Category Archives: shows

What a Difference a Week Could Make

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and I spent a good part of it with my parents and my niece. We went out to eat and played some games. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I was distracted and frustrated for much of it. Earlier that morning, I received a little email from DuranDuranMusic informing me that Duran Duran has added five shows in September on the West Coast. I read the email and chose not to react…much. After all the timing of these shows is the worst ever. All I did was simply forward it on to Rhonda. I offered her little commentary but part of me hoped that she and our friends would reject these dates. I didn’t want to have to make a decision about whether or not they were feasible. It felt like too much after another insane and tough weeks at work. So, after I forwarded the email, I put the idea aside and went on with my plans.

About 45 minutes into our drive, my phone started to go a little crazy, indicating lots of notifications. At first, I thought it was my niece alerting us to some change in plans but then I realized that it was time for the West Coast to start waking up. Of course, my friends saw the news and were reacting. Not knowing what the initial thoughts were as I couldn’t check my phone as the driver, caused me to stew. What if they want to go? What if they can? Could I make it work at all? What are the rules at work about September time off? Then, I just started getting frustrated. Why couldn’t the band come to the Midwest? If they were playing near me, so much more would be possible and easier. Why do I always have to fly? Why is it always the West Coast? What is that about? Yes, yes, I know it about the money. They must get paid a good amount to play there, I thought to myself. I even recognized that if I am frustrated, imagine what the rest of the country and world feels. They haven’t gotten shows in years! Then, I started to get mad at myself for getting mad. Needless to say, those fifteen minutes of driving were torture and the more time I had the more irritated I became. Sometimes, I am so stupid. Yet, I could not help how I felt.

Finally, the car stopped and I was able to check my messages. Shit. They all wanted to go and could. Of course, they did and could. They have normal jobs–not like mine with all of the dumb rules and regulations. Notice how my frustration moved from the band to the job. Part of me was even mad at my friends, which is the dumbest thing ever. Then, as soon as I thought that, I realized that I didn’t even know why I was mad at them. Of course, they could and should go to as many shows as possible. Why would I stop them from having a good time? No, it has way more to do with how *I* wanted to go but didn’t think I could. I was angry at the situation more than anything else. I wasn’t really mad at my friends, at the band, or even really at work.

As I sat down at restaurant and began to message my friends back, I started to calm down. Maybe I could make something work? I began checking my employee handbook. I started searching for flights in general. I figured that at least I wouldn’t just dismiss the shows outright and that would make me feel better. By the time, my parents and I were driving back, the messages had slowed down as everyone tried to figure out what they could really do after the initial excitement. I had settled into a maybe I could go state of being. Then, on the way home, I started to talk to my parents about the possibilities. I weighed the pros and cons and sought their opinions. As normal, my parents tried not to take sides, preferring me to come to my own conclusions, which sometimes drives me crazy. After all, I can sit with indecisiveness for a long time. Usually, when that happens, it is because I feel guilty. I feel guilty for missing work so early in the year. I finally could admit that this was the underlying issue. Having recognized that, I got a little more frustrated, at both the system that creates and reinforces that, and at myself for letting myself feel that way.

As Sunday night turned to Monday, I concluded that I would ask a couple of colleagues and friends what they think I should do. They did not seem shocked or appalled that I asked the question nor did they seem to think I would be terrible for going. By the time Rhonda messaged me in the middle of the day, I knew that I could and would make Vegas work. Of course, I also wanted reassurance that people actually wanted me to go. Why did I worry about that? First, I wasn’t super awesome the day before, which I was not proud of. Second and more importantly, the last time wasn’t ideal due solely to me. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like the Vegas trip in February wasn’t fun. I had a good time and the shows were great! I cannot complain there. But Rhonda tried to talk to me and I wasn’t able to articulate well what I was thinking and feeling. I’m sure that it ended up making things worse instead of better. I definitely seemed unfocused and I was to a lot of extent. It has nothing to do with the band or fandom. My head was still in campaign land. Up until that point, I had been able to turn off work when I tour but I couldn’t then. Being in charge created a different reaction in me. More significantly than all that, I was literally exhausted. Now, I know that is a word that gets thrown around often by many people but…the way I’m using it goes beyond I need some sleep. No, my exhaustion ran deep. It is the reason I was sick for over a month. Even today, I feel it as I need significant amount of time to really rest and recover. After all, working two intense full time jobs for months is bound to take its toll. That mini-tour just happened to hit at the worst point of my illness and my exhaustion.

So the more I thought about making Vegas work, the more it made sense to me. Is it the best thing to do for work? No. Do I already give a lot? Yes. More than many. More than most. I cannot feel bad about taking a day. One day. I deserve a chance for a do over, right? I think so. Then, of course, Rhonda and I managed to get tickets on Wednesday through the typical, “I hate Ticketmaster” process. I took it as another sign that it is meant to be. Finally, reading about our friend fighting in the hospital, reminded me that life is short. I’m not going to regret missing a day of work, but I might miss a chance to be in my happy place with my friends.

-A

Everyone’s Their Own Universe

I’m taking a break from writing about shows that most people can’t get to in order to write a little about my friend Alana.

