Let’s start with the premise. Is the current setlist “tired” or “boring”? In order to decide that, we need to analyze a current one. Just today the band played in Singapore and here was the setlist: Before the Rain, Planet Earth, A View to a Kill, All You Need is Now, Reflex, Come Undone, Safe, Notorious, Girl Panic, Leopard, Is There Something I Should Know, White Lines, Ordinary World, Hungry like the Wolf, Sunrise, Wild Boys, Girls on Film and Rio. How many of those songs are standards? I would say 11 are standards in that they play them at pretty much most of the shows. These songs include their biggest hits from the Reflex to A View to a Kill to Rio to Girls on Film. Then, they are playing a bunch of songs off of the new album. This makes sense to me. After all, isn’t the live show to advertise their current work? I think so. The argument could be made that they could mix those up some or choose different one. Anyway, as of now, there are 5 new tracks on there. That totals 16. After that, there are a couple of songs that they seem to play for a tour and then remove, which included Is There Something I Should Know and White Lines. That’s really it. This setlist would equal about 2 hours. The time playing seems fair to me. So, the question then comes in, do they have to play so many hits? That is debatable. On one hand, they aren’t playing to crowds who are hardcore Duranies who own every album and who are dying to hear obscure album tracks. They just aren’t. So, if they don’t play any of the hits, they run the risk of alienating most of the crowd. Could they exchange one or two hits for something a bit more unusual? Sure. I would like that. Many others would to. That said, while many of us would like something different instead of whatever track or tracks you are most sick of, there is a reason that they put setlists together like that. I get it and accept it. Besides to me, there is way more to a show than just the setlist.
As I explained in an earlier blog, which can be read here, there are many other factors that determine a great show for me. Some of these other elements include the crowd, the people I’m with, and where I’m sitting. The other most important factor that these fans seem to forget is the band. Do they think the setlist is tired? Are they sick of it? More to the point, if they are sick of it, does it show? Do they lack energy? Do they seem not to care? If the band comes out on stage and has a tremendous amount of energy, to me, I feed off of them. My energy increases even with songs I’m sick of. Goodness knows, Rhonda and I actually enjoyed Hungry in the UK and we are way sick of that one! Do these fans really trust Duran Duran so little? Do they really think that they can’t perform well enough, no matter if the setlist is old or not? To me, that doesn’t seem very fan-like.
The other part about this kind of attitude that doesn’t sit well with me is the lesson I have learned over the past year. Last year, in May, Simon lost a third of his vocal range. Many, many shows were canceled. Shows I had tickets to were canceled. I honestly didn’t know if he would ever be able to sick again. To tell the truth, I really didn’t think he would be able to sing again. On top of that, I truly get now that there are many, many fans who desperately want to see Duran Duran perform live, but haven’t been able to or can’t for whatever reason. For those people, they don’t care what the setlist is. They don’t care if some of us are sick of Hungry like the Wolf because they have never seen it performed once. They might love to see it. Of course, I see this attitude within the fandom on other topics besides the setlists. I see people get annoyed at the venue choice. I see people who can and are able to travel reasonably refuse to do it for some reason or another. People just seem to want everything their way. While I can understand having some demands, I don’t understand people who think that they should be able to decide everything when it comes to their fandom. I mean…really…wouldn’t we all like Duran Duran to come place at our houses and play the setlist we give them. I know I would, but I also understand that this will never happen.
I guess my point is this. Why not enjoy what you have as a fan? Why try to be that picky about something as small as the setlist or whatever? If you are able to get to a show, go and enjoy it. Other people would love to be in that situation. After all, you never know when it is going to end.