Category Archives: shows

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



To Believe in Your Advice

Can you believe that there are Duran Duran shows happening next week? They are playing in Miami and in Kaboo next week. I have gotten pretty used to not have Duran happenings that I almost don’t know how to wrap my head around the idea. That said, I’m super excited for those who are going to shows this week! I cannot wait to hear all about them. In my realization of impending Duranlive, I remembered that someone commented on a blog post asking about advice for general admission shows. Good question. While I’m definitely not the expert by any means or even a fan of GA shows, I have survived one or two in my lifetime.

Duran shows that are GA are tough, way harder than seeing other bands. The reason for this is that I want to be close. Even when I say that I don’t, I do. I would like to believe that other fans feel similarly but maybe they don’t. Therefore, my advice will center around that premise. If it doesn’t apply to you, then you can probably ignore at least some of what I have to say. The other important thing I have to share before I start my official list of advice to the Duranie heading into a GA show is that the advice is random and probably only applies to the shows in the U.S. My understanding from some of my European friends is that GA shows in other parts of the world aren’t quite so…competitive as they are here in the States.

Have a Plan

I know that having a plan sounds easy but it is harder than it looks. What do I mean about having a plan? First, I would start with research about the venue. Do they allow people to line up? What time do they allow it? Are there means of getting early entry if DuranDuranMusic did not offer an early entry VIP package or you didn’t buy one? Sometimes, Rhonda and I have done well buying some sort of special deal through the venue itself. Of course, sometimes, we have bought those with little benefit. For example, both the Oakland show and the San Francisco show in the summer of 2017 had special add-ons. These cost about $50-75 and offered a special entrance, bathroom, bar and snacks. For Oakland, this allowed us to get in early. For San Francisco, it backfired and we ended up getting in late. Research matters as does seeking out others who have attended shows at that venue.

The next part of the plan consists of figuring out where you hope to end up inside the venue and sticking to it. When you don’t have a plan, it usually goes something like this. You arrive at the venue whenever, probably arriving later than you wanted. Then, when the doors arrive, you glance at the crowd filtering in and decide to go left or right or stay at the center. As you head towards one direction or another, you might change your mind and switch gears, wasting more time in the hopes that you get just a little bit closer. Often, this results in ending up further back in the long run. So my advice here? Again, after looking at the venue map, have a decision made ahead of time about which side of the stage to go towards and stick to it. Stay laser focused as you enter.

Be Happy Where You End Up

All of that advice above said, I would also make sure that you are happy where you end up. Nothing ruins a show faster than spending the time being disappointed about your spot. In 2008, we saw a show at Foxwoods in Connecticut. Yes, our seats were way off to the side and it bothered us to no end. We literally spent the entire time just being mad and finding fault with everything. Even if some of that was justified, we shouldn’t have been like that. That show might have been awesome but I have no means of telling. My memories of that night are not good. Shows are supposed to be fun. We killed our own joy that night. That said, remember that show I referenced earlier in San Francisco that we bought add-on tickets for in the hopes that it would help our location but it did the opposite. We could have been mad that we wasted money or that the plan backfired. Instead, we promised ourselves to enjoy just being there and we did. We had a great time. Attitude matters.

Make Friends Not Enemies

This one might be obvious but do try to make friends with the people near you. First of all, it makes for a more enjoyable experience. It can add to your excitement and ease your discomfort knowing that others are in the exact same boat that you are. Plus, they can then help to defend the space when others try to budge their way closer to the stage as frequently happens. If you are a united front, the person or group will end up heading in a different direction. Likewise, they would hold your spot if you MUST leave for whatever reason. More about that in a minute. Anyway, this far beats alienating or even angering those near you. I have literally been with people who have found the littlest thing to be annoyed about and yelled at people standing near us. The result? We had to move before things got ugly. This meant a much worse spot and a bad attitude going into the show. That said, this doesn’t mean just tolerate anything. People can and will push your limits. Make sure the reason warrants getting all worked up about before you do. Some things matter (like people pushing you out of your space) while others do not (like when people bump into you on accident). I promise that you can tell the difference.

Little Things Add Up

Last but not least, the little things can and do make a different. Plan wisely when it comes to shoes. You will be standing for a LONG time. Be prepared. Cute is not more important than comfortable. Plan your beverage intake. You definitely do not want to be going to the bathroom once you have staked your spot. People are not always kind in terms of leaving and returning and you definitely don’t want to miss a note of the show. Last but certainly not least, I highly recommend NOT having a hangover. I thought I might die the entire Oakland show of 2017 because I had one of the worst hangovers in my life. Don’t be like me on that front. Lesson learned, big time.

All of that said, I hope those of you going to any/all of the upcoming GA shows have a simply amazing time! I hope that you share your experiences with us, too!

-A

I’ve Been Fighting All the Way

In a month, I’ll be in Las Vegas.

