Category Archives: shows

New Date in SKANSEN, SWEDEN!

Anyone catch the news of another Duran Duran concert date yesterday? If not, here was the press release on the band’s official website:

Duran Duran will return to Sweden for their first concert in the country in 15 years to headline this summer’s Sommarkväll Med… concert series on Sunday, May 31st. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, February 12th at 10:00 am local time, through Eventim.se.

Duran Duran have sold over 100 million records, had 18 American and 21 UK hit singles, won countless awards and continue to perform to huge concert audiences around the world. Consistently fusing art, technology and fashion with their unique and infectious sound, singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor have proven themselves timeless – always innovating, to remain ahead of the curve. 

Their last album, 2015’s Paper Gods, was hailed by critics and fans alike as their best body of work in more than two decades. Produced by Mark Ronson and Nile Rodgers, alongside Mr Hudson and Josh Blair, the record features collaborations with Janelle Monáe, John Frusciante, Kiesza and Jonas Bjerre (of Mew.) A global, three year, sold-out arena tour followed.

Duran Duran are currently in the studio working on their follow-up to Paper Gods with several exciting collaborators, to be announced soon. This, their fifteenth studio album, is slated for release in 2020, alongside a series of 40 thrilling projects and live events that will celebrate their long and illustrious career.

SOMMARKVÄLL MED… is an all-new series of music experiences that invites you to some of this summer’s best shows in the most beautiful setting Stockholm has to offer. Join us for some amazing concerts, good food and drinks, all while enjoying a panoramic view of Stockholm. 

Sommarkvall_Portrait_1080x1350-DuranDuran

In case you are not keeping track of the announced Duran Duran dates so far, let me share them all here.

May 30, 2020
Jelling Musikfest
Mølvangvej Jelling, Denmark Duran Duran headlines the Jelling Musikfestival in Mølvangvej Jelling, Denmark

May 31, 2020
Sommarkväll Med…
Skansen, Sweden Duran Duran headlines the Sommarkväll Med… concert series in Skansen, Sweden

June 07, 2020
St Anne’s Park
Dublin, Ireland Duran Duran at St Anne’s Park

June 14, 2020
Isle of Wight Festival

I, of course, am excited for anyone who is able to make this festival in Sweden or any of the other shows. Unfortunately, I cannot consider any of these shows as I will be at the end of the school year. Part of me, though, is relieved that it is clear that I cannot go to any of these. It isn’t that I don’t want to go. It is quite the opposite. I would love to go to every Duran show. What I don’t like is having the conflict between wanting to go and trying to figure out if there is some way, any way to get to go. I always feel guilty for leaving work while still desperately wanting to go. Whenever shows come up during the school year, I spend a lot of time and energy just trying to figure out if I could swing it in any way, shape or form. I hate that. I just want to be able to go easily without the stress or guilt of leaving work. These shows are such that I cannot even consider them. They are too far away at the exact wrong time of the school year. Am I hoping that there are shows that I can go too easily? Of course. Right now, though, I’ll focus on being excited for those who can go to these easily.

-A

If I Had a Time Machine

DDHQ asked their typical Question of the Week today – wondering what show we would attend if we had a time machine.

At first, I gasped at the enormity of the question. Forty years of gigs seems like quite a few to wade through before settling on an answer. Do I go to the biggest one? Was there one show that I regret not being able to attend more than any other? Hell if I know!!

Suddenly, the answer became clear, which I’ll admit —is strange. I mean, we’re talking about an answer coming to me over the course of composing a single tweet, but it did. As easily as flipping a switch to turn on a light bulb, I knew exactly what I would choose.

In 2005, I did something that was so far beyond anything I could have ever dreamed for myself – I still think about it from time to time. I boarded a plane headed for Chicago. Once I got there (late night on St. Patrick’s Day, no less), I took a shuttle bus to a nearby hotel (The Doubletree near O’Hare) that was christened the Duranie Dorm. Inside, I was immediately greeted by people I hadn’t seen in six months. I don’t think I can properly describe the warmth, happiness and pure joy that spread like a bright light – going from the pit of my belly through to the ends of each of my fingers and toes. In that moment, I felt every bit of the Duranie magic that I have longed for in the years since. I was a part of the crowd: wanted, welcomed and included.

