Category Archives: Guest Blogs

Bow to the Paper Gods: Their Final Encore?

Every once in a while, a fan will reach out with a profound idea that should be shared with the community-at-large. Amanda and I strive for Daily Duranie to be a safe place for fans to share their ideas. While not everyone may always agree with the message being shared, we think it is important for fans to have a peaceful space to say what they want to say. In that spirit, we have a guest blogger today that is ready to share some of his own thoughts and feelings. I hope his blog provokes thoughtful conversation.  -R

By, Jeff Bistline

I recently tweeted some thoughts on Twitter concerning my thoughts on the current state of Duran Duran.  I changed my mind several times, reached out to friends, changed my mind again.  I re-edited my writing (several times), and decided I still needed to communicate some of my thoughts, for my own sanity.  The following is my “edited version”, or “PG version” which is far less speculative, but still contains quite a few opinions.

I have not lost faith in the band, I think they are at a crossroads, and we all know it has to happen sooner or later.  So here it goes…

On Twitter, I recently “called my shot”, and proclaimed that I believe that Paper Gods is the last proper album and tour cycle for the band.  The reason for my tweets were not to cause drama, gain followers, or throw shade at the band or management. I care very passionately for this band and its music.  It has been a part of my life on a daily basis since 1984, and always will be.  Above all, and most importantly, I know that we will always have the music of Duran Duran.  In addition to following every note, lyric, and news item, I closely follow the music industry in great detail.  I have made many observations that have been building in my head for over a year now, and I feel the need to share those observations in great detail.

These observations are heavily based on my opinion.  I have no inside information directly from the band.  I honestly don’t want the band the stop recording and touring, but I think the band, management, close confidants (Ronson/Rodgers, and perhaps Mr. Hudson), and Warner mapped out an a long-term exit plan a few years ago and they are in the middle of that process.

First of all, I love the Paper Gods album.  I think “Pressure Off” was the best single since “Come Undone”. “Planet Roaring” is one of my favorite Duran tracks of all time.  I think the entire band put EVERYTHING into the making of this album.  They did their research, started writing, consulted Nile Rodgers and Mark Ronson, and returned to the studio to complete the recording while bringing in Mr. Hudson to add some current and fresh perspective, which has been a long-standing trait of every Duran Duran record.  Fan reaction has been mixed.  The band has stated that everyone loves the album, new fans are coming on board etc., but I have a hard time believing these statements.  It is not their best work, but it is not their worst either. Overall, I think the Paper Gods album is a success, both on the charts and from an artistic viewpoint, given where the band is in this screwed up age in the music industry.  However, I don’t think the band wants to go through this cycle again without much to show for it in terms of physical units sold, or chart success (outside of the initial debut of the album on charts which basically lasted one week).  Simon stating that “Pressure Off” was their most successful single in two decades is pure management spin.  It didn’t make a dent on significant sales or radio airplay charts.  In contrast, even “Leave A Light On” charted on radio playlists in the U.S.

The Paper Gods tour has been a huge success to date.  The strategy that was implemented to tour Paper Gods had been brilliant up until July 2016.  The band, management, record label, and promoters put together a billing that was amazing considering that Duran Duran has not been a full size arena/stadium level touring band since perhaps the reunion and Astronaut era in 2003-2006.  Having Nile Rodgers and Chic on tour made sense, and the billing produced some fantastic shows and crowds.  Most shows I saw ranged between 7,000 to 15,000 people.  Extraordinary support for a legacy band, in my opinion.

A pivotal turning point came in July 2016 when it was announced that Nick Rhodes would be leaving the tour for a short period.  There has been nonstop speculation as to the reasons for Nick’s leave of absence, and nothing has been released or leaked relating to his situation.  First and foremost, I hope Nick (and/or his family) are physically and mentally well.  I prefer to focus on the collective unit/band Duran Duran, but Nick is truly the cornerstone and visionary of Duran Duran, and always has been.  Nick and Simon have been the two constants over the past 36 years.  I cannot imagine Duran Duran existing without either of these two individuals.  I don’t know if there is strife in the band.  I thought maybe there was when I was doing some research on this, but I listened to a few interviews, read some articles, and I honestly think things are fine between the band members.  However, Nick’s absence has certainly had a ripple effect in the fan community.  I don’t think Nick enjoys touring as much as Simon and John.  I think Roger still enjoys both recording and touring.

Here are some observations I have collected (in one place) that have bothered me over the past 14 months (and years in some instances).  These are things that just seem “out of place” compared to previous album and tour cycles.  I originally planned to speak on each one of these points at great length…Perhaps this community can discuss these points in greater detail.  Obviously some of these thoughts are not my own, but have come from threads posted on message boards, Twitter, Facebook, and other sources.

Paper Gods Album

Several fans wondered if the lyrics in the “The Universe Alone” was a goodbye statement.  “Planet Roaring” can also be viewed as an exit song, but more on the celebratory side.  There could also be some lyrical clues in “Pressure Off”, and perhaps the most debated song on the album “Last Night in the City”.

Paper Gods Artwork

The symbols are obviously self-referencing, but why on a new album of new, modern music?  I think the band said it was a conglomeration of images that have collectively “gotten us to this point of time”, but it could also certainly be seen as a final package.

Paper Gods Ancillary Releases

First of all, as a collector…WTF?  We were told we would get a deluxe package.  I’m still waiting.  I’ve exhausted this avenue several times online.  I have two additional comments to make.  DJ’s are celebrities these days, both in the clubs and on the charts.  They demand huge dollars these days.  The unreleased Night Version of “Pressure Off” was probably done in-house (Spike Stent, Josh Blair maybe?).  The “Last Night in the City” mixes were done by lessor known DJ’s.  I’m sure the band and management is unwilling to invest much into remixes and ultimately additional single releases at this point in their career as the return is probably pretty small these days since people are buying less and less physical releases.

Paper Gods Music Videos

There was such a delay in releasing both of these from when the initial single was released, etc.  The “Last Night in the City” video was filmed 6 months before it was finally released.  Director Nick Egan even commented on a fan’s Facebook page that he was not pleased with the process and the end result.

Record Store Day

The vinyl industry has had a huge resurgence in the past 2 years.  Why hasn’t Duran been participating in this event for 3-4 years now?  Again, this probably relates to production costs, ROI (Return On Investment), and effort.

Duran Duran Appreciation Day

We previously received some unreleased music for this day.  Now, we get a video performance of something that pretty much existed already.  Again, few resources are being spent to deliver a unique remix, live set, etc.