I can’t decide if I’m ready as-is, or if I should immediately resort to a month-long fasting exercise. It is a joke to me now, but in the past…I may have been at least half-serious. It’s weird, because I don’t mind admitting that my prep for previous tours included being semi-obsessed with making sure I looked my best. I worried about how I looked to other people. I would shop for new outfits, get my hair done well in advance, go have a pedicure, and of course – I would make certain I was at fighting weight. (or dancing weight, as the case may be)

I’m really not sure what “my best” means these days. Honestly, “alive” seems like a pretty good goal to me. My friend Lori and I were having drinks (training) and dinner last night (can I just say how wonderful it is to actually LIVE near a good friend?!?) and as I sat there, thinking about the upcoming weekend, I realized that for the very first time that I can remember, I am not worried about what I look like.

I mean sure, I need to lose a few pounds. I ALWAYS need to lose a few pounds. I’m not perfect, and I’m not a size 2, either. My weight is a struggle. The number on the scale is in direct correlation with how much stress I’m under at the time, and what my blood pressure is like. I have never been thin, though. I’m just average to “I’ve got a little extra padding because I fall down a lot!”, so this struggle isn’t new. The weird thing is, for the first time in forever, I don’t mind what I see when I look in the mirror. I’m satisfied. Happy, even. For me…that’s bizarre. Good, but bizarre.

There have been moments where I’ve wondered if I’m even that excited to go see Duran Duran, because I haven’t been overly obsessed with what I’m going to wear or what I’m going to pack. But then, I’ll hear a Duran-song or I’ll think about seeing them walk on stage and I can feel a little bit of that familiar giddiness. Yep, excitement is still in there. I just know I’m going to roll on into Vegas, and I’m going to have a good time with my friends. I guess my goal is to be happy with what I see in the mirror, rather than worry about what anyone else is going to see when I walk into a room.

Insecurity is a strange thing. Admitting that I have been insecure about myself more often than not leaves me pretty vulnerable, I suppose. I know it would be fairly easy for people to dismiss me because of that imperfection. Insecurity isn’t attractive, but I’m betting that more of us suffer from it than we individually might believe.

In the past, I worried about how posting that sort of thing might make me look to readers. The funny (well, not so funny) thing is that once you admit that you were well on the way to being suicidal last year – you kind of don’t give a shit about what people say or think anymore. Once you’ve gotten through that particular alley of darkness, you’re so thankful to see the sun again that you don’t want to waste a single second on people who don’t get it. Yeah, I’ve been insecure. My validation came from other people, not from myself, or from within. Oh well!

It can’t possibly be age that has forced my change in outlook and attitude. That would be crazy! I think though that the past year, feeling so incredibly low about everything, and then coming out of that, has given me a different prospective. Things I thought were important before really might not be, after all. I’m learning to say “Oh well” a lot. Truth is, I never want to feel like I did last year ever again. No matter what.

I think back to something that a dear friend of mine told me while we were traveling in 2012. She reminded me to never let anyone take my bliss away. I think about that statement nearly every single day. She probably doesn’t even remember saying the words to me, but I do. I’ve carried them all this time, and they’ve proven very useful lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long way to go, I suppose. It is easy to fall back into old habits. I am sure I’ll still swoon if a band member even sort of appears to look my way. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll smile at the band and welcome smiles in return. I mean, let’s not get ridiculous here.

-R


Whole Albums?

Right around this time eleven years ago, Duran Duran was playing on Broadway in New York City as a way to promote their new album,  Red Carpet Massacre.  The show consisted of three acts.  They played the entire album of Red Carpet Massacre except for bonus tracks, in order, for the first act.  The second one included the electro set in which they played a few tracks, electronically, at the front of the stage before moving on to the third act, which felt like a usual Duran show with their classic hits.

I was lucky enough to attend one of these shows.  In fact, I saw the show in which Donald Trump was in attendance.  (For the record, I had better seats than he did.)  Anyway, I thought and still think that this was a brilliant way to introduce a new album.  Fans get to see their old favorites during the third act.  The electro set was special and awesome in its own right but then you get to hear each and every new song live.  I don’t know about the rest of you but seeing/hearing songs live make them so much better.  In all seriousness, I struggle to listen to studio versions of many Duran songs after seeing them live.  With Red Carpet Massacre, hearing the songs live took away some of those overproduction and left the song to speak for itself.  I cannot help but to think about one song, in particular, which is Tricked Out.  On the album, it feels like a bad 70s science fiction TV show’s theme song.  Live, it was all about the guitars.  I have loved the song ever since.

So, if playing a whole album works to promote an album, would it work for an older album?  While I’m not sure how many copies of an old album would be sold through that method, but I’m certain that there would be new appreciation for the songs.  It might even excite more fans to come buy tickets.  That has to be just as good as selling albums, right?  I think so!  Plus, many people think this might be good for the 40th anniversary as a way to capture Duran’s career.  It might also sell more concert tickets, especially from the hardcore fans who would definitely like to hear something more than the hits known by the general public.

