Category Archives: setlists

Fans’ Choice: The Setlist

Two weeks ago, I blogged about how fans frequently state how they  want Duran Duran to change up their set lists.  Yet, when asked about which songs to remove from their current set list, they often chose to get rid of the newer songs in favor of the classics.  In response to that blog, a friend of ours suggested that the results would be different if people had the option to just choose 17 Duran Duran songs to be included on a setlist without worrying about the current one at all.  I liked that idea so I asked people to send in their lists of the 17 songs they want on Duran’s setlist.  I complied the results and here is what I found.

First, 97 different songs were listed on people’s set lists.  This obviously shows how large the Duran catalog really is and how much the band has to choose from.  Out of those 97 songs, some clearly were more popular as they were listed on multiple people’s lists.  Here is the list of the 17 most popular songs to be played live, in order of most popular:

Planet Earth
All You Need Is Now
New Religion
Wild Boys
The Chauffeur
New Moon on Monday
Save a Prayer
Pressure Off
Hold Back the Rain
Nice
Union of the Snake
Before the Rain
Come Undone
Rio
What Are the Chances
A View to a Kill
Paper Gods

I’m fascinated by the fact that many albums are represented, including the self-titled, Rio, Seven and the Ragged Tiger, Wedding Album, Astronaut, All You Need Is Now, and Paper Gods.  Other albums were ignored, including Notorious, Big Thing, Liberty, Thank You, Medazzaland, Pop Trash and Red Carpet Massacre.  I also noted that many of these songs are on the most recent setlist, including Planet Earth, Wild Boys, New Moon on Monday, Save a Prayer, Pressure Off, Come Undone, Rio, What Are the Chances, A View to a Kill, and Paper Gods.  In fact, that makes 10 out of the 17 songs!  The rest of the songs have been played live within the last ten years.  All You Need Is Now, The Chauffeur, and Before the Rain have been played in the last 5.  The rest were played during the Astronaut era.

While I find these results interesting, I have to acknowledge that number of participants was small.  I know that the more people who participate, the more accurate the results.  Still, this shows me that a lot of the songs on the set lists are ones that a lot of hard core fans want to see/hear live.

As for the rest of the songs chosen but not as popular, those tracks did include every album.  People listed the following songs:

1st Album:
Late Bar
Anyone Out There
Friends of Mine
Khanada
Girls on Film
Tel Aviv
Is There Something I Should Know?
Careless Memories
Sound of Thunder
Faster Than Light
Night Boat

Rio:
Hungry Like the Wolf
My Own Way
Last Chance on the Stairway
Lonely in Your Nightmare

Seven and the Ragged Tiger:
(Come Up and See Me) Make Me Smile
Tiger Tiger
Shadows on Your Side
The Reflex
The Seventh Stranger
Secret Oktober

Notorious:
Notorious
Proposition
Vertigo
Winter Marches On
Skin Trade
So Misled
We Need You
Hold Me

Big Thing:
Too Late Marlene
All She Wants Is
I Don’t Want Your Love
The Edge of America
Do You Believe in Shame

Liberty:
Serious
Liberty
My Antarctica

The Wedding Album:
Ordinary World
UMF
Love Voodoo
Too Much Information
Femme Fatale

Thank You:
Thank You
Ball of Confusion
I Wanna Take You Higher

Medazzaland:
Electric Barbarella
Out of my Mind

Pop Trash:
Lady Xanax
Playing with Uranium

Astronaut:
Sunrise
Chains
Astronaut
What Happens Tomorrow
Taste the Summer
Still Breathing
Pretty Ones (demo)
Point of No Return

Red Carpet Massacre:
Falling Down
Red Carpet Massacre
Nite Runner
The Valley
Dirty Great Monster
Tricked Out
Last Man Standing

All You Need Is Now:
The Man Who Stole a Leopard
Girl Panic
Other People’s Lives
Being Followed

Paper Gods:
The Universe Alone
Face for Today
Change the Skyline
Butterfly Girl
You Kill Me with Silence
Sunset Garage
Only in Dreams
Planet Roaring
Danceophobia
Northern Lights

While all albums are represented, a number of them were barely mentioned, including Medazzaland, Pop Trash, and Liberty.  Other albums are very popular, including the 1st album, Rio and the albums after the reunion.

Now that I have analyzed the results, what do you think?  Anything surprise you?

-A

 

The Setlist: Do Fans Really Want Changes

One of the hottest topics of the Paper Gods era has been the setlist.  While that topic is always a popular one in Duranland around any tour, during the past year or so, fans debated it more frequently.  We all know the reason why.  Duran has not been mixing up their set lists much at all.  I saw nine shows this summer and I literally saw the same set nine times.  Really, they changed few songs from the three shows that I saw in the fall of 2015.  Many fans complained about this and some declared that they went to less shows or no shows because of it.

In response to the setlist discussion/debate, I focused the question of the day on the setlist.  I started out by asking about what songs people had seen live, which ones they wanted to, etc.  Recently, I asked, “Which song from the current setlist would you rather see removed from the setlist.”  I obviously included just those songs off of that magical Version 22 setlist.  This meant that I often pitted classic songs vs. new ones.  Before I started the set of questions, I made predictions in my head.  I figured that people were sick of many of the “classics” like Hungry like the Wolf and A View to a Kill.  I thought more upbeat songs would be more popular.  Yes, I believed that I had a handle on what the overall fan community thought about the current setlist.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I was wrong.  Right away, I could tell that fans did not welcome the new songs as much as I thought they would be.  For example, fans (those who voted) opted to keep Come Undone on the setlist over Last Night in the City.  (This made me cringe lots.)  The only new song more appreciated than a classic was Paper Gods over Wild Boys.  I threw out my first theory quickly.  Maybe fans aren’t really sick of the classics, I pondered.