I first met Alana in 2012 when Amanda and I did several shows in the southeastern part of the US during the All You Need is Now tour. When I met her, I can remember that I loved her long hair. It was blond with dark undertones and even some peek-a-boo purple. She kept it straight with long layers, and it was exactly the type of hairstyle I’d want if I had the patience to let my hair grow. The next thing I remember about her from that first meeting were her glasses. They were similar to mine at the time (for reading), and I noticed she had more than one pair that she’d coordinate with her outfit, which I also thought was cool. Lastly, but most importantly – I remember how comfortable I was with her when we met. She is just a very real, genuinely nice person.

After that initial meeting, we stayed friends. I saw her at Durandemonium in 2013, and then again in 2015 at the Ravinia shows in Illinois. All the while, we’d tweet back and forth on Twitter. She has a sunny disposition, and even when she doesn’t have the best news, she has the uncanny ability to make anything sound like it’s just not that bad. I love that about her.

She’s been sick lately, and right now she’s in the hospital. I think it’s fair to say that she’s fighting for her life at this point. I traded tweets with her not that long ago, but before she was admitted into the hospital. She’s still positive that she and I are going to meet up at one of the DD shows on the next tour, and I’m still counting on it.

After hearing this recent news about my friend, it made presales, ticket buying and hand wringing over cost seem pretty silly. I went through the motions yesterday, thinking about how lucky I was to even have the choice to go. Alana doesn’t, at least not right now. In that sense, just buying the damn ticket feels right. On the other hand, spending so much to see one band for one show also makes me feel dumb. What am I thinking?

I kind of said that on Twitter yesterday. One can love Duran Duran, be thankful they tour here, and still feel like the shows are pricey, which I do. All of that said, I wish more than anything else right now that my friend Alana was healthy and able to go – for that, I’d pay just about anything to see.

-R

Now I’m Lying Here Waiting: September 2019 US Shows

Here I am, I’m a dotted line

By now, you’ve likely heard that Duran Duran is coming back to the states this summer and doing additional dates surrounding the KAABOO Festival in Del Mar, California. (It’s a tiny little town just north of San Diego).

The additional shows are as follows:

September 7 & 8 at The Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada.

September 10 & 11 at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California.

September 13 at Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s Casino, Nevada.

Cut the corner, stick me to your door

So, let’s just address the very large, pink-spotted elephant in the room and get it over with. Yes, they’re coming back to the west coast. Yep, this is the third time they’ve played Vegas, and not only Vegas but the same venue in the past 18 months. I know, I know, they’ve played America a lot lately. I am feeling like I need to apologize to the rest of the world, and yet these choices in places, dates, and venues have absolutely nothing to do with me personally. I just am a fan who can potentially reap the benefits (or deplete my bank account by purchasing tickets).

Obviously, these are business decisions. The band has mentioned before that they don’t have a lot of input with where they tour or play gigs. Somehow, I suspect that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier, and I have to respect that. I am ever hopeful that they play in other places besides Denmark, Iceland and the west coast of the US.

That said, could it be that this third set of shows at The Chelsea is Duran Duran’s version of a residency? In the past, Amanda and I have commented on the potential for Vegas residencies here on the blog. Many artists do them. Duran Duran is not one to blindly follow the current, instead – they do their own thing. Could it be that this is their idea of playing several shows in the same place without committing to the same venue and city for weeks on end? It’s not really a residency, but I have to ask – how often do you see artists playing the same venue three times over the course of a year and a half that aren’t playing residencies in some form or another? Food for thought.

I’m a man who stepped off the path

The other, slightly less obvious (?!) elephant has to do with ticket prices. I’ve seen many fans experiencing varying levels of sticker shock since yesterday. Here are the levels of VIP ticketing and pricing being offered:

There are three VIP packages available for these 5 concerts. Members can purchase a maximum of two (2) tickets per person for Las Vegas and four (4) tickets per person for Saratoga and Lake Tahoe.    

1) The Ultimate Front Row Backstage Tour VIP Package. $600 + Ticket Price:

  • 1 Front Row Ticket
  • An exclusive “behind the scenes” escorted Backstage Tour
  • Unforgettable pre-show on-stage photo opportunity 
  • A limited edition autographed Duran Duran photo
  • A custom designed logo’d tote bag
  • Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
  • An exclusive to Ultimate package stylish logo’d Toiletry Bag
  • An exclusive to Ultimate package logo’d bluetooth speaker
  • Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing rechargeable headphones
  • Logo’d stainless steel tumbler

NOTE: There is no meet and greet associated with this package. Details of the backstage tour will be emailed no later than 4 days before the show. The merchandise will be mailed.  

2) The GOLD VIP Package. $175 + Ticket Price 

  • One Premium Ticket in rows 2-8-
  • A custom designed logo’d tote bag
  • Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
  • Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
  • Logo’d stainless steel tumbler

There is no meet and greet, experience at the venue or parking associated with this package. Merchandise will be mailed.  