The following night, Amanda, my friend Jessica and I went to the All State Arena. First, we attended the VIP cocktail party – which by the way, was much nicer than they are today. I don’t mean that the food was better or that the drinks were fancy – it wasn’t that. It was the energy of the room. This was before the days of a fan hierarchy, before we were all aware of ourselves, so to speak. We were all there as fans from the 80s, looking to make good on a promise to ourselves to see this band play new music live. It didn’t matter who knew them, who had met them, or who had photos with them as much as it did that we were all there together in that room. Rather than listen with jealous ears over the tales of previous chance band encounters, most of us listened with thoughts of “could that really happen to me?” Our hearts and souls may have even answered that question with “Maybe. You never know.”

Once we heard the beginning sounds from Clear Static, the opening band – we raced down to our seats in the third row, right in front of where John would later stand. I still can’t quite believe I was there. Nearly fifteen years later, it feels like it was all a dream. We stood, danced and cheered for Clear Static. and then—we heard the heartbeats indicating that the band, the one we came to see, was in front of us.

I can distinctly remember being so nervous—I mean, John AND Roger were directly in front of us, smiling away—I couldn’t make my camera work. I fumbled with it, my hands shaking. Third row was so freaking close!! The rest of the show comes back to mind in teeny bits and pieces, so fragmented in my memory now that I can never be sure if it was something that happened that night or one evening later in Milwaukee. John grinning at us, Roger twirling his stick, and some guy playing guitar over in the far corner of the other side of the stage – trying to hide in the wings and not draw attention to himself (This was one of the shows when Dom stepped in for Andy while he was gone).

Afterwards, we squealed, talked, celebrated and basked in the afterglow. I’ll never forget it.

For me, my fandom isn’t defined by the things I didn’t have the chance to do (oh sure, I still think about that 1984 Sing Blue Silver tour from time to time), but by the experiences I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy. That night, and really – the entire weekend – was magical.

In many ways, I think that in the fifteen years since that show, I have continually tried to recreate that experience. It was the first concert I went to with not just one friend, but many. I had never traveled to see Duran Duran, or any band for that matter, so that was a first for me. The fan community felt far more like a warm hug than the rabid, cannibalized mob it tends to morph into whenever the band has been present in the years since. I can’t say times were so much better, but my own experience as a fan was shaped by that gig. I’d gladly do it all again.

-R

Someday, We Won’t Have a Choice

So in the interest of full disclosure, I’m writing this on Sunday night as opposed to trying to squeeze in writing time in the morning between school drop-off, groceries, and laundry.

Just a couple of hours ago, news broke that Ric Ocasek of The Cars was found dead in his NYC penthouse. He was 75. Earlier this week, news hit that Eddie Money passed away from cancer. Both musicians were a near constant on the radio back in the day, although I will admit that The Cars were much more of a personal favorite for me.

I was sitting outside on my patio, relaxing when I saw the news on Twitter. It was shocking enough for me to do a double take, and even as I sit here typing, I really struggle to believe it is all true. For me, The Cars were a mainstay. I have all of their albums, and I really can’t think of MTV
without remembering “You Might Think”. Tears sprung to my eyes as I read the vague news story about his death, thinking to myself that I would never have the chance to see The Cars live again.

This is why you buy the concert tickets.

Those words slammed into my heart as I thought about an argument I’d had yesterday morning with my husband. I’ve been priming him for a possible UK trip next year. I haven’t been abroad since late 2011 when I traveled with Amanda to see Duran Duran in December of that year. The trip was fantastic, and I knew even then that it wouldn’t be the last time. That said, timing is of the essence. We can’t travel when Amanda is teaching, and it is much harder for me to get away when I’ve got a child in school, too. The summer months are the only way, and naturally – I have no way of knowing when or if the band will do another tour in the UK. I’m hopeful.

The more I talk about our hope of returning, the more Duranies seem to be on board with the idea. Granted, it all hinges on whether or not Duran Duran decides to grace it’s own country with shows to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band with Simon as frontman. If they do, I think we have enough people wanting to go to seriously consider chartering our own plane. (not that we would…but we could!) Of course, this excites me even more, and I mentioned it yesterday morning.

The response was not positive. In addition to a litany of other things that are neither here nor there, blog-wise, he questioned why on earth I need to keep going. “Haven’t you seen enough??”

I couldn’t put it into words yesterday, but upon hearing the news of Ric Ocasek dying, I had no trouble. THIS is why.