Paper Gods Tour

I live in the United States.  I’ve been very happy that I have seen the band on four legs of tours since the album released (counting the upcoming New Years Eve shows).  The band or management has decided to only tour the three largest Duran fan base territories:  U.S., U.K, and Italy.  Europe was told they would get a tour, but Nick’s situation may have delayed or shelved that tour.  There were rumors of a billing with Pet Shop Boys for Australia this fall.  There have been mumblings of a tour for South America for 2017. No dates have been released.  I listened to John’s Katy Kafe from July…I sincerely feel that he wants to further the Paper Gods tour into next year and different markets.  Nick’s situation, or management, may have delayed or shelved these plans as well, since tours are announced several months in advance.

New Year’s Eve Shows

Who wouldn’t want to spend New Year’s Eve with Duran Duran?  I’m going, but there is no denying it…these are two $$$Payday$$$ shows.  Big bucks at a fancy new casino resort.  I believe the fans deserve to know if Nick is playing or not.  In July, we were told his absence was going to be “short”.  This has caused a firestorm within the community.  Again, I have no idea what is going on, and I hope he is well, but I think fans deserve at least a heads up on his presence for these über-expensive shows.  The 1/1/2017 date doesn’t appear to be selling that well.  You can view available tickets on Ticketmaster.  There are also several seats available for 12/31/2016. I think both of these are sell outs if Nick’s presence is confirmed.  I think fans are very skeptical on these shows at the moment.

Fan Access

Access to the band has been very limited during this album cycle.  There are no longer meet and greets as part of the VIP packages.  John has left social media, and I don’t blame him based on the horrific berating his accounts received.  I wonder if this incident alone has reduced the opportunity for meet and greets, etc.  We rarely get Ask Katy questions on the website, and they don’t seem as interesting as they did during and between previous album cycles.The Move to Warner

I think Duran like the status of being on a big label.  They were on big labels during their heyday.  I have no idea how much Warner plays into the decisions of releases, touring, the band, and management.  I’m sure they wanted access to the back catalog more than anything.  At the time of the press release, John stated “We are also excited that this deal means we will be reunited with our catalogue after years apart – and in that sense it really feels a little like coming home.”

Concert Setlists

This has been debated to death.  I do think the band could put some more effort into this. The current stage production doesn’t allow for a lot of flexibility.  I believe this current setlist was developed with the casual fan in mind.  It was a high energy setlist, set to the backbone of their greatest hits.  I enjoyed every show that I went to, but would have preferred a few changes here and there.  I think the band has settled into this formula to keep the most people happy, again tailored towards the casual fan.

Ask Katy

She certainly has caused a divide within the fan base.  Specifically, some people did not care for her using the “askkaty” moniker on her personal twitter.  It finally got changed and it appears to be 100% personal now.  I believe this should have happened a lot sooner, and I don’t think Simon needed to interject, but again, there is a divide there.

Current Management/Magus Entertainment

I have no problem with the band wanting to bank some buck. Don’t we all?  However, the hard-core fan and collector is not being treated like we deserve, many of those points I highlighted already above.  The current management is on a mission to maximize earning potential, and give the casual fan a great night of entertainment.  The bundling of the Paper Gods CD with the tickets was an artificial attempt to bloat album sales numbers (it actually reentered the charts in the U.S.) and get the album into the hands of the casual fan.  I have an extra ten copies of the standard album, and I’m sure other fans can say the same thing.  This bundling practice also increases the concert tickets as I believe that some document has to be filed/exist for these units to count towards album sales and charts.

What is Nick doing?

Is he working on anything Duran related?  That’s the million dollar question at this point.  Are the other band members upset while they are still out on the road?  We all know Nick loves art, curating, cataloging, organizing, making lists.  Some friends have been wondering if he is working on some anthology type project, something that he probably couldn’t do from the road.  Hmmmm.  Seems very possible to me.  I’m sure he’s doing some work while on break.

SOOOOO, where does this leave us?

I think Paper Gods is the last album.  I think that touring Paper Gods will be completed with the Cancun, and New Year’s shows.  Heck, they may have already turned in the equipment, video screens, etc. to the lighting and video companies and plan on showing up to these shows with basic equipment from local companies.  2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of the start of the band.  I think we will see a large-scale, worldwide greatest hits/farewell tour, and a greatest hits package or anthology type project to commemorate their fabulous career.  After that, who knows?  Whatever, it seems like a great stopping point to me if I were in the band.

I’ll be supporting Duran Duran until I die, whatever happens, I’m in it until the end.  It’s time for me to go back to enjoying Duran Duran for the reason I started listening to them in the first place.  The music.

Cheers y’all, and Duran On!

Jeff and his dog

Jeff Bistline has been a dedicated Duranie since 1984. His passions in life are his Duran Duran collection, college basketball, and his boxer dog, Vivi. He is an accountant and lives in Nebraska.

September 9 Durant Oklahoma Show Review

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.

Loan Durant Simon 1

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.

Loan Durant Simon 2Simon’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.

Loan Durant Simon 4

 

Loan Durant Simon 3

 

Loan Durant WATC Simon

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.

Loan Durant JTJohnTaylor (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.

Loan Durant Dom JT

 

Loan Simon slant

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.

Loan Durant encore

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.

Loan Durant confetti

Loan Durant Rio

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.
Loan Durant front rowMy 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 thumbnailLoan (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.

Hearing the Words Most Needed to Hear

By Kimberley Crawford

I got my ticket for the Duran Duran show in Atlanta as soon as they announced the dates and went on sale.  I made the decision to get a ticket by myself in the chance that it would get me a better seat.  My other friends made the same decision.  We planned to stay at the same hotel, go to and from the show together and have a mini meetup.

The day after I got my ticket my best girl that I describe as my “egg” asked me if I would mind if she went with me.  I was delighted.  I immediately started looking for a ticket close to me but there was nothing right beside me.  Still, I was over the moon excited!  My best friend wanted to share this with me.  I got her a ticket 1 row up from me in the next section.  So we would be divided by almost nothing but a little space.  This was perfect!  I emailed her and we started to get excited.  My little group booked our hotel rooms and began the countdown.  My mind started to go to giddiness!  Duran Duran, and my 2 best friends.  I even pictured how our pictures were going to look.

My best friend had some family emergencies come up and she was unable to go.  I was bummed.  I felt crushed but was still going.  I worried about the ticket and I worried about the show and worried about our friendship—which should not have been worried about.  I started posting about a ticket I had and hoped to find someone to buy it.  On the day before the show, one of my girlfriends from high school, Crista, said she wanted to go.  She liked the band and thought it would be fun.  We planned on her going.

