Since I arrived at home on Saturday evening, it’s been pretty much non-stop stress for me. The details aren’t really important, suffice to say that I’ve given Duran Duran precious little thought. I did recall that the Gimme a Wristband party was last night (I’m sure it was a great time), but I didn’t honestly think about the shows I was missing. I was on Facebook yesterday and then again this morning, reading a litany of status updates from people saying that they wished they were in NYC, or talking about the party and the show at Madison Square Gardens tonight…and my first thought was “Oh, is that tonight?”
After I had that initial thought, I really started worrying. What is going on with me?! I don’t even care about the show? How can that be?!? Keep in mind, I still don’t care about the show – I’m just a little surprised by my own apathy! Normally when I take a trip like the one I just made to Chicago, I’ll come away craving more. I’ll think about how I could have been on my way to Windsor, Ontario; Montreal, or yes…even NYC. This time, there was none of that. I got home and went back to real life. I mentioned as much on Facebook and had some good friends talk me down from the “Am I losing my Duranie?” ledge I was sitting on.
Initially when I started really going to a lot of Duran shows during adulthood, it was just after the reunion. I’d gone to many shows prior to that, but I’d not traveled for them or anything like that. It was purely a case where if they came to L.A. (and as I’m reminded, they do come here often!), I would go to a single show. It wasn’t until the reunion where I started going to as many shows as I could manage (which weren’t many to begin with), and then started actually traveling to see them as well. At that time, I think it really was about seeing the band for me. I craved their live shows. I wanted to be in that moment with them as much as possible. Along the way, I met friends. Real, life long friends. What was once about seeing the band suddenly became seeing the band with my friends. Using the shows to be the backdrop for amazing weekends and that sort of thing. When I think about it, a change happened in May that goes well beyond just traveling to the UK. It was the first time I’d planned a major trip with friends assuming the band would play, only to have those plans changed and suddenly the trip became purely about being with friends. Not only did I have the friends I’d traveled with, but I met new friends in London when Gimme a Wristband and Daily Duranie held their joint party at the Reflex. We became friends over some bad circumstances with the shows being postponed, but I think the feelings all of us had that night helped to bond us to one another. Friendship truly transcended the band that night, and it continues.
So I guess what I’ve discerned with the help of friends today is that my friendships are what I crave most these days when I travel for the band. Touring is tough. It seems like a lot of fun (and it is), but can also be brutal and punishing. My body is 10 years older than it was when I started all of this, and while I’m still not quite an old lady – I’m not a kid with endless energy either. I fear for our UK trip, to be honest. 4 shows. 6 days. About a zillion miles of travel via airplanes and trains. Tired is going to even begin to cut how we’re going to feel, but I know it’s going to provide a lifetime of memories due to the friendships I’ve made along the way. For me personally, I don’t know of a lot of people going to the Madison Square Garden show, so my interest isn’t quite there, regardless of it being THE Madison Square Garden. (although I should wave an enthusiastic hello to our friend Kitty from Gimme a Wristband – have a great show!!) Atlantic City is slightly more interesting to me, but I think my saving grace is that Amanda isn’t going, and I have about 34 days until I leave for the UK. Amanda would be pleased that I actually know how many days we’ve got!!
A good example of this comes from my show on Friday in Chicago. I sat alone at this show while Amanda and her cousin had seats in the pit up front. I knew I’d be buying a single ticket, and that wasn’t a problem at all. The show was great, but I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that something felt slightly off during the show. I was excited to see the band, yes, and they didn’t disappoint, but even so – there was something missing. I was even slightly offended when Simon tweeted after the show that it was their best show of the tour and possibly their career. I remember calling that tweet “complete BS”. (actually I think my language might have been slightly more colorful….) What was my problem? Well, it’s easy – I was alone at the show. There is something to be said for having someone next to you to squee along with (and no, my husband doesn’t count at all on that one!!) when John comes over to your side of the stage, or when you can comment about Simon’s choice of attire, or the fact that he still does those fancy karate moves at the end of Notorious, or when Roger twirls his stick (come on now!!). But, when you’re alone, there’s nothing to say – and try as I might – the guys next to me were not interested in hearing my comments! It really was a great show and I was excited to be there – but that feeling would have been amplified tenfold if I’d have been sitting with friends. Naturally, I’d do it (sit alone) again if I needed; but I hope I never need!
The night of the show, I sat in the audience and tweeted something about how after 30 years, it’s great to be experiencing all of this with so many friends, and that we’re so lucky that a band of all things brought us together. I think that statement really holds true for so many of us “hardcores” in the community. I don’t know if I’d still be going to shows if I hadn’t made so many friends – and to be honest I think this very subject is one of the reasons why Amanda and I have taken this blog to heart so well. We WANT fans to find connections with other fans, and if Daily Duranie needs to be vehicle to help make this happen – we happily accept that challenge. We want EVERY fan to have the types of experiences that are life changing, and when it comes right down to it at the end of the day – it’s our friendships with one another that will make that happen. That isn’t to say we’re all going to be friends with one another and be a happy family – that’s not the point and it’s not reality. What I mean is simply that going to the shows and meeting the band is one facet (a face of a cut diamond) on a very large uncut diamond. (Yes, I’m a gemologist when I’m not a Duranie…) What is going to make that diamond special and unique is to fill in or cut the other facets so that it shines like no other, and those “facets” are the experiences we have with the other people we meet along the way. I love bringing people together and giving other fans an avenue or opportunity to have experiences similar to what I’ve been lucky enough to experience along my own journey. We may never be able to get front row, but we will certainly have the joys of a lifetime along the way, and we want to share that with others however we can, whether it’s through as many meetups as we can manage or other experiences.
This week has been full of life lessons for me, both on a very personal and “Duranie” level, and it’s only Tuesday!