Like many of you, Duran Duran saved me when I was in middle school. The band was the one thing that kept me going. I felt like such an outcast back then. You think I’m socially awkward now? Ha! I’m not being melodramatic – I’m being real. Adolescence was a tough time. I hated nearly every part of it, except for the moments when I would lazily thumb through a teen magazine in search of new Roger Taylor pinups or articles about the top ten things John misses most while on tour, or when I’d listen to “Is There Something I Should Know”, or even when I’d see the video for “Hungry Like the Wolf” on MTV. Their songs are my songs – they are the soundtrack to much of my life. This fan community is my family. I already miss many of you, and it’s barely been a week. Someday, perhaps even very soon – I’m not going to have the choice to buy the ticket, or take the trip. I’ll be completely done seeing the band, whether I like it or not. Until then, I’m in a race against time to squeeze in as many shows, and joy, as I can.

I dread the day when we won’t have a choice to attend or not. Earlier this year, my friend Alana passed away after a serious bout with cancer. Not too many days go by before I think about how she and I talked about meeting at the next show. You just never know when it’s going to be the last time.

Buy the concert ticket.

RIP Ric Ocasek. Thank you for being just enough weird balanced with just the right amount of rock star greatness to keep me interested!

-R

LIght My Torch and Wave It for the Last Night in the City

I left Vegas and our little mini-tour on Monday. It is now Saturday and, yet, I’m still thinking about the setlist that we were lucky enough to have on Sunday night. In case you have not seen it, here it is:

Hungry Like the Wolf 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
A View To A Kill (with 007 intro) 
Come Undone 
Anyone Out There 
Astronaut 
The Reflex 
Last Night In The City 
Chauffeur 
Ordinary World 
Sunrise / New Moon 
Notorious 
Pressure Off 
Planet Earth / Space Oddity 
Girls on Film 

Universe Alone/Save a Prayer 
White Lines 
Rio

Do you know what struck me that night and has stayed with me since then? I noticed how many of the songs had some connection to fandom. Some could relate to Duran fandom in general while others make me think about my own personal fandom. Let me explain what the heck I mean.

The first song that comes to mind is New Moon on Monday. I have often said that the chorus about lighting one’s torch and waving it is the essential lyric of fans. When you become a fan, it is because something grabbed you, something lit your torch. Then, when you are ready to show that you are passionate about that someone or something, you begin to let the whole world know. You wave that torch.

Next, in the process of waving the torch, you search for others out there who feel like you do, who can share your passion. You ask if there “is anyone out there”. Once you find the people who feel like you do, you realize that “the music is between you.”

Soon enough, it isn’t enough just to talk about the subject of your fandom. You need more. You need a “thrill and you know just what it takes and where to go.” So, you go on tour. You go to shows. You go on tour. Then, you recognize that this experience is the best EVER. “There is nothing gonna ace this.” In fact, it is so good that each and every time you do it, you get the same “pleasure when you take the hit.”

Then, of course, there is Last Night in the City. If that song does not capture touring, I don’t know what does. Being on tour is, indeed, “our time.” It results in not sleeping. Heck, even this last tour meant little sleep. I think that I got about 11 hours of sleep in three nights. I also love the sentiment of really focusing on that night and not worrying about “tomorrow”. The show, of course, features a lot of “hearts spinning all around” and I definitely believe that shows, meetups, is “where we get connected.”

If all those fandom related songs weren’t enough, the band played other songs that reminded me of my personal fandom journey. For instance, they played the Reflex, which normally doesn’t do much for me live but at the end of the night, I remembered that this is the song that made me a Duranie for life. If that wasn’t enough, they performed my very favorite, Planet Earth.

Did Sunday’s set list have everything I could have possibly wanted? No. There are a few songs that I would have exchanged (*coughComeUndonecough*) but the fact that it featured so many songs that relate to fandom made it “extra” special. As I walked out that night, I felt nothing but love for the band and secure in my fandom. My next show cannot come soon enough!

-A

We’ll Star Together in Every Scene

Has the following scenario ever happened to you?

Part of a Celluloid Dream

You participate in ticket sale and end up with 8th floor center seats for that one band/artist/performer you thought you’d never see. You begin a countdown to the show, and it feels like the evening will never arrive, but it does. You get to the venue, walk proudly down to the floor section and find your seats. You’re super excited to be there and realize that the stage is really just feet away. The show begins, everyone stands up – and out come the cell phones.

Everyone around you, or at least in front of you, seems to have their phone up in the air, videoing the show. Some may only do it for 30 second periods, others seem to hold their phone up the entire time. All you know is that what once seemed like great seats are now crappy because you’re having to find the “window” in between all of the screens. As the owners of these phones shift position, so do you. You’re ducking, standing on tip-toe, peering around and under, just to see the band of your choice.