Three of us, including my high school friend and another friend (Kelle), made our way to Atlanta to see my friends and, of course, my band!  On the way down there, Crista stated that she wasn’t feeling well so she was going to lay down.  I was driving and I looked into the rearview mirror to see Crista asleep in the backseat.  When we got to the hotel, I did the introductions and saw my other friends.  Crista went up to the room to sleep.  I went out to lunch with the friends I was meeting there in Atlanta.  We caught up and were just over the moon happy to be together and to be going to the show.  I came back to the room and Crista said she would meet us at the concert because she still wasn’t feeling good.  My worry level jumped to high, at this point.

I continued to follow the plan to go out for dinner and drinks before heading over to the show.  While at dinner, I got a text from Crista stating that she was there and was happy with her seat.  We talked about enjoying the show, taking pictures, and being happy, having what we call a “Durantastic” time.

The next day we were heading home after sharing goodbyes and more pictures.  Crista told me her love for Simon and she would now be a “Duranie”…which happens every time!! LOL

This week, almost four months after the Atlanta show, I was out with  Crista and other mutual friends.  I heard Crista tell our girlfriends about the show.  She shared something I didn’t know, which moved me.  Something I didn’t mention is that Crista has lupus.  She spends a lot of her time in bed in pain.  Simple tasks like taking a bath can be tough and there are times where she doesn’t leave her house or bed for days or weeks at a time.

She talked about Nile Rodgers and Chic onstage.  She said the minute they went on, everyone at the Atlanta show was on their feet.  Everyone was dancing.  Everyone around her:  young, old, big, small was dancing, laughing and acting like they were all friends.  She shared that in the midst of all the dancing and enjoying the music Nile shared his cancer story or as I call it his testimony.  He talked about how the doctor told him that he didn’t have long but he lived life and beat his cancer.  Crista recalled this story this past week and shared how this made her want to live and enjoy life, which made my heart full.  One best friend couldn’t go, which gave another best friend a chance to hear the words she needed to hear to live her life and try to enjoy the little moments.

Of course, she then went on to tell me how good Duran Duran was live and how all the band members were good looking (DUH!!!!).  I gave her a copy of the Paper Gods CD and she said her favorite song is Face for Today.  That song is so her!  Every time I hear it I think of her.  Every time I look at a picture from Atlanta I think of her.  She wasn’t in a lot of the pictures because of her illness but she is in the memories of my heart and that show.  She made friends with the girls there and this has expanded my little area of Duranies in Tennessee.

Kim and Crista on the day after the show in Atlanta
Kim and Crista on the day after the show in Atlanta

Kim has been a DD fan for as long as she can remember after the video for Hungry Like the Wolf really hooked her.  Kim’s favorite songs are Seventh Stranger and Pretty Ones, but her moods change and she finds herself being pulled toward different songs based on her mood.  Kim is also a John girl and always has been.  She was relatively new to the Duran concert and meet up scene at the end of the All You Need Is Now Tour but found herself at a number of shows and meet ups with a great group of friends since then!  She lives in Tennessee with her husband and pets.

 

Power to Change the Point of View: Album Reviews

Our friend Manuela from Milan is back with a guest blog shortly reviewing the studio albums since Andy left the band for the second time. See how your thoughts match up with hers!  -R 

by Manuela Salvade

On September 26, it will mark ten years without Andy on guitars (or with Dom on guitars, depending on your point of view… Lol!).

(ed. note: Dom had played previously with Duran Duran, but Manuela means as a permanent member of the touring band instead of just as a stand-in for Andy)

While all the hard die fans are celebrating the lasting of this current line-up, I won’t share my feelings about it.  Instead, I’m will review their studio albums released during this period. Overall, I really love the albums, they’re awesome and I don’t find there is the same sort of “re-invention” we had with the Notorious” days.  That said, I love the wisdom they’ve acquired along the way. These three albums are part of a truly awesome legacy.

RED CARPET MASSACRE

At first I just found the music funny, dance-y and groove-y. I rated it as one of the best pop “experiments” done with producers who really don’t share much with their DNA, think of Alex Sadkin, or Ian Little in 1983. Few years since its release, they had a tour—with that memorable electro-set, no less—now my thoughts are that it wasn’t an album to underrate. RCM actually was a seed for the following albums! The real “geniuses” weren’t the Timbaland’s team, but just the 4 guys who today could capitalize the RCM moment. The guitars are awesome and not many noticed, because they were too busy ranting on the Andy/the 4 guys affair.

ALL YOU NEED IS NOW

Another awesome page of DD’s history. It features pop gems. There was chemistry with us fan—who can forget the interactions on the social platforms and during the concerts??—there was chemistry with Dom, whose guitars sounds fab. So, the main factors of “chemistry” and “peace-of-mind” made that period one of their best ones.

PAPER GODS

I love the accuracy in the arrangements, I love the wisdom in the lyrics, and I love the groove. It all brings me back to 1993 as I find in the same accuracy in the arrangements on the second self-titled album. This is the first “fruit” of Red Carpet Massacre. The tracks are strongly dance oriented, similarly to RCM. Under the surface, I did assume the boys wanted to use the Red Carpet Massacre days to fruition, as they didn’t seem to enjoy it much at the time.

These three albums are the real (awesome) legacy to me.  The controversy on the Andy’s affair, the words sometimes spoken by the guys I found hard to acknowledge as the “down” moments that disappointed me. I won’t cry any tears for those things I have seen or heard and didn’t like. These three albums are what will survive. Words can pass by, music doesn’t. Both Negative and positive events took place in these past few years, but the music was the energy above all.

Manuela picManuela is a long time Duran fan and of pop rock music from the 70s right thru today. She is a public employee at the Milan Town Hall, for a Bureau that provides with a service of help, advice, moderation and support, but no PR, to all organizers of small and big events in her town: EXPO 2015, she is behind the scenes of Fashion Weeks, of MTV and other live concerts, big sport events like Champions League, NBA. She is also a loyal, kind and loving friend and partner.

None of the Above: Fan Categories

Manuela is one of our most ardent Daily Duranie supporters and is from Italy. For her guest blog, she is expanding upon an idea Amanda originally presented here on Daily Duranie regarding different categories of fans. (this idea originally comes from Amanda’s brother, Matthew Pustz, who is a college professor and expert on comic book fandom!) 

Manuela’s views here are slightly different from the ones we’ve previously presented.  That’s OK – we like different, and we all have our own points of view, which we certainly welcome here.  Enjoy!  -R

Thanks for blogging, Manuela!

 

-by Manuela Salvade

I am a long-time music fan. I have encountered, and I had the chance to become friend with many others so far. For fun or as a game,  I am going to narrow down a list of the fan categories and describe the people I’ve met along the way. In the end, I will also tell you where I believe I fit in.