In trying to understand what I saw, I recognized a couple of things.  First, I figured that there would always be fans who love certain “classics” and cannot imagine a show without them.  For instance, Rio must be played in many fans’ heads simply because it almost always has been and seems to summarize a lot of what people think and feel when they think Duran.  Others have favorites that mean a lot to them.  I’m as guilty of this as anyone else.  Everyone knows that my favorite song is Planet Earth.  I would be crushed if it vanished from the setlist.  Not only is it my favorite but it has everything from JoSi to DoJo to a John Taylor solo.

Second, I realize that it takes a long time for fans to love new songs as much as they do old songs.  After all, fans don’t know new songs as well and they won’t have had the time to really develop relationships with the new songs.  Less time with new songs means less of a connection to them.  Thus, while new songs sound great in theory, many fans don’t really want to hear them live–not over a love that they love and have loved for years or decades.  Even when I asked people to give me one song to add to the setlist, not many chose new songs.  Most people chose fan favorites or more obscure tracks.

Many times, people conclude that Duran keeps their setlist pretty much the same, with lots of “classics” to appeal to those casual fans in the audience.  They want people who came only to hear HLTW or Rio to leave happy or so fans might believe.  Yet, the set of question of the day questions on the setlist makes me really wonder if more diehard fans are just as bad as casual fans in wanting a consistent setlist.  Of course, many of you reading this are saying, “I don’t think that.  Most people I know don’t think that.”  Obviously, that may be true.  Overall, though, Duranies prefer those “classics”, too.

Sometimes, I wonder if those questions of the day really do much.  Yeah, sometimes, I get sick of it day in and day out, putting up a question.  At times, though, they help shed light on the Duran fan community.  They give me a different but necessary perspective that I wouldn’t have otherwise.  In this situation, once again, I saw that it must be hard for the band to come up with a setlist that would make everyone happy.

-A

So Nice…Duran Live at Sonar Festival!

It was SO nice yesterday and even this morning to see all of the pictures and video clips of Duran Duran playing at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Spain.  I’m not the only one to think that, right?  It feels like we have gone forever and a day since the last live reports.  I know that isn’t the case since they played a few songs in April and played things like the FanFest in Austin, Texas, last year.  Yesterday’s show feels different to me, since it represents not just a random show but the beginning.  It is the start of dates that will go through December.  Yes, there are some months that don’t have any or many shows but we all know that there are shows coming.  It is the beginning of this album cycle.  We now have the new song to listen to and a date for the album.  No, yesterday’s show was part of a flurry of Duran activity with more activity to follow.  You could practically feel the level of energy and excitement in the fan community.  Everyone is so ready for the Paper Gods era of Duran Duran.

So, what did they play yesterday?  Here is the setlist that was posted by Duran’s social media:

Setlist for Sónar Festival
(Audio of “Pressure Off” feat Janelle Monáe & Nile Rodgers)

Wild Boys
Hungry like the Wolf
Notorious
The Reflex
Come Undone
Girl Panic!/All You Need is Now
The Chauffeur
Election Day
Ordinary World
A View to a Kill
White Lines
(Reach Up for the) Sunrise
Planet Earth
Rio

Girl on Film

People seemed surprised by a few things regarding the setlist.  First, they were surprised that Pressure Off wasn’t played live.  I am not sure why.  Up until the recently, the band said that they weren’t going to be play new material, according to the Katy Kafes posted on DDM.  Plus, it is brand new.  I wouldn’t want them to play something new live if they weren’t ready.  They only get one chance to make a first impression with it, after all.  I can imagine that they want to have it perfected before introducing to a live audience.  That makes sense to me.

People seemed to be presently surprised to see Election Day on the setlist.  In fact, there is a video of it on YouTube that people have been sharing quite a bit.  If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

I do remember the band playing it during the summer of 2009.  Have they played it since then?  I don’t remember it since then.  Other surprises?  Wild Boys was the opening number.  Again, I remember them opening with Wild Boys in 2009.  I suspect they won’t keep Wild Boys as the opening track once the album is released.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they move Pressure Off to the opening track.  That said, I am still a fan of having Before the Rain be the opener.

I also noticed that Planet Earth was towards the end of the set.  I’m not sure what I think about that.  Since Planet Earth is my favorite, I would worry that they weren’t playing at all.  That wouldn’t please me, in the least.  I also find that Planet Earth really gets the crowd into it.  Likewise, I’m very used to Rio being at the very end.  In this case, it was Girls on Film.  I do applaud their efforts to mix things up a bit.

On that note, here are a few other video clips that I found about last night’s show.

What do you think?  Duran Duran ready for touring season?  Thoughts on the setlist?  I, for one, am ready!

-A

Songs I Want to See Performed Live!

Today, I’m posting a third part to a little series I have been doing.  The first part of the series involved songs that Duran performs on a regular basis that I really want them to keep in their set lists.  If you missed that post you can find it here.  For the second part, I shared songs that I have heard live but ones that I haven’t heard much or for a very long time.  That post is here.  This third part then is going to focus on songs that I have never been lucky enough to be at a show where they have been performed live.  In most cases with these songs, they have been played live at some point.  As always, these songs are in no particular order.

