Category Archives: live performances

Ultimate Box Set: Live Songs FINAL Vote!

Fans of Duran Duran Live, this blog post is for you!  As dedicated readers know, we have been working on creating an Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set from fan preferences.  Fans have chosen 7 singles, 7 album tracks and 7 b-sides/demos.  Now, we need to make our final selection of best live songs to capture the quality of Duran’s live performances.  We began this task by  listing the 50 most often played songs and asked people to choose their 7 favorite live songs.  Then, we eliminated the 15 songs chosen the least, leaving 35 songs left.  After that, we did the same thing again decreasing the list to a more manageable 21.

Today begins the week long chance to pick the 7 live songs that will be included in our imaginary Ultimate Box Set.  When voting, people might consider which songs capture the band’s live performance.  Perhaps, one might think about songs that sounds so much better live.  No matter what criteria you use to cast your votes, I wish you some fun.  My advice:  Don’t think too much.  If you do, it will be next to possible to actually choose!  I, for one, look forward to the results and analyzing those next week!

-A

Feel It in the Air: Duran Duran – Mohegan Sun

On Thursday April 7, I attended my 16th Duran Duran show. Although I’m a lifelong American fan dating back to Rio, I had never seen the band until 1997. In fact, nearly all of my Duran concerts occurred between the Medazzaland and Red Carpet Massacre tours (14 shows between 1997-2008, evenly split between the 90’s era and reunited lineups). As I sat with my wife and one of my sisters the other night, waiting for the show to start and chatting with other Duranies, these thoughts ran through my mind.  How was it that I was only seeing my 2nd show in the last 8 years? Of course, starting a family, buying a house, and job demands all get in the way, as does “Durantime” and the band’s lack of touring. Regardless, I made up my mind to go into the show completely open. I was going to enjoy it, even if they played “Hungry Like the Wolf” for two hours straight! (Well, maybe that would be a bit much…but you get my point.)

A little over 24 hours later, as I write this, I am still processing what was an amazing live performance of songs old and new.  Rather than go song by song, here are some general observations:

We’ve come too far to give up who we are. 

Chic’s set was awesome. Nile and the gang played all of their hits—“Le Freak,” “I Want Your Love,” and “Good Times”—in addition to a medley of other songs that he’d written for other artists. The highlight was a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” I won’t lie, I have always loved disco (before Duran Duran, my favorite artists included Andy Gibb and the Bee Gees…I was born in the early 70’s and that’s what I grew up with!) and seeing Nile perform these songs live was a dream come true. He has an energy and enthusiasm for life that comes through in his music. Nile introduced “Get Lucky,” a song he wrote with Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams several years ago, as the response to his cancer diagnosis (and he is now cancer free!). I had never heard “Get Lucky” but it resonated with me—musically and lyrically—as Nile, Duran, and all of us fans have truly “come too far to give up who we are.” Nile Rodgers and Chic perfectly set the stage for Duran with their funky, high energy performance.

Is it out of choice that you’re here next to me, or just the aftermath of moments as they pass?

 That line—from “What are the Chances”—is one of my favorites in the entirety of the Duran catalogue. As with any lyric, its interpretation depends on the listener. Last night, I wondered if it might refer to the relationship between Dom Brown and the band. Dom has been a loyal part of the Duran family for over a decade now, not just as a “touring” guitarist but co-writer on the last two (amazing) albums. Much has been made in the Duran fandom of his status (or lack thereof) as an “official” member of the band. All I know is what I saw and heard last night: an amazing show, with great chemistry, much of it involving Dom. Gone is the tension that marked the later Warren years and the initial reunion involving Andy (where something about the “Fab 5” just felt off). Now, they seem as relaxed and sure of themselves as they were in the early 80’s, and surely Dom deserves some measure of credit for that. “What are the Chances” was amazing, emotional, and a standout from last night’s show. I have been on the fence on the track for months now, but last night put me over the edge. Dom was also great on “I Don’t Want Your Love.” While I’ve seen different lineups perform that song, the Mohegan Sun show marked two firsts: The first time I’ve ever heard Dom play it, and the first time I’ve ever heard the guitar solo played properly, like Chester Kamen played it on Big Thing. Even the dreaded “Hungry Like the Wolf” sounded livelier and refreshed (my wife noticed that as well and she is no Duranie!). “Ordinary World,” another song I know some feel should be dropped (more on that in a moment) also sounded great, thanks to Dom’s faithful rendition. While I don’t fully understand the relationship between Dom and the band, and the fact that he seems to be kept at arm’s length at times, I only know what I saw last night. I hope to continue to see him playing with Duran for years to come.

We’re all busy being human; we remember.  

