bunny and got my tickets to the Fox theater show in Pomona California – bounding in and out of the presale in about 2 minutes, and it only took that long because I made triple sure I’d bought the right tickets to the right show. (somehow, I think my husband would have had plenty to say had I clicked on ‘VIP’ tickets instead of regular….)  All of my worrying for basically nothing.  (well, we’re not at the show yet….we’ll see if my husband will actually make the effort to get home early so we can get there on time!)

After the anxiety of the morning, I decided to take advantage of the beautifully clear skies and 80 degree Southern California weather and go for a walk with my little one.  I needed a break, and she desperately needed a change of scenery, so off we went.  As we were walking, my normally very chatty little girl became quiet and I was alone with my thoughts. (very, VERY unusual around here!)  I thought about the upcoming shows, the momentous UK trip, and about presales in general.  I realized that this is the first presale that I’ve actually done, for myself, for a show in the state I actually LIVE in…in a very, very long time.  I believe the last show I went to here in my home state of California was the show at the Pacific Amphitheater (Costa Mesa) in July of 2009, and I didn’t buy those tickets (thanks goes to Amanda, because she is the Queen of Presales)!   Prior to that, I don’t think I’ve been to a show in California since 2003, and I’m not kidding!  I believe the last Duran Duran show I went to in California was KROQ’s Inland Invasion Festival – and that feels like a lifetime ago.  I suppose that for me, it really was – I’ve had a baby since then!  I missed their show here during Astronaut because I had the audacity to be vacationing on a cruise ship at the time (and I wasn’t giving that trip up, even for Duran Duran!), and so for that tour I did shows in Chicago and Milwaukee, then later that same year I saw them in Las Vegas.  Then during the Red Carpet Massacre tour I had a newborn.  In fact, the very night that they began their North American tour, April 29th, 2008 I was in a hospital having the strangest childbirth experience EVER. (another story for another blog – but I will say that as I was coming out of it – Hungry Like the Wolf was playing in the background and I thought I was in Hell.  Like I said, another story for another blog!)  That point was a very difficult time in my life, due both to having a ridiculously messed up childbirth experience as well as my father dying two weeks later.  A concert was the very last place I could go, both physically and mentally, so I missed that tour here.  I did catch them later on…for three shows on the east coast…because really, why see them anywhere nearby?  😀  It’s been a joke between my friends and I that the band would never be able to place a face to my name along with where I lived or normally saw them because I’ve seen them everywhere BUT where I lived, which is really kind of true.  Not that they would know me from anyone else at this point – and yes – I do take comfort in that.  😉

So that brings me to once again realizing just how lucky I’ve been.  I know there are many of you out there that haven’t had the opportunity to travel to see the band, and still more of you that have to wait just so that they even come to your country. I know how lucky I am to have the chance to see them somewhat regularly, and I also realize how unfair it must seem to those of you who do not. This blog isn’t gloating, although I suppose one could read it that way – please do not.  I think that mostly I’m counting my own blessings.  I came from a very modest upbringing, in fact – I hadn’t even been on a plane more than twice before I was married, and the very idea of going to a concert was a luxury, much less traveling out of state to see a band!  If I had only known in 2001 that just by my husband taking me to one single Duran Duran show at the House of Blues in Anaheim that I would find myself here – well, I would have jumped at the opportunity a lot sooner, and I think my husband may have thought twice before insisting I go to that concert with him!!  It’s been a wild, strange trip at times, and I’m very much looking forward to getting back out there to see my friends, meet new ones, and of course to exchange a smile or two with the band!

So Pomona, California – here I come!  -R