Late Bar-
I’m sure this one is an obvious choice since Rhonda and I have mentioned wanting it included in the set list a number of times.  I will never forget how they played it during the summer of 2009 shows.  I was so excited going into our shows, thinking that we, finally, might be able to witness Late Bar live for ourselves only to be disappointed.  I will always be hopeful.
Too Bad You’re So Beautiful-
This is one of my very favorite tracks off of All You Need Is Now and yet, it has not gotten the attention I think it deserves.  Like Late Bar, I saw that this song was played during those special rehearsal shows after Simon recovered his voice.  I was hopeful, then, that they might continue to play this song as they resumed regular touring.  No luck.  
Vertigo-
This is a song that I always liked but recently found myself turning to more and more.  It is definitely one of my personal favorites off of the Notorious album, which is an album that I don’t find myself listening to that often.  I think this track truly could be great live and might be a good way to reintroduce that album to all of us.
Edge of America-
This is a song that both Rhonda and I have mentioned recently.  It featured strongly in a blog post I did a few weeks ago about my current job situation.  For this personal reason, I would love to hear it live.  That said, I think it would totally knock everyone’s socks off if it was played live now because it is such a good one!
Shadows on Your Side-
When I was a kid, I loved the singles off of Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  As I have gotten older, I have learned to appreciate some of album tracks.  This song is one of those more appreciated tracks.  In fact, at this point, it is definitely one of my favorites off this album.  Another song that was played at those rehearsal shows in September 2011.
Anyone Out There-
This song is like many of the others on this list.  It is an album track that I truly did not appreciate as a kid but now, I really do.  It is also one of those songs that I know that they have played live but I missed those tours.  Sadly.
One of Those Days-
The reason I want to hear this one is simple.  It is one of two songs off of Astronaut that I have not seen performed live.  The other song I haven’t seen live is Point of No Return.  I like the idea of seeing all of the songs off an album performed live.  I am lucky that I can say that I have seen all of Rio performed live.  I have also seen all of Red Carpet Massacre live.  Astronaut is the closest to being completed.  I chose this song over Point of No Return for a simple reason.  I like this one better.  Did they ever play this one live?  It seems to me that they haven’t.  
Of Crime and Passion-
This is another one of those album tracks off of Seven and the Ragged Tiger that could be truly cool to hear live.  It is a song that seems to get lost on the album.  Hearing it live would bring it under a spotlight for all of us to appreciate more.
Nightboat-
How cool would it be to hear this one live?  The atmosphere of this song would be all consuming live, I would imagine.  I’m sure that there are many of you out there ready to point out that they played this one during the reunion days.  I’m aware of that.  Unfortunately, I was suffering through graduate school and had to get my research project done to finish the masters degree.  Yes, I regret not allowing myself a break to see a show or three.
Networker Nation-
This one would be fascinating to see performed live.  Why?  Simple.  As a person who studies fandom–our fandom, in particular, I would love to see how the fans who do interact on a daily basis online would react to this song.  Would there be a feeling of being able to relate or not?
Tel Aviv-
I know that most people wouldn’t choose, basically, an instrumental to hear but this is a song that I do adore.  It would provide Simon a break and allow the instrumentation of the band to shine.  I remember hearing about this song being played with an orchestra in 2005 and I was so envious of those who were there.  How cool would that have been!
So, what are the top 10 songs you haven’t been lucky enough to see performed live but would love to see!  As you might have figured out by now, I am slowing pulling together a list of songs that the band might want to consider for the next tour.  After these 3 parts, I have given them 30 songs to choose from!  I have one more part then my list of solid choices will be complete.  🙂
-A

Top 10 Live Songs That Should Be Played More!

I had a blog post, not too long ago, about my top 10 favorite songs/moments live.  That list was created from the songs that they had been playing frequently, at least on the most recent tour.  Of course, there are plenty of other songs that they have played that they only played one or two times or only played during a certain tour.  Some of those songs are ones that I miss terribly and would absolutely ADORE hearing them played live again.  This is my list of the top 10 of those songs that they have played live, that I have seen performed live, but should definitely play more, in no particular order.

Secret Oktober-
I saw this one once and only once, in Brighton in December 2011.  I doubt that Rhonda and I will ever forget the moment of recognition.  We heard the first few notes, took a second or two to process, then looked at each other and hugged.  Yes, we are dorks but this was very exciting and was one of the highlights of that tour for us.  Beyond us, I suspect that there are a lot of fans who would really love to hear this one live again and again.  Here is a version from a Florida show in 2011.

Sound of Thunder-
I only saw this song in 2005, in the summer shows from what I remember and it was combined with I Feel Love and/or Hold Back the Rain.  I would love to hear the song on its own.  It is such a great song and truly captures a moment in Duran history, being the first song that they wrote together.  This is a clip with Hold Back the Rain from 2006.
Finest Hour-
This song might be my favorite song off of Astronaut.  For me, the song is political in nature and has been used to motivate me in the middle of an exhausting political campaign.  Of course, I also love that the song could be a representation of the band taking back their place as a band that MATTERS.  I only saw this song once in Dayton, Ohio, in the summer of 2005.  I would love, love, love to hear it again.
Red Carpet Massacre-
There is something about this song.  I’m not sure if it is that John asks the crowd to clap with him, which always seems to motivate me or the fact that I feel that there is a HUGE subtext to this song that goes much deeper and hits much closer to home than celebrities and the media.  Nonetheless, it is one song off of RCM that I truly do enjoy and would love to hear live again.
Lonely in Your Nightmare-
I have seen this song performed live once.  It was at that dreaded fan show in 2007.  Simon struggled to remember the words and it seemed like they had not practiced the song before the show or for a long time.  It was disappointing and I really do like the song.  Thus, I would like to hear it with the quality that it should have.  Heck, I couldn’t even find a good live clip of this one.  🙁 
New Religion-
When we did our daily question regarding the favorite Duran song, this is the song that ended up as the top.  Obviously, this shows that I’m not the only one who loves, loves, loves this song.  Unfortunately, the only time I heard it live was in the summer of 2005.  It went over well then and would go over well now.  While it is an album track, it is one that a lot of people know.

