Category Archives: setlists

Whole Album Preference

On this date, in 2007, twelve years ago, I saw Duran Duran play in New York City. What made this particular show so memorable was the fact that the show took place on Broadway. For those who weren’t around or don’t remember, Duran Duran had a rather unique promotional plan for the album released that year, Red Carpet Massacre. This included doing a small run on Broadway in which case they played the whole album before doing an electro set and finishing up with a mini-classic Duran show. While I cannot say that this was my favorite show experience, it was a special one for the performance. Looking back, it felt like a long show and the setlist proves it:

The Valley 
Red Carpet Massacre 
Nite-Runner 
Falling Down 
Box Full o’Honey 
Skin Divers 
Tempted 
Tricked Out 
Zoom In 
She’s Too Much 
Dirty Great Monster 
Last Man Standing 

INTERVAL 

Electro Set 

Showroom Dummies 
Last Chance on the Stairway 
All She Wants Is 
Warm Leatherette 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
Skin Trade 
******************** 
Notorious 
Reflex 
I Take The Dice 
Ordinary World 
Planet Earth 
View To A Kill 
Sunrise 
************* 
Girls On Film

That’s 26 songs! In fairness to more recent shows, some of these songs were not played in entirety but still. On top of a really long show, I loved hearing/seeing a whole album played in order. While RCM is not my favorite album, seeing them perform each track made me appreciate the album more and helped me to connect with some songs. Then, there was the electro set, which was simply amazing. The electro set featured the four band members at the front of the stage using keyboards to play more electronic versions of some tracks. To this day, I am still beyond thankful that I got to see it. All of that was then capped off with a bunch of hits that most in the audience would know and love.

Now that I’m thinking about this show, I would really love if the band wanted to do something similar to this…say next year for their 40th with three sets (whole album, electro set, others). The big question then is which album should they cover? In the case of the show I went to in 2007, they played their newest album. If we were lucky enough to get a new album next year, I think it would be very cool to hear the entire album from beginning to end. But what if there was not a new album? What then? I know that many, many fans would love to hear Rio in entirety. I get that feeling since it is a classic one and that is album that won many fans over. For me, I wouldn’t reject it. I know that I have heard each song off of Rio live but definitely not in order. That said, I’m not sure I would choose it over others.

I think if I had to choose one album to listen to live from start to finish, I might pick the first one. To me, it is where the story starts, which would be particularly cool for the 40th anniversary. Then, the final set could include songs from each of the rest of the albums. To me, that would be a super cool way to celebrate the band’s history. The show, then, would capture the complete story. Here’s another idea. What if the next album was released in 2020? Maybe then, start with the first album. Have the electro set feature hits from Rio onward until the last set, which would focus on the last album. Then, it really would be the entire history, of sorts.

What do the rest of you think? Which album would you love to see/hear live in entirety? What if the band set up a show like they did those on Broadway? How would you like to see it done?

-A

If You Can Hear Me, Let Me Know

If I think back to the blogs written in 2015 and 2016, many of them focused on the setlist. Often, these blogs, whether written by Rhonda or myself or others, expressed a frustration with the lack of changes in the setlist. Let me share a couple of them to prove my point:

Portland Show: August 2016

Paper Gods 
Wild Boys 
Hungry Like the Wolf 
A View To A Kill 
Come Undone 
Last Night In The City 
What Are The Chances 
Notorious 
Pressure Off 
Planet Earth / Space Oddity 
Ordinary World 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
White Lines 
The Reflex 
Girls on Film 

Save A Prayer 
Rio

Rome Show: June 2016

Paper Gods 
Wild Boys 
Hungry Like the Wolf 
A View To A Kill 
Come Undone 
Last Night In The City 
What Are The Chances 
Notorious 
Pressure Off 
Planet Earth / Space Oddity 
Ordinary World 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
White Lines 
Sunrise / New Moon On Monday 
The Reflex 
Girls on film 

Save A Prayer 
Rio

A quick glance at these two setlists show very few changes. This, of course, frustrated many, many fans, especially those fans who travel. People want to see and hear different songs performed if they go to multiple shows. They like unpredictability or not knowing what is going to come next. This increases excitement and anticipation. Yet, for the most part, the Paper Gods Tour was pretty much the same all the time. So, in response, many blogs were written encouraging, suggesting, pointing out the benefits of mixing up the setlist, at least a little bit. We talked about how fans who don’t travel won’t be hurt by this and might even start to head to different places for shows. Likewise, those who do travel would continue to do so or might even go to more, if the setlist changed.

So, the other day, I wondered whether or not the setlist changed after 2016, the year immediately following the release of the album and the majority of the Paper Gods Tour. Yes, the band played shows in 2017, 2018 and 2019 but those all feel like random mini-tours, to me, rather than part of a larger tour.

Here’s a 2017 from Oakland:

Paper Gods 
Wild Boys 
Hungry Like the Wolf 
A View To A Kill 
Come Undone 
Last Night In the City 
What Are the Chances 
Is There Something I Should Know 
Notorious 
Pressure Off 
Hold Back the Rain 
Ordinary World (dedicated to Ann Le Bon) 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
White Lines 
Girls on Film (Segue Edit) 

Save A Prayer 
Rio

That setlist looks similar to the 2016 ones but I notice that there were a couple of changes, including the addition of Is There Something I Should Know and Hold Back the Rain. I remember being at that show and being thrilled with these new songs in the setlist. In fact, looking back, I enjoyed the shows I went to that summer over some of the shows I saw in the summer of 2016 because I didn’t know what was coming. What about early 2019?