The hard-die fans

They are usually longtime fans and they are what the music stars call the “fan base”. They are particularly loyal and supportive. Sometimes, their support and points of view are so strong that it’s hard to have a dialogue with them on any different view of the topics you are speaking of.  These fans have a strong “ego”, which sometimes makes them seem as sort of “Guardians of the Flame” of everyone’s passion and which is sometimes not necessary! You can be sure that if any other music fan tries to bother you, these fans immediately come to your help and defend you from those “bullies”. The hard-die fans are usually awesome administrators of Pages, Groups, Fans Communities, so on… on the social sites. They are usually a type of conduit between the music stars and the fans, even if they themselves do not know the band personally or work for the management.

The loyal fans

They are also hard-die fans, but the difference with the above category of fans is that they can come at any point during their music heroes’ career. They are lovely, mostly open-minded people. They love whatever their fave music star releases. The beauty of being with them is that you can chat with them, unless you hurt them or you are rude. The key term of their fandom is “freedom”: they want to be free to love, free to say their opinions, they want to be free to pick up the friends they need and they want to feel free to even criticize fans and heroes when necessary!

The “regulars”

The fans who participate in this group seem to be relatively young  because you can see them mostly on the internet. These fans have like a regular schedule they follow, in order to post on message boards, FB, Twitter accounts, so on, only on certain days during the week, or only during a certain time during the days… You can have a chat, you can be their friend, but your conversation can happen only during the regulars’ schedule. They are not rude people, as they don’t want to avoid being with the rest of the fandom: it’s just not possible to them to always be on the computer all day. Their schedule is given by family reasons, by their job reasons, by technical reasons,… They can belong to any of the other fans’ groups I mentioned here and they do love their music star. The celebrities appreciate their posts, and they are grateful for their presence. Other parts of the fandom might get irritated to see them posting, and a few fans might even see them as “stalkers”.

The one-album fans

They are amazing fans, but you can meet them on few occasions: it depends on the quality of the new release. Nothing can guarantee you that they become hard-die fans, because basically they love only one thing at that moment. Nothing can guarantee you that you can have together a conversation on many topics regarding your fave stars, as they are one-time music lovers.

Who do I think I am? I think I am a (lovely) loyal and regular fan. I am a regular for family and job reasons: I can “appear” only because my private schedule allows me to. I am aware it is a bit frustrating for others who care to interact with me online, but for now, it is the best I can do. I was blocked by fans on Twitter, I guess because I expressed too much love and that is bad. I was followed for some tim  by more than one idols of mine and that was very kind of them.

Do you have other “social” categories” you’d love to add to my list?

 

Manuela picManuela is a long time Duran fan and of pop rock music from the 70s right thru today. She is a public employee at the Milan Town Hall, for a Bureau that provides with a service of help, advice, moderation and support, but no PR, to all organizers of small and big events in her town: EXPO 2015, she is behind the scenes of Fashion Weeks, of MTV and other live concerts, big sport events like Champions League, NBA. She is also a loyal, kind and loving friend and partner.

Lost in the Flow: Waiting For a Chance Meeting

By Jen Salinsky

While I am happy to read accounts from others about their concert experiences for Duran Duran’s Paper Gods tour, I must also say I’m disappointed that I won’t able to attend one of the shows.  It would have been interesting to see them perform with Chic.  One double-billed concert which my husband and I had the fortune of attending was a performance of the Sting/Peter Gabriel Rock, Paper, Scissors tour.  Ours was the first show of the tour, and it took place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on June 21, 2016.

As much as I enjoyed that experience, I wish that Duran Duran would have toured somewhere closer to this part of the country so that we would have had an opportunity to see them live.

The third Duran Duran concert I attended took place at the Agora Theatre, also in Columbus, on November 13, 2003, and I was particularly excited for this event.  Not only were the Fab Five back together and touring, but I was going actually going to get to see them in all their glory.

This concert was particularly significant because my mother surprised me with a VIP package for my twenty-fifth birthday.  Not only would I get to see the band for a third time, but the package also included a guaranteed seat in one of the first seven rows, two free drinks, a laminate pass, a red and black tote bag, and a randomly-selected entry ticket to meet the band!  I know that a lot of standard VIP packages include these kinds of things, but I was overjoyed because this was my first experience with such a luxury.

Of course, the random drawing was the thing which excited me the most.  I already had it in my mind that I was going to meet the band, as I had brought gifts for Simon.  The gifts included: a T-shirt which I had made for him, one of his poems, “Ghostly Encounter,” typed out in a fancy font, a letter which I had written him, and one of my poetry books, Opening the Doors.

I was crestfallen when I found out that I wasn’t chosen to meet the band, but I soon cheered up after I ran into a woman who had won one of the drawings.  I handed the items over to her over to her—the ones which I intended to give Simon, and she said that she would take them back for me.  After the show, I encountered her again.  While she did not see Simon, she told me that Nick would said he would deliver everything to him.  Her news had given me hope, but I never found out if Simon received my gifts.

The concert was great despite the fact that I did not get to meet the band.  Those of us who had the second-tier VIP packages were invited into a private room to see the sound check, which was an unexpected treat.  (My second Duran Duran VIP package, which I’d received nearly two years later, did not include the same privilege.)

For me, the highlight of the entire concert was when Simon reached down and touched hands with some of the people in the first row.  When he put his hand in mine, I could have sworn that I felt myself ascend to heaven.  That event made my entire night, and I gushed about it for days afterward, until I had to go back to the reality of graduate school.  That did not stop me from telling almost everyone I’d encountered about my wonderful experience, though.

Nearly two years later, I saw Duran Duran for the last time on August 2, 2005 at the Chevy amphitheatre in Pittsburgh, PA.  (Ironically, this was the first venue where I had seen them in 2000, only it was called the I.C. Light amphitheatre at that time.)

The concert, itself, was good, but the most memorable moment occurred afterward.  I decided to hang around near the back entrance and wait for the band to come out the doors as they readied to depart for their next destination.  The area was not exactly crowded, but I could see that there were others who waited for the same opportunity.

I clutched a copy of my second published poetry book, A View of Dreams, in my hand.  It was autographed and ready to give to Nick.  Since I had chosen Simon to be the recipient of my gifts for the 2003 concert, I decided that Nick would be the object of my fan affection at this particular venue.

I waited a respectable distance, along with the others, until one of the “guards” gave me permission to approach the van.  I simply told him that I wanted to give Nick a gift, and he let me through.