3) The BRONZE VIP package. $65 + ticket price

  • One Premium Ticket (typically in rows 9 through 20)
  • A custom designed logo’d tote bag
  • Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard

There is no meet and greet, experience at the venue or parking associated with this package. Merchandise will be mailed.  

We will also offer regular pre-sale tickets which you can purchase on its own (not part of any package)

The world spins so fast

I’m going to be blunt: You want to sit in the front row? You’re gonna have to pay, and pay dearly. The law of demand and supply is in effect here. It’s going to be painful, and we’re all going to hate it. However, if you want to be in the White Lines Spit Zone, or stare deeply into John’s eyes as he’s playing Come Undone or Hungry Like the Wolf, it’s going to cost you.

Me? Oh hell no! I’ll happily sit a few rows back so that I can keep paying my son’s college tuition! (it’s not any cheaper than VIP, I’ll say that much!)

I might fly off

So with that, we’re back to the pre-sale anxiety jig. Will I get tickets? Are they going to be too far back? How many shows can I feasibly get away with buying? Watching the Ticketmaster countdown clock tick down to go time… It is definitely a love/hate relationship. Are you with me?

On the other hand, seeing shows added made for a very lovely Mother’s Day. Seeing as my darling husband went to the trouble of printing out an online Mothers Day card for me while I was out at the crack of dawn feeding our chickens and cleaning their coop….I am ready to buy ALL of the Duran Duran tickets.

Well, not really all of them. After all, there’s a two-ticket limit for Vegas and a four-ticket limit for the Saratoga and Lake Tahoe shows.

Meanwhile, my mother arrives tomorrow for an extended visit, I have a house to clean, groceries to buy, a bed is being delivered, hotel and pet kennel reservations to make, and a graduation to attend this weekend. It is crazy…as usual!

-R


The Wild Boys are Calling

On their way back from the fire

So, Kensington Palace was apparently the place to be last night. Anybody there? My invite was lost in the mail again. Rats! I heard it was some sort of investors conference. I have to admit wondering about how raucous that crowd could have possibly been. The visions I have of it floating in my head center around they idea that they’re already at a palace, which would seem a bit stuffy for an atmosphere. What would I know anyway? I’m American. We don’t have palaces here!

Amidst the tweets and posts concerned with what they played and why they were playing, there were a fair number lamenting the fact that they played at all. “Oh, a secret show again?”…”They sure seem to do an awful lot of these.”…”When are they going to play a REAL show in England?” and my favorite… “So they DO know where the UK is then, apparently.

They tried to break us

Despite chuckling at some of them, because I really do appreciate good sarcasm…I couldn’t help but notice those that questioned why the band plays so many of these types of shows. I’ve written about it several times in the past. Yet, it still continues to come up every single time they play a corporate or private gig. I even saw a few people saying that they wish the band just wouldn’t say anything about playing these gigs at all, which struck me as a bizarre request. Is it fair to assume the band has sold out for money?

As a primer here – the band is a business. LIKE IT OR NOT. I don’t know of a single band out there that doesn’t need to make a little money here and there. Bands pay for studio time. They pay producers, engineers, session players (session guitarists!)…and that’s just the beginning. Once the album is made, and they pay all of those people along the way, the album has to sell in order for the band to make money. It is far more complicated than I’m willing to get into, but this is the basic idea. Albums don’t sell the way they did in the 80s. Spotify sure as heck doesn’t pay well, either. So now what? They tour.

Tours are expensive. The outlay of money just to get going is tremendous. Think of it this way, every single thing needed to even tour – right down to the duct tape used to adhere the paper set lists to the stage floor – is paid for by Duran Duran. It’s not like that stuff is donated! Anyone who has done any reading lately should know that bands make more money touring than through album sales. (don’t read this as they make a lot of money – most do not!) Even so, do they make enough to pay for studio time? Management? Sales? Marketing people? Bloggers?

Ok…not bloggers. Just kidding. I was just checking to see if you’re paying attention!!

Looks like they’ll try again

So then what? Sir Spends-a-Lot calls management and says “Hey, I will pay Duran Duran a boatload of cash if they come and play at my private gig!” Management replies by saying, “We will need TWO boatloads, thank you!” Sir Spends-a-Lot thinks it over and then responds. “Fine! I’ll Venmo you!” (Ok, I’m joking about that. The Venmo part, anyway. I just thought it was funny.)

Duran Duran is now booked to play a private gig for two boatloads of money. They’re not supposed to announce it because the gig is private, and apparently Spends-a-Lot doesn’t want 5,000 Duranies showing up at his house. I can’t imagine why. But hey, the band will have a ton of money in their bank account just in time to pay whatever big name producer shows up in their studio next! (I was going to make a joke here about Timbaland, but I decided to skip it. Overkill, you know.)

Anyway… the process just isn’t nearly as pretty as we all want to believe.

Bloodstain for your pain

Fans seem to have this romanticized vision of a band that isn’t in it for the money. They love playing. They would live in their cars to be able to play for their fans. It’s ALL for the fans and the love of music. Gosh, that’s a lovely fantasy.