So if it is a winning idea, which album should be chosen?  The immediate fan response is probably Rio.  That would draw the crowd!  It would be easier on the band since many songs from that album are all ready in the rotation for setlist these days so they wouldn’t have to practice all of them.  From my perspective, though, I’m not sure that I would choose Rio.  It definitely isn’t that I don’t like it.  No, part of my hesitation is that I have seen all the songs from that album live.  Granted they were not all at the same show but still.   Selfishly, I would like to broaden which songs I have seen live.  (I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a terrible person.)   The other part would be sad for the fans is that Rio is short.  It is a short album in terms of number of songs but also how long the songs are themselves.

No, I think that if I had my choice, it would be a longer album.  While I adore the first three, those are all relatively short.  I might choose All You Need Is Now.  It is a solid album, all the way through, and it brings back lots of great memories.  On top of it, since it is relatively new, it could help sell more copies of that one.  What about the rest of you?  Which album would you love to see played all the way through, in order?

-A

Guest Blog: Sears Center Show 2006

Look another guest blog!  This time it is our friend, Nat, who wanted to share about her experiences at the Chicago Sears Center Show in October of 2006.  If you something you want to write about in connection with Duran Duran or fandom, feel free to send it our way!  -A&R

By Nat Mingo

When you’re in a relationship, you celebrate moments. I’ve been listening to Duran Duran music since the needle dropped on the Seven & the Ragged Tiger album on my sister’s plastic Fisher-Price record player. So, yes, I’m in an active relationship with Duran Duran’s music. It’s SLB’s 60th birthday as I type this. Earlier this week, I was delighted to read an Instagram remembrance post about the band’s show at the Sears Center on October 26, 2006. I was also chagrined because I didn’t remember the exact date. Whoops! I should try to remember this date because it was my first …front row experience!

When Astronaut was released, I was teaching full-time and my funds were minimal. I went to the shows that I could afford. I was glad to be at the shows but felt unsatisfied with my view. I observed very happy fans sauntering to the first two rows. Afterwards, I promised myself that if the opportunity arose, I would try for a “VIP” seat. I was honoring that preteen who wore headphones while delving into the depths of the DD catalog and her hard work since then.

On the presale date, I remember sitting at my computer with sweaty palms while on the DDM site. Anxious thoughts were pervasive: “How does this work?”, “Will I get a get a good seat?”, “Am I a fool for trying this and going alone to a show?” Hours-no minutes- later, I scored a VIP ticket. Yaaasssss!!! I posted on the fan board that I was going alone and looking for meet up with other people. Two big hearted fans from Seattle and San Antonio said they would hang with me. I still appreciate their extended kindness and when fans embrace each other at shows.

I stayed at the hotel and got my ticket from the DDM staff. I opened the envelope and thought, “Hmm, this might be good.” A fan asked me where I would be sitting and when I told her, she walked away without speaking to me. Yikes! It was not a good way to start a show. Luckily, I met the two aforementioned fans and enjoyed spending time with others. We got to hear the band’s sound check and they rehearsed “The House of the Rising Sun” for the Voodoo festival which was a few days afterwards in New Orleans. I was thrilled for this unexpected and not repeated treat. I watched a fan get whisked away to meet the band before the show. When the fan returned, she was dazed but graciously accepted my congratulations.

I remembered walking toward my seat and asking an usher for assistance. She smiled and told me where to go. When I saw my seat and its proximity to the stage, my…heart…swelled. It was a palm to the chest moment. I don’t remember many specific moments about the show. They did play “Hold Back the Rain” which I miss in the set list now. I think we sang “Happy Birthday” to Simon. What matters is that I dared and enjoyed the experience.

I’ve purchased several “VIP” tickets since this show. “To VIP or not to VIP” will always be a question I will ask myself of the concerts I attend. I’ve learned that each show is unique. I’ve learned to have quasi-realistic expectations. No, John has never mouthed, “Hey, Boo” towards me from the stage. I’ve learned to look for the minute interactions between the bandmates and to appreciate a different perspective from each seat location. Most importantly, I’ve learned to be more GRATEFUL that I can attend a concert wherever my seat may be located.

So to the readers of this blog, if you see a woman lip-syncing while awkwardly dancing during “A View to A Kill”, it’s me. Please come say, “hello.”

Hoping to see you at a show,

Nat

Nathalie is a daughter, sister, Auntie, educator, reader, dreamer, Christian, Midwestern, Sci-Fi & Superhero Nerdette  whose favorite band is Duran Duran. She owns multiple copies of most DD albums.  She collects band t-shirts and proudly wears them in her everyday life.