Once I eagerly approached the van, I smiled, knowing that there were only a few feet of air and a glass window between us.  Adrenaline coursed through my veins.  It almost seemed like time stood still, because, in a few short moments, I was going to introduce myself to Nick Rhodes!

I tried to remain patient as he made the motion to open the passenger window on the backseat door.  I shortly discovered that it was going to be a very difficult task, especially when I found that he was having trouble getting the window down.  It made me wonder what Nick was thinking as he looked up at my anxious face.

My heart sank when the car started to drive away.  Nick frowned by means of an apology as we went our separate ways, presumably forever.  To say that I was disappointed was a great understatement, but I was determined not to let that interfere with my overall experience.  I got to touch Simon’s hand and almost meet Nick Rhodes, which is more than I can say for my concert experience at the Peter Gabriel show.  But it gives me comfort to know that the book is still in my possession, and I might send it to Nick if I ever find the proper means.  It is not too late to let the members of Duran Duran know just how much I admire them.

JenJen Selinsky was born in Pittsburgh, PA.  She was raised in Cranberry Township.  Jen has authored and self-published over 150 books which are available for purchase at online retailers including: Lulu, Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and many more.  Jen’s bestselling title is her unauthorized Duran Duran biography, Reach up for the Sunrise.  Her work has also been featured in publications such as: Indiana LibrariesFocus on Indiana LibrariesThe Courier-Journal, and Liphar Magazine.  Jen lives in Southern Indiana with her husband.

All You Need is Then: DD in Las Vegas

Just a reminder that we graciously accept reviews from DD shows, as well as blogs on any topic that has to do with Duran Duran. Today Jason Lent shares a different perspective on the recent Las Vegas show. If you’re interested in submitting a blog, please check out our “Guest Blog” page for information. 

For the next two weeks I will be on vacation with family (I’m doing nearly the polar opposite of “touring” by going camping with family in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons), so I have a few guest blogs to take my place. Enjoy!!  -R

By Jason Lent

My nostalgia drenched July wrapped up with Duran Duran at the Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas. Seven nights earlier, I stood in a parking lot downtown while Howard Jones and OMD performed on what felt like the surface of the sun. After Duran Duran, Howard Jones and Thompson Twins were pivotal touchstones in my formative years of music while OMD were always on the edges of my life soundtrack. All three provided different reminders of why I love the synth pop sounds of the 1980s.  I still find myself expecting more from Duran Duran overall because they were “my” band as an impressionable 11-year-old. As I walked to my car that night in a mad dash to escape a parking garage built by Satan himself, I realized that no matter what the band does now, all I ever needed from them was already given to me back then.

Touring in support of Paper Gods, I went into last night’s show having already seen the earliest incarnation of this tour in 2015 at the Hollywood Bowl and the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas. Selfishly hoping for some radical updates to the set list (this was, after all, the second Vegas show in under a year), I knew that such dreams were foolish. At this point, the band has firmly entrenched itself into the legacy circuit where delivering the most appeal to the largest amount of people is job number one. With that as the goal, this current tour might be as effective as any they’ve undertaken in the last twenty years.  That night in Las Vegas, the cheers of the arena were literally deafening and I awoke the following morning with a ringing in my ears that I’d have expected if I stood in front of the PA at a Five Finger Death Punch concert (on a side note, very cool that Chris Kael from Death Punch was at the Duran show last night!).

From the viewpoint of a casual fan, there is no denying the overall power of the current show. After the artsy run through of the new album’s title track, the hits come fast and furious. Wild Boys, Hungry Like The Wolf, and A View To A Kill lifted the crowd to their feet and had them screaming along. The band appeared to be thrilled by the reception and Simon LeBon stepped into the role of the saucy frontman, a role he was born to play. Come Undone, the finest single of their second career peak, sounded and looked brilliant, providing one of the many highlights.

For the more ardent Duranie, the disappointment with the current show resides in the lack of hope that each show provides. Maybe this always existed with Duran Duran but age and technology now infringe on the innocent hope we carried to shows as teenagers. There is no mystery to which songs might be played and the stage banter feels a little too comfortable as a result. The show is the show and the band delivers it night after night at a very high level. However, most of us know exactly when LeBon is about to ask the audience if anybody is hungry. This lack of spontaneity and a refusal to push themselves outside their comfort zone takes a little sparkle off the modern Duran Duran.

For those of us who lived and died with each album (and Liberty sometimes felt like it wanted to kill me), the current tour does offer a few moments of ecstasy such as a killer performance of I Don’t Want Your Love from Big Thing and a reworked take on Girls On Film that feels funky and fresh. Both of these choices do nothing to hamper the casual fan’s appreciation of the show while giving us more fanatical sorts the hope for more twists and turns in the future. The clock is forever ticking when a band sticks around for over three decades but Duran Duran has some gas left in the tank and the next tour could be truly special if they are willing to take a few more chances.

First and foremost in my mind would be to bring 25-30 songs on the tour and arrange each set list slightly differently from town to town. In doing so, the band would have to stay on their toes musically from night-to-night. Why does that matter? It brings out the best in musicians. What if Notorious and Pressure Off weren’t always side by side for example. The songs are too similar sitting next to each other. If Notorious dropped down into the encore, it’s not like Nile Rodgers isn’t going to come back on stage. From what I’ve seen, he’ll take any chance to get in front of the audience especially if he gets to remind us of all the #1 hits he worked on. God bless the man, but we know you’re a legend. Stop telling us each night.

If the band brought 30 songs on the road, those extra tracks could open up a whole new world to long time fans. It starts with the new material. Last Night In the City should be dropped. It’s a boring EDM track that feels like the band trying to appeal to the very people who aren’t buying concert tickets regardless. Sunset Garage, a far better track, with a video montage of the band over the years could be a show highlight. The fatal flaw with Paper Gods was the decision to put the most Duran sounding songs into the “bonus tracks” of different versions of the release. Ask a hundred Duran fans and we would choose Planet Roaring over Danceophobia almost 100% of the time.

In addition to a better mix of the new tracks, the band’s depth gets grossly overlooked in the current tour which can be fixed fairly easily. All You Need Is Now from 2010 was one of their best studio albums since Rio and not a single song makes the current tour. This is more ludicrous than the decision to cover Public Enemy’s 911 Is A Joke. The album that brought them back into arenas gets no attention while the band continues to play Reach Up For the Sunrise, a modest hit but hardly essential listening. To make matters worse, the band taunts us with a chorus from New Moon On Monday in the middle of Sunrise. Here’s an idea, just play Monday, one of the beloved singles from the band’s biggest period.

