Category Archives: meetups

Here Comes Success

Pressure. Nerves. Stress. Anxiety. We have all felt those, I suspect. Those feelings are pretty common when it comes to buying concert tickets, right? Strange that what I have learned buying tickets now help in the middle of a pandemic.

My usual tactics before buying tickets include doing some research. What is the venue like? I try to find a map with individual seats, if possible. Usually, then, I print it out, make notes about where I would want to sit the most. Then, I even try to find pictures of what the stage looks like from that spot. Next, I make sure that I have all information for the pre-sale. Is there a password I need to use? If so, when will it be released? How many tickets can I buy? (This, of course, requires a plan with my friends.) What ticketing operation will be used? Do they have a way to line up early, virtually speaking? After all that, I make sure that the ticketing agency has my information recorded with an account of my address, credit card, etc. Anything that I can share ahead of time will make it easier at the moment the sale goes live. Lastly, I ask around about how the pre-sales on that site works. Is it a situation where I need to refresh frequently or need to be prepared for refreshing a lot more than just five minutes? I try to get as much information as possible.

On the day of the sale, I try to get ready a few minutes ahead of time, making sure that I’m logged in. Of course, I also bring out my credit cards in case the pre-saved information did not work. I make sure that I have all of my passwords handy for the weird situation that a credit card would not work. Then, I take a lot of deep breaths, check in with Rhonda or any other friend who is also trying for tickets. I give myself a lot of self-talk about how I can do this, how I have done it successfully in the past while reminding myself that getting in the venue is most important. This statement is usually followed by another reminder about how I could always try for better seats later with the secondary market. Overall, I tell myself that it will all work out as I take many deep breaths and will my stomach to settle.

In thinking about pre-sales, I cannot even begin to count how many I have done over the course of my life. All of my experience came in handy this past week and not because I bought concert tickets (oh, how I wish I could!). No, it helped me to buy groceries! Yay, groceries. Oh, how much things have changed!

Here’s the deal. I will not let my parents go to the grocery store right now. On top of the fact that they are elderly, my dad is immune-compromised. He is in the greatest at-risk group. So I could go for them but…I worry that if I get sick, I cannot help them if they need something. This led us to try to figure out a different way. Through research, we discovered that our grocery stores allow customers to order online and pick up the order. Cool. That would work. My mom decides to try it. She fills her cart with groceries she needs, proceeds to pick out a time and nothing. It was exactly like that moment when you refresh for concert tickets and the VIP package you covet is sold out. Frustrating. Upsetting.

The next day, Mom and I do a little research. She calls the store. I look online for tips and suggestions. Is there something she could or should do differently? The store tells her to just keep trying and that tomorrow slots might be available. This leads us to wonder if the slots get filled earlier in the morning than when she has been trying. Brainstorm! What if midnight is like the time when tickets go on sale? We decide to try it. Again, she filled up her cart and waited for the magical time to select a pick up time and….drumroll..success! Yes! So, yesterday I picked up her order and after our Zoom party today, I will pick up mine.

Speaking of our Zoom party today, remember that it is at 11:30 Pacific, 2:30 Eastern. If you have the Zoom app, click on it at that time and you will be prompted to enter a meeting number, which you’ll need to contact us on either Facebook or Twitter to receive. Once you are in, you will see everyone else but will be muted. Please find the chat on the toolbar to talk to all of us and this will allow us to hear the video playlist. Then, we can “talk” about what we are watching as much as we want. Feel free to bring friends and a beverage or two of your choice! I, for one, am looking forward to it! It will be the best way to spend the last day before I go “back to work”!

-A

Silver Linings?

On Monday, I return to work. No, I’m not physically entering the school building but I will be trying to figure out how the heck I’ll be teaching 120 students virtually with lots of online meetings. I honestly cannot say that I’m looking forward to it. Don’t get me wrong. It has been over two weeks since I last saw my students and I’m genuinely missing them. No, I’m happy to reconnect with the kids but I’m struggling to concentrate on anything and wonder if the focus right now should be grades and content.