Listen, I have no doubt that some of that drives the band. I mean, they’re not ogres. Of course they love what they do. My husband loves working developing and managing products for a fancy speaker company, but he also needs to pay his bills. His wife – that would be me – insists on it, actually. That said, it is just silly to think they aren’t looking to make money.

Even if Simon, John, Nick and Roger agreed that they would never again make a dime from Duran Duran, I highly doubt the people who work for them would agree to the same terms! From the touring musicians, roadies and techs, right down to the people who answer phones in the office – everybody needs to be paid. Those people aren’t in the business for the “art”. They’re trying to make a living and pay their bills. Most of those people don’t even get to have fun at the shows, either!

While you’re dancing in the rain

Here is the real problem, as I see it. For you and I – the fans, that is – listening to music, going to live shows, and even social media is all just FUN. Concerts ARE fun. Amanda and I have said countless times that we wish we could tour for a living. That is because on our end, it really is all fun and games. We aren’t responsible for much other than getting ourselves to a venue and into our seats on time. (And, I might add that we barely managed to even do that successfully while in Vegas!!) I think we forget that while it is all about having a good time for us, it is not the same thing for the band. Part of that is by design. We’re supposed to be able to forget about real life, and we do! The band though, is a different story.

They have shows every night, and each time they need to look like they’re having as much fun as they did the night before. If they’re sick, if they’re tired, if they’re hungover – the show happens anyway. I just think we have to remember that for most of us, it is a show or two (or five), then we go home and back to real life. For the band – that really IS real life. It is their job, however much “fun” we think it must be.

Where is glory

Maybe I’m weird. I can accept that. I like knowing about the private gigs. Knowing about their corporate shows makes me smile, even if I’m not personally going to be at any of them. Even if I didn’t write Daily Duranie, I’d be happy hearing that they’re playing live. It keeps their engine oiled, and it’s good to know they’re doing something. Sure, I wish they were playing more regular shows. Who doesn’t? That all costs the band a lot more money though than playing a private or corporate gig…or even a festival.

Yeah, downtime is tough. I think we can even qualify it as boring for a lot of fans. We get anxious when we see shows for people that probably don’t appreciate them. I also know that people in the UK are beyond miffed that a band from their own damn country hasn’t bothered to play a single show in many months (years). This blog isn’t directed at those people or that issue. That’s something different, and I don’t have answers that anyone is going to like or accept. I wish I did.

-R

You Coming Down Now?

Packing up…

For those of you who were in Vegas this weekend, has it hit you yet?

You know…the Post Concert Depression?

Combined feelings of exhaustion mixed with thoughts of “Well, now what do I have to look forward to?” start the post concert depression cycle. It is a huge let down. I can only speak to my own experience here, but sometimes it is worse than others.

For me, the longer I was away from my regular life, the worse it seemed to be. When I traveled to the UK for the AYNIN tour, I think we were gone six days (the time we actually saw shows, that is!) and when I got home – I was wiped out. The jet lag was terrible (I really struggle with it, even when I am flying within the US), and I think that amplified everything I was feeling. During the Paper Gods tour, Amanda and I were insane and did two weeks worth of shows. I remember that last show in Chula Vista – I was so sad. I even tweeted afterwards that I couldn’t believe it would be another five years before I’d see them again. (Turns out, it wasn’t. Not even close!!)

Write your name across the sky

I think it’s weird to miss people you don’t really know, but somehow – we do, don’t we? It isn’t just the high from the shows, it is also being able to chat with friends, or get those few moments with a support player for a picture or whatever. Knowing you won’t see them again for a long time – well, it’s kind of depressing really. Then there’s the people you DO know. Friends, or as I call them – my family. I see Amanda once or twice a year at most. Same with Suzie, really. We squeeze in so much talking over the course of three or four days that I come home without a voice nearly every time, and it still isn’t quite enough. Amanda and I even chatted yesterday because we didn’t feel like we’d gotten time to do it before she took off on Sunday morning. Still, I miss her already.

The let down can be rough. I actually thought about that on my way home, because the last thing I want is to spiral back into a deep dark hole similar to last year. I worry about that a little bit. I’m trying hard not to focus on things or situations that might make me wistful or sad, which might allow the dark and gloom to take over. Instead, I am coming up with ways to keep my spirits lifted.

Nothing I would rather like

Having more shows planned helps, but not always (particularly if those shows aren’t Duran Duran.) For example, I know I’m seeing Rick Springfield in a couple of weeks. I’m excited about that for a number of reasons, but he’s definitely not Duran Duran. I don’t have any other shows planned at the moment, but trust me when I say I’m looking for some!

The other thing is to stay busy. I like having projects to do since I am not currently working. I had mentioned this in one of the videos we did this weekend, but I’m getting baby chicks this week. This is an entirely new thing for me – I grew up in So Cal, and our city didn’t allow livestock of any kind. I’ve been busy buying supplies for their brooder, and ordering their coop. This year it is chickens, next year we’re hoping to get two goats, and maybe the following year a few sheep. (and then that’s it because otherwise I’ll never be able to go to a Duran Duran show again – no time!)