As a kid, collecting Duran Duran 12” records felt like my life mission. On the flip side of the Careless Memories 12” was a track called Fame. At that age, I didn’t know who David Bowie was and this was my first time hearing an artist whose career and life would greatly influence everything I love in music. If the band had added Fame to the set list for this tour, not only would it have paid tribute to our collective hero, it would have taken us all back to the early stages of fandom when we were full of hope and wonder. I chalk up the medley of Planet Earth and Space Oddity as a near miss but still a lot of fun last night.

So where do we go from here? Next year is the 35th anniversary of Rio and the trend of bands revisiting complete works shows no signs of dissipating. Rather than head back into the studio, I hope Duran Duran embraces their legacy fully and undertakes a summer tour to celebrate a landmark album in all our lives. Open each night with a handful of other hits, take an intermission with a short film of the band in the studio and on video sets over the years, play Rio in its entirety and finish the night with an encore of even more hits. The ticket sales would be monumental and those of us who stayed with them all along would be rewarded with rarely heard songs like Hold Back the Rain.

I look forward to new albums and new tours while continuing to want more of the past each show. Last night was an amazing experience and despite my many words above, I left with a huge smile on my face. The music critic in me will always explore every corner of my Duran Duran fandom but my passion never diminishes. The recent resurgence in interest for their work vindicates many of us who grew up being teased for loving five good-looking lads from England. Take away their youthful smiles, the expensive videos, and all the radio hits and you still have truly gifted musicians with a natural-born entertainer on the mic. Duran Duran forever.

 

Jason Lent Guest Blogger thumbnailJason Lent discovered Duran Duran on MTV in 1983 and a lifelong musical love affair was born. In 2010, he left a job in Hawaii to tour with Cowboy Junkies as a music writer and his work has appeared in various online music outlets. He currently resides in Las Vegas managing a music venue while trying to learn John Taylor’s bass line from Rio.

 

Show Commentary: BB&T Pavilion, Camden NJ

We were fortunate to get a couple of different reviews for the DD show at BB&T Pavilion in Camden NJ – this one coming to us from Cindy Koller.  Thanks so much for sharing, Cindy!! We welcome any and all reviews of DD shows, so if you feel inclined to write – let us know! -R

By Cindy Koller

The dawning of July 21st brought a lot of excitement. I had just returned the night before from a brutal 10 hour drive north from Myrtle Beach. I was ready to have some fun, and I knew the Duran Duran concert would fit the bill nicely, so to speak.

I am a fan of 33 years and this would be my twelfth show over a 29 year span. Duran has never disappointed me and always puts on a great show, so I knew it would be a fantastic night. I gathered two of my Duranie friends and made the 90 minute drive to Camden: a city with “a tricky reputation” as Simon would say later that night.

An additional fun fact was that by a pure happenstance, an old Duranie friend I had not seen since high school was going to be joining us for the show, instead of my son. She has attended many shows over the years, from The Dead to Dave Matthews to John Mayer. She is a regular attendee of the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Yet, she had never seen Duran live. She would bring a whole new realm to my experience that night.

I was actually excited to see CHIC a little more than Duran, as I have liked them since 1979 and had never seen them live. Their music is part of the foundation of my musical taste that would eventually lead me to Duran. I love Nile Rodgers and just could not wait to see him perform with his band.

We arrived at the BB&T Pavilion, and after getting our refreshments, we entered the venue. It is an open air amphitheater, with 7,000 seats under the roof and a large lawn area beyond. I had purchased tickets 5 rows from the stage, on John’s side. I was beyond thrilled! As we walked to our seats, TOKiMONSTA was just finishing her live DJ set. She soon took her bows and my small group chatted while we waited for CHIC.

Chic takes the stage!
Chic takes the stage! Photo courtesy of Cindy Koller

The venue was still half empty as CHIC was announced, but they were nonplussed. And the set they performed was sheer perfection! Nile and his band were tight and obviously loved performing as they put on one hell of a show. Both female singers were great, but the one named Kimberly gave all of us chills! Her voice was so warm and full of soul. Fantastic! They played a few of their hits and launched into a set of hits that Nile had helped pen, like Diana Ross’ I’m Coming Out, Philly’s Sister Sledge’s We Are Family, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky and the highlight, Bowie’s Let’s Dance. CHIC was absolutely phenomenal! I can see why John Taylor says they raise the bar for Duran’s performances.

Another small intermission while CHIC’s gear was broken down was another chance to just enjoy my friends and the atmosphere. CHIC had definitely gotten us in the mood to groove, so by the time the smoke started to emanate around the stage, we were ready to party!

photo courtesy of Cindy Koller
photo courtesy of Cindy Koller

With the first thunder crack, I actually looked behind me, to the lawn area behind, wondering if the bad weather that had been threatened had arrived. But with the next crack and the light flash, I knew it was Duran’s opening. The lights went down and soon I could see some silhouetted figures moving across the stage, one headed right towards us. I watched as John slipped his bass on to his shoulders and I felt the surge of electric excitement as they were about to launch into their set. Paper Gods filled the venue followed by the screams of the crowd. The stage lights came up and we were off!

What Are the Chances. Photo courtesy of Cindy Koller
What Are the Chances. Photo courtesy of Cindy Koller

Now, I will admit I have been one of those fans complaining about the lack of change in the set list. It really hasn’t changed much since the AYNIN tour, but I have to say, it just works. The others with me were thrilled with the song choices, and probably would have been disappointed if “Rio”, “Come Undone”, or “Hungry Like the Wolf” had not been played. I always grouse before the show, but once I’m there, the setlist is golden!

So, needless to say, song after song, I danced my behind off, enjoying the performance masters that are Duran Duran. Nick was still absent, but TOKiMONSTA filled his spot for the first time and she did quite well! Every moment was to be savored and I did my best to do so. It was a warm and humid night, but that did not stop us from singing and dancing along.

Encore time and “Save a Prayer” was dedicated to those who have experienced the craziness in our world today, lost loved ones to the craziness or just feel the world is a frightening place. Terrorism touches us all now and cell phones were held high in solidarity.

photo courtesy of Cindy Koller
photo courtesy of Cindy Koller

Simon bantered with the crowd about Camden, since it is in New Jersey, but is also directly across the Delaware river from Philadelphia. Were we a Philly crowd, or a New Jersey crowd? I still think Philly won the scream vote. He danced and turned and frolicked about the stage, seeming to defy his 57 years. And yes, he caught his tambourine!! (I watched him clock himself with it in 2008 and always hold my breath whenever he throws it.)