So when it comes down to it, there isn’t much I would change in last night’s set. “Last Night in the City” was far better live than I ever would have imagined, with Anna Ross doing a great job. As noted above, so too was “What are the Chances.” “Paper Gods” was the perfect opener. Complimented by the visuals of the band (minus Nick, unless I missed him) singing the Mr. Hudson backing vocal on the big screen, the band took the stage. Roger’s percussion and Nick’s synth line followed Simon’s vocal, and then the crowd went nuts as John’s bass kicked in. Putting “Wild Boys” earlier in the set (rather than toward the end, where it usually is if they play it) was a great decision. It got the crowd rocking early and followed the momentum of their entrance and “Paper Gods.” Perhaps the highlight of the night were two of the tracks that Nile Rodgers cowrote—“Notorious” and “Pressure Off”—played with the hit maker himself, who returned to the stage. His chemistry with John, Dom and Simon reinforced the fact that Duran truly is like a second band for him. Even “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Ordinary World”—two hits that seem far overplayed and I could do without—sounded great last night and I would not have removed them.

That being said, I would make a few changes.   While it seemed well received, I would have eliminated “Come Undone.” I understand the band’s attachment to their few 90’s hits. However, we’re nearly a quarter century removed from The Wedding Album. If an 80’s hit like “Union of the Snake” or “The Reflex” can be omitted from the set, surely “Come Undone” can as well. Why not replace that spot in the set with something from the first three albums? “Last Chance on the Stairway” could easily function as an early mid-tempo number that would give the guys a breather while offering the fans (even the casual ones) a song they likely know.

Likewise, “Danceophobia” is a misstep that need not be repeated live. I understand from reading interviews how much the band worked on the track, and of course there is the celebrity connection with Lindsay Lohan performing on the studio version. If the goal is to get the casual Duranies to buy Paper Gods, why not replace “Danceophobia” with “Face for Today” or “Butterfly Girl”?

Finally, the band should either play the guitar-driven, 1993 version of “Too Much Information,” or go all-in and swap it out with “Drowning Man” and strip the guitar from that track (if they are so bent on playing something more from The Wedding Album). The sped-up, electro “Too Much Information” completely ruins one of their best songs.

Those quibbles aside, it was a great show for both long time Duranies and casual fans. The past may very well be “another country” but last night, for a few hours, Duran Duran, Nile Rodgers, and Chic successfully blended past and present songs for an amazing show.

HIGHLIGHTS: I Don’t Want Your Love, Paper Gods, Notorious, Pressure Off, What are the Chances, Planet Earth/Space Oddity, Save a Prayer, Sunrise/New Moon on Monday medley.

LEAST FAVORITE: Danceophobia, Too Much Information, Come Undone

MOST SURPRISING: White Lines continues to be a song that people go nuts for, even though most Duranies would probably like to see it replaced in the set. Yes, Rhonda, he still spit the water, although we were a section too far back to feel it.

BIGGEST OMISSION:  I understand the need to promote Paper Gods, but would it have killed the band to include something from All You Need Is Now?  All they need do is look at how Sunrise has become such a huge fan favorite, even with casual fans.  The same could be true of the song All You Need is Now if given the chance.  It has the same anthemic quality.

BY THE NUMBERS: Paper Gods (5), Rio (3), The Wedding Album (3), Duran Duran (2), SATR (1), Arena (1), Notorious (1), Big Thing (1), Thank You (1), Astronaut (1), & AVTAK.

-C.K

I wish I was on that plane

Can’t really beat a great review, and from what I’ve heard all over from fans who were there – the Duran gig at ACL/Formula-One for FanFest was amazing.

Let’s be honest: we’re all dying for shows. I don’t know if the band really gets it or cares, but fans miss them. GREATLY. It’s been a whopping three years since their last tour, and if you’re not from the states or didn’t hit one of those shows on the final leg of the All You Need Is Now Tour (or if you had the bad luck of having your show canceled), it’s been even longer since you’ve seen them. I have a sneaky suspicion that at this point, even a lackluster show with Hungry Like the Wolf on continuous play would have been universally cheered, even by me….but make no mistake – this was a solid show by anyone’s standards, and I’m posting a link to a review by Austin City Hall to prove it!

Daily Duranie had several friends in attendance at the show while the two of us (Amanda and I) sat at our individual homes silently weeping into our vodka tonics (ok, perhaps that was just me. I’m not sure what Amanda did on Saturday night.). It was fabulous to see Twitter and Facebook inundated with photos and even videos from the show.  While I wiped my tears and sniffled a bit, I checked out videos and pictures and felt like I was there. (almost)  Admittedly, I wish I could have gone, and the experience of sitting at home and getting the play-by-play the next morning only makes me more resolute to get to shows next year. If they tour. (PLEASE TOUR. SOON!)