Too Much Information-
I only heard this one live during the Wedding Album tour.  The real question here is why?  Obviously, they play tracks off of this commercially successful album.  Yet, they only stick to the ballads.  Why not shake it up a bit?  Besides, this is another song with a message that fit in the early 90s and still fits today.

The Man Who Stole a Leopard-
Yes, they played this one, sometimes, during the last tour.  Interestingly enough, though, I heard it more in the UK for 4 shows than I did during the 7 shows I saw in the US.  Maybe, the band doesn’t think this song would go over or did go over well in the US.  Some of us really appreciated each and every time it was played.  I still think there is something magical about an entire venue clapping all together in the beginning of this track.

Tricked Out-
I know that Rhonda has mentioned this one before and recently.  I was lucky enough to see it during the band’s Broadway run for the album, Red Carpet Massacre.  I couldn’t believe the energy level coming off the stage especially with those guitar players.  Then, of course, the screens behind the band flashed newspaper headlines.  I was overwhelmed.  Thrilled.

Serious-
Last but certainly not least is Serious.  I remember hearing this one during 2006, accompanied with My Own Way or Nice.  Every single time it was played, the Duranies went CRAZY.  Absolutely crazy.  It is clearly a fan favorite.

So, there is my list of songs I have heard live but want to hear more as of today.  What songs have you heard live and think that they should be played more?

-A

Shackled and raised for a shining crowd

Yesterday, I blogged about my top 5 shows. It wasn’t an easy task, and to be honest I gave myself no real criteria for making those choices. I just wanted to have them come to mind with no real basis other than for whatever reason, they stick in my memory. Then yesterday afternoon, I had a phone call with none other than Amanda. She mentioned that she was working on a few “top 10” lists for the blog, and being the friend I am – I’m stealing one of her ideas.

I’ve done as much complaining about the setlist as anyone, going as far as to brazenly submit my own setlist for the band to follow. Sadly, they did not follow directions well. (not that I actually expected our brown napkin with the set list written in black Sharpie to go far…)  So for this blog, I am only going to pick 5 songs that I’ve NEVER heard live (keep in mind that perhaps you may have heard songs that I have not or vice-versa as you read along) and make my case. It is never too early to begin the “setlist suggestion box”, I like to say!!

These are also in no particular order…

Late Bar: Yes, I know you’ve probably seen us mention this before. I’d ask for Secret Oktober again if I could, but that’s on another list for another day. The fact is, this song is a great dance and party song – and while it is true that many in the audience have not heard it before – I think there are more than a few of us who are willing to sing and clap enthusiastically enough to get the right amount of charge for everyone else!

New Moon on Monday: So, I hear that this will never happen because it’s out of Simon’s range.  I don’t know if that rumor is true or not – but I do know that I’ve never heard it live, and I would love to re-enact those super cool dance moves at the end of the video. Oh yes, you know the ones, and I rock at that “white girl dancing” thing. Besides, what Duranie does NOT want to sing “I light my torch and wave it for the new moon on Monday, and a firedance through the night, I stayed the cold day, with a lonely satellite” at the top of their lungs along with the band?? It’s a song simply MADE for a sing-a-long. Dreams are free, people!

Sound of Thunder: This song has deep personal meaning for me, and if you don’t know what I’m going on about – you should check out the review we did of this song here. I would love to hear this live, and I’ll bet John’s bass line would have me (and everyone else) on their knees begging for mercy. Who doesn’t want that??

Edge of America: Have you listened to this one lately? The words are enough to bring me to tears..and the music is some of the best that Duran has ever done. I would love to see Dom tackle the solo in this one…and to see even a smidgeon of the jamming that takes place  in this song would make me scream. It’s brilliant, and I’ll bet it would be incredible live. This is a song I’m actually surprised the band hasn’t done more often – they are SO good at bringing rawness to their songs live, and this one just begs to be played.

Lastly…and I’m hesitant to even bring this up…

Tricked Out: I know, I know. Sit down before you fall down. You read that correctly.  The thing is, I have a sort of hate/love relationship with this song. When I first heard it, I felt like it was a near rip-off of Danny Elfman, which both intrigued and concerned me, as I’m a pretty big fan of Elfman. I didn’t like the way the guitar was buried in the mix though, and it really is buried in there, I promise. I chalked it up to being overproduced and kind of gave up on it,  just ask Amanda. She went to the Broadway shows while I was at home sick, “incubating” and unable to travel, and reported to me that I “HAD” to see this live. I heard her say the words, but figured she was crazy and never thought much about it again. In April when I was out visiting, she dug out some footage that I’d never seen of one of the Broadway performances….and I have to say…I’m a believer now! I think the band should play it, and that I should absolutely be up front for this one. Who knew one of my five songs would end up being off of Red Carpet Massacre?!?