I’m also going to put in raised beds for vegetables, and we’ve already started planting grapes (Cabernet). Oh, and berries. I planted boysenberries, blackberries, a type of blueberry and golden raspberries. Can’t wait! I also raked in about 150 square feet of California poppy seeds just before I left. I sound like a damn farmer, but I’m enjoying being outdoors. I love it!

See you in the Northern Lights

Before we left Vegas, Amanda and I agreed to use this summer to work on writing. That’s right, we haven’t given up! I am excited to see what it brings. I also desperately want to overhaul this website. That’s trickier because I think I’d have to take down the site to work on it, and then mess with the backend more than I like (I’m always afraid that I’ll permanently destroy something), but we need to get it done. I also have got to look at archiving some of our posts. After nearly nine years of blogging – there’s kind of a lot going on.

Lastly, I’m waiting to see if Duran Duran is going to really do something for 2020 and #DD40. I know they’ve talked about wanting to release new music during that time, as well. Mostly, I want to go back over to the UK, and I want Duran Duran to be the reason I visit. I dearly miss my friends over there (shout out to Michelle, Amy, and Julie!), and I want to go back. I think it might be poignant to see Duran Duran in Birmingham for their 40th, assuming they don’t ignore their home country for such a momentous anniversary. Amanda and I have been talking about this for awhile. If they plan shows during the summer (from mid-June to mid-August), we can go. If it’s during the spring (any time before mid-June) – it’s very hard for either of us to leave. So, I’m crossing my fingers!

So, if you’re like me and are succumbing to the realities of normal life, just take a deep breath and think back to Friday or Saturday night in Vegas. Still puts a smile on my face.

-R

Finding Revelation out of Desperation

On a wandering river

Alright people, here’s the deal: I had to be up early this morning in order to catch a ride with my husband to the airport. That means that by the time you read this, I will likely already there, waiting very impatiently for my flight. I’m writing this on Wednesday, a day ahead of time.

You know those crazy butterflies you get in your stomach when you realize you’re just minutes away from seeing the band? Or that feeling when you walk into the hotel or venue and you know that there are other Duranies, or even the band themselves, in the building? It is a mixture of nausea with a jolt of excitement – like you’ve had too much caffeine?? Yeah, I’ve got it all right now.

I love it.

The feeling isn’t new, but I can’t remember the last time I felt like this. Even last December I almost dreaded the trip. My husband had just been laid off work. The only reason I still went was because I’d committed to being there. I didn’t want to let friends down. The weekend, although fun, still gave me a pit of dread in my belly. I couldn’t wait to get back home on New Years Eve. I just felt bad being there knowing that my husband wasn’t having a great time looking for work.

Not this time.

Going on together

I’m packing and getting ready, and I feel good. Things aren’t perfect. I mean, I’m not at my fittest. The struggle is real with basic things like seeing (I need new glasses!), but I feel good. I’m anxious to see my friends, and I’m looking forward to enjoying the weekend. This is a definitely and welcome improvement.

This is your final reminder to follow us on social media…we will do our best to entertain!

dailyduranie on Instagram

Daily Duranie on Facebook

@dailyduranie on Twitter

Well, it is about time for me to board my plane, so I’d better skedaddle. I’m hoping technology doesn’t fail me and I can get some video posted on Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps even a Facebook live when possible. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, but you’ll be seeing me soon!

-R

Are You Ready For This?

I leave tomorrow. After what has felt like years to me, tomorrow is the day. To say I’m excited doesn’t really cover it. This isn’t just about seeing Duran Duran, but it’s also about catching up with everyone else, too. Weirdly, for me it is almost like seeing everyone will prove to me that yep – I made it through. I’m still here, I’m living, and more importantly, I’m happy. Not expecting that most people will get what I’m saying, and that’s OK. You know that song, “The Valley”? Yep. That x 1000.

Welcome to the Beautiful Fillmore

Before I can think about tomorrow too much, I need to blog for today. The band played their first of two shows at The Fillmore in New Orleans last night, going back to the setlist they did in Miami. I can only imagine the thunder coming from the crowd as they took the stage to “New Religion”, continuing on with hits representing as many of their 14 albums as they could include in a 15-song set.

Therein lies the problem, though…and that problem is two-fold. Let’s discuss show length first. According to Keith Spera, a reviewer for The Advocate, the band only played for 80 minutes. Simon remarked twice that their set was going by quickly. Once towards the end of their regular set, and another time during the encore. “We’ll try stretching it out.”

Now, I wasn’t there, and I don’t know how accurate the reviewer was about the show length. I do know, however, that the band didn’t take the stage until 9:30 and just about every venue wants bands off the stage before 11pm. That’s the norm. In the recent past during the Paper Gods tour, their shows were running a bit longer, somewhere around the 90-95 minute mark (give or take).

This is going quickly

Some feel that’s a pretty short set for a band whose tickets are selling for a couple hundred dollars. Others believe that Duran Duran is doing no different than any other band these days – that the longer shows that bands like The Cure, or artists such as Elton John or even Paul McCartney tend to do are unusual.

Here’s where the slope gets slippery for me. At first thought, 15 songs seems a bit…”scant”…to use the same word from the review this morning. Have they really been doing fewer songs lately?