Ah yes, I can almost taste the desperation lingering in the air around me….I feel the days of pre-sales, cursing, cocktails, and road trips almost upon us….

Until then, here’s some fun to keep you going (special huge thanks to Michele McKeever and her husband for being ROCK STARS and taking so much video!!!) I organized it all into a playlist, and if I get time – I’ll try to organize it in order of the set list that night.  Enjoy!!

-R

Duran Duran at Dell World 2014

Austin is getting the Duran Duran love lately, aren’t they?  Just to note – if I hear of even ONE Duranie from Texas complain about the band not playing near them, I will cheerfully remind you of the time they’re spending in your glorious state this Autumn.

This love has now spread to Dell World, which is November 4-6. If you are keeping track, this means that they’ll be in Austin on November 1st for the ACL/Formula-One gig, and then they’re playing Dell World on November 4th for their opening event where they will headline along with Weezer. Neither event is for the faint of pocketbook – if you’re planning on going to Dell World and don’t have an “in”, you’re gonna pay $895 for the entire convention…but if you register now, you can bring a “colleague” for free.  (I believe in our case, fellow Duranies are absolutely colleagues!)

Daily Duranie will not be in attendance for any of these shows this November. Personally I can’t justify the cost, nor the time spent in travel. I know Amanda feels similar. We both feel it’s a ridiculous sum of money to spend to see the band at this particular point in our lives. Nothing personal, but we’d rather wait for a real tour and do a road trip with all the trimmings and experience new music if at all possible. I know other Duranies are happily throwing their money at Dell and counting their blessings at being able to go to both the F-1 event AND Dell World in a single week. I applaud their efforts, but my cash is staying in my bank account.

Granted, the rest of the world has taken notice of these upcoming shows, and I’d have to be blind not to see the rather pointed comments coming from all directions other than Texas. Fair enough. It is true, the band apparently likes Austin.  I wish I knew what to say to make the sting lessen, but all I’m coming up with for now is that they say there will be a tour…..at some point.

-R

 

Today in Duran History – Rosie

On today’s date in 1997, Duran Duran performed on the Rosie O’Donnell show in support of Medazzaland.  I remember this show very clearly because it was the very first time I’d seen the band on TV in many years – probably since college.  I sat and watched the show with Heather on my lap (she was a tiny baby back then!) and saw them perform “Electric Barbarella” and of course, “Hungry Like the Wolf”.  I watched it again this morning and felt like I’d been shipped back to 1997 for a brief visit.

-R

Today in Duran History – Indiana

On today’s date in 1993, Duran Duran played the Holiday Star Theater in Merrillville, Indiana.  This date was included in the Dilate Your Mind tour.  This tour date shows up as cancelled on duranduran.com’s timeline, but I have actually found a setlist for the show online, so I am assuming it did go on as planned.   Plan B was the opening band.  Let us know if you were there!

Set List:

  1. Too Much Information
  2. Planet Earth
  3. Hungry Like The Wolf
  4. Ordinary World
  5. UMF
  6. A View To A Kill
  7. Girls on Film
  8. Come Undone
  9. White Lines
  10. Love Voodoo
  11. Notorious
  12. The Reflex
  13. Rio
  14. Save A Prayer
  15. The Wild Boys

-R

 

 

Today in Duran History – Baton Rouge

On today’s date in 2011, Duran Duran played at the Baton Rouge River Center.  This date was included in on the All You Need is Now tour.  Neon Trees was the opening band. Were you there?

Here is the set list:

Before the Rain

Planet Earth

A View To A Kill

All You Need is Now

Blame the Machines

Come Undone

Safe (in the Heat of the Moment)

The Reflex

The Man Who Stole a Leopard

Girl Panic

Tiger Tiger

Careless Memories

Leave a Light On

Ordinary World

Notorious

Hungry Like the Wolf

Sunrise

Encore:

Wild Boys

Rio

 

-R

I’ve Seen the Future, I can’t afford it

I began my training for the next tour last night. I went to go see ABC in a tiny venue out in Riverside, about 45 minutes from my house. To be fair, I really had no expectations of the show. While I liked ABC well enough, I wouldn’t say they were a favorite of mine, but instead one of many New Wave bands I love.  When the show was announced, I knew seeing Martin Fry in a venue of 200 people was definitely worth the drive on a Wednesday night.

It was a GA show in a tiny restaurant that has an area that doubles as a bar/small venue…with one of the best sound systems I’ve ever heard. My husband and I made no attempt to get to the venue early to be among the first in line, as we were coming directly from Back-To-School night for our youngest. We figured we’d secure places by the bar and just be happy to be there.  When we arrived, there was quite a line filled with 40 (and 50)-somethings ready to have a party. I couldn’t get over the amount of women who had absolutely no idea that they (and their bodies) were no longer in their twenties. I’ve seen some questionable attire at Duran shows before, but I have to say, this crowd topped whatever I’d seen prior.  We got in line, and before long were in the venue, hanging out in the bar with drinks in hand. Richard Blade was the DJ (and worth the price of admission on his own) pre and post show, and he was already onstage doing a few contests for tickets to the Depeche Mode convention here in So CA in November.

