On today’s date in 2004, Duran Duran played Wembley Arena in London, UK. They played Wembley Arena five nights during this period in 2004: April 13, April 14, April 24 and then April 30 and May 1st. I hear they sold the place out….
As you might recall, the band released a little DVD aptly named Live from London, which was recorded at Wembley during these shows… and if memory serves, there may have been a few theatre screenings of this DVD scattered across the US to celebrate it’s release. Duran Duran on a big screen? YES.
We should really do all that again, don’t you think??
Yesterday, Rhonda broke some big news about Durandemonium 2013, the fan convention we have been working on. Saturday’s activities were outlined, which includes a panel with authors in the Duran universe, various Duran games, the dinner banquet, and partying all night long at Late Bar. Yet, the piece that we are particularly excited about is the one time screening of A Diamond in the Mind on the big screen at a movie theater in Chicago! Clearly, we aren’t the only ones excited by this as I have seen many tweets from people about what they are looking forward to with this. For some people, it is seeing their favorite band member on the big screen! For others, it is about seeing their favorite song played with the surround sound of a movie theater! For me, it brings me back to one of my favorite moments of 2005, the Live from London screening.
In November of 2005, the band released the DVD of Live from London, a DVD of one of their live performances from Wembly in London in 2004. This DVD came out after the band had released Astronaut and had completed a number of legs of a world tour, including two in the States. Many of us were still on cloud nine from having the Fab Five reunite, from having them make a new album and from having them play live. Personally, I attended a number of shows both in the spring and summer of that year. Yet, my thirst for the band wasn’t quenched by all of those shows. I wanted more. I couldn’t get enough, in fact. Thus, when they announced that the release of this DVD would be accompanied by 10 screenings all across the States, I knew that I had to go. I was lucky enough to be within driving distance to go to the Chicago one. This screening would be on a Tuesday night and I even planned a day off the following day. The screening took place at a kind of crazy time for me. First, the week before saw my favorite baseball team, the Chicago White Sox, and first fandom win the World Series for the first time since 1917! During the series, I was up late for many nights in a row watching the games. Then, from Thursday to Sunday, I co-hosted a long weekend gathering of Duranies here in Madison. You can imagine how much sleep I got! This resulted in me being sick as a dog with a bad cold and fever by Monday. Yet, I was determined to go to the screening. I also figured that it would be low key. I could just sit back and relax. Well, it wasn’t that passive…
The theater was full and excitement was high! Many of us had gotten together before the screening for a pre-screening dinner, which allowed us to have a drink and to feed off of each others’ energy. Yet, as I found my seat at the screening, I still assumed that it would be a relaxed, calm setting. In fact, I think I said as much to the people I was with. I said something like, “I hope people remember that the band isn’t actually here. No reason to get all excited, right?” I believe that they agreed with me before we began to discuss which song we were most looking forward to. Yet, as the lights dimmed and the opening credits began to flash on the screen, I began to feel the twinge of real excitement. I dismissed the little butterflies inside as I, logically, pointed out to myself that the band wasn’t there so I should calm down. There was no reason to have the same reaction I get before a show. No reason. None. Yet, I sensed that I wasn’t the only one who was experienced some subtle or not-so-subtle bursts of adrenaline. The room began to buzz with excitement. Again, I tried to rationalize the situation, especially since I couldn’t breathe out of my nose at the time. I kept telling myself to chill. After all, what kind of geek would I be if I reacted so openly with excitement to JUST a DVD?!
As Sunrise finished and Hungry like the Wolf, the second song, began, the sounds coming from the audience showed me that, obviously, I wasn’t the only one struggling with maintaining control. I could hear some people beginning to sing while others were letting out little, muffled screams after a particularly attractive shot of their favorite member. By the third song, Is There Something I Should Know, it was like the dam broke and the tidal wave of excitement was unmistakeable. It was like everyone was given permission to let loose as every word and every song was sung by the audience after that! Screams were no longer muffled as *squees* were loud and proud! Duranie-ness was all encompassing and soon enough, the room felt like an island away from the real world where every fan could express their love towards the band, OPENLY and with no shame. Soon enough, members of the crowd began to act out the band’s actions as well as just singing and screaming. I, personally, remember the whole row I was sitting in doing Simon’s motions during New Religion. We all knew them and could show this, proudly! These motions didn’t just stick with the band. At times, the crowd began to mimic the audience at that Wembly show as well as the audiences during the 2005 tour. Here’s a clip I found on youtube taken at the screening in LA that showed how the audience not only sang along to Save to Prayer but also held their cell phones up to “make the stars come out” like they would do at an actual show.
Clearly, it didn’t take long to realize that this movie theater experience was going to be the opposite of a normal movie theater outing. I wouldn’t be passive and I wouldn’t want to be. I wanted to be a fan! I wanted to express myself just like I would at a concert! Everyone wanted the same thing. I fully expect A Diamond in the Mind during the convention to be the exact same way. We will all get a chance to just be Duranies with other Duranies, excited to sing along, excited to clap during Leopard or Rio, excited to follow Simon’s goofy dance moves at the end of Notorious, excited to reach up for the Sunrise and lots more! As I look back to the screening in 2005, I was so glad that I forced my sick self to go as I forgot about my stuffy nose and head. I am also glad that I went as this memory, this experience just makes me even more excited about the screening we have planned at the convention!!!!
***This screening of A Diamond in the Mind is INCLUDED in the ticket for Durandemonium2013, the Duran Duran Fan Convention in Chicago over the weekend of October 18th-October 20th. If you are interested in attending, you can purchase tickets at the Durandemonium website: http://durandemonium2013.webs.com/
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!