Category Archives: shows

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

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