There were so many songs I could have put on this list….songs like Of Crime and Passion and Cracks in the Pavement, or Perfect Day..or even Too Much Information. For as many times as I’ve seen the band live now, there is still more for me to see and hear – I suppose we’re all both cursed and lucky in that regard! Can you come up with five never-heard-by-you-live songs that you’d love to see??

-R

Duran Duran Roundtable Part 2: Touring, Online, and Miscellaneous

On yesterday’s blog, I responded to the first half of Duran Duran’s roundtable released this week, which, again, you can find here.  The first half of the roundtable focused on music, including albums, singles, unreleased material and more.  The latter part of the roundtable contained some questions regarding touring, online presence and questions that did not fit into any category.  Like yesterday’s blog post, I won’t transcribe questions and answers but respond to what I heard. 

The first question under the touring section regarded how much input the band has on what countries, what cities and what venues they play.  Simon mentioned how their are certain countries they won’t play due to the countries due to political regimes of those places, which makes sense to me.  He then went on to say that they really let the booking agent work out the details of a particular tour.  The only time they might step in is if the tour misses an obvious city like Los Angeles or New York City.  I have two thoughts in hearing this answer.  First, I hope that their booking agent takes some factors into consideration.  I couldn’t help but to think of this summer when the band played outdoor venues in the heat of the summer.  I couldn’t also help but to think of Nick getting sick at the end of the tour, too.  Second, I think this shows how much we, fans, do not know about the business.  We don’t know all of the details that must be worked out when it comes to planning a tour.  We don’t know exactly which pieces the actual band members have their say with.  I guess this helps me realize that there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and that the band can’t do every little thing themselves.  They must have help and must trust that the help knows what they are doing. 

The next question regarded writing on the road.  I was pleasantly surprised that they started to record some of the jam sessions or warm-ups as something interesting things were heard.  I wonder, of course, who all is involved in the warm-up.  I remember back in 2005 that there were clips of the warm-up and, at that time, it consisted of John, Roger and Andy Hamilton.  Is it still John, Roger and Saxy Simon?  What about Dom?  Is he involved? 

There were a number of questions that touched on the setlist in some way, which isn’t surprising to me as setlist discussions are frequent ones in Duranland.  They were asked if they would ever play Palomino, if they would ever do a B-Side tour, or if there is one song that they must play.  They did not think that there is one song that they must play.  I suppose that I agree.  I have kept track of the songs I have heard live.  I have been to 32 shows and have not heard one particular song 32 times.  Thank goodness.  I could say, though, that there are far too many that I have seen about 30 times.  As far as Palomino and the B-Sides go, the response was predictable.  They like the idea but…as Simon pointed out it is a job.  Thus, they have to be sell tickets and leave people with a lasting positive impression so that they want to come back for more.  This makes perfect sense to me.  As much as I would love, love, love a B-Side tour, I get that the crowd isn’t made up of just us die-hard fans.  Much of any audience is made up of people who only know the hits.  Those people wouldn’t enjoy a show of B-sides.  John did suggest an idea of Nick’s to do a 5 show residency in which each show would have a different focus.  One night might be B-Sides.  One night might be So Red the Rose, etc.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I would LOVE this.  I think it would be a great way to thank the hardcore fans!

The last touring question that caught my attention was whether All You Need is Now, the tour, was the best ever.  John said it was consistent and “up there”.  Roger said that the quality had a lot to do with the right album and the right band.  (We think so, too.  Have we mentioned that we kind of like that Dom Brown guy and think he offers a lot, especially live!)  The part that really caught my attention was how John said the band no longer focuses on numbers.  They aren’t going to hit the numbers of the 80s.  Now, they just focus on playing better than ever.  Rhonda rightly pointed out that this seems like a bit of the All You Need is Now philosophy!

The online question focused on the use of twitter.  John’s and Simon’s responses clearly show how they use twitter differently.  For John, it is “therapeutic” and he likes (kind of) being in touch with the fans and knowing what we are thinking.  Simon, on the other hand, uses it to be “unprofessional”.  He gets to say what he thinks without it being what Duran thinks.  Then, he points out how that can be scary because he can say the wrong thing.  I’m glad to hear that my thoughts about their twitters match exactly to what they think of their own twitters.  It has always seemed to me that John typically uses twitter to converse.  Simon uses it to say what he thinks.  Obviously, neither one is wrong.  They are just different. 

The last serious question that I noticed had to do with John’s book.  He was asked why was now the time and if there were any events that pushed him to writing it.  He said that his father’s death and Simon losing his voice.  He didn’t say much after that but how Simon losing his voice gave him extra time.  Yes, that would be true, but he could have done other things to fill the void.  I have to wonder if both of those events reminded him that nothing lasts forever.  Again, how very All You Need is Now!