As I try not to stress out about that too much, I do want to acknowledge the weird silver linings, though, that have come about as a result of being “safer at home.” While, yes, I do appreciate the time spent with the cat and the extra sleep, there are other things that come to my mind. First of all, I have communicated a lot more with various friends than I would have normally. A number of friends seem to be checking in with me daily or almost daily. In some cases, it is to talk about the spring campaign or work related emails. In other cases, they are just checking to see how I am doing. Even Rhonda and I have “chatted” more than we had been. I love each and every message and I love each and every friend I have personally heard from. Likewise, my family also “checks in” everyday. In many cases, we meet virtually to play games and have agreed to watch a movie “together.” All of this helps me feel not so alone and keeps my anxiety as low as possible.

Beyond the personal connections I have been loving, I have to admit that my attention to Duran Duran and Duran Duran fandom has also increased, which I would have never imagined. I have had a lot of Duran activities that have popped up in my schedule, including watching Sing Blue Silver, following the Friday chats, hanging out with an amazing DJ Set by Jason and more. On top of that, Rhonda and I are hosting our own party tomorrow, at 11:30 Pacific or 2:30 Eastern. We will be using the Zoom app so if you have not downloaded it on either your phone, tablet or computer, you definitely should. Once you log in, you should be able to see our YouTube playlist playing. While you will be muted so that people can hear the playlist, everyone should use the chat function to share ideas, thoughts, comments, etc. That will be the fun part! I will share the Zoom meeting number for everyone to join in just before. I’ll edit this post, share it on the Facebook event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/430201534462995/) and on our Twitter. I, for one, am looking forward to it! The zoom meeting number is: 456-745-218

So despite this truly awful time, I, for one, am finding some joy. It doesn’t totally outweigh the horribleness but it helps. It makes me think that once this is all over (see my positive thinking there!) I want to keep many of these silver linings in place. After all, I have learned what really matters to me.

-A

There’s No Sign of Life

I live off a main street that leads from the outskirts of my city into more of the downtown region. On top of that, the view outside my window includes the far off expressway that one would take to cross Wisconsin. Both have seen a significant decrease in traffic as more and more people are ordered home or choosing to shelter in place to keep themselves and others healthy and safe. When I think about the lack of traffic or the fact that I have not talked to anyone in person in almost a week, I get a little weirded out. Or a lot weirded out. But, for the most part, I’m doing okay. I consider myself lucky. While I am not at work this week (or last), I have what I need at home and means to communicate with others.

Since this whole situation has started, I have found myself seeking out my friends and family in a much more consistent fashion. I am asking my family members to check in on a daily basis. Yes, I’m obsessive with the idea of making sure that they are staying healthy, especially my parents. On top of that, there are a few friends that I look for on social media so that I know that they are okay, too. If I don’t see them, it is not uncommon of me to send a message to check on them when in normal circumstances I wouldn’t. On top of knowing that everyone is as good as possible, having that contact, even though it is electronic, matters to me. It makes me feel like there are signs of life and that I’m not alone.

Last night, I participated in an interview with a reporter out of New York City who is doing a piece about people living alone in this pandemic. One of the questions she asked me was ways that I have been coping. It is a good question. One of the things I stressed was the need I have to look forward to something. My family, for example, has been playing games through the use of Zoom. It has not been perfect as there are, at times, miscommunications and a struggle to figure out how to adjust and adapt the rules of various games. Yet, not only does it offer a distraction but it also gives me something to anticipate in a positive way. That matters. I am also making plans with friends to do “virtual” happy hours in which we have a drink at our respective homes but chat via FaceTime or whatnot. Every little bit helps.

Speaking of that, Rhonda and I have been chatting. (Scary, I know!) We are planning on doing something ourselves to help give people something Duran to look forward to. Likewise, it sounds like Jason has something cool as heck up his sleeves, too. Details are still being worked out but I am excited just thinking about doing something fun and Duran related! (In typing this, I recognize that not everyone will think this is what we *should* be doing because this is a serious situation. Let me be clear. We are not trying to minimize or belittle what is going on. It is our way of coping, of having hope, of making a horrible situation a little more tolerable. It isn’t to disrespect anything. If this is not something that works for you, we get it and will understand when you choose not to participate.) I know that I need it and am willing to bet that I’m not alone in that. So on that note, watch this space along with our social media!!!