So let’s just address that first elephant in the room. In 2017, Duran Duran played 17 songs at the Fox theater in Oakland (according to setlist.fm). Earlier that same year, they played only 16 songs at Agua Caliente. In 2016, also during the Paper Gods tour, they played 18 songs at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, but then earlier that year they played 19 songs at The Belasco. At the SSE Hydro in Glasgow 2015, they played a whopping 21 songs. In 2012 at the Pacific Amphitheater during the AYNIN tour, they played 20 songs. I can go back farther, but the truth is, there is a significant difference in the amount of songs they play depending upon the venue and the type of show.

Somebody slow it down

Just by looking at the shows I mentioned, it would appear that they might have cut a song, maybe two from their tour set lists. Shows that they do as a one-off, or even as they’re doing now, where they’re playing six shows here in the states, are quite different. Those run the gamut in length. For example, I looked up Madison Square Garden Theater back in 2015, and they played eleven songs. On the other hand, they played 21 songs for the fan community concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City back in 2007. I have to admit, my memory of that show doesn’t feel like it was 21 songs.

So is a 15-song set list really too short? Well, if Simon is mentioning how quickly the set seems to be going, then yes, I suppose it might be. I would defer to him, because it’s his voice taking the beating…but even without that, this isn’t a band that just stays static on stage. They are moving and dancing. They work it.

14 studio albums

On the flip side of this issue is the set list itself. As a friendly aptly pointed out this morning on Twitter, this band has a catalog of 14 studio albums at this point. We fans make a big show of begging for less of the well-known hits in favor of throwing us a proverbial “bone” or two of the songs that only a minuscule percentage of any crowd might know. When a reviewer is complaining about not only the length of the set, but also that they didn’t even play all of their hits, what is the band to do? The same reviewer openly suggested that they stop playing songs like “Pressure Off”, “Tempted” or “Friends of Mine” in favor of “Union of the Snake”, “The Reflex”, “New Moon on Monday”, “Is There Something I Should Know”, or “Planet Earth”, suggesting that fans wouldn’t have known the difference.

Yes, this is a fantastic problem to have…but a slight entanglement nonetheless. Should the band cater to fair-weather, concert going fans that make up 99% of their concert audience, or do they play songs that the diehards might appreciate. Yes, I go to multiple shows, as do many of you. That’s wonderful, but we don’t fill arenas alone. It takes thousands of fans who might ONLY know “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “A View to a Kill” and all of the other songs mentioned in The Advocate this morning. They go to ONE show, and they want to hear the songs they know.

High maintenance expectations

I am aware there is likely someone reading who wants desperately to remind me that the band plays the US often, and that there are any number of ignored countries in the world that would cheer no matter what the band plays, or for however long – point taken. My post this morning isn’t a complaint. I’m thankful that I’m seeing them again, and whether they play 15 songs for 80 minutes or 20 songs for closer to two hours, I’m going to love it all the same.

The bottom line is that there’s no pleasing everyone. It’s a rough road to nowhere. Sure, the band could play 20 songs, throw in a few extras for the diehards, and I am betting somebody would still be pissed. Maybe they’d be angry that the starting time was 9 instead of 9:30 and DDHQ didn’t send out a show agenda. Perhaps someone would be mad that that the encore was too short, or that dang it, they still didn’t play “Late Bar”. There is simply no meeting the expectations of everyone. In my “vast” experience with this particular fan community – we are the toughest of all to please. We are high maintenance with expectations to match. We’re a bit too quick on the admonishments, and quite a bit short on the thank you’s. Isn’t the band and DDHQ lucky??

If you want to read the article in The Advocate for yourself, check it out!

-R

See them walking

As the lights (or sequins) flashing out are so bright

Is anyone else enjoying the pictures, set lists and tweets that seem to go hand-in-hand with touring? I love seeing the flurry of activity, the pictures from backstage (Questionable fashion choices included, l might add. Nice sequins, John.), and even the posts from other fans at the shows. It reminds me of how much I enjoy the whole touring process, even if I can’t be at every show.

Walk right out to the four line track

This week, however, I am very lucky to be able to say I’m getting ready to leave for Las Vegas on Thursday. In the past, I’d hop in my car and just drive the four hours. Maybe I’m weird, but I LIKE driving. I love the idea of being alone with my own thoughts, listening to my own music, and making my own way (no pun intended…really…) there. Unfortunately though, the distance from my current address makes the trip less-than-optimal, so I am flying. I leave on Thursday morning, and I’m flying on a fairly tiny plane – just 30 seats – which should make the trip interesting!

Naturally, the one time I am flying on a very small plane, there’s a chance of snow. Now, I realize most of you live in snowy climates. Snow isn’t exactly “news”…except that this is happening in Las Vegas, which is really not known for snow. I’m not really concerned about the weather – as long as my little plane is able to take off and land at the appropriate places. I would also like to put it out there that I hope everyone else has safe travels, too. After that, I’ll be inside…and probably at a bar. I mean, it’s my vacation!

