I just want to say a very quick but heartfelt thank you to everyone and anyone who has taken the time to write a blog about their concert experience while the band has toured so far. Obviously, Amanda and I can’t be everywhere, but we really want to be able to bring the touring experience to everyone. So, we truly thank everyone who has helped out with that by writing up their own tour experience. We can’t thank you enough – because YOU are what makes Daily Duranie special.
With that in mind, we have a post straight from Durant, Oklahoma this past weekend to share! Thanks to Kim-Loan McDuffie!! -R
Also, if you are viewing this on a cell/mobile phone or tablet, it is quite possible that you are seeing some photos sideways. While WordPress is responsive, it is unfortunately not always THAT responsive for mobile – and since I am not really a webmaster or a website builder, I can’t fix it. Sorry!! -R
By Kim-Loan McDuffie
The last two shows for Duran Duran in North America were in Durant, Oklahoma. (Ironic, right? DURANt) Dallas is but just over an hour away from here, so we bought tickets to the Sept. 7 show, but it was changed to Sept. 9 after we bought tickets, so that worked out better since it fell on a Friday night instead of a school night! Grown up girls sleepover time!!!
The town of Durant is a quaint little country town with a large casino/resort/entertainment complex. We checked in early that Friday for a day of relaxing, fun and dinner before the 8:00 show (no opening act). This particular weekend was gold for any fan that wanted a run-in with the band or crew members since they all stayed on premises for the entire weekend. The resort was big yet small enough for multiple run-ins with everyone since we all had the same set of elevators if you stayed in the grand towers or suites. There were Duran Duran folks poolside, outside, inside, and at the restaurants. The last blog I did for Daily Duranie was about our meet and greet with JT, so this time I will give more details about the actual concert, but I do have to say that this weekend was just as exciting as our last experience, if not more spectacular.
I had purchased 12 tickets total (going out with a bang!!). I gifted a pair to a fellow volunteer Wish Granter for the Make A Wish foundation, he’s been such an amazing person and friend who has never seen a DD show. I also invited 7 friends for a sleepover and saved a last pair of tickets on the floor to do a random act of kindness.
Before the show started, I walked upstairs toward the back of the venue and found an older couple who sat way in the back and asked them if I could upgrade their seats. They were shocked and so excited, and high fives were exchanged, then 8:10 hit and we got seated for the show. The remaining 8 tickets in my hands were 1st and 2nd row seats scattered into the middle and JT side of the stage, and this way smaller venue made the close seats feel even closer! The American Airlines Center in Dallas holds well over 20,000 while Choctaw in Durant holds a mere 3,000. It made a huge difference, this concert was so intimate but still felt big!
The last show in April had Nick Rhodes at the keyboards, and this show has MNDR. I didn’t notice a huge difference, but I did miss Nick’s presence and energy. The sound was still great but there was just a little musical magic that only Nick brings. The rest of the members brought their A game, everyone was all smiles and great energy.
On the subject of energy, Simon was very much perfection this night! In April he had some throat and coughing problems, but this night, he was on point. Simon was just happy and fun! His banter was silly, he started the evening with a joke about if we all had ordered Papa Johns pizza for dinner, since there were Papa Johns flyers and advertisements all over the resort. That made us all laugh and his smiles and happy energy took us through the entire show.
Simon’s voice was as gorgeous as ever, as was John’s bass slapping, Roger’s amazing drumming and Dom, Simon W. and MNDR’s musical support. I was seated front row right below Dom’s spot. We were only separated from the stage, just two feet away, by a metal barricade. My hands easily touched the stage. We were able to see all their expressions, movements and steps. This close to the performers, I could feel their personal energy and passion for their craft. There was a point when Simon and John were together on a singing part and I don’t know if someone did something silly or a little mistake was made, but we could see the genuine laughter between the two friends. That gave us the warm, touchy feelies.
Simon also gave us all the same giggles and overwhelming school girl crush feeling when he introduced Come Undone with his usual naughty banter. Only Simon can say Viagra and Cialis in his British accent and make us all crazy. He whispered an additional naughty remark that had the women in the crowds swooning, and the men laughing. We were in the direction of Simon’s smiling and glances at one point during his singing that brought us back to our teenage crush feelings. Tonight, everyone felt like Simon was serenading them directly. That’s something that a true front-man with so much onstage charisma can only do.
JohnTaylor (I still have such a bad habit of always saying his first and last name, he’s not John or Mr. Taylor, it always comes out as JohnTaylor, even when I speak with him, I’m such a dork!) was the bass god that he’s earned the title to. When Simon did his usual introduction of JT, the crowd followed in Simon’s chant of “Play that f-ing bass, John!” so loud, so cheerful and with so much joy and energy! He was more smiley, happy and was as JohnTaylor-y as can be. When JohnTaylor smiles, it always feels like it’s aimed at you, because he has the best smile! I spoke with some male friends after the show and they were even saying they have man-crushes on JT after seeing him at this show. Now that is what you call stage presence if the straight men fall in love with you too.
Let’s not forget about our man behind the drum kit. From my spot, I could see Roger plenty, his seat positioning was many times right in our direction. I’m not shy, so I waved a couple of times and was reciprocated with a wink and smiles. His beats were hot, and energy was sweet and great.
The last song brought feelings of sadness and happiness. We were so happy to have been in this moment and feeling, yet sad it was over. I did spend most of my time singing, dancing, swooning and taking in all the sights and sounds. They looked happy, refreshed, and all so gorgeous and they sounded great…. I was so thankful to have spent my time watching and listening, knowing it would be the last concert for a while. I’m also glad they added The Reflex to the set list, it was so good! I only wish that had sung The Chauffeur like they did in some other cities, it’s my very favorite song and hearing it live is at the top of my list of wishes.
The Wild Boys thanked the crowd for a spectacular tour and great night, bowed and said goodnight…. I waved goodnight to the stage and was also able to grab Roger’s hand as he shook some hands on the way out. The lights came on and it was an aftermath of a ton of confetti and deflated giant beach balls all around to sadly remind us it was over.
This show was better for me because I made the choice to pay more attention and take in the concert experience knowing it would be the last show for a while. The fact that the room and stage was much smaller and we were that much closer to the performers made this night just over the top. It was worth the cost of the tickets, even if there wasn’t an opening act. Everyone on stage was incredible and gave this performance their all. John Taylor had told us earlier that day that he really loves performing, loves the feeling of bringing the music and excitement to his fans. He said hopes to do this over and over again and for as long as possible, as this is truly his happy place. I believe that, and he proved it this night on stage.
My biggest regret? Well, my biggest and only regret was that I wasn’t smart enough to plan ahead to buy tickets and rooms for both show nights. I bet the last show must have been incredible if the next to the last show was so amazing. Regardless, I am still so thankful for the two shows I have seen this year, both experiences were enough to make teenage me so jealous. 2016 has been some Duran Duran dreams come true.
All photos courtesy of Kim-Loan McDuffie
Loan (pronounced “lawn”) McDuffie, has loved Duran Duran since seeing her first video on MTV! Like most people her age, she tries to keep up with the new music but always goes back to 80’s music and anything from Duran Duran. Simon Le Bon was her first crush, but this year after my first concert and meeting them, it’s fair to say she has crushes on them all! She is a mother, wife, business owner, and volunteer/children’s advocate and fundraiser residing in the Dallas suburbs.