Vegas: February 2019

Choir Intro (new) 
New Religion 
Wild Boys 
Hungry Like the Wolf 
Come Undone 
Notorious 
Pressure Off 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
Ordinary World 
Seventh Stranger 
Tempted 
White Lines 
Planet Earth 
Girls on Film 
Friends of Mine 

A View To A Kill (with 007 intro) 
Rio

Wow. There are a lot more changes here with New Religion, Seventh Stranger and Tempted. The encore was not Save a Prayer and Rio. Hmm…this is starting to seem like the band did exactly what we were asking by mixing it up, even just a little bit. Does this pattern remain for the recent shows?

Vegas: September 2019

Hungry Like the Wolf 
A View To A Kill (with 007 intro) 
The Reflex 
Come Undone 
Anyone out there 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
Tempted 
Last Night In The City 
Ordinary World 
Friends of Mine 
Notorious 
Pressure Off / Uptown 
Wild Boys 
Girls on Film 

Universe Alone/Save a prayer 
White Lines 
Rio

Again, there were more changes. The Universe Alone appearing in the encore. More new songs were included in the main part of the show with Anyone Out There and Friends of Mine. I know that at the time of the shows we praised the heck out of not knowing what was coming next. Maybe this post is redundant but I wanted to acknowledge that the band did make changes to the setlist that many, many people asked for in 2016. I like realizing this and thought that maybe others would, too. I’m also hoping that this pattern continues for the next set of shows!

-A

New Duran Math

By Bart Van Bemmel


Math is the most universal language in the world.  It’s all around us.  It binds all living things together.  Even Duran Duran uses math….

On their recent Paper Gods Tour, Duran Duran went on record saying they use the mathematical formula of 3:1 for their set lists — for every three classics you get a new song.  But what if who ever runs Duran’s numbers didn’t take in account that their past two albums All You Need is Now and Paper Gods were going to be so magical that they created NEW CLASSICS?  Imagine that — a band that’s still around after almost forty years is still creating powerful and vibrant new music?  This modern material just can’t be locked away forever with no holdovers on future tours.  Not ONE song from All You Need is Now was held over on the Paper Gods Tour and I’m still not over it.  Fine, I’ll hold a grudge!  After all, it’s their fault they did this to me (and others).  And this is pretty much what inspired this blog post.  With a new album in the works and a prospective tour to follow, I’m here to show you why Duran’s set list “math” could be the way it is and why their common core needs to change.

Maybe I need to get all Stuart Smalley on Duran and give them my own daily affirmation: You’re good enough, you’re smart enoughand dog gone it — people like you.  But I understand why you are the way you are.  And I understand how you arrived at your 3:1 song ratio.  Some “Duranies” aren’t very forgiving when it comes to your band.  Often times they can be brutal — especially each time you to push yourselves, push boundaries, and be forwarding thinking with your music.  God forbid if your new album doesn’t sound just like Seven and the Ragged Tiger part two there will be hell to pay.  I often wonder if some in this fan base cripple your band with their own limitations.  It’s as if other artists and bands out there are allowed to grow up, but not you — NOT DURAN.  It’s as if some fans have fastened one of those retractable dog leash collars that they put on their kids in the mall around your neck.  You will NOT wander off, Simon!  Now add in the music media into the mix.  Are they any different?  When Bon Jovi re-invented themselves with the countrified sing-a-long, “Who Says You Can’t Come Home” and then soon after 2007’s Lost Highway album, it landed them their first ever release to debut on number one on Billboard.  But if DURAN were to ever be so bold to be something different (by all means I’m not saying country music here) — we will stand there — arms crossed, until you play one of your greatest hits.  

I get the whole Fab Five world domination effect you had, but we’re still here… and you’re still affecting us — 100 million albums sold later (ah — more numbers for you).  And I’m NOT sorry to say, but it’s highly unlikely that most casual Duran fans have been shelling out the dollars to fly from all around the world just to see you on your latest mini run of back-to-back sold out shows in New Orleans, Vegas, and others, just to hear you play the Reflex.  We aren’t the casual fans.  We’re the die-hards.  WE sold out those shows.  And we love all that YOU are — especially your “new” stuff.  

With that said, you have created NEW CLASSICS!  NEW MASTERPIECES beyond the greatest hits!  You have even said in an interview that the song What are the Chances from Paper Gods is the best ballad you’ve written since 1993’s Ordinary World.  That’s a pretty bold statement.  But, we’re here to tell you that we agree with you.  But what now?  Does this song fade away into Duran obscurity?  We can’t let this happen. 

So here’s my list of (4) NEW DURAN CLASSICS that should be considered and intermixed for future tours:

1. All You Need is Now (AYNIN)

2. The Man Who Stole a Leopard (AYNIN)

3. Pressure Off (Paper Gods)

4. What are the Chances? (Paper Gods)

Maybe factoring in “new” classics into the live-set ratio would create some kind of New Duran Math that could potentially throw this universe alone into some tailspin (see what I did there?).  But if any band was going to invent a new formula for rock and roll, Duran Duran would be the band to do it.  

I’m curious to see what you — the fans, think some of Duran’s new classics are in your comments!  

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