Sense a rhythm humming

We’ve had quite a few people ask us about meet-ups this week. Here is the thing: we get in on Thursday afternoon and will be ready for fun by late afternoon! This time though, Amanda and I sort of agreed that we’d do things more casually. The pressure of putting something together didn’t appeal to me, and I liked the idea of just going with the flow. I realize that for many of you coming, you might have been hoping for firm plans and big parties. What I will tell you is this, we’ll post where we’re going and you can decide to join in. It’ll BE a big party no matter what, but it takes a little bit of the pressure and planning off of us to do it more like a “pop-up” hangout. Looking forward to seeing everyone!!

In the meantime, I can give the heads up that Mandalay Bay has a pretty good live band that plays in their Rhythm & Riffs lounge right in the middle of the casino. Their name is Phoenix, and they’re a solid cover band. They’ve been at Mandalay for at least 6 years now, if my memory serves. They play a pretty good variety, but they are mainly rock, not pop. They’re not going to break into “Rio”…for example. They go on at 10 on Thursday, and I believe 10:30 on Fridays. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found a bunch of us there on Thursday night, if you happen to be in town and want to open the weekend with a good party!

Wider baby, smile (we haven’t made a million…more like SPENT a million…..)

Now, for those of you who aren’t going to be in Las Vegas, I am going to try my best to keep my phone out of water this time, and post more videos! Dance parties, meet-ups, bar “visits”…Duran shows… what could be better?!? Even if you’re not there, our job is to make you feel like you are still taking part in the action! Watch this space, and stay tuned to our social media!

If you’re not already following Daily Duranie on Facebook , @dailyduranie on Twitter, and dailyduranie on Instagram, what are you waiting for? Add us, and stay up to the minute with our Vegas adventure!!

-R

Holding Back Now Friends of Mine

They said they were friends of mine

Hey, did you know that Duran Duran played a show in Miami last night? It feels GOOD to be able to type that sort of statement once again! Writing Daily Duranie is something I thoroughly enjoy each day, but writing blogs while the band is touring is extra special.

We wouldn’t be Daily Duranie if we didn’t write about the show. Granted, I wasn’t there in person. Instead, I sat on Twitter, waiting to hear the latest from the crowd, and of course – I couldn’t help but be curious about the set list.

Silly lies, don’t have to advertise

If you read yesterday’s blog, you’ll know that I specifically wrote that I liked surprises. I didn’t need to know every song on the set list. There was no reason for me to know every last costume or detail. I even said surprises are good.

Well, I lied.

Something happened to me last night, and you know – maybe it happened to you as well. Read on and see if it sounds at all familiar. I finished writing the blog, did some housework and spent some time with my daughter. Sometime around oh, say 4:30 here, I realized it was 7:30. I thought about the show happening that night and thought I should just take a quick peek at Twitter. Why not?

Said they were passing time

About that time, I saw a tweet from Dom about the show, and then a couple of tweets from friends in line, and then I put down my phone. I got back to folding laundry and other mundane chores. As I walked out from my bedroom back to the kitchen, I saw that it was then about 5:45. 8:45 in Miami. Hmm. They must be getting very close to showtime. I thought – why not take a super quick scroll through Twitter, then I will start dinner?

I picked up my phone, and immediately saw tweets from the show. Friends and I continued kibitzing over possible opening songs. I looked up from my phone and it was just after 6 my time. Well, they should be onstage soon, right? People from the show started sending less-than-happy texts about how it was getting late and the band wasn’t on stage yet. I looked at the clock and it was now 6:25. Not only was I late in even STARTING dinner, but in my head – the band should have been on around 9pm.

What are you waiting for?

(I found out later that the band wasn’t scheduled to be onstage until about 9:30 so they weren’t late – seems to me though that DDHQ could say when the band is taking the stage so that people would know and not complain – but maybe that’s just not possible. I don’t know. I’m just a blogger!)

Right about then, DDHQ posted a picture taken from the show with the caption, “Ready?” Interestingly, the photo had a backdrop with what looked like three stained glass windows in the background. Hmm…what could THAT be about, I wondered. I sat back down in one of our barstools by our kitchen island just as the tweets started. “OMG – it’s NEW RELIGION!!”

I jumped up, pumping my fist into the air. Yes!!! New addition to the setlist! While I was thrilled to see something new added, I wondered if this was the song John mentioned that hadn’t been played since the 80’s. Uh, no, I thought. I’ve seen them do that song live. Dang it – I hope that’s not it!!

Georgie Davies is coming out

Even with that niggling thought, I was thrilled. Who cares, when it’s all said and done? I went to put my phone down, figuring I’d see the posted set list in the morning and all would have been fine. Except.

Yes, except…my watch started tapping my wrist pretty continuously, and every time it did, I checked it. I’d see that it was a new tweet about the set list, the costumes, the visuals, the crowd…and I just couldn’t be stopped.

I threw dinner on the stove. “Spaghetti night it is!” I announced proudly to no one in particular. My phone or watch would buzz, I’d read the next song, tweet about that, and before you know it – it was already 7:30. Husband walked through the door and caught me red handed, tweeting away.