It’s annoying. I’ve had that happen – in fact, both times I’ve seen Duran Duran at the Cosmopolitan, Amanda and I have been back in about the 8th or 9th row, and invariably there’s a wall of cell phones between us and the stage. You have to make the best of it, because otherwise – well, the experience is ruined, and no one wants that.

Rewind back to yesterday

I’d be telling a bit fat fib if I said I had never once held up my phone at a show, though. Of course I have. I’ve taken pictures, I’ve even taken video. I’ve also gone to shows and left my phone in the car, or even at home. Most often at Duran Duran shows, I tend to take my phone out a couple of times, take a few pictures, and put it away. I’m not that great of a photographer anyway, and I would rather watch the band and live in that moment.

I’ve also, like many others – watched Facebook live as someone streams a show. I’m always fascinated by that, because I’m not able to disconnect myself enough as an audience member to think about streaming. It isn’t that I don’t want to share, it’s that I’m so busy flailing my arms around and acting like an idiot that I can’t hold still long enough to take video! Regardless though, I’ve absolutely taken advantage of the kindness of others. I’ve watched those live streams. Not only that, I’ve searched endlessly for videos on YouTube. So you can 100% count me in as part of the problem.

Blurred my vision

On one hand, I don’t like seeing nothing but a sea of screens at a show. Seriously, it’s one good reason for me to buy tickets as close to the stage as possible. It’s an added benefit to being so close that I can see the stubble on Dom’s face, or notice if Simon’s shoes are untied. Yes, I’ve looked. I don’t know why.

On the other hand though, I do love being able to see videos of the shows I’ve not been able to attend. Not only that, there are certain songs from certain shows that I’ve been at that I want to see over and over again, for various reasons. YouTube is my best friend for that.

Almost inevitably, Amanda and I can find and compile nearly the full set list from any show we’ve attended. YouTube is a great resource, but I also think that maybe this is a bigger problem than I’d ever considered. The convenience factor for FANS might be fabulous, but what about the band? Did they agree to be filmed? Do they really want any and all of us to be able to get video from any show out there? I mean – at what point does all of that video, from nearly any show they’ve done in the past 5 years (minimum) start to hurt ticket sales? Does it ever hurt? Is it a cause worth fighting, or is it just so out of hand that it’s impossible to manage?

Where did it all go wrong?

I’m wondering about how other fans might feel. Yesterday I had the opportunity to hear from a much younger person who still hadn’t learned the hard lesson that a discussion, even one taking place on social media, does not need to be a litany of insults in order to be effective. Regardless, she felt that once you buy a ticket to a show – you should be able to do whatever you want, regardless of how other people around you may feel. She argued that she paid for the right to hold up her phone and record, and that I was just “butt hurt” about not being able to see.

The entire conversation made me laugh a bit. It didn’t occur to her that if everyone held up their phone, she might not even be able to take video herself, but from the way she responded—I don’t think that mattered. Someone else pointed out the fine print on the back of the ticket where it clearly states that recording a show is not legal. She responded that she’s even had her phone broken at shows and yet has never been thrown out. All I could think of was that she’s never been to some of the venues I’ve been to, including the Chelsea Theatre in the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas.

She also said that “no one” ever records an entire show. Unfortunately, that’s just not true. Plenty of people do, because I find them with regularity on YouTube. I also had to laugh when she called me old and annoying. Yeah, tell me something I don’t already know.

Living in a Pop Trash movie

I don’t think this is necessarily a youth vs. “finely aged” problem. I know many of my fellow “finely aged” peers who regularly stream and/or take video of shows to post later on YouTube. This is also not a slam against those people – it’s a genuine problem. I, too, watch YouTube. Seeing Facebook Live when I can’t possibly fly out of the country or even across the United States to see a once-in-a-lifetime gig is handy. But at what price to other people? Is it really fair to all involved? I’m as guilty as anyone else.

Admittedly, I hadn’t given any of it a lot of thought until yesterday. The only time the thought goes through my head is when I’ve been at shows and had screens thrust up in my line of sight, or when I have taken out my own phone. I try to be at least mindful that I might be blocking someone. It is the same reason I stopped holding up signs at shows – however “cute” they might be, it isn’t nice to block someone’s view behind me – which I know I’ve done in the past.

I’m curious about how others feel. I threw the question out on Twitter yesterday, but it’s time to hear from the rest of you! What say you on the subject of cell phone videos and streaming at shows?