-A

P.S. We are going to be using Zoom for our festivities so we recommend downloading/getting the app if you don’t already have it.

Still They Come…to Vegas for Some Meet Ups

Got any plans on September 7th and September 8th? If you look at Duran Duran tour dates, you will notice that there are a couple of shows for those very dates in Las Vegas. The band is once again playing at the Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan and your favorite (okay…that was an exaggeration) bloggers will be there! In fact, not only are we going to be there but we have some meet ups planned.

We will be meeting at the CliQue Bar and Lounge, located within the Cosmopolitan at 5 pm on both Saturday, September 7th and Sunday, September 8th. This particular bar is located on the first level of the Chelsea Tower and is described this way by the hotel website:

“CliQue serves as an escape from the outside world, offering artisanal cocktails and house-made mixers. CliQue adds a new avant-garde lounge concept to the resort.

Guests looking to stimulate their palates can enjoy a variety of savory bites and shareable plates, including high-end street tacos, an array of sliders and salads, among other mouthwatering dishes, from award-winning chef Brian Massie.”

One of the reasons that Rhonda and I enjoy this place is that the shareable plates are great and the wait staff remember our order! (Actually, that probably says more about us then them but whatever…) Plus, we like the atmosphere there.

We would love to see each and every one of you there! Please head over to the event page on Facebook and indicate your interest to let us know who to look for. Here are the links for the two meet ups: Saturday night and Sunday night .

Now, it has been a while since we have held a more formal fan gathering and we are super excited to do so! One of the things that Rhonda and I have always tried to do is to bring the fan community together. As we started on this journey (about 10 years ago now!) of learning about fandoms, generally, and our fandom, specifically, we realized that fan communities can either be places where competition dominates or where people come together. We much prefer bringing people together (because it is WAY more fun that way), which is why we started holding meet ups or conventions to begin with! Here are some pictures from the last one:

I think back to 2004 and when I first jumped back into this fandom. I didn’t really know anyone and the few people I did were random strangers that I “met” online. At the time, I longed to find people to talk about Duran Duran with. Just as importantly, I needed to find *my* people. These are people who would not only give me space to talk about Duran but also encourage my love for the band. They would see fandom and going to shows like I did. So I did something that was totally out of character for me. I went to a Duran Duran Fans Convention. Sure, I dragged a friend with me but I went. I did it solely to find my people.

During that convention, I met lots of Duranies and even found people who would be willing to go to shows with me. When the Astronaut Tour dates came out, many of us from the convention discussed, planned and plotted. Who is going to what show? Who is going to go with whom? At the time, I had no idea if any of those people would really be my people or just cool fans. The show the group decided to all go to was the Chicago show in March of 2005. Rhonda flew in and I drove down. After getting very little sleep and food, laughing our asses off and screaming for those guys on stage, I knew that I found my people. Rhonda and I bonded that weekend and discovered that we had a guaranteed touring buddy for life. To say that we were lucky would be an understatement. Yet, none of that would have happened if we hadn’t gone to a fan gathering. They matter. So we try to provide the place and the means for other fans to meet their people with our meet ups and conventions.

Now, it is my understanding that there is another meet up (or two??) happening that weekend. I think that is super cool! We are not here to compete with anyone as that does not make things more fun. No, I think it is great that fans have options, choices because, after all, you never know when and where you are going to meet your people.

-A

VIP Packages, Homework Reminder and More!

Can I go to Vegas tomorrow? Yes, I’m anxious to hang with my friends and see the band but more than that, I am ready for something other than the polar vortex that I’m currently living in. Yes, Madison is getting pounded. Yesterday, we had a record low of -23 as in 23 degrees below zero. Tonight and tomorrow, we are due for a bad snow storm. I’m seeing amounts of 6 to 9 or 12 to 15 inches of snow depending on the report before we experience wind chills as low as -55. I literally feel like I live in the Arctic. So, as I refresh my weather apps and school closings page, I will focus instead on some fun Duran related ideas.