The rest of the roundtable was fun and kind of silly with questions about hair, cooking and hobbies.  I enjoy those light moments and it sounded like the band did, too.  Overall, I enjoyed the roundtable and would love to see more of them.  They seemed to be tired but perked up as it went along, which is usually how I am when I first start teaching in the morning!  The one thing that Rhonda and I really picked up on, though, is how curious the fans are about the business side of Duran Duran.  We don’t really know much about so many elements of their jobs and we have to remember that.  It is a job.  It is what they do for a career.  We may think we know what they should do, but most of us don’t have a clue.  We know what we like.  For example, we know that we would like them to do a B-Side tour or, at least, play a song like Palomino.  We forget that it is about ticket sales–not just current ones but future ones.  The same is true when it comes to locations of where they play.  We don’t know who is making the decisions and why they are making them.  Again, we know that we want them to come to our locations and most of us rarely think about why they might not.  I would also say this.  I think this must frustrate both sides.  We don’t know how things are run so we get frustrated when it seems like they should be doing something that is obviously what we want or think makes the most sense.  I’m sure they also get frustrated that we don’t understand how the business part of it works.  It seems to me that the best way forward would be for all of us to try and be understanding. 

Now, my new understanding self is going to wait patiently for the next roundtable, tour, album, etc.  I can do this, right?  🙂

-A

A Change of Perspective and Attitude

Duran Duran’s last leg of their All You Need is Now Tour has begun.  They have played two dates at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California.  Tonight, they play at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, California.  In one week, the Daily Duranie will be enjoying the first show since December of 2011.  Thus, this time is all about DuranLive.  Many fans are going to shows, reacting to how the shows went, waiting for setlists then commenting about them, getting ready for shows and/or commenting about how they will make sure that they hit a show next time.  This isn’t new.  This is how life is in Duranland during a tour.  I’m used to it.  Yet, I find myself also tired of it.

I’m not tired of touring.  I can’t imagine ever being tired of touring.  Friday cannot come fast enough as I’m terribly anxious to see Rhonda and to get to our first show in Biloxi.  No, I’m tired of how Duranland responds to Duran shows.  I feel like my perspective on Duranland or on Duran tours/shows has changed.  As you all know, Rhonda and I flew to the UK twice last year to see them perform in their home country.  A year ago, Simon was unable to sing and Duran’s future was in question.  Then, he got his voice back and the band returned, better and stronger than ever.  I felt this.  Yet, I did not feel it when I went to the show in Chicago in October.  No, I felt it when I went to the shows in the UK.  Why?  What was the difference?  Was it the setlists?  Was it me?  Was it the crowd?  Was it all of the above?

As I look back, I know that it wasn’t the setlists.  In fact, there wasn’t much of a difference between the Chicago show in October and the shows in the UK.  Yes, we heard Secret Oktober, which truly was a dream come true!  Sometimes, I have to remind myself that it was real.  By the third show, though, the setlist was generally locked in place.  We knew what to expect and, frankly, we didn’t care.  I didn’t care.  Why?  The shows were so amazing that I wasn’t annoyed by seeing the exact same songs night after night.  A good show isn’t about that, to me.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I would absolutely ADORE a few changes to the setlists.  Who wouldn’t?  I know that Rhonda was terribly excited about seeing Mediterranea in the setlist.  I would love if they wanted to play Too Bad You’re So Beautiful.  Both of us might faint, cry, scream at the same time if we ever heard the notes to Late Bar.  Yet, I find myself so tired of the complaining.  Duran could play a setlist of b-sides and album tracks and if they played without energy, without focus, the show would still suck.  Likewise, they could play only hits and the show could be great, depending on the band, the crowd, etc.  I understand fans’ desire to see new and different tracks.  I feel that way, too, but I think I’m letting it go.  I learned that it is so much more important to have them performing and performing well than what songs are played.

Maybe, then, the change is me.  My focus, my attitude is different.  I know that this can all be gone in an instant.  Something can happen to them.  Something can happen to me.  Why complain about setlists?  I see so many people saying that they have tickets to show X but aren’t sure if they should go because the setlist is so boring.  Other people would love to be able to go to a show.  I get to go to shows and I’m still excited!  I just don’t want to spend my time getting ready to go on tour or being on tour and hearing negative or not fun things about the shows, the band, etc.  It makes my attitude bad and that almost always guarantees that I will not enjoy myself as I should.  Let me give you an example.  Rhonda and I did three shows at the end of 2008.  We weren’t thrilled with RCM and went into the shows knowing this.  We were excited, we thought.  Yet, when we got to the first show, we weren’t.  Our seats sucked and we complained about the setlist.  Somewhere between that show and the show a couple of days later, we decided to let the rest of the crap go and just enjoy the show.  We got a decent spot at the show (it was GA) and liked listening to other people around us anxiously awaiting the first notes.  Guess what happened?  We didn’t like that first show much but really liked the last one.  Is that a coincidence?  I don’t think so.

My point is this.  Expectations and attitudes matter.  Worrying about the setlist leads to a bad time.  Thinking that the show isn’t going to be that good will make it so.  Interestingly enough, I haven’t seen many comments saying that these first two shows weren’t good.  It has been the exact opposite.  People seem to have had a great time!  Maybe, the lesson really is for me.  Perhaps, I need to avoid those people who would bring me down.  I have a show in a week and I want nothing, nothing, nothing but that excitement that I had during the UK tour.  After all, who knows when the next one will be.

-A

My (Our) Own Way

Yesterday I blogged about Taste the Summer being added to the setlist, and typically when we blog, we also post the topic on Twitter and on Facebook.  Different people comment in different places, and altogether a good discussion takes place.  As I probably could have predicted before I even hit “publish”, there were a million different points of view about Taste the Summer.  Some love it, others can’t stand it…and many are in the middle.  Once again I think it’s fair to say that we Duranies are simply impossible to please.  We had people commenting that they couldn’t believe we’d applaud the addition of a single new song into a setlist that (not MY quotes here) “has been around since 2004”.