-R

Just An Hour To Go

Now the day is over

I think it has taken me a full 36 hours or so to completely reign in my thoughts on the show at the Kennedy Space Center. I don’t think Katy was wrong when she said the set and show would be “out of this world”. The band added “Anyone Out There”, “Astronaut” and even “Walking on the Moon” by The Police to an already fantastic set list that included a lengthy intro to “The Universe Alone”. If the ethereal, delicate beauty of drones hovering overhead didn’t send chills down your spine, then surely combining the choir and orchestra to Duran Duran’s already near-perfect sound gave you goosebumps and made your hair stand up on end. At least they did for me, and I was at home watching a pixelated stream with far-less-than-adequate audio!

That evening began with a series of clicking links that didn’t work for me. I didn’t even think I’d be able to see video, but then Studio Drift streamed their drone performance. Granted, they only showed their pertinent portion of the evening, and after that I was desperate. I’d tune in to one stream only to find it wasn’t working properly, then try another. There might be sound, but no video…or vice-versa. Where could I see more? Thankfully, social media never disappoints! Duranies in the know were pointing everyone else in the proper directions. I was sent a link to another kind soul who decided to live stream the entire gig. I was thrilled, even with her apology that there might only be sound because the view from where she was standing wasn’t that great (her words). I couldn’t have cared less, I was overjoyed to be able to even see a tiny bit of the show – and I had no trouble hearing what the band was playing, even if the quality wasn’t perfect. That certainly didn’t stop me from tweeting in awe over what was happening in Florida.

I tried to phone last night

For me, that was the best part of the evening – even from home. Of course the show was stunning! I loved seeing the overall view of the rockets, the stage, and the crowd, combined with the music I know and love. Simon really made the show special by talking about the astronauts and the space program. The ambience was just about perfect from my seat. What topped it all off, was that even here at home as I sat by myself in a barstool at my kitchen island, I wasn’t alone. My friends and I tweeted back and forth. Amanda and I texted. There was laughter, and yes – even giggly joy. You can’t really beat that! I mean, if I can be here at home, about 5,000 miles from the gig itself, and still feel like I’m amongst friends in the audience, that’s what it’s all about.

I’m still a little stunned, or in awe…or something like that. I’m not one to sit down and watch video after video clip from a show. I have friends who have sent me videos from concerts I’ve attended over the years (and a lot I have not), and while I might watch a clip or two, I don’t spend a lot of time doing it. normally. Since the KSC show on Wednesday, I’ve SCOURED the internet, looking for any and all videos I can find, particularly of The Universe Alone – a song that I have had a love/I’m-really-afraid sort of relationship with since it came out. That changed on Wednesday.

Here’s a link to some amazing footage. I can’t stop watching it. I might need help.

You didn’t answer

I will never again listen to “The Universe Alone” without thinking of those gorgeous drones in the sky. It was like watching the stars, or a sea of fireflies, dancing in the heavens. I loved it, and hearing Simon’s voice – perfect and clear – singing the verses to “The Universe Alone” nearly brought tears to my eyes right along with all the chills I’ve come to appreciate in response to an outstanding performance. I know there’s some outstanding, multi-camera video footage out there, and I know I’m not alone when I cheer loudly in hopes of a video of the full performance to be released!

Seeing the show that night made me all the more excited for what is to come – and I don’t just mean the September shows.

(Although, I would like to reiterate the formal request I made on Twitter that Duran Duran put “Anyone Out There” in the setlist for the September shows and beyond. Pleasethankyougoodbye).

It makes ya kind of wonder when we might hear new music from the band, doesn’t it?

Look out of the window maybe you can call by my name

It does me too….which is why I nearly fell out of my chair when I read a recent article published on Playlist, a magazine website from Mexico. The short piece is in Spanish, which remains the one language I read pretty well outside of English (speaking it is another story. Conjugating verbs on the fly is not one of my gifts…) But even so, I thought I was misreading things, so I sent it through good old google translate. Turns out, I wasn’t.

According to the article, the band already has a song in mind as a lead single. Lead what?!? Here’s the translation for those who want the short “executive” version of the full article: “So far, there is a song that is the main one to be the first single. It’s so different from anything you’ve heard from us before, or really from anyone else. There is a dancing element. The construction, the melodic content, the lyrics, some of the sounds … are very different for us”

I’ll give you a minute to absorb that. Meanwhile, here’s the link, read it yourself:

http://www.playlistmag.mx/2019/07/duran-duran-anuncia-nuevo-album-con.html?m=1

My face in the mirror shows a break in time

Anybody else have the feeling that this band has been working on the album more than they’ve kind of let on??? I honestly thought they must still be at the stage where they’re just jamming in the studio every few weeks, hoping for something to gel.