VIP Packages

Up until this weekend, I hadn’t given much thought to what is included in the VIP packages for these upcoming February shows. I knew, of course, that they contained Duran related merchandise but I was not sure what was included. In fact, if someone had asked a week ago what it contained, I might have said it had the same stuff as the Paper Gods Tour. I would have been wrong.

The VIP package have three items: headphones, a bag and a travel mug. Yeah, I know. None of that sounds super exciting but I promise you that there are some neat features. Of course, all of the items have the most recent Duran logo as you can see here:

I already have the travel mug and use it frequently. (Yes, I take it to work.) The best feature? I love that it keeps my coffee warm for a long time especially when I’m at work and often don’t get to my coffee for hours after the day starts. As for the headphones, I have yet to use them but I’m excited to try them out. If you have them, how are they? What do you think about their quality of sound? Durability?

The best part, though, in my opinion is the bag. Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking. Haven’t they sent enough canvass bags? Sure. They have included a lot of them but this one is super cool. If you look closely, the words are song titles. Duran Duran song titles. These titles are in order from the debut, self-titled album all the way to Paper Gods. I love it. I am actually thinking about framing it so I can use it as a poster of sorts. The red, white and black theme works for me, too.

Homework Reminder

Next week, you all have a “homework assignment” of sorts due. What am I talking about? Well, I assigned a little task that is due on February 2nd. I am looking for each and every one of you to send in a list of the 10 most representative Duran Duran songs, according to you! You can include any Duran track or even any side or solo project song, if you want. The list you send in can include singles, album tracks, covers, demos, whatever. It doesn’t matter as long as you think the songs show off Duran Duran the best. When you are done with your “homework,” you can send it in to our email (dailyduranie@gmail.com), or through a private message on our Facebook or Twitter. I thank all of you who have already sent in your lists!

Unofficial Meet-up

As I wrap up this little blog post, I turn my attention back to the shows in Vegas. While Rhonda and I haven’t been able to plan an official meet-up in Vegas, we do plan on being around. We get in Thursday afternoon (hopefully!) so by Thursday night, we will be hitting the town. Do watch our social media then about our locations as we would love to have everyone come and hang out with us or at least come by and say hi!

On that note, I’m off to check the most recent weather forecast. Wish me luck and send me warmth. Something tells me that I’m going to need it!

-A

Late Bar: The Daily Duranie Holiday Office Party!

Has everyone gotten their travel arrangements together for Las Vegas? If you happen to be arriving the day before the big show at The Cosmopolitan, we might have just the right answer for your evening!

Our friend Jason works at the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas, and was willing to put together a fabulous meet-up for us. On December 29th at Hard Rock Live at the Hard Rock Cafe on Vegas Strip (across from Monte Carlo) , we are going to party the night away in style, complete with a soundtrack provided by Duran Duran and other New Wave along with Happy hour drink specials. It is going to be a late start – at 9:30 pm – that way those who are arriving closer to evening time have a chance to settle in before they get out and enjoy our own special edition of Late Bar.  Hard Rock Live also has a comedy show happening at 8pm that night, and admission is FREE to  Daily Duranie followers who want to attend. Just RSVP to us at dailyduranie@gmail.com and we will get you on the guest list!

We have an event page set up on Facebook, and in the details I have the end time as 12:30am – truth be told that Facebook insists on an end time, so that seemed like a good one. Otherwise, this could be an all-nighter with Amanda and I reaching up for the sunrise before we call it done!

We have given this the tagline of our holiday office party because it is unusual that Amanda and I are actually in the same state, much less are able to celebrate the holidays together!  I can assure you – we will be making up for lost time that night. Come hang out with us, be social, make new friends, and create plenty of memories to bring in 2018!

Hope to see as many of you as possible that night – it will be a great warm up for the following evening!

-R

 

Duran Duran in Vegas: Show Commentary!

It is time for another v-log from yours truly and my partner-in-crime about yesterday’s Duran Duran show in Las Vegas.  We figured that it would go faster to do a video blog on than a written one.  It may even be more entertaining!