Let’s be fair here, although I am not one to shy away from busting the band when necessary. There ARE songs on that setlist that are new.  Anything from All You Need is Now is new.  (Ok, newISH at this point.) Am I right?  I think the main source of trouble is that the setlist seems to have the same skeletal bones it’s had for quite a while, and that of course is because our band isn’t selfish…as Nick Rhodes reminded us in the interview he did for Yahoo! Music that came out yesterday.  They don’t play all new music or all the obscure old music that only the diehards know.  They play for everyone.  (I would just like to take a moment to applaud Nick’s ability to spin ANYTHING in a positive direction.  It’s impressive, really.) It’s all true though – when you go to a Duran show, there’s something for everyone, unless of course you’re a diehard who simply cannot imagine leaving this earth until you’ve heard live.   They’ve got a lot of hits and even a couple number ones to play for the people who want to hear them, plus a ton of back catalog material that hasn’t seen the light of day for many years.  It’s a nice problem to have, unless of course you’re a diehard fan.  Right?
During the discussion yesterday, one of our smartypants commenters suggested that Amanda and I do the setlist.  We’re always asking for everyone’s opinion – but we don’t offer our own up.  (Truthfully here, I do offer mine up. Probably entirely too often for the band’s taste!)  We actually did post setlists back in August of last year, but that’s so…last year.  So, we’re going to do it again.  Today.
Each of us came up with our own lists, and aside from my complaints of where to begin and that I couldn’t decide what to cut…we really didn’t compare notes much.  We each have our own parameters and comments about what we decided to include and why, and you’ll find those under each of our lists. Oh, we each chose 20 songs.  Their most current set list hovers around 18, but you know – I’ve decided those two extra songs won’t kill them. Start on time and it’ll be fine! (*cracks whip*)  Without further adieu: 
Rhonda’s:

Before the Rain

Planet Earth
Secret Oktober
All You Need is Now
Make Me Smile
The Reflex
Fallen Angel
Last Chance on the Stairway
Is there Something I Should Know
Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
Edge of America
Lakeshore Driving
Mediterranea
The Man Who Stole a Leopard
Red Carpet Massacre
Late Bar
Sunrise
Careless Memories
White Lines
Rio
OK, so before you all start slinging mud in my general direction…what I did to begin with was copy their current setlist, and then I just started cutting songs that I either didn’t think needed to be played.  I attempted to follow Nick’s rule by keeping in the songs that I feel get the most crowd reaction and appeal to a wide variety of fans – both casual and diehard, yet replacing songs that I KNOW are tired.  (Admit it, Hungry Like the Wolf is so tired that wolf is CRAWLING now.  There’s no chase left in the poor thing, and no you cannot fool me by starting it differently…I’m on to you!!) On my first attempt, I realized my list was very heavy in songs from the first and most recent albums…so I tried again, hoping to unearth some songs from the middle albums.  I also realized that it wasn’t humanly possible for Simon to be able to sing it all, so I tried to find some other slower songs.  In my original list I had included Friends of Mine and New Religion…but as you can see here I ended up cutting them.  I probably could interchange White Lines for one of them, but since White Lines seems to be a big crowd pleaser when they play it live, I left it.  You might notice my list has both Secret Oktober AND Late Bar.  Dreams are free, people!!!!  I also included two songs that I think would blow the audience away if done properly – and it’d show off Dom on guitar too – those are Edge of America and Lakeshore Driving.  That’s more of a jam, and so Simon would get a break because I think this setlist might kill him otherwise, never mind the rest of them.  I put Leopard back in the setlist because it belongs there – it is SO good live and if the audience doesn’t get it – they’ll at least get the clapping!  I’m most proud that I included Red Carpet Massacre.  I can’t stand that album but it’s the one song on there that deserves another tour of duty on the setlist.  Finally, there’s a couple of gems in there that, unless you’re a diehard fan you might not know – and quite honestly I don’t think it’s selfish of US as fans to want that sort of thing from time to time.  It’s like a sign when the band plays something like that – they get us, they love us, and they know we’ve been on a long road together.  It’s all good.  🙂

Amanda’s:
Before the Rain
Planet Earth
Hold Back the Rain
Sunrise
Secret Oktober
Lonely in Your Nightmare
All You Need Is Now
Sound of Thunder
Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
Leopard
New Religion
Careless Memories
Late Bar
Seventh Stranger
The Reflex
Red Carpet Massacre
Vertigo
Wild Boys
Girls on Film
Rio

My process for choosing songs was similar to Rhonda’s.  I started with their current setlist.  Then, I used the blog I did last August in which I followed the these parameters:  Some from latest album, some played all the time/classics, some that they have played but not for awhile, and some they maybe have never played.  I also wanted to make sure I included a variety of tempos.  While I might enjoy those faster tempo songs, I also like medium tempo songs and some slower ones.  In fact, you may notice that I totally changed the slow ones.  While I know that many people love Ordinary World, I’m VERY tired of it.  I think it has lost of its emotional impact by being played so much.  I want to appreciate it again and that won’t happen if I hear it live another five times.  Then, of course, I chopped Come Undone.  I hate that song.  I won’t lie and I certainly don’t need to see Simon lick his fingers ever.  That said, I don’t think that diehard fans won’t mind the inclusion of Lonely in Your Nightmare or Seventh Stranger.  Other songs of note are TBYSB, SOT, NR and Vertigo.  Too Bad should be a staple from AYNIN.  It would go over so much better than Safe, in my opinion.  As far as Sound of Thunder, I, originally, had Friends of Mine but I love SOT equally and it hasn’t been played since 2005.  Then, Vertigo is a song that I have recently been into more than ever before.  It would be a good track from that Notorious era.