It wasn’t long before the opening act came on stage. This was Matt Backer, who is also the guitarist for ABC.  Matt plays rock & blues, in a similar vein to Dom’s solo music, or even some of the music he plays in Blue to Brown.  I heard a few 12-bar blues progression songs, but then he’d turn around play something that I can only characterize as a mixture of say, “pick your favorite Pearl Jam song and ‘I am The Walrus’ by The Beatles”.  His closing number (and I’m sorry but I never did catch the name) sounded like a direct rip-off of “Addicted to Love”.  I didn’t think it sucked, but on the same token I didn’t think his music was all that innovative or original either.

Once Matt Backer’s band left the stage, it was time for ABC. Martin Fry looked every bit the gentleman as he came out on stage in his suit and tie, and he seemed very pleased to be there. His hair is a little more reddish than I remember, but otherwise there was no mistaking him. His voice is as strong as it ever was, and it was a lot of fun singing along with him.  While his show isn’t quite as energetic as say, Duran Duran’s…it still fulfilled my New Wave fantasies.  I mean, who would have thought I’d ever have a chance to see Martin Fry live?!? I believe we heard all of the main ABC hits, such as “Poison Arrow”, “Millionaire” (I’d forgotten about that one and it was fantastic hearing it live!!), “Be Near”, “Look of Love”, “Smokey Sings”, and the list goes on.  It wasn’t the longest set ever, but it was a quality show in every way. Martin looked pretty spent when he was done, and I came away from the show thinking that I was pretty lucky to have had the chance to check THAT box on the bucket-list.

Truthfully though, the real fun of the night for me came AFTER the show.  Richard Blade came back out to DJ, and I went straight to New Wave heaven. I danced to everything from “Girls on Film” (that was before ABC came out) to TransX “Living on Video” (one of my secret, guilty favorites of the 80s).  Many of my friends know, but I met my husband at Fashions on the Redondo Beach Pier in March of 1992. Richard Blade used to guest DJ there for KROQ nights on Friday or Saturday, and that particular night was the 10th anniversary of KROQ being there. I stood in line outside with a friend of mine talking with one of his friends until we got in the club, and at that point I was introduced to my-now husband. Since that night, we’ve always attributed (or blamed, depending upon how we’re feeling at the time!) our meeting to Richard Blade, so last night was a chance for us to have fun and remember why it was that we actually got married and have three kids and a crazy, stressful life.  We left the club after 1am, came home…and now I’m paying for dancing and being out late, but it was worth it.

Silhouette of Richard Blade doing what he does best - spinning 80s music!
Silhouette of Richard Blade doing what he does best – spinning 80s music!

I think last night just reminded me how lucky I was to have grown up and become an adult in the 80s/90s. We had great music, fun clubs to go to, fantastic DJs….and our world felt a lot safer then than it does right now.  I guess I escaped the rigors of life a bit as I danced on that floor, and I have to say, I’m ready to do it again…just as soon as my medication kicks in and my knee forgets that it’s in it’s 40’s.

-R

 

 

 

Today in Duran History – Serious (and a little bit of Vegas, too…)

On today’s date in 1990, the single “Serious” was released in the UK.

Also on today’s date, but in 2005, Duran Duran played in Las Vegas at the Grand Slam for the Children charity event (Andre Agassi)  at the MGM Garden Arena.  A crowd of Duranies descended upon Vegas for a couple of nights to see the band play four songs (yes, four…but we loved every damn one of them!), have fun together, and if you were with me at Club Tabu until the wee hours, you may have even Reached Up For the Sunrise!

Seems to me it’s about time for some shows….and not just some private gigs or shows that are so ridiculously priced only the select few can attend….but that’s just me.  Onward and upward!

-R

Today in Duran History – Vegas

On today’s date in 2011, Duran Duran played at The Joint in Las Vegas, and of course this date was included in their All You Need is Now Tour. In looking at the calendar, one thing I can tell for certain is that the band doesn’t seem to mind playing in Vegas around this time of the year.

Gotta say, I don’t usually watch the whole clip of whatever I’m posting. I check it out to make sure it’s reasonably clear, post it, and go on about my day.  Today, I stopped and watched, and so should you.  Simon is especially theatrical in this one, Nick is practically dancing at his keyboard, and dang it…I miss this band.  Looking forward to the day when they’re playing live (and not just for private gigs) again.

-R