Roger was the solid man we all know him to be, his drumming precise and on beat. Dom was his phenomenal self, playing his parts perfectly. Anna and Erin, two fantastic singers in their own rights, were great and loved to get the crowd involved. Simon Willescroft sauntered about the front of the stage for his sax solos. Am I leaving someone out?

JT and Simon Willescroft. Photo courtesy of Cindy Koller
JT and Simon Willescroft. Photo courtesy of Cindy Koller

Oh! John Taylor! Of course I could not forget him! Since we were seated directly in front of his bass speakers (!), every note went right through us. Literally. When he went to his bass synth for Last Night in the City, the others in my party were shocked! Why yes, John now has a synth in his arsenal. He smiled and danced and seemed to be having a fantastic time. The only curiosity was why did he leave his leather jacket on all night? He wore it through the whole set until they reemerged for the encore. The man had to be sweltering! And he had the last words of the night, as he mentioned all of the Philly venues Duran had played in over the years, thanked Philly for “the long fucking journey with Duran” and promised to see us again soon. At least he got city/state the loyalties right!

All in all, it was a fantastic show that was over much too fast.

I asked my high school Duranie friend to give me her impression, as it was her first Duran show. Here are her thoughts (with permission):

“Having the opportunity to finally see Duran Duran live and in person was amazing! Seeing those boys come running out on stage and performing Wild Boys, brought up nostalgic memories of loving this band to the point of obsession. They were fun and energetic, seeming to never slow down! This was a high energy show, with no low points to speak of. I see many concerts, and this show was the most fun I’ve had. Every song delivered the appropriate goose bump effects.”

Funny, even though it was my 12th show, Duran still brings out the goose bumps in me too.

CindyKollerBio
Cindy (white t-shirt), along with friends for the DD show in Camden NJ.

Cindy Koller is a mom of two (raised to be Duranies, of course), that has been a Duran Duran fan since July of 1983. (33 years!) She lives with her husband and teenage kids in Western Chester County, Pennsylvania, about 75 minutes outside of Philadelphia. She is a letter carrier in Kennett Square, PA who is lucky enough to have a TAYLOR Street on her delivery route!

Paper Gods in Camden New Jersey!

By Eileen Teti
After all of the years of seeing Duran Duran, I finally got a VIP package for the Camden New Jersey show! I had hoped for the front row with the back stage tour, but that sold out, so I was happy to get the 2nd row with the cocktail hour and a nice package in the mail.
The day arrived Thursday, and I left work early to get into the parking lot a head of time. Some folks were there tailgating and one fan was playing “Paper Gods”, so I shut my car off as that is what I had on.
 The VIP cocktail hour was great. I met a fan, who like me, had a seat alone, and was it was also her first time doing all of this. I also saw a friend I have not seen in over 20 years, which was great!The food was actually good, with a vegetarian choice of a main dish. We also had a private restroom which came in handy later between Chic and Duran Duran!
 I missed MNDR, my cousin saw her ( I did miss her not sitting with me as usual, she and her hubby were a bit further back) and said she did a good job DJ’ing dance music.
(ed note: we’re a little confused as to whether Tokimonsta or MNDR DJ’ed  and/or played keyboards at this particular show.  There have been a few pictures that seem to show Tokimonsta at the keyboards.)
Now, on to the show. I got to my seat as Chic was being announced. I was super excited to see there was no front row seat in front of my second row seat, and I was closer to the center than I thought; I wound up right in front of Dom when Duran came on.
 I have to say, Nile R. and Chic blew me away!!  I was surprised how many songs he wrote for various artists, and since he produced, “Let’s Dance” by Bowie, they played that as well!  I was super excited when he smiled at me as I was one of the few folks there in my row! He really has a great smile. He mentioned his battle with cancer, and they did “Get Lucky” ; starting off slow, then getting into it! He dedicated it to folks who struggled with cancer as well. They had folks on stage from the audience for their last number “Good Times” and it was neat seeing children and seniors alike up there.
 So next up, was of course Duran Duran. A security guard asked where I was siting when I crept up to the gate as close to the stage as you can get, and I was pleasantly surprised when he said since there was no front row seat in front of mine, I could stay there!
Eileen3Most folks know the set list I am sure by now, so no surprise they opened with Paper Gods, which was fabulous! By “Hungry Like the Wolf” I had my chance to show Simon my sign, “Simon, you still got it!” This was the first time I made a sign and felt like a teenager. He strutted by, looked at it, and smiled at me. Well, I could end this review right here! Somewhere in cyberspace there is a photo of me with it—a photographer took a few of me, but I have no idea who he was with.
The energy of the band was incredible. Being in front of Dom was a treat, he smiles at you the whole time. Like most folks, I was sad Nick could not be there, but MNDR did a fine job, and did not do Nick’s bit on “The Reflex” but had us do that.
Eileen2When Nile Rodgers took the stage, there was a tender moment with Simon as Simon said how they truly love him and they had a hug on stage. It was great seeing him play on stage with the band, and it was cool when he was next to Dom as the ladies near myself and I got another smile from him during “Pressure Off”.
I loved the “New Moon On Monday” thrown in with “Reach up for the Sunrise”. I can’t remember when I heard them play that last, so it was a treat.
 The David Bowie tribute actually made me cry and seeing the beautiful photo of him on the screen was wonderful. Simon also threw a “Little Red Corvette” line  at the end of “Save a Prayer” for Prince. That was also incredible, he talked about the horrible things going on in the world, telling us all to be optimists and have hope.  Saying that if not, “the world will go to shit”. Right on, Simon!
 Being a Philly girl, I loved the exchange Simon had us do with the Jersey folks, he would yell “New Jersey” , then “Philly “, then agreed we were all beautiful people. He then reminded folks that Philly was were Duran played “View to a Kill” live first at Live Aid. John also went on about Philly toward the end of the concert. Yay, Philly!!
Eileen4Anna and Erin were great on vocals. The mike for Simon W.’s sax went in and out during Rio, so I felt bad for him there! This was when the beach balls came out; I did not see them at first; weird thing about being in front; after seeing video of the show, I realized that I did not see a lot of the light show type things as well. I got a shriveled up beach ball to take home to my kids thanks to a security guard. I also loved the confetti for “Pressure Off”. I had read a review of a show where they did not do this; maybe due to the venue? I am so glad they did it here, it was magical.
It really seemed like the band enjoyed themselves on stage. Simon really talked a lot to the crowd and joked around. I saw fans young and old—old as in older than me, so I was impressed, ha ha!!  I love their new album, and so glad they are touring.
Eileen5
 One thing I missed—they played nothing from the previous album, including the title track, “All You Need is Now”. I am assuming they really could not fit it in. I am not upset they are not shaking up the set list much as it was solid. Seeing them so many times, you usually hear something different every tour.
Oh, and lastly, for Rhonda and Amanda, JT did NOT have those track pants on, whew!
Eileen1
Eileen is a big fan of Duran Duran and Daily Duranie is so pleased that she agreed to share her review with us!!