(ok, I was going to write “months” in that sentence, but that seemed too negative. Typing “weeks” seemed more optimistic and hopeful!)

This kind of talk regarding singles makes me wonder if I’m just going to wake up one morning and the band is going to be like “Surprise, we’ve released our new album and we’re going on tour starting tomorrow!! Pre-sales started at midnight and you’re already too LATE!!”

New album – ok.

Tour – that’s fine….I guess? I mean, it just seems a bit rushed!

Presales starting without notice….while I’m sleeping?? That’s stuff right out of my nightmares. Some might say that this is the obvious next step for a band who likes to give less than 48 hours notice for presales.

A crack in the ocean, which does not align

I also have to wonder if this story about singles is even true. Not that I think Nick told a big fat fib, but that perhaps the magazine misquoted him. I mean, it’s the only place I’ve seen anything mentioned about actually having songs written! Can it really be?

If it’s true, then I’m still thinking about the description. I’m not surprised it sounds nothing like anything they’ve done before. After all – this is not a band that likes to revisit. It’s all new, all the time. I’m still shocked that they think they’ve already got the lead single. I say “already” because in my head – this album process just started! I can’t seem to wrap my brain around anything else.

I think back to pre-Paper Gods. For me, those days were torture, and I wasn’t in the band or even on their team. I was just a bystander. A blogging bystander. Every month felt like another year. (I’m exaggerating here because I have a flair for the dramatic, you see…) I wanted them to hurry, hurry, hurry, and then get back on the road so we could have more fun! This time, I’ve been pretty damn patient, I must say. I was busy. There were boxes being packed, and unpacked. I moved. I raised chickens, built a chicken coop, and apparently became a bit of a farmer. What???

I sound like I’ve retired, which I have not.

I’ve caught your dreaming

There were shows, which honestly – kept me going even during some really dark days. I couldn’t tell you how long the band has actually been working on this album because – news flash – I don’t even know! Interesting. Well-played, Nicholas… and of course the rest of you. You got me this time. I did see comments on Twitter in reaction to another interview posted somewhere, and apparently Nick said they’re shooting for late spring of 2020 for new music to be released. To be completely honest, I discounted that information.

On one hand, it *was* Nick who was giving a target release timeframe. If it had been Roger…I’d have laughed quietly and said, “add on another 12-18 months on that!” Sorry Roger…I kid, I kid!!! In all seriousness though, I read the tweets about it and thought, “Yeah, we’ll see. Late spring of next year? Yeah…..I’ll believe it when I see it!”

Not that I don’t trust this band. I do. I believe they will eventually release new music. I just suspect I’ve got all kinds of time to wait and be patient, maybe build an animal paddock, and begin raising goats and sheep along with my chickens.

I really do sound like I’m a farmer.

Have a great weekend everyone!

-R

The Importance of Live Shows

I am moving super slowly today as I knew that I would. Yesterday, I went to Summerfest in Milwaukee with some friends. Summerfest, for those unfamiliar, is the “largest music festival” with a bunch of different stages and bands over an almost two week period. While it showcases a number of smaller, local bands, it also brings in headliners. Last night, that big act was the Killers.

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that we adore the Killers. In fact, I would say that they are my second favorite band. What this means to me is that I will go see them whenever I can. I’m not sure that I would travel much to see them like I do Duran but I will buy any album and buy concert tickets when I can. Of course, throughout the night, I found myself thinking about Duran Duran and the importance of live shows.

I have not been to Summerfest in a really long time. I forgot exactly what it is like. While I had an amazing time, there are elements that I could have done without. For one thing, the festival does an absolutely awful job at signs so you have no idea if you are heading in the right direction to get to the right parking lot or not. Maybe if you go every year or lived nearby it wouldn’t be an issue but that is not me. The food choices also leave something to be desired as is the expensively priced and often poorly tasting. The same is true when it comes to drinks. Then, of course, it is all outside. I’m not a big fan of the outdoors. There is always a chance for sunburn or bug bites. Yeah, no thank you. Last night, though, the biggest issue was the heat. It wasn’t even that hot (low 80s) but the humidity meant that we were sweating…a LOT. Again, I’m not a big fan. But I was willing to put up with it as were a lot of other people. Why?