It’s time that you were told

“That band just played Seventh Stranger for the first time since the 1980s!!!” I announced proudly, as he looked around pointedly to see if dinner was anywhere near ready. (It was. I can multitask, you know.). As we were eating rather casually, I sat with phone nearby, reading every single addition to the set list.

Not only was there New Religion and Seventh Stranger (which really – even hearing that would be a triumph), but Tempted and Friends of Mine were played as well. As the show ended and DDHQ posted their thanks and goodbyes, I sent a little tweet their way.

“Now THAT was a set @duranduran!!”
You came to PLAY!!”


Why don’t they drop the bomb

Euphoria doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings last night, and I wasn’t even there. Instead, I was about 3,500 miles away, hanging out in my kitchen!

I sure am glad I stuck it out last year and didn’t do something stupid to myself. It isn’t easy to explain. I just know that I was already very excited to be able to go see the shows in Vegas yesterday afternoon, and today – I am over the moon. Not only am I excited to see friends, but I am very excited to see John, Roger, Simon, Nick and Dom. Even if the only way I see them, is from hundreds of feet away while they’re onstage.

It’s not just “the band” thing, either. It is knowing that I really work through some of the worst feelings I’ve ever had. I feel so much better now. I’m not a different person, but I’m in a much better place emotionally. Now, I get to celebrate. Trust me, I will be doing just that. If you happen to be in Vegas next week, I hope you’ll raise a glass or two with me.

I’m not too late

I finally did put my phone down at about 8:30 last night. The battery died, and my eyesight was as blurry as ever. It was a great night to be a Duranie.

I suspect it will not be the last time I feel that way.

-R

Pre-gaming the Pre-show and Other Delights!

I can hear the cracking sound

It is a SHOW DAY today, people!! Are you ready?!? By “you”, of course – I mean Duran Duran. I hope you’re ready! We – the fans of course – we’re born ready for this type of thing, right??

My apologies for the late blog. The smallest Rivera is settling into our new community by beginning a new school tomorrow morning. Today was an orientation day, and then tomorrow she gets thrown to the lions. Well, not really…but she will be one of just seven girls in her blended 4th and 5th grade class!

I was animatedly chatting with friends about the show this morning. We spent time debating set list possibilities, possible costuming, wondering what they might open and close with, and so on. The conversations were great. It all reminded me of just how much I enjoy talking about the music with other fans. It also vaguely seemed like something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on right away. Then it hit me.

Some fans enjoy chatting about the shows, the costumes, visuals and even the lighting and sound. I don’t know of a lot of people outside of my small circle of Twitter pals that can spend a full-day going around and around about what song Duran Duran might use as an opener. They will excitedly debate, citing historical choices and reason. Apparently, we can ponder and question possible choices like nobody’s business. It is all very similar to watching a pregame show before a big game, like the Super Bowl. While the conversations can be very serious, there’s also an air of humor surrounding much of it. We keep it light, friendly, and fun.

Something else

For fans, the concerts ARE our Super Bowls, aren’t they? The lucky part is that the winners happen to be the fans. Moreover, we win every single time! Not a bad thing, in my mind. This being Reason #257 why I choose concerts over sports, every single time.

The key is never allowing those expectations to ruin a good time. Sure, you bought VIP tickets, but while you expected to have an unobstructed view, instead your seats are way off to the side, or are facing speakers…or two very large men end up in front of you, ruining any chance of actually being able to see more than a tiny sliver of the stage at any one time. Any one of those mishaps are enough to put a damper on joy of the evening, and might even have the potential to ruin the night…if you allow.

You could cut the atmosphere

I draw from personal experience here. There have been times when I have dissected a show within inches of it’s life before it has even taken place. I’ve announced what songs I hope to hear, and what songs I hope they leave off the set list. My friends and I have analyzed every single part of their live show, I’ve noticed when the onstage choreography seems more rehearsed than organic. I’ve had the greatest of expectations, only to arrive at the show and be thwarted, whether due to crowds, tall people, or even bad seats, right alongside my own bad attitude.. At some shows I’ve let those things bother me to the point of being angry. At others, I learned from my past mistakes, shrugged it off, and danced like nobody was watching.

When it all comes down to it, I believe there has to be a balance. Talking about everything from set list to shows, to upcoming albums is exciting to me, but I also like the element of surprise.

I don’t need to know every subtle nuance, or recognize every time Roger should twirl his stick, or when Dom should cross the stage. Knowing the set list in advance of my shows doesn’t help to entice me (although admittedly, it is very hard to stay away from such things online!), and I don’t need to hear who has already taken photos with whom or how so-and-so isn’t going to be staying at the hotel or so forth because they flew on to the next stop and so on. Knowing future collaborators or producers isn’t a worry I’m willing to take on. I might comment on it, but worry? Nah. Not worth it. Let the music speak for itself. Balance is a good thing. Surprises can be nice.

Things are hoting up in here

So, over the next week or two as I talk Duran Duran, whether as a pre-show commentator, or “Monday Morning Quarterback” (so to speak!) I also will keep managing those expectations. As John Taylor says (and if I were a tattoo gal – which I am not – I would have this in tiny script around one my ankles just to remind me) “expectations are simply future resentments”.

-R