This v-log ended up being two videos due to unforeseen technical difficulties or really because Rhonda’s computer went into sleep mode.  During these two little (don’t know why I said little…they are lengthy), we discuss Dom Brown’s stage presence, John Taylor’s fashion choices (go figure!), the good and bad with the Mandalay Bay  Events Center as a venue, the awesomeness of our meet-up, why Duran Duran should never be done and more!

You might note that these two videos were completed last night or early this morning depending on how you look at it.  We apologize for the sucky quality.  On that note, we are off to back to California to hit the Irvine show!  It’s a show day!  (That said, I really wish I had a few more hours of sleep!)

-A

The Gathering of the Fans: Pre-show Meet Ups

One of the things I like best about being part of a fandom is the people.  Of course, not everyone in a fan community is cool.  Certainly, not everyone is happy or excited to see us.  For the most part, though, other fans are the best!  This past week gave us an opportunity to see and meet lots of great people, both at shows and at our meet ups.  Duran events bring people together from all over the world.

Look at us.  We don’t live anywhere near each other yet…here we are.  A funny moment happened both times when we crossed the border to and from Canada.  The border officer would ask how we know each other since one of us lives in Wisconsin and the other in California.  We would explain how we travel to go see Duran Duran.  Then, we would be allowed in without question.  Apparently, that is too weird to make up!

As you all know, we had 3 meet ups on this first leg (both Chicago shows and Toronto).  Each of them had their challenges but we felt all were successful.  The challenge in Chicago was obvious.  We held the meet ups there on the Ravinia grounds.  We had to claim some space on the lawn where others were trying to set up dinners, picnics, chairs, etc. for the duration of the evening, which meant being smushed at best.  Then, somehow, we had to try and explain to people exactly where we were, which wasn’t easy.  We tried to have posters to advertise our location but…we had to hold them one night and had a table the next night, which weren’t ideal.

Rhonda is ready to host
Rhonda is ready to host

On top of that, the venue is pretty tough to get to as it is located inside of neighborhood, making travel in and out challenging.  Despite any and all difficulties, we had great turn-outs!  I loved that we had lots of people from other events that we have hosted as well as new people!

1st night in Chicago
1st night in Chicago

2nd group meet-up in Chicago
2nd group meet-up in Chicago

For Toronto’s meet up, we met at the local Hard Rock Cafe.  Traffic again was a serious issue.  It was hard to get to the restaurant and super hard to get to the venue afterwards.  That said, we had quite an international crowd for that meet up.  A few of us were from the States, one person from Canada, one person from Germany and a couple from the UK.  We had actually met the woman from Germany before.  Where?  In Birmingham!  We sat next to each other at the Birmingham show in December of 2011.  For Duranies, the world is a small place!

Toronto meet up
Toronto meet up

Seeing Duranies meet, get to know each other, and become friends is one of the absolute best things about organizing fan events.  It is the biggest reason why we do them as we know that fans who are happy with other fans stay in the fandom.  They become lifelong fans who don’t and can’t walk away.  Seeing people go to shows together now who met at a meet up or a convention is such a gift.  We feel lucky to be part of their friendship.  Most of the time that is all we need to keep going.

Yet, this time, we had people do more to acknowledge us.  One of our friends told us how we helped to bring people into her life that she is so thankful for, which caused both of us to tear us a little.  Then, one of our new friends in Toronto brought us gifts to thank us for what we do here!  The idea of someone giving us anything blew me away but the gift itself really touched me.  On top of the heartfelt card, we got exactly what we needed after the tour to pamper ourselves as well as what was needed at that moment!  Vodka tonics!

Vodka tonic in a can!
Vodka tonic in a can!

These meet ups and the people who attended will keep me going for sure.  They show me that what we do matters.

We have one more meet up planned for this summer tour, which is in Vegas.  There is still plenty of time to RSVP if you want to join us; details can be found here.  Hope to see many of you there!

-A

Sympathy Eye Liner: Chicago Show Review #1

Wow.  It is hard to know where to start with today’s blog as I have much to say!  Last night marked the second Duran Duran show of this leg of the Paper Gods tour and the first show for us.  What an incredibly fun night!