In between dancing and singing along to each and every song, I looked around at the audience. In some cases, I wondered what people were thinking. For example, the guy directly in front of me stood for the entire show but never moved at all. He did not even move his leg to the music. There was no waving. I’m not even sure that there was a lot of clapping from him. While I demonstrated the opposite behavior, we were both there for the same thing. We both wanted to see the Killers live in concert. Of course, there were also fans that got into it more than I did. (Hard to imagine, I know.) For instance, there was a guy at the end of the show, during Mr. Brightside, that got so into it that he took off his shirt to twirl it over his head. I also think about the fans in the front who reached out to touch Brandon Flowers, the lead singer, every time he came close.

So, what motivated all of us to be there? Yes, part of it for me was going and hanging out with some friends but why suffer through less than ideal food and gross summer humidity? I think the answer to that is simple. Absolutely nothing takes the place of a live show. I remember an interview with John Taylor years ago when he was asked about illegal downloading. His response focused on how those downloads do not replace the live show. He is right. Many record labels have figured this out, too. Touring matters. Live shows matter. I could buy all the albums by the Killers and listen to them over and over and over again. Yet, there is nothing better than hearing those songs live.

Every time I go to a concert I cannot help but to think of that frequently stated quote in John Taylor’s autobiography, “the music never sounded better.” This is very true during a concert. In fact, the music is so good that I often find myself connecting to songs differently or more deeply than I would have just listening to the album at home. The most significant example of this is Planet Earth. While I loved that song since the very first time I heard it, it was not my favorite until I heard and saw it performed live.

Knowing all this makes me think about the fact that Duran Duran has been so limited in terms of number of shows and locations. If you live in Vegas, for example, you have been very lucky. Heck, if you are like me, in that I have been able to sneak away to go, you are very lucky. I’m well-aware that lots of other fans are waiting to see Duran play live. The vast majority of Duranies have been anxiously hoping to see their favorite band in concert, knowing that there is nothing better, nothing more magical than seeing a band perform. This is why I have to hope that DDHQ really considers making some plans to get the band to parts of the world that has been significantly lacking in shows.

On that note, I’m off to take a nap.

-A

Another West Coast Date added!

Agua Caliente just announced

I have an actual writing assignment that I’m supposed to be doing today. I’ll get to that—but it would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Duran Duran has announced yet another west coast date for September. This time, they’ll be making a return visit to Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage, California on September 5th!

Thanks to the eagle eyes of a friend, I was alerted to the new date yesterday. My habitual procrastination has finally paid off. I put off purchasing plane tickets because I didn’t like the cost of flights to Vegas. I debated over driving. Lo and behold – it turns out driving IS the better option after all! I’m making a pit stop in the Palm Springs area along the way to Vegas, assuming of course, that I’m able to get a ticket to the show.

Agua Caliente is one of the best venues I’ve seen the band perform. The theater is small, the sound is pretty great, and there’s really not a bad seat in the house. This time, however, is going to be a little different. According to Agua Caliente’s website, the DD show this time around includes GA pit. For those of us not happy with that, there are still seats in the loge, mezzanine and balcony areas. Pricing is as follows, courtesy of hotwatercasino.com:

Ticket Prices:


$115.00 – STANDING ROOM ONLY | GA PIT | NO SEATS
$115.00 – LOGE
$95.00 – MEZZANINE
$85.00 – BALCONY

6 ticket limit.

Public ticket sale begins July 6th at 8am local time. This is not the same information as for the DDM member pre-sale. That will begin on July 3rd at 10am local time.

Keep in mind that the pricing above is only for the public sale. DDM pricing will likely be different if they offer VIP tickets.

Flying solo

It would appear that I am headed to the show alone. Amanda cannot take an additional day off of teaching, and the rest of the usual suspects I know are also struggling with their work/life schedules. I’ve never gone to a Duran Duran concert alone (although I did go to their mini-concert for Jimmy Kimmel on my own!). This will be a new experience for me! Let me know if you’re going to the concert and we can meet up for pre-show drinks or food before the gig!

On to that writing assignment of mine.

Readers and active participants on our social media may have noticed that Amanda and I have been asking questions about being a fan. We wanted to know what first drew fans to Duran Duran. Then as a follow up, I asked what kept people as fans after all this time. Sure, Amanda and I have our own answers that we’ll share at some point. For now, we want to know yours!

What drew you to Duran Duran and what keeps you interested?

There were certainly mentions of nostalgia and even their ever-present pinup-able looks. However, by and large, most people say it is the music that keeps them fans. I am not surprised by that answer. Although I do wonder if any of us can really put our finger on exactly WHAT it is about their music that keeps us interested.