Go Directly to the Voodoo with DD in Austin Texas!

Ed note: We’re always looking for willing bloggers to share their concert experiences!  Today we have a guest blogger from the UK sharing a tale of his adventure to the US for a recent gig!  

By Nigel

When DD hit the scene I was in my early twenties. I bought their first two albums , I still think the first album is their best, followed now by Paper Gods. Through the nineties, DD were on my radar, with songs like “Ordinary World” striking a chord. I also remember a small TV concert with Emma Bunton (Baby Spice)  while I sat on a sofa. I don’t remember hearing of reunion gigs in the early nineties,  but I do remember “Sunrise” being released.

Then in  mid-2015, I saw A Diamond in the Mind on TV.  I was impressed with their fantastic live show. Dom and Anna on stage enhanced the whole performance.  Songs like “The Reflex” with its longer intro sounded even better than the original . After a few plays of the classics I slowly began to enjoy the new songs like “Girl Panic”, etc. This led me to see if any other new material was about.

The timing was perfect because Paper Gods was to be released in September, followed by a world tour.  I decided on going to my first DD concert and set about learning all the songs on Paper Gods.

My first DD gig was to take place on December 10th in  Bournemouth, only 80 miles from my current home, and also my second home town having spent all my childhood holidays in my parents caravan nearby (Simon said at the concert that he had been nearby in Canford Heath in his early years, maybe we met on the beach 50 years earlier?).

As I arrived at the concert I was aware that the audience was still mainly female, but there were also couples and some mums and daughters etc. Being a straight male at my first DD concert on my own, I felt at ease with the crowd around me, as I was about to sing every word to all the songs. I have to say the atmosphere from ten thousand middle age women screaming was quite exciting!!  I was hooked. (Why had it taken me thirty years to see this, I wondered?) The concert was amazing!  In my opinion, Duran are still at the top of their game due to their fans, their songwriting, and their performances

After the show, I met some great Duranies at  Bar So, just opposite the concert venue.  Whilst chatting to some lovely ladies from Southampton, we were joined by a guy from the US (Boston, actually), dressed in a green superman cape.   He joined in with our conversation and appeared to be known to most people in the bar. I had a spare ticket to see another great British band the following night in Bournemouth. (Status Quo)  I offered the ticket to my new friend in the cape.  The following night was a real laugh with an American who had never heard of Status Quo. (they opened Live Aid).  At some point, he suggested that I should come to the US when DD tour next year.  I thought to myself, what a great idea for a holiday!!

After an email from my new friend in USA, I decided that Austin, Texas would be ideal for my next DD concert. With Chic supporting it meant that my two favourite bands ever would be on the same bill! I bought two tickets, and my best mate Stuart agrees to join me for a lads week away in Austin.  Time to party!!

We arrived in Austin two days before the concert and partied on sixth street.  We went to Buffalo Billiards, along with a very posh bar at the JW Marriott.

Friday marked the day of the show.  We took a taxi for $50.00 to the 360 Amphitheatre, and we weren’t sure if we could get a taxi back.  Our British phones weren’t working, so we had some residual fear in the backs of our minds that maybe we would be stuck there all night.

Before the show we had a drink.  Two ladies from Tulsa ask if they could join us as we had spare seats.  I answer, “Of course!!”  The conversation began about DD. They asked,  “Are you from England? That is a long way to come!!”  After some great banter, friendships were made with Dannette and Petra. Petra is a JT fan and told me that JT’s middle name is Nigel.  I corrected her by explaining it was his real first name, which amused her friend Dannette greatly!

My two new lady friends, Dannielle and Petra. Courtesy of Nigel
My two new lady friends, Dannielle and Petra.
Courtesy of Nigel

We then convinced them to give us Brits a lift back into Austin after the show . They were going to search the hotels to find DD.  I told them about my other new friend  in the green cape and said that if he was at the show, he would probably be in the right hotel with DD !!
The concert began and Chic took the stage. Nile sang “Get Lucky” as well as all the classics, which was fantastic!  The last song was “Rappers Delight”,  and people from the audience were also on the stage.  I looked up and there was my man (the caped crusader from Bournemouth) in a high visibility jacket. (He owed me a favour for that free ticket in Bournemouth!)   During the intermission before DD took the stage, I tracked him down in the crowd.  We spoke and I was able to get some “after show information ” from him.

I realize it was going to be a great night, worth traveling 9,000 miles!   The DD concert is even better on a hot Texas night, with a full moon over the stage during “Hungry Like The (were) Wolf!!”  Tributes were paid to Prince (Simon’s first to him) as well.

After the show,  we met our new lady friends from Tulsa. Petra was trying to get backstage with the wrong pass, and Dannette phoned to tell her I had good information from the caped crusader!!
We left the venue for the hotel in Austin.  In our best English accents we attempted to teach two girls from Tulsa how to say “Bon, Simon Le Bon”, with no American accent!! We were all having such a great time!!
As we arrived at the hotel, security was tight, but I was ready.   There was only Valet parking,  and so after one lap of the car park,  I hop out (of the car).  With my English accent in a Texas hotel, it was “obvious” I was with DD, right?  The car was parked for us, and we walked to the bar, closely followed by the caped crusader, (now known as high visibility man !!  ) And….. ooh yeah…. SLB along with the rest of the DD entourage, etc.  Our two new lady friends were in heaven, and admittedly I was feeling pretty good too !!  My mate Stuart is not a Duranie, mind you, and found it all to be a bit funny.

Me, my friend Stuart and Dannielle and Petra photo courtesy of Nigel.
Me, my friend Stuart and Dannielle and Petra
photo courtesy of Nigel.

The caped crusader joins us for a drink and SLB is on the next table.
What a night!   We lived life to the fullest!!  Good times on a DD adventure!!!

Nigel was born in 1961 in Swindon Wilts Uk. (Swindon is abNigel Thumbnailout 20 miles away from Salisbury. He thinks he read somewhere that JT has a house near Salisbury but he’s never seen him shopping…and he wonders why did he change his stage name to John??)  His musical tastes through the seventies were probably similar to DD.   Bowie, Queen, and T. Rex to name a few. His first concerts were quite heavy metal: Deep Purple, Judas Priest. In the later seventies he also liked Disco: Chic and Earth  Wind and Fire (who he saw in concert early in the eighties).