Pre-show Meet-up:

Our night started fairly early as we had planned a meet up there at Ravinia before the show started.  Since we had not been to Ravinia before, we didn’t know much about where to meet, how to tell people where to find us, etc.  Even though, we arrived shortly after gates opened, the lawn was mobbed with people ready to spend the late afternoon/evening there, enjoying food, drink and the company of family and friends.  Luckily, we were able to pick a spot right behind some concession stands near the walk way separating the pavilion from the lawn.  People were able to find us and much conversation and laughter ensued.  Our raffle went well and many were able to pick up a new Daily Duranie wristband or two!  Based on the success of yesterday’s meet up, we look forward to tonight’s!

Our meet up!
Our meet up!

Nick’s Absence:

By 6:30, our group separated as we were all more than ready for the show!  Of course, we wondered how the show was going to go since Nick was absent but had nothing but we had confidence in both the band and MNDR.  We were not wrong.  I’m not going to lie.  It was weird to look up and not see Nick Rhodes standing behind the keyboards.  There were times during the show that his presence was especially felt, such as during the Reflex when Nick normally answers the question of “why don’t you use it” or at the end of Notorious.  It goes without saying that we continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and hopes that he is able to return soon.  That said, MNDR had good energy and seemed to have fun, which I appreciated.  I liked how John went up to the keyboard riser a couple of times to check in with her.  I’m sure that she appreciated his support and the support from the fans.

Song Highlights:

Overall, it was a good show!  As with any Duran show, there are moments during the set that stand out.  Interestingly enough, I felt like the real stand out song last night was Last Night in the City.  Good energy throughout the entire song.  The other song that worked really well last night was Notorious.  The band was all front and center and seemed to be having serious fun, which I adore!  Plus, who doesn’t love the addition of Nile Rodgers!  I managed to capture a moment with the photo below.

Having fun during Notorious!
Having fun during Notorious!

Beyond those song highlights, there were good JoSi moments and fabulous DoJo, which I appreciated immensely.  I have to also say that the band did a really good job moving across the entire stage.  While I’m always really happy to have John play right in front of where I am, I recognize that he has to play to everyone and I thought John, Simon and Dom did a nice job moving to every area of the stage.  They also did a good job trying to get the crowd to join in with the usual singing, clapping, shining cell phone lights during Save a Prayer (which was dedicated to Nick Rhodes, by the way).  That said, they had their work cut out for them as the crowd was tough.

The Crowd:

I truly believe that the crowd makes a big difference in how any show will go.  If the audience has a lot of energy, that energy is fed to the band who then feeds it back to the crowd.  If the crowd isn’t into it, the band has to work that much harder.  I truly do feel like that was the case yesterday.  While I saw many fans totally into the show, dancing and singing to every note and every word, I saw empty seats, even up front.  I saw many people come and go like watching the band was just an afterthought.  Many people just sat down.  I think the cause of this is simple.  Ravinia is one of those venues who have subscribers, people who buy tickets for the season and then pick and choose which shows to go to.  Thus, not everyone in the audience is a serious Duran Duran fan.  Many people could be casual fans who just know a few of the band’s hits.  For those people, they sat when they got tired or didn’t know the new tracks.  This type of set up means that the band really had their work cut out for them and they performed well despite the extra challenge.

Nile Rodgers is my new hero:

After Nile and Chic performed a solid set, Nile took time to shake hands with fans before exiting the stage.  I used that moment to slide on up to the very front.  He reached his hand down to me to shake it. Instead of shaking his hand, I asked him to take one of our brand new Daily Duranie wristbands.  He took the wristband and immediately placed it on his arm causing me to have a super big smile on my face.

After Nile took the wristband
After Nile took the wristband

While I found that moment to be pretty awesome (as I did when John and Dom got and wore their wristbands!), the even better moment was when Nile came back on stage to join the band for Notorious and Pressure Off.  As soon as he came on, I saw that he was still wearing the wristband.  I appreciated that he took the wristband but wearing meant more.

Nile wearing the wristband
Nile wearing the wristband

Other random thoughts:

I must comment on a few other things that caught my attention, in some way.  First, I must comment on Simon’s look last night.  As you all know, Simon isn’t my “favorite” band member but he was looking good.  Not only is the hair looking good, he was sporting an earring and eyeliner!  My friend, Julie, joked that he was wearing eyeliner out of sympathy for Nick.  It’s an idea that stuck with me.  Hence, the name of the blog post!