Don’t be surprised when you see more questions popping up from our Daily Duranie social media accounts. We are always curious about what makes fans tick. Part of that is understanding what brought us here to begin with. Thanks for playing along with us!

-R

Where in the World is Duran Duran?

I’m sorry I’m late today. I’ve been wrestling with Google and WordPress all morning. I want to make sure to get writing before the day gets away from me.

I don’t suppose anyone has noticed the “Where in the world is _________” pictures this morning? Simon seems to be missing so far, so we should all stay tuned. Obviously though, the band is in Russia! I had to check the calendar – I’ve lost track of when they were due in Iceland and Denmark – but it appears they have several days before heading to those places.

While the thought of the band vacationing together makes me laugh, I’m pretty sure they must be there for a private gig. Wealthy Russians sure seem to know how to throw a good party!

I’m envious of those who are making the trek to Iceland. Aside from a quick run down to Anaheim with my youngest for Vidcon, and to Vegas in September for this crazy band, my vacation destination for this year is our back patio. I’ll be spending warm summer nights barbecuing, building more fenced areas for our future livestock, possibly laying some concrete, and dreaming about the pool I’d really love to have put in. As my husband puts it, “You live here. This is your vacation every single day.” Yeah…..not exactly, but OK.

With the band out and about for the next week or two, hopefully there will be pictures and things to share, along with plenty of photos from those of you going. Safe travels and happy times ahead for all of you! Also, if you’re traveling to any of the upcoming shows and would like to be our special correspondents in the field, we would be thrilled to publish you! We’d obviously credit you with whatever you’d like to share – pictorials, reviews, diaries, etc. Send me a note to our gmail (dailyduranie at gmail dot com)!

-R

Hey All of You Lucky People Seeing DD in Iceland!!!

Yes you! Did you read today that the venue is changing? Duran Duran posted an update today for the Iceland show, explaining that the promoter had changed and that the new venue would be more intimate. Don’t take it from me, though – here’s the update straight from duranduran.com:

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT

Sena Live has taken over as the local promoter of the upcoming show with British rock icons, Duran Duran, in Iceland on June 25th.

The show will be moved from the “New-Laugardalshöllin” venue to the 5.500 capacity “Old-Laugardalsöllin” so that fans will get a chance to see the band play in a more intimate setting.

Ticket prices will remain the same as before:
– A area: 18.900 kr.
– B area: 14.900 kr.

A’ area tickets are standing and on the floor closest to the stage. ‘B’ tickets are also standing, and general admission, immediately behind, on the floor. Grandstand seats opposite the stage will be used in the new set up, and available to ‘A’ ticketholders on a first come, first served basis, giving those with premium tickets two great options. 

All current ticket holders will receive an email that includes a new ticket to the show. If anyone for any reason wants a refund that will be taken care of right away.

All information about the show: www.senalive.is/duranduran
Ticket sales:
 www.tix.is/duranduran

What does it all mean?

Naturally, since there was announcement of the change, there’s even chatter…and many seem to believe that this announcement of a promoter and venue change have everything to do with a lack in ticket sales.

I have two main feelings about this:

  1. Sure, I wondered about ticket sales. After all, it is far nicer to say that they want to play in an intimate setting than it is to say they need to move locations due to lack of sales. I know enough about PR to know how to state a negative in a positive way. That said, I don’t know for sure what happened. I would doubt that anyone really does unless you are, in fact, the band’s manager. (In which case – hello, welcome, and please don’t shut us down. Thanks!) I do know though, that I am not the band’s manager. We should all be very thankful for that, because I do not have the slightest bit of expertise in this area. It would have been a cataclysmic fail by now if I were left in charge. I’m amazed by the fans who are brick layers, moms, teachers, postal carriers (or the like) by day and potential new managers for Duran Duran by night. I can barely manage being a mom and blogger. More power to ya.
  2. Why is it that whenever the band posts this type of an update, we are all—myself included—so ready and willing to assume the worst? I don’t have answers about this, it’s just something I’m thinking about today.

All I know for sure is that seeing Duran Duran in an intimate setting, in Iceland, seems like a win. I’m still wishing I were going along for the ride. I hope that those going will be posting photos not only of the show, but of the gorgeous Icelandic scenery, so that I can live vicariously through all of you!

In the meantime – I’ve got one more week until we’re out for summer and I will have retired from homeschooling. (at least for now) Wish me luck!

-R