Overall, we would be pleased with either one of the setlists presented here.  Do we think that the band would follow our suggestions?  Nah.  We do think we offer some good alternatives.  So, what about the rest of you?  What would your setlist look like?


-A & R

Appreciating the Setlist Dilemma

For the last two weeks, our daily, or, in this case, weekly questions have focused on the setlist.  Last week, we asked people to give the top 10 Duran/Duran related songs that they wanted to hear live.  Obviously, people would want to hear more than 10 but I had to limit it in order to be consistent and in order to properly track the choices.  Then, this week, we asked which Duran/Duran related songs did people not want to hear live.  Let me clarify this question.  Clearly, any Duran is better than no Duran but there are definitely songs that people don’t like and there are songs that people are sick of (yes, obviously, this applies to those of us who are lucky enough to see multiple shows).  The reality is that Duran can only play for so long on any given night.  They have to try and appeal to both casual fans who know only the big hits and those of us diehards begging for something more obscure.  I was hoping that by asking these questions I could provide them with a real setlist that would appeal to us crazy fans.  I discovered that it really isn’t that easy to put songs in or remove songs.  Setlists are truly hard to create. 

When I asked for people’s top 10 Duran/Duran related songs to hear live, I got plenty of responses.  For the most part, I received requests for mostly Duran songs.  I suppose if I put the related songs on a different question, I would get more of those side and solo projects songs.  I didn’t, though, because this is what Duran must do.  If they put in a solo song or a song from a side project, it must go in place of a Duran song.  Thus, I chose to ask the question as I did.  Many, many, many people responded to this question.  In fact, at times, it was hard for me to keep up as I was trying to figure out not only the songs listed but how frequently each song was listed.  137 different songs were chosen!  Clearly, the band can’t play all of them.  51 of these songs were only listed by one person.  This leaves 86 songs to choose from.  86!  Most Duran setlists are 20-22 songs.  Okay, so, then, I thought I could remove the songs that people are sick of or don’t like as well, which is what I asked this week.

Of course, some people could not or did not come up with songs that they would prefer Duran didn’t play live, for whatever reason.  That said, a number of people still participated.  For that list, 72 songs were given.  Oh boy…this doesn’t appear to be an easy process.  Nonetheless, if you remove the songs that people definitely do not want to hear, I was left with 41 songs.  This is still too big.  Now, the band must take into consideration the fans who only know the hits.  In that recent interview on Loose Women, Simon mentioned about how they do about 2/3 hits and 1/3 other.  Okay.  Here is the list of 41 songs that people want to hear live.  Let’s see if it meets this criteria of percentage of hits. 

Hits/Singles:                                                                    Not Hits:
Careless Memories                                                         A Matter of Feeling
Election Day                                                                   American Science
Electric Barbarella                                                          Box Full O’Honey
Girl Panic                                                                       Beautiful Colours
Out of my Mind                                                             The Chauffeur
Skin Trade                                                                     Cracks in the Pavement
                                                                                      Cry Baby Cry
                                                                                      Faster Than Light
                                                                                      Finest Hour
                                                                                      First Impression
                                                                                      Fallen Angel
                                                                                      The Flame
                                                                                      Hold Back the Rain
                                                                                      I Believe All/I Need to Know
                                                                                      Late Bar
                                                                                      Last Chance on the Stairway
                                                                                      Land
                                                                                      Love Voodoo
                                                                                      Midnight Sun
                                                                                      My Antarctica
                                                                                      (Come Up and See Me) Make Me Smile
                                                                                      Nightboat
                                                                                      None of the Above
                                                                                      Of Crime and Passion
                                                                                      Other People’s Lives
                                                                                      Proposition
                                                                                      Palomino
                                                                                      The Seventh Stranger
                                                                                      Shadows on Your Side
                                                                                      Salt in the Rainbow
                                                                                      She’s Too Much
                                                                                      Secret Oktober
                                                                                      Tel Aviv
                                                                                      The Edge of America
                                                                                      Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
                                                                                      Vertigo
                                                                                      The Valley

Clearly, we chose a lot more album tracks over singles.  We would need to add some singles back into the list.  Here are the singles that more people wanted to hear than didn’t: 

Do You Believe in Shame
New Moon on Monday
Perfect Day
Serious
Someone Else Not Me
Too Much Information
Violence of Summer
White Lines

If we add those back in, it is more even but there still are more album tracks to get rid of.  My point being that making setlists are hard.  Even if we were to finish making the setlist from these choices, would that make the casual fan happy?  While there are singles and hits on that list, the most well-known of their songs have been removed.  For example, way more fans wanted Rio, Girls on Film, Ordinary World, Come Undone and A View to a Kill removed than wanted to hear them.  Yet, those are some of the songs that a majority of those going to a Duran show would want to hear. 

I don’t envy the guys in trying to make a setlist that would make everyone happy.  I would argue that everyone is going to be disappointed in a setlist, except for those diehard fans who get a show for the first time.  That said, I think we, collectively, came up with a great list of album tracks/B-sides/demos that the band might want to check out and figure out a way to pick 2, 3, or 4 of them in their setlist for the summer.  It would make many of us happy!!!

-A