Second, I missed a couple of elements from the fall shows.  I missed the confetti during Pressure Off and, believe it or not, I missed Danceophobia.  I had been looking forward to watching John dance during that song and had to make do with his little punches during Girls on Film.

The band also had an addition at the end of the show with having giant beach balls during Rio.  While it was fun to see people in the audience hit them or seeing a band member or two hit/kick them back out into crowd, I found them distracting.  I was watching the balls more than I was focused on the song.  Rio deserves my undivided attention.

Overall, the band did well and I had a ton of fun at our meet up, during the show, and hanging with some friends after the show.  It was a really fun night, which reminded me of why I love touring and going to Duran show SO much.  Now, I can’t wait for tonight!!!

-A

Crowds They Gather

We have one week before we get to see Duran Duran live in concert at Ravinia in Chicago!!  In the middle of April and May, I didn’t know if I would make it to June, forget about July.  Here we are now.  Tour time is around the corner, approaching quickly!  Over the years, Rhonda and I have developed a number of touring traditions.  In the last five years or so, one of the biggest traditions is to organize meet-ups before shows.

In 2011, we held a party in London.  During the summer of 2012, we had meet-ups before each of the four shows we attended.  That was tough.  We felt like we were literally running from one place to another, from one event from another.  We were traveling daily to each destination and instead of being able to take our time, we couldn’t.  We had to be responsible.  Yes, we took the task on ourselves because we know how important meet-ups can be.  They are great for all of the fans in attendance who get to meet or see each other!  At each one I have hosted or attended, I witness the same things.  Fans share stories and pictures.  New pictures are taken.  Excitement increases.  This, of course, translates to more energy at the show, which has got to feed the band’s energy.  The example we always give is the Durham show in the summer of 2012.  Of all the shows we saw that summer, it was by far the best.  We can’t help but to think that the large turnout for the pre-show meet-up was part of the reason.

By the end of those summer shows, I was tired, though.  I truly do like and feel VERY comfortable organizing events (I’m a teacher, after all.  I organize lessons and classrooms everyday.  I’m also a political organizer, which means setting up and running campaign activities.  Organizing is in my blood.)  That said, these meet-ups are work.  Someone has to contact venues and communicate with them.  Someone has to put up the event pages on Facebook.  Someone has to answer questions from people attending.  Then, sometimes, there is more to it.  For example, this time around, we will need to create some sort of sign for the Chicago meet-ups.  We have raffles planned with Duran merch!!  There are details that need to be taken care of.  Plus, it means that we can’t get there whenever we want.  We have to arrive in time to set things up and we have to be “on” during the event.  My point is that during the summer of 2012, it was exhausting to always have to be responsible and working.  I didn’t have as much fun as I wanted.

This time, then, we decided to find a balance.  We only planned meet-ups in places that we won’t be traveling to on the day of the show.  Our travel will be more relaxing this way.  We won’t have to worry about arriving at some special time.  This means that half of our shows together will have meet-ups and half won’t.  Yes, we recognize that meet-ups are great fun and enhance the show.  We also appreciate the need for fans to meet each other to develop and reinforce community spirit.  We want to honor that.  Yet, we also owe it to ourselves to be able to relax some and just have fun.

So, what does all of this mean?  It means that we will be working as event coordinators or whatever you want to call us to ensure that the meet-ups in Chicago (both nights), Toronto and Vegas will be great for all those attending.  When we are not working, we will be fans just the rest of you.

One aspect of these meet-ups that we are particularly excited about is our brand new wristbands!  We will have a few of the old ones (the ones that John and Dom have!!) for sale as well as metallic silver and glow-in-the-dark purple ones!  The proceeds to these sales will be to go to the convention we are planning in Chicago for the weekend of August 11th (around Duran Duran Appreciation Day) in 2017.

There is still time for you to RSVP for these events!  Here are our event pages with all of the details:

Friday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Saturday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Toronto Pre-Show Party  (Facebook)

Vegas Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Hope to see